I haven’t really read *anything* in a year. Not the newspapers, too depressing. Not my usual science and non-fiction, too escapist. And lately, not even the web, really escapist. But lately, I’ve had some time to really consider things. Read “Gods in Everyman”:http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC16/Bolen.htm and “Goddesses in Everywoman”:http://www.intuition.org/txt/bolen.htm, “Iron John”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_John_(book), “Narcissism: A New Theory”:http://books.google.com/books?id=AuBnyWBvoHoC&dq=new+theory+of+narcissism&pg=PP1&ots=QeDR3Cf5c5&source=bn&sig=dAcZgCpRYSYE7dHCi8-HpJv_zPY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result as usual, once I’m into a subject, I’m drowning in theories.
Anyway, like all theories, you pick and choose. Whether it is Freudian, Jungian or whatever new age. As with all things, who can really tell, but some things really spoke to me. I’m not sure I’m really a believer that there are three parts exactly to the consciousness (as Freud believed) or that there are four parts with juxtaposition as Jung did (intuitive vs. judging, sensing vs. perceiving, etc.), but they are all useful. Neville’s book on narcissism and some of Iron John really did ring true.
From Neville’s book:
* What is conscious and unconscious? Well, there are lots of mini-people in yourself. I used to call it evil-Rich and good-Rich, but in truth, there are lots of them. You can simultaneously love, hate, despise, admire and not care about someone. Trying to make a consistent script out of this and pretend all that doesn’t exist is one way to describe narcissism.
* The classic “symptom” of a self-centered (vs. selfish which he distinguishes as relatively healthy regard for yourself, vs. the willingness to hurt others to help yourself) is when someone says, “why don’t other people love me?”
* For someone who is narcissist, things are always happening to them. But, the mere fact that you know what’s really happening changes you. It is hard to be self-ware and self-centered at the same time.
* You can appear to be caring, but in fact, what is happening is that being caring fulfills a narcissistic desire in you to be a “good” person. That is, if you’ve done something harmful, you can be overcaring because you can’t admit you have these other parts.
* A crisis in life is what can shatter this, but it has to be an internal crisis. The forces are strong that keep a self-centered person together.
* Read Anna Karenina, it is a true example of the self-centered or narcissistic personality. One a story of hope and the other of what happens without self awareness.
* Another sign is that repetition over and over of the same story. The continually attempt to recreate the “right” circumstances. Being trapped in the same dream with the same ending.
From Robert Bly,
* It is only by descending down into true depths of despair that you can really find yourself. It can go on for years, but it is the real work and it is lonely
* Children have lost a lot in our post-industrial age, the need to see what your father does and to understand it is being lost. Because most dad’s are far away in far away lands, in far away office towers and they never explain what they are doing and why.
* To escape, you try to fly high above it all, but that is not real living either. You have to be both far in the ground and far above.
From Jean Shinoda,
* Men and woman can have multiple archetypes (what Neville calls sub-personalities). Greek myths are helpful to understand them because myths are really about the collective understanding of what those archetypes are.
* Some people call them scripts, but others call them “gods in men and women”. They are the same idea.
* Some powerful archetypes are Aphrodite who just wants to love. When there is no love, she is desperate, but whenever anyone comes into view, she loves him completely and fully. Until the next comes along. Someone of this archetype is tremendously attractive, because she gives herself fully to that person at that point in time.
* Another is Athena is the goddess of the head. She is smart, but aloof. She calculates and is the busy efficient person that we all know and love.
* Finally Persephone, this is the innocent young girl that lies vulnerable at the beginning of life. Oftentimes, this is the first love that people find. Just as Hades found Persephone.