Are You My Mother? Projection and the Mother Complex
There is a power in the feminine that often overwhelms a man. That power is one that comes out of nature and out of the world of the inner psyche. Men often look at images of the feminine for a host of reasons, one of the most dominant of which is fear. Often, in truth, the vast majority of the time we really don’t know or understand what it is exactly that we fear. The image here to the right side is a photo taken by Rudolph Kartelin, was found as I searched for an image that would evoke the “mother earth” archtype (this image and others in a series of 184 can be found here). Seeing this image, there is no sense of this woman that touches the idea of pornography. This is not a woman objectified for a man’s sexual pleasure, the image of woman subjugated. This image shows the woman, the feminine much too powerfully. She is no sex toy.
Woman – a full, natural woman with a full natural body is about the full power of the earth, the moon, the water, the night – the power of beginnings and endings. There is no need to know the facts of the real woman beneath any image such as this one. The image tells us she is “mother” and that she “knows” who you are and what you are. In the presence of such a woman, a man becomes a child again, a man is forced out of his head and into his body, a body that is often denied and hidden. There is no inner sense of equality here – a man becomes a boy child and yearns for the mother to comfort and nurture his psyche.
At the same time, a man wants to possess the woman, to claim her power as his own. He needs to dominate if only so that he escapes being enclosed within her bosom and suffocating within the darkness of her depths. Unknowingly, the man seeks to control and finds himself controlled. Unconsciously the anger and resentment of being being controlled is transformed into dark behaviours where human women get punished, pummeled and ravaged, even destroyed by men caught in the grips of their own complex. As a man inflicts his dominance on a woman, his own inner core is wounded. He feels the wound and turns again in anger, frustration and fear to again try to conquer the woman he has projected his complex.
And yet, man returns again and again to woman in the hopes that there is a woman out there that will be the needed mother that will nurture and heal. For many caught in this trap, that woman is never found because the woman they seek can only be found within themselves.