Through a Jungian Lens

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Women and the Magical Other – Pt. 4

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Eros, god of love and desire and the yearning for "Other"

Eros, god of love and desire and the yearning for “Other”

Jungians view the psyche not as a monarchy, as the ego would have it, ore even as a central intelligence agency, bur rather as an entity that is polyfaceted, polymorphous, polysemous, polytheistic. So there are many voices, many intimations, many directives, some heard, some not, but all persuasive. Which voice is mine? ego asks. All of them, Self insists. . . .

So we bring ourselves to relationship. With scant knowledge of ourselves, we seek our identity in the mirror of the Other, as we once did in Mom and Dad. With all the wounds of this perilous condition we seek a safe harbor in that Other who, alas, is seeking the same in us.” [Hollis, The Eden Project, p. 32]

As I am a man, I am no different from other humans who seek to be in a relationship with a significant Other. Like most men, I found that significant Other, a woman. It isn’t necessary for this significant Other to be a woman, nor is significant other limited to one other person. If I go back to what Hollis is saying, this significant Other holds the mirror in which we “seek our identity.” That said, this yearning for “Other” in whom we find the needed mirror in which to find ourselves is rooted in eros – the desire for connection. And like other men, I filled this significant Other with my projections, all unconsciously, and saw in this woman my soulmate, my Magical Other.

I fell in love with this woman whom I had never seen before. It was love at first sight. What did I see in this stranger who had captured my heart and soul only moments after we had met? What did she see in me to have the same life-altering tumble into love? That was a question never asked then nor for so many years to follow. Both of us fell in love, became entranced, almost bewitched with the power of Eros. We both knew in an instant that this Other was the One who would answer our unknown and unasked questions. She became my Magical Other.

“The other great false idea that drives humankind is the fantasy of the Magical Other, the notion that there is someone out there who is right for us, will make our lives work, a soul-mate who will repair the ravages of our personal history, one who will be there for us, who will read our minds, know what we want and meet those deepest needs; a good parent who will protect us from suffering and, if we are lucky, spare us the perilous journey of individuation.”   [Hollis, The Eden Project, p. 327]

Of course, when it happens to you, you don’t take time to think it over. Remember, it is an unconscious response rooted deep in our personal histories, our complexes, our woundings, and our unconscious needs. So, now that I have finally recognized what happened more than forty years ago, what next?


2 Responses

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  1. I find the “magical other” fascinating and intoxicating. I don’t know that else you can do with it. You’ve been there for more than 40 years, so just roll with it! 😀


    January 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    • By “roll with it” I hope you understand that it is scarier than the wildest roller coaster that will ever be built. 🙂 Thanks Paul


      January 31, 2013 at 11:13 am

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