Through a Jungian Lens

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He: Understanding Masculine Psychology – Pt 1

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He: Robert A. Johnson

He: Robert A. Johnson

While waiting for some books I have placed on hold to be freed for me to download from my e-library, I have decided to read one of the e-books I bought last autumn for those “in case moments.” I bought a number of e-books that focused on Jungian psychology and Buddhism so that I wouldn’t have to haul around too many heavy books while travelling. I already own these books as either paperback or hard-cover books and have read most of them. The book I decided to read (re-read actually) is by Robert A. Johnson, a book called, He. It is a little book of only 63 pages long and it was meant to be a reference for the “masculine” series of posts. Te be honest, I had forgotten just how good the book really is. As I began reading, not having the highlights and underlined passages from my hard copy of the book in front of me, I felt like I was discovering new territory. I felt as if I was an old fashioned hero on a quest for hidden treasures.

It didn’t take too long into the Introduction for me to find the first treasure.

We must remember that a myth is a living entity, and exists within every person. You will get the true, living form of the myth if you can see it as it spins away inside yourself. The most rewarding mythological experience you can have is to see how it lives in your own psychological structure.” [p. 4]

For me, this is particularly important as I sometimes take myth too literally. I am reminded that the myth is a universal representation of the human psyche filling somewhat the same role as a dream which is more of a cross between the universal and the personal psyche.

Johnson’s book is about the masculine and uses the myth of the “Grail” and “Parsifal” as ways to understand the masculine psyche.

The Grail myth speaks of masculine psychology. This is not to say that it is confined to the male, for a woman participates in her own inner masculinity, though it is less dominant for her. We must take everything that goes into the myth as part of ourselves. We will have to cope with a dazzling array of fair damsels, but must see them too as parts of the masculine psyche.” [ibid]

Parsifal and the Rose of Hell

Parsifal and the Rose of Hell

Now that I have been re-oriented, I find myself wondering where this journey will take me. I know that as I continue reading I will continue to turn the microscope that Johnson is using on the tale, to peer within myself, to shed some light and perhaps understanding about my own wounding and growth into mature masculinity, into a whole, healthy man. I might be getting old, but I am still willing to dig into the depths and undo some of the fetters that have delayed the development my masculine psyche.

Right now, it is time to return to the book. I will be back later to share more of the treasures I find on this journey.


2 Responses

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  1. We see “Parsifal” this weekend – all 5-6 hours of it. That will be quite enough myth for me for some time.
    The word myth is unfortunately too often synonymous with ‘not true’ ex: the loch ness monster is a myth. When in fact myths are truth – in symbolic language of course.


    February 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    • You are one lucky man, good Doctor. I hope you and Someone find each moment treasured.


      February 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm

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