Desktop version

Home arrow History

  • Increase font
  • Decrease font

<<   CONTENTS   >>


The emergence of self involves giving up the ego’s expansion needs that only lead to self-deception and defensiveness. A man becomes more realistic which involves toleration and patience, the courage to face the real difficulties of life, and to deal with them constructively and honestly. Living with a self and the way things really are requires shame and humility; in the world of masculine gender ideas, this change alone would be profound. In such a world, a man no longer needs to show off, to seek compensation for what he regards as inadequacies in himself or for the adversities he has been dealt with by fate. He is not big-headed; for instance, he doesn’t think of these adversities as directed at him. He is not on the defensive, and does not need to justify himself. He can take a slight without overreacting, a change in his fortunes for the worse without becoming petrified. He is self-contained, secure and on good terms with himself. He is not puffed up and blaming others for his failings. He is not afraid to face the difficulties of life and is prepared to accept responsibility for his actions. He can be spontaneous without being impulsive. He is forgiving and does not bear grudges. He admits his faults and has no problem apologizing. His relationships with others are not burdened by what he needs or what he projects. He is open with himself and in his relationships, and does not manipulate and carry secret agendas. He can stand by what he believes and there is no cost to doing so. He is loyal to his friends even when they fall down; he is self-reliant but not afraid to ask for help and admit his vulnerabilities. He is not afraid of acknowledging his indebtedness to others. What he does comes from inside of him instead of being forced upon him by his repressed needs and dependencies. What he comes to in finding his self and accepting it is not something given or taken, something ready-made: it comes through work and learning - a continuous process without end. In the course of things, an individual sheds desires and attitudes, grows out of needs, acquires new capacities and sentiments, and moves with temperament and affective dispositions natural to his being. A man can develop genuine interest and concern towards others, and be freed from the need to be above anyone else. Empathic concern for the human other awakens as mortal shame and its survival anxieties recede.

In this movement from heroism into shame, the individual’s psychology leads him to real freedom, autonomy and authenticity. A man will start to obey an inner authority, to uphold conscience in all his words and dealings. If a man is able to do this, then self love starts to grow and he will begin to feel and achieve more wholesomeness in the world. A man will begin to know himself as a good man, develop warmth of character and be less defensive.

The ego is also the center of consciousness, so its dissolution through the process of destruction becomes a transcending of consciousness, an enlargement of being into the wholeness of self. In giving up a narcissistic, ego-absorbed part of himself that uses the world as his mirror, a man becomes a whole self. Becoming a self means, in fact, that he did not exist before he had a self - and non-existence is the nature of feminine shame (expressive of the nature of what femininity became under patriarchal authority). Becoming himself means owning the self that he is, a mode of being who he is without defending or apologizing for it. This is reflective of the trust now placed on inner knowledge, and reminiscent of one Zen Buddhist master who taught his pupils to find their inner mirror, and to make sure to keep it forever free of dust. This simple yet profound difference in how he goes about his life makes a huge impact on his own sense of uprightness and health in his being. If a man is ashamed, he must not hide in trickery or trivial excuses.

The self opens to recognition of the other and sharing. A man has risked being vulnerable, and emerges ordinary from behind ego inflation and the stage that props him up. Making a noble hearted effort to resolve his faults within himself and make clear reparation through recognition creates others who are separate and external from himself.

To live free is to not enslave one’s self and soul to cultural stereotypes and standards. Self-acceptance calls for an inner coherence of self-knowledge, humility, and realism over one’s limitations and capacities. Knowing and being are one with each other and so indistinguishable. His new psychology gives him the space in which to be himself, true to his convictions and considerate towards others. A man who goes through the anima experience in a self-aware manner, with a humble attitude, and thus wins his virility in a mature fashion, is capable of integrating the maternal as well as his feminine aspects.

And last but by far not least, when shame is acknowledged, the mother is left alive in the wake of her own destruction. Recognition of the mother means reconciliation with the mother. It means freedom from an annihilating mother and a return of her holding functions, the transformation of maternal reverie into the transcendent function. Recognition of the good holding mother, and, archetypally, these aspects of the Great Mother, supplies something vital to the self, a transitional place in which to emerge into something higher. Enduring the massive trauma of shame reacquaints the psyche with the nearness of extinction. And yet in this growth, annihilation anxieties recede and are replaced by an increasing sense of security.

<<   CONTENTS   >>

Related topics