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He: Understanding Masculine Psychology

Robert A. Johnson

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Generally, a mood will run its course in an inteligent man; if a woman doesn't puncture it prematurely, the man will puncture it himself. He will regain his senses somewhere along the way; he will say, "Now wait, we had better think about this." That is, if his wife hasn't said five minutes before, "Now, dear, don't you think we had better think about this?" Because then he won't, of course. If a woman is needling, it is doubly hard for a man to come out of a mood. That intensifies it. A man is really in a kind of travail when he is in a mood. He needs help, not needling, but feminine help. He probably won't thank you for it, but inside he will be awfully grateful. When a woman has to deal with a man in a mood, she generally does the wrong thing. She generally gets her animus out, that nasty thing, and says, "Now, look, this is utter nonsense, stop it. We don't need any more fishline leader." That is just throwing gasoline on the fire. There will be an anima-animus exchange, and all will be lost. The two are in the right hand and in the left hand of the goddess Maya, and you might as well give up for the afternoon. There is, however, a point of genius that a woman can bring forth if she is capable of it and willing to do it. If she will become more feminine than the mood attacking the man , she can dispel it for him. But this is a very, very difficult thing for a woman to do. Her automatic response is to let out the sword of the animus and start hacking away. But if a woman can be patient with a man and not critical, but represent for him a true feminine quality, then, as soon as his sanity is sufficiently back for him to comprehend such subtleties, he will likely come out of his mood. A wife can help a great deal if she will function from her feminine side in this way. She has to have a mature feminity to do this, a femininity that is strong enough to stand in the face of this spurious femininity the man is producing.”

“Modern western man has some basic misconceptions about the nature of happiness. The origin of the word is instructive: happiness stems from the root verb to happen, which implies that our happiness is what happens.”

“Someone observed darkly that it is always two A.M. when one is in the 'dark night of the soul.”

“The object of life is not happiness, but to serve God or the Grail. All of the Grail quests are to serve God. If one understands this and drops his idiotic notion that the meaning of life is personal happiness, then one will find that elusive quality immediately at hand.”

“Our story begins with the Grail castle, which is in serious trouble. The Fisher King, the king of the castle, has been wounded. His wounds are so severe that he cannot live, yet he is incapable of dying. He groans; he cries out; he suffers constantly. The whole land is in desolation, for a land mirrors the condition of its king, inwardly in a mythological dimension, as well as outwardly in the physical world. The cattle do not reproduce; the crops won’t grow; knights are killed; children are orphaned; maidens weep; there is mourning everywhere—all because the Fisher King is wounded.”

“No son ever develops into manhood without, in some way, being disloyal to his mother. If he remains with her, to comfort her and console her, then he never gets out of his mother complex. Often a mother will do all she can to keep her son with her. One of the most subtle ways is to encourage him the idea of being loyal to her; but if he gives in to her completely then she often finds herself with a son severely injured in his masculinity. The son must ride off and leave his mother, even if it appears to mean disloyalty, and the mother must bear this pain. Later, like Parsifal, the son may come back to the mother and they may find a new relationship, on a new level; but this can only be done after the son has first achieved his independence and transferred his affection to a woman, either in an interior way with his own inner feminine side or in an exterior way with a real female companion of his own age. In our myth, Parsifal's mother died when he left. Perhaps she represents the kind of woman who can only exist as a mother, who dies when this role is taken from her because she does not understand how to be an individual woman, but only a "mother.”

“All psychological suffering (or happiness, taken in its usual sense) is a matter of comparison.”

“A man must consent to look to a foolish, innocent, adolescent part of himself for his cure. The inner fool is the only one who can touch his Fisher King wound.”

“The 6 feminine elements in a man are:His human mother. This is the actual woman who was his mother, she with all her idiosyncrasies, individual characteristics, and uniqueness.His mother complex. This resided entirely inside the man himself. This is his regressive capacity which would like to return to a dependency on his mother and be a child a gain. This is a man's wish to fail, his defeatist capacity, his subterranean fascination with death or accident, his demand to be take care of. This is pure poison in a man's psychology.His mother archetype. If the mother complex is pure poison, the mother archetype is pure gold. It is the feminine half of God, the cornucopia of the universe, mother nature, the bounty which is freely poured out to us without fail. We could not live for one minute without the bounty of the mother archetype. It is always reliable, nourishing, sustaining.His fair maiden. This is the feminine component in every man's psychic structure and is the fair damsel. It's is Blanche Fleur, one's lady fair, Dulcinea in Don Quixote, Beatrice to Dante in the Comedia Divina. It is she who gives meaning and color to one's life. Dr. Jung named this quality anima, she who animates and brings life.His wife or partner. This is the flesh and blood companion who share his life journey and is a human companion.Sophia. This is the Goddess of Wisdom, the feminine half of God, the Shekinah in Jewish mysticism. It comes as a shock to a man to discover that Wisdom is feminine, but all mythologies have portrayed it so. 49-50”

“this surely is the worst deprivation of all: to be barred from the essence of beauty and holiness when just those qualities are right in front of you is the cruelest of all suffering”

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Book Keywords:

masculinity, commitment, happiness, men, jungian-psychology, anima, jung, marriage, western-male-psychology, insomnia, mother-complex, psychology, carl-jung

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