Pre-Script: I felt like blogging today and I miss doing daily blogs. I would love to claim that I’m going to do this every day but that really isn’t likely. I just don’t see it as a high priority right now and I have other things that I need to use my spoons for right now. But, when the urge strikes I will do it.
“It is the prime task of a truly modern mind to endure both the spiritual and the practical as the framework for her life… When one has grown strong and wise enough, the warring elements which cost so much suffering and anxiety, will become complimentary elements and produce the great work of art which is your own life.” – Robert Johnson, “She: Understanding Feminine Psychology”
Yesterday, I started and finished reading “She: Understanding Feminine Psychology” by Robert A. Johnson. Don’t be impressed by my finishing it in one day, it is only about 100 pages long. Though, after reading about this woman who finished a book a day for a year I find myself inspired by that task. This year I had the goal of finishing 60 books and have already completed 57, though many are graphic novels… but those count to me.
Anyway, I was a little bit skeptical when I started reading this book. I read the companion book, “He: Understanding Masculine Psychology”, earlier this year and thought it was okay but not great. I think there is something about Johnson’s style of writing that I don’t particularly enjoy even though I love the idea of finding meaning in mythology.
I actually found “She” to be much better and interesting. Perhaps it is because I was more familiar with the Greek mythology around Psyche and Cupid/Eros/Amor having read “Til We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis last year. Or maybe it is because I am both less familiar with femininity and on a journey right now to embrace my own internal femininity that this book felt more relevant and enjoyable. Either way, I enjoyed the read.
There were some issues that I took with it that may stem from the time period in which it was written, or perhaps a thorough examination of some issues weren’t possible due to the short length. While Johnson fully supports and thinks it is important and healthy for men to embrace their femininity and women to embrace their masculinity (or anima and animus), he does seem to operate from a strict binary of man and woman. I wonder what his thoughts are on how this applies to transgender and non-binary individuals.
Personally, I think as we progress to a point of greater individualism and fluidity we will find there are more and more people who don’t fit the binaries that we have in place like man-woman, straight-gay, etc. Humans are much more complex than that and as we cast of the patriarchal and otherwise tyrannical chains that come from our theocratic totalitarian past the beauty of our diversity will spring forth. Which, of course, will disrupt the “natural” order of things, as it should and as we should desire.
So, how will the guidance from these myths, the tasks that we face, and the roles that we take still impact our lives in future generations? I don’t know, but I think applying mythological study to the changing world around us could be exciting and a lot of fun. I find myself re-inspired to read Jung, Campbell, and paganism. Maybe I’ll finally start reading “Psychology of the Unconscious” or “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, both of which have been sitting on my shelf for years.
I woke up from a dream at about 4am this morning. In the dream I had invented a card game and I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I got up and wrote down all I could remember about the game and started plotting it out. Even in the waking hours it seems to have potential. I want to make time to really flush this (and several other game ideas) out but I just am burnt out by the end of the day.
I have been getting better at doing the things that are difficult but personally important for me in the morning (running, reading, meditating) and putting off the things that I know I will finish (namely, work) until later in the day. I really should be able to carve out 30-60 minutes in the morning for game development.
The rest of my day is super exciting:
0845-1030: Gym with Trainer and shower again
1030-1800: Work (house or money)
1800-1815: Prep tomorrow by setting out running stuff, making coffee, cleaning desk and setting up books, etc
D&D Update: Gory (my character – Level 11 Dragonborn Path of the Zealot Barbarian) and his crew have had a lot of adventures lately. He had to stand trial with the Zhantarian, which ended up going well. He was ready to die and had prepared his will and notes to his companions (yes, I pretty much actually made these). We are now getting close to tracking down the man who bought my sister as a slave years ago.
I really love playing D&D. We have a phenomenal dungeon master who balances the story with our freedom really well. He has taken backstories and really allowed them to play out in the world. Gory has evolved into a person that I never imagined he would due to how the adventures have played out. I know there is always a risk that he will die. I don’t necessarily want it to happen but I’m okay with that. I think there should be some level of ‘danger’, I don’t want to always be saved by my deity… sometimes bad rolls or bad decisions should result in permanent death. I’m prepared for how that would play out and can play another character if needed.
Things I Highlighted Since Yesterday Morning
“She: Understanding Feminine Psychology”
– Her wedding is her funeral in a sense.
– All husbands are death to their wives in that they destroy them as maidens and force them into an evolution toward mature womanhood. It is paradoxical, but you can feel both gratitude and resentment toward the person who forces you to begin down your own path of growth.
– Nearly every man wants this of his wife… He wants the old patriarchal marriage where the man decides all the important issues, the woman agrees, and there is peace. Most men harbor the hope that things will go in this manner and for a little while there is the possibility that marriage will be like this.
– Most growth comes from the feminine element in myths.
– The chronicle of a woman’s life can be described as her struggle and evolution in relation to the masculine principle of life.
– Every garden has a serpent or shadow figure who brings the tranquility to an abrupt halt.
– A man knows who he is, and he knows he has a god, a magnificent being, somewhere within him. But when a woman lights the lamp and sees the god in him, he feels called upon to live up to that, to be strong in his masculine consciousness… terrible things happen to men who are deprived of the presence of women for it is the presence of woman that reminds each man of the best that is in him. Trump, alt-right, ‘incels’…
– He is not well equipped at finding meaning for himself.
– Few women understand how great is the hunger in a man to be near femininity… As a man discovers his own inner femininity, he will not rely so heavily on the outer woman to live this out for him.
– The in love experience shatters human tranquility but sets about a great evolutionary energy
– The moment you fall in love with someone, you must acknowledge that person’s utter uniqueness and thus their separateness. Then we become immediately aware of the distance, the separation, and the difficulty of the relationship. There is generally a terrible feeling of inferiority in both men and women when they find their companion a god or a goddess.
– One may view a marriage as two people standing back to back, each protecting the other in a particular way.
– If you wish to give your children the best possible heritage, give them a clean unconscious, not your own unlived life, which is hidden in your unconscious until you are ready to face it directly.
– It is the prime task of a truly modern mind to endure both the spiritual and the practical as the framework for her life… When one has grown strong and wise enough, the warring elements which cost so much suffering and anxiety, will become complimentary elements and produce the great work of art which is your own life.
“The Magic of Thinking Big”
– Prolonged association with negative people makes us think negatively; close contact with petty individuals develops petty habits in us. On the bright side, companionship with people with big ideas raises the level of our thinking; close contact with ambitious people gives us ambition.
– The majority of people are convinced deep down inside that they haven’t got what it takes, that real success, real accomplishment, is for others who are lucky or fortunate in some special respect.
– A rut, which incidentally has been described as a grave with both ends open.
– We must fight of the suppressive influences of our environment.
– Big men do not laugh at big ideas
– People who tell you it cannot be done almost always are unsuccessful people, are strictly average or mediocre at best in terms of accomplishments. The opinions of these people can be poison.
– 1) Do circulate in new groups. 2) Do select friends who have views different from your own. 3) Do select friends who stand above petty, unimportant things.
– There’s another type of poison perhaps a little more insidious – thought poison – commonly called ‘gossip’… thought poison is subtle, but it accomplishes ‘big’ things. It reduces the size of our thinking by forcing us to concentrate on petty, unimportant things. It warps and twists our thinking about people because it is based on a distortion of facts, and it creates a guilt feeling in us that shows through when we meet the person we’ve gossiped about.
“Daily Affirmations for Forgiving and Moving On”
– It is not simply the contents of my life that determine my inner peace and happiness, but how I see those contents. I actually disagree, I think it is solely how you view those contents because how we view them is the only thing we can control.
“Notes from Underground”
– I swear to you, gentlemen, that to be overly conscious is a sickness, a real, thorough sickness. For man’s everyday use, ordinary human consciousness would be more than enough; that is, a half, a quarter of the portion that falls to the lot of a developed man in our unfortunate nineteenth century.
– Everyone does it; it’s their sickness that everyone takes pride in.
– I am strongly convinced that not only too much consciousness but even any consciousness at all is a sickness
– Consequently there is not only nothing that you can do to change yourself, but there is simply nothing to do at all
– It is in despair that the most burning pleasures occur, especially when one is all too highly conscious of the hopelessness of one’s position.
– Nature doesn’t ask your permission; it doesn’t care about your wishes, or whether you like its laws or not. You’re obliged to accept it as it is, and consequently all its results as well.
– In consequence of that, silently and impotently gnashing your teeth, to come to a voluptuous standstill in inertia, fancying that, as it turns out, there isn’t even anyone to be angry with; that there is no object to be found, and maybe never will be; that it’s all a sleight-of-hand, a stacked deck, a cheat, that it’s all just slops – nobody knows what and nobody knows who, but in spite of all the uncertainties and stacked decks, it still hurts, and the more uncertain you are, the more it hurts!
Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions: pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”