Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex, continued

According to von Franz (1964, p. 162), “The Self can be defined as an inner guiding factor that is different from a conscious personality … a regulating centre that brings about a constant extension and maturing of the personality. But this larger, more nearly total aspect of the psyche appears first as merely an inborn possibility. It may emerge very slightly, or it may develop relatively completely during one’s lifetime. How far it develops depends on whether or not the ego is willing to listen to the messages of the Self.” And the narcissistic character (and each of us to the extent that we share narcissistic character traits) is absolutely terrified of discovering the Self, for fear that emotional interaction with the unconscious will result in personality disintegration and death. However, if the narcissistic character can summon sufficient courage to begin this self‑exploration, he is most likely to find not eternal chaos but just the opposite, an inner reality that is both strong and dependable. In the process, however, the narcissistic character is brought face‑to‑face with a deeper schizoid level within himself, although one which is very different from that of the schizoid personality. In the latter case, the split‑off Self is passive, and its energy content is easily drained. But there are schizoid dynamics that are symptomatic of a different kind of split‑off Self, one which is intensely alive and exudes a sense of power, one which is connected to and sustained by the archetypal dimension of the Goddess, the feminine influence which dominated archaic cultures until it was suppressed by the development of a more patriarchal society.

When this schizoid dynamic appears, it is often indicated in dreams in the form of two children. These children are not exactly equals but, rather, one is more potent than the other, far more archetypal, “the true child of joy,” while the other is more passive, more easily depressed, and more generally masochistic. The deeper child image, the child infused with joy, comes forth much less often than the other, usually slightly older child. Relating to either child is fraught with difficulty, for the masochistic child aspect of the emerging self induces strong sadistic feelings in the analyst while the joyful child stimulates the transference to become eroticized as the patient tests the feasibility of letting himself or herself be identified with the joyful child. Both have to be accepted in a caring, kinship sense, for when both these children can become integral parts of the personality, the patient gains not only the empathy associated with successful resolution of the depressive phase of child development but also the archetypal energies of the child of joy, a new awareness of the Goddess within, and a feminine force within the personality before which egocentric masculine grandiosity pales into insignificance.

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