This is a re-post of one friend’s writing about the meaning of woman in his life. This small essay is not only incredibly profound and sincere, but also breathtakingly beautiful. Apparently many men will appreciate that revelation.
(image by swaps)
“Every man carries within him the eternal image of woman … This image is fundamentally unconscious, an hereditary factor of primordial origin …an imprint or ‘archetype’ of all the ancestral experiences of the female, a deposit, as it were, of all the impressions ever made by woman” . Carl Jung, Collected Works 17:338
All my life I have been haunted, and sometimes pursued by an angel archetype. I have wondered where this comes from? Encounters with this archetype have been the cause of experiences filled with otherworldly elation, wonder and beauty as well as incredible disaster, suffering and grief.
I have met this archetype in many forms throughout my life: it gave birth to me, I married it; I have loved it, lost and regained it several times over: it goes, but I know inside me it is never gone for long. It is too interested in me and I am too interested in it. So yes, it keeps returning in a slightly different shape, with minutely altered characteristics, but otherwise substantially the same. I see the cycles, I know the dramas, I have read the script, memorized the lines, and know the ending.
But my vision of it refuses to pass. This archetype resonates deeply inside me and all the efforts of wisdom, emotional pragmatism, and philosophic analysis have failed to eradicate this figure I seem to know so well, this tantalizing angel, this mischievous, eternally present Aphrodite, this vanishing and returning, fascinating and perplexing, milk skinned goddess figure who never allows me to fully forget her. Indeed, there are some deep patternings inside ourselves that elude rational analysis: “the heart has reasons of which reason itself is unaware”.
Every time I have gained and lost my archetype, I have also stepped across a threshold into a state of temporary tragedy. The tragic in life, as opposed to novel, film or play, however is never a state of absolute finality. The tragic moment in life is actually one of enormous redemptive power and potential. In tragedy we give birth to ourselves. And life demands from us the honesty to do this.
Our true self is always more complex, mysterious, elusive and resistant to analysis than the bright, extroverted persona we project at the world, and sometimes it takes tragedy to expose it, to bring it to light, because our true self contains our shadow too: the dark space within us that is filled with all that we hide and deny, all we yearn after and desire.
My archetype still glimmers at me from deep inside my shadow. We have pursued and fled from each other, magnetized and repelled, clung onto each other and let go of each other many times. And I am glad I have had those experiences. They have allowed me to struggle to give birth to who I am, to authentically produce myself as a human being. As I have got older I have discovered life never gives you exactly what you want, but it does present opportunities for confrontation and illumination with the truth of who you are.
And what could be more generous?