1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read January 30, 2010

This book is a true revelation, an insight into the depth of a Romantic Love phenomenon. I would strongly recommend this book to every Westerner, but especially to men. For it makes one understand the nature of the so-called love life and how to deal with the obsessive search for love, so common for the Western mindset. The book gives brilliant answer on why relationships in our cultures are in a state of epidemic crisis.

The book is called “Understanding the Psychology of romantic love” and is written by Robert A. Johnson, a world-renowned Jungian analyst and one of 20th century’s most popular depth psychology scholars. The uniqueness of Johnson’s approach is backed up with his long-term visits of India and Japan, profound study of the Eastern philosophy and lifestyle. In his bestsellers Johnson delivers comparative analysis of Western and Eastern approaches which is still a rare take among scholars. Needless to say I am fascinated by him, for his works mirror my own views.

I’d love to share with you here the main idea of the book, but please keep in mind that by no means will my quotation replace the reading of it!

Catharism, the pure love

Psychologically our modern era began in the 12th century. At that time one of he most powerful of the early religions was the Manichean movement, in Europe called “Catharism” (the pure). One of their basic beliefs was that “true love” was not the ordinary human love between husband and wife but rather the worship of a feminine saviour, a mediator between God and man, who waited in the sky to welcome the “pure”  with a holy kiss and lead him or her into the Realm of Light. By contrast with this “pure” love, ordinary human sexuality and marriage were bestial and unspiritual. Many Christians at that time saw Catharism as a reform movement, a reaction against the corruption and politics within the religious hierarchy. The pope declared Catharism heresy, but like every powerful idea, the teachings of Catharism suddenly reappeared in the cult of courtly love (a worship of a lady fair by a knight), in the songs and poems of troubadours and in the “romances”. Some cultural historians belive that ladies and knights who first practiced courtly love were Cathars continuing their religious practice under the guise of a secular cult of love.


Courtly love

Thus the ideal of courtly love swept through the feudal courts of Europe and began a revolution in our attitudes towards the feminine values of love, relationship, devotion, spiritual experience and the pursuit of beauty. That revolution finally matured into what we call romanticism. The Western men began to look on woman as the embodiment of all what is pure, sacred and whole, woman became the symbol of a anima, “My Lady Soul”.

Modern love

A few things changed since the days of courtly love. At the beginning, it was an adoration without a physical contact. By contrast, we always mix romance with sex and marriage. And here comes the main conflict!

Haunting the ghost of true love

The courtly belief that true love can only exist outside marriage is still with us today, unconsciously affecting us more than we know. A man expects his wife to take care of the children, have food on the table, earn money, etc. But some other part of him wants her to be the incarnation of anima, the Holy Lady in the sky who is always beautiful and perfect. He wonders how the pure and shining goddess whom he adored turned into this ordinary wife. A woman sees her husband working, paying the bills, living the ordinariness of life. She wonders what happened to the knight who adored and worshiped her when he was “courting” her, in the days when everything was so intense, so ecstatic, so blissful. The old unconscious belief returns to haunt them, whispering that “true love” is somewhere else, that it cannot be found within the ordinariness of marriage.

That was the historical background of the Romantic Love phenomenon, the description of how this love differs from true love, why we are so frustrated with realtionships and what can be done about  it  –  to be continued…




17 Responses to “Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read”

  1. pooyan Says:

    I recommend this to all the easterners men as well ! 😉
    I mean the book should be really a nice one, but just has the roots in the eastern people beliefs. We do believe in feminine beloved who is primordial and there are lots of poems and adoration about the sacred one. And the true love means: just to be connect with her, not mondain one, but spiritual contact.

    BUT ; nowadays it is just an old forgotten tradition, all the young ones are adoring the western idea about love and romance, which actually is nothing but filth. sorry for all the misleads one, but it is very true that the wordly love and marriage is just like eating a nice cake and nothing more ! if you need the real taste, search it out somewhere within yourself.
    all the best.

    • axinia Says:

      poyan, you made the point which I was going to bring up – in the next post :))
      As for the eastern tadition, I will come to it later, but one thing I did not mention and see now that I had to do it: The movememet of Catharism (Manichaeanism) was named for the Persian prophet Manes. 🙂 See the conncetion?

  2. Dmitri Says:

    sorry axinia…i didn’t understood what true love is? can u explain?

  3. Kabar Says:

    I Love finding out about things that explain why social things are the way they are. Amazing how in Western Culture, courtship romance/romantic love (and so many other things) are accepted as just the norm.

    So cool to find out how it became a trend. It gets you thinking about a lot of things that just seem “normal.”

  4. John Noyce Says:

    An earlier book on Romantic Love in the historical context is ‘The Kiss, Sacred and Profane’ by Nicolas James Perella (Univ of California Press, 1969)

    • axinia Says:

      thanks, John!
      What I love about Johnson, that he is not only onle taking the historical contect (actually, very little(
      but makes a profound analysis of Collective Subconsciousness on this matter!
      My next post is about it.

  5. Thanks for this post, Axinia! It helps me understand what led to Western societies treating women with respect and adoration during the course of their evolution into civilised societies. If it’s true that romantic love becoming popular among the masses led to Western societies looking upon woman as the embodiment of all that is sacred, whole and pure, or the symbol of anima, then all the better it is for the civilised societies and their women! 🙂

    By contrast, in the uncouth societies that exist in the primtive, savage parts of the world, romantic love between man and woman was never allowed to become too popular. Sure, there were a few individual cases, but they were usually rare exceptions than being the norm 😐

    That’s the reason why the uncouth, mediaeval minded societies (over)populated by the semi-civilised hordes still treat women as “baby-making machines” and as the “property” of men 😡 For these lowly primitives of large parts of the orient and other savage societies, women were always little more than breeding machines that could be owned by men. The Paleolithic minds of such primitive hordes never went through any civilising experience and therefore, the hordes that inhabit such places still don’t have any idea of respect towards women.

    Like the barbaric, beastly hominoid cavemen who caught cavewomen by their hair and bred with them, for the uncouth hordes of the filthy societies, “love” never means romantic love or adoration and respect of women and womanhood. “Love” in such primitive “cultures” merely means “mating and breeding” with societal and familial sanction, little better than the herds of wild animals that roam the jungles.

    That’s the reason why the uncouth hordes of such filthy, savage “cultures” still practise sub-human, uncouth and disgusting things like female genital mutilation, female foeticide, female infanticide, killing women who don’t bring enough dowry, ostracising widows etc. etc. etc. For the lowly primitives of such “cultures”, one half of humanity always meant nothing. Like cattle, women were always meant to be owned by the men and whatever little respect they got (if any) was only because they happened to be the ones responsible for producing the “calves”. It’s no wonder therefore, that the uncouth societies of the world still have alarming breeding rates 😯

    For the savage hordes in the uncouth societies of the world, women were always meant to be semi-human breeding machines that could be bought and owned like cattle.

    By contrast, the civilised societies were the ones that gave up these sub-human ways long ago and began to adore and respect women as the embodiment of all that is pure and sacred. It is therefore very apt to say that the status of women in society is a fairly accurate way to measure how civilised it is!


    • axinia Says:

      Raj, the truth of life is that even though the message of Romantic love has done lots of good to teh Western cinviliasation, it has destryed a lot as well.
      We are paying a hard price of divorces ansd psychical instability as a society and that is a pain. And in a long term, I honestly, see it getting even worse if nothing will be changed in at the basement of it. And the first step is to accept “romantic love” as a problem and not “the matter of fact”.

      • And the first step is to accept “romantic love” as a problem


        Romantic love NEVER WAS, IS NOT and WILL NEVER BE a problem, Axinia 😐

        Had it not been for romantic love, the civilised societies would be as uncouth and primitive as the barbaric societies of the semi-civilised parts of the world. The status of women in the civilised societies would have been as pathetic as those of the hordes of hapless women living a sub-human existence in the uncouth countries of the world. As you probably know, in many uncouth parts of the world, women don’t even know how to read and write 😦 Many savage societies marry off girls at a very young age (sometimes even before they reach adulthood) to men they would never even seen before the wedding day 😯

        Then begins their miserable existence as breeding-machines-cum-unpaid-domestic-bonded-labour. They would have no rights over their bodies and in their anaemic, undernourished existence, they are made to forcibly breed more than half-a-dozen children before they are even thirty, whether they like it or not, whether they want it or not 😯 The next twenty-five years or so would pass raising the children and doing even more unpaid domestic labour. After that, they would enter old age in a feeble mental and physical state, having led a sub-human life, breeding and toiling like cattle.

        Such was the existence of hapless women (and still is) in the uncouth parts of the world that weren’t civilised enough to develop the concept of romantic love on their own or intelligent enough to learn to treat women as human beings from the civilised societies.

        Women in civilised societies can thank their lucky stars that they don’t have to live a sub-human existence like their unfortunate sisters in the uncouth societies or even their great^n grandmothers who lived a few centuries ago 😐

        Why do you believe that romantic love is responsible for divorces and psychological instability as a society 😕

        I don’t think that can be the case. As far as I know, the concept of romantic love was quite well developed in the civilised societies even during the early 1900s. There were hardly any divorces back then. In fact, I believe there weren’t too many divorces or broken families in the civilised societies till the eighties. So romantic love can never be held responsible for divorces, broken families or psychological instability.

        If families in the civilised societies are going through a lot of strain and breaking up easily, the blame lies elsewhere. It’s actually a part of the plan of the dangerous cabal 👿 that controls the world. It’s a deliberate plan to break up the basic unit of the civilised societies (the family) in order to reduce them to the status of the lowly Third World hordes. Sadly, the civilised societies are falling victim to this evil plan 😦

        If I had to be honest and point out the real reasons, it’s because the civilised societies are being deliberately forced to abandon their Christian ethics due to a mindless, nonsensical culture of alcohol, drugs, consumerism and debt slavery being imposed on them. At the same time, their minds are being numbed by the crap of controlled media (especially television) and they are being deliberately dumbed down from a young age through control of the school system by the notorious scoundrels. A dumbed down and numbed First World population is as easy to control and manipulate as the ignorant, uncouth and boot-licking hordes of the lowly Third World.

        As I keep repeating again and again, it’s all a part of a diabolical plan to destroy the civilised societies and reduce the progressive societies that act as the torch bearers of modern human civilisation down to the lowly levels of the uncouth hordes of semi-civilised parts.

        If human civilisation has to be saved, the civilised societies have to be saved. And for that, the families have to be saved – not by abandoning romantic love that built the civilised societies in the first place, but by abandoning the filthy culture of crap that is being imposed on them by evil forces.


  6. […] post follows Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read  and  quotes Robert A. Johnson’s bestseller “Understanding the Psychology of romantic […]

  7. […] the awesome book of Robert A. Johnson “Understanding the psychology of Romantic Love” (here and here), romantic love however attractive and delightful it may occur, brings more […]

  8. I believe you, It looks like! Would it possibly be practicable so that you can have your website translated directly into German? English is my second language.

  9. […] post follows Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read  and  quotes Robert A. Johnson’s bestseller “Understanding the Psychology of romantic […]

  10. Watson Says:

    Johnson is a Jungian. I read his book, “We” that you refer to. The “west” is not the whole world, thank God. From a Darwinian standpoint, the best ideas will win out. Obviously, this idea of “romantic love” leaves behind a lot of broken homes, not to mention hearts. By the way, as Johnson says, romantic love is idolatry. Where are the churches on this ? My cat is calling me, have to go.

  11. Jim Says:

    Makasih atas infonya , Adria

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