She: Understanding Feminine Psychology (Anglais) Broché – 1 novembre 1989
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Présentation de l'éditeur
A revised edition of a landmark work of psychology; the author uses the ancient myth of Amor and Psyche as the springboard for a brilliant, perceptive exploration of how one becomes a mature and complete woman.
Biographie de l'auteur
Robert A. Johnson, a noted lecturer and Jungian analyst, is also the author of He, She, We, Inner Work, Ecstasy, Transformation, and Owning Your Own Shadow.
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The book is a short, readable eighty pages, developed around the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche. In Johnson's explanation of how femininity evolves (including the man's feminine side, or anima), a person must go through certain rites of passage, in sequential order, to develop fully as a woman. Psyche must complete four tasks assigned by Aphrodite. Failure to complete any task before nightfall will result in death. The tasks include sorting a pile of many different seeds, collecting golden fleece from rams, filling a crystal goblet with water from the river Styx, and collecting a cask of beauty ointment from Persephone, goddess of the underworld. Johnson explains how each of these tasks represents an evolution in a woman's life (choosing one of the many seeds a man gives to a woman to begin the miracle of birth, gathering the fleece as acquisition of a bit of masculinity necessary to survive in the world, the single goblet of water from Styx as focusing on a single item at once from the vast choices in the universe). The text is rich with metaphor -- marriage as both death and resurrection for a woman, a beautiful oil-burning lamp as a woman's natural consciousness, etc. Interesting, but (at least for me) not particularly enlightening. Overall, I enjoyed the story, but I didn't come away with an enhanced understanding of female psychology.
In this slim but nourishing volume, Johnson lucidly examines the Greek myth of Psyche and Cupid. Using Jungian pysychology, he shows that the trials a girl must undertake to become a woman are no different today than they were in the ancient world. Johnson tells us why myth is so important to us as humans. It's one of the truest, clearest records of ourselves. When a myth is passed on from one generation of storytellers to another, it is refined and slowly given its truest shape. The parts that glow are given more emphasis and the parts that don't are left along the way.
As the author stresses, this book is not really about women, but rather about the 'feminine' that exists in both women and to a lesser degree men. In learning to understand the psychological imperatives of the female, not only will a man be more adept in his relationships with women, but he will also better understand his own complex nature.
Whilst the readers of Von Franz might find it too light, I suggest it simply adds to the analytical repertoire. If you enjoy Clarissa Pinkola Estes' work relative to færy tales, you should also enjoy this, too.
That such simply written words so succinctly convey many of the fundamental concepts of life, of people, and of a woman is wonderful. And that the mythological content is so true in a timeless and universally applicable sense, is more than illuminating. She - is not a long book, but it may speak volumes to those who take a moment to read and absorb the truths it offers.
I recommend it highly.