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Life Arts    H4'ed 4/15/15

Sherry Salman's book DREAMS OF TOTALITY is worth engaging with (REVIEW ESSAY)

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However, the world-as-view sense of life also involves a certain other kind of spell of visual sensuous. So we can now characterize the world-as-view sense of life as visual-centrism.

Phono-centrism involves what Ong refers to as aural cognitivie processing and engenders the world-as-event sense of life and enlivens the feminine dimension of the human psyche -- and what Jung refers to as Eros.

In contrast, visual-centrism involves what Ong refers to as visual cognitive processing and engenders the world-as-view sense of life and enlivens the masculine dimension of the human psyche.

But the optimal orientation toward life involves being freed from both phono-centrism and visual-centrism, as we have just operationally defined these two terms.

The daily practice of down-time reflection and awareness that Anthony de Mello recommends, mentioned above, is one way to free oneself from both phono-centrism and visual-centrism inasmuch as this is possible.

Next, it remains for me to say something further about how the new feminine era in the psyche might somehow give rise to the new era of the masculine in the psyche -- higher masculinity as Erich Neumann calls it.

Because the Christ myth is widely known, I will use certain points in it as symbols.

So let the Resurrection serve as the symbol for the rise of the new masculinity.

Let the suffering and death of Jesus and his burial in the tomb symbolize the feminine dimension.

This symbolic interpretation of the Christ myth focuses on the transition of ego-consciousness in this life to the higher masculinity that Erich Neumann discusses.

Finally, to round out what needs to happen for the optimally form of higher masculinity to emerge in ego-consciousness of people in contemporary Western culture, I want to discuss the work of Robert L. Moore, the Jungian theorist at the Chicago Theological Seminary.

According to him, the deep structure of the human psyche is octahedral -- that is, the psyche is structured around eight archetypes, four feminine archetypes of maturity and four masculine archetypes of maturity.

But each of these eight archetypes involves two "shadow" forms and only one optimal form.

So the optimal human development -- and the optimal form of higher masculinity in ego-consciousness -- is a person who embodies all eight optimal forms of the eight archetypes of maturity.

But is it a dream of totality to imagine the optimal form of human development -- and of higher masculinity in ego-consciousness? Perhaps it is.

However that may be, it strikes me that for the new feminine era in the psyche to somehow give rise to the new masculine era in the psyche, the new feminine era in the psyche will most likely have to involve at least two or three optimal forms of the four feminine archetypes of maturity. But of course I could be mistaken about this.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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