Ego and God-Image: Part VI

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[T]he most important relationship of childhood, the relation to the mother, will be compensated by the mother archetype as soon as detachment from the childhood state is indicated. One such successful interpretation has been, for instance, Mother Church, but once this focus begins to show signs of age and decay, a new interpretation becomes inevitable. CG Jung. Symbols of Transformation, CW 5, par. 351.

Tolerating the tension of dialogues between inner opposites brings moral maturity. The Epoch II Father’s laws and punishments can no more bring lasting peaceful attitudes and actions to a closed mind than a Sunday morning sermon can change the Monday evening thief.  Like the hellfire and brimstone sermon, threats may help some people do the right thing for fear of retribution; but in moments of crisis, rules have little power to sway the raging shadow of an unconscious person.

The Research of Kohlberg and Gilligan uncovered one more factor crucial to this discussion. From the masculine perspective the supreme moral value is justice; from the feminine, it is caring. But this does not have to be an either/or situation. Can we not honor both? Governments and legal systems have tried their best to honor the Father’s ethic in society, but injurious class distinctions, economic injustices, and all manner of crime persist. The psycho-spiritual solution to our moral problems is to consciously develop our Mother/Queen and integrate her standards with those of the Father/King.

We have good reason to hope. It is possible for us to develop mature moral reasoning. But to do so we must accept that just as surely as mothers and fathers reside in the outer world, the Mother and Father archetypes also reside in us. A literal-minded Epoch II ego reasons that since the masculine God lives in Heaven, God does not live on Earth. It follows that spiritual authority on Earth comes only from spiritual professionals who are somehow closer to God than the rest of us. We may hear people say God lives in us, and we may try to believe it; but to an Epoch II ego this is very difficult to internalize. After all, if God lived within us, wouldn’t we know it? Wouldn’t we feel it?

For most of us most of the time, God is not a palpable, everyday realty but a separate entity to appreciate through mental abstractions, not personal experiences. Our separation from our inner realities is a natural consequence of the ego’s progress through Epoch I to the stage in Epoch II when, having disowned our feminine sides, we project the good mother onto society, which then becomes the new good mother we serve.

The most reliable indicator of our ego’s readiness to grow into Epoch III is when we awaken to the sacred authority of our Mother archetype and the compelling need to act on it. Very often this awakening is brought on by sufferings in love relationships which force us to take our inner lives seriously and find within ourselves the love we seek. Becoming flooded with powerful and painful emotions creates new awareness and motivates change. Jung associated this transforming activity with the Mother archetype. Until this happens, the breadth of our choices and depth of our potential are obscured by a single-minded focus on getting love and approval from outer others.

Our realization that our Mother, this profoundly wise and powerful inner feminine authority, actually dwells within us, gives us the power to commit an act of disobedience (inner or outer) against the good mother of society to follow our inner guidance.

Most of this material is taken from Healing the Sacred Divide.

Art Image: The Angel and the Mother, Poem of the Soul, Louis Janmot

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Jean’s new Nautilus Award-winning The Soul’s Twins, is at Amazon and Schiffer’s Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. Subscribe to her newsletter at www.jeanbenedictraffa.com.

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Comments

9 Responses

  1. You’re welcome, Shannon. Thank you for letting me know this post speaks to you. Love, Jeanie

  2. It is amazing to get to know the feminine inside us. I have had all through my life this feminine feeling without knowing it. We know for sure that a man like me does not have to be a homosexual to find his feminity inside. I might use the word Anima, though, as Jung explains in his section, Anima and Animus, that Anima could be somehow dangerous, as she might even be jealous! Anyway, thank you for giving me this knowledge. Furthermore, when I read your thoughts about the father’s and mother’s relationship with the child, I had to think of Freud’s thesis on the feelings of children towards parents as he meant at the beginning, they are focused on the mother, but after some years, girls go to father and boys to mother. Although I am the grandpa, I notice it when I visit our grandchildren, my granddaughter, Mila, has been never close to me as ever before. I am very thankful to get more from your lessons, my dear Jeane. Have a great time. 🙏🥰💖

  3. Hi Aladin. You’re right, of course, that everyone has a feminine and masculine side. I think you’re amazing and wonderful to be able to recognize and appreciate your feminine side. It takes a lot of strength, self-knowledge, and confidence for men to do that in this world. Too many are afraid of their feminine sides and try so hard to deny them that they only add to the world’s problems by overcompensating with ultra macho behavior! It’s such a shame, not to mention dangerous! Of course, women can go overboard denying their full selves as well, but it’s easier for women to fit into patriarchal systems than it is for males to fit into matriarchal systems. And yes, a repressed Anima or Animus can both become very problematic! You’re so lucky to have a granddaughter who loves to be close to you, and she’s very lucky, indeed, to have you. There are so many little girls who have no positive male models in their lives at all. That’s a tragedy. Thank you for your observations. Love to you and your family. Jeanie 🙏🥰💖

    1. Your answer makes me proud, my lovely teacher and how right you are. We see how the world has been immature through these man’s arrogance and machoism. But as I see, femininity wins at last; you bet!
      PS: crazy WP! Sometimes I get notifications from your site, and sometimes nothing comes out and I must look after this. Forever yours, Aladin.🤗😘

  4. Thank you, Jeanie. So much of “Mother” is found in Nature for me and it hurts to see the destruction of forests and pollution of water here. Of course, a macho attitude does no good. May we humans protect Her before it’s too late.

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