WHAT YOU (think you) WANT IS WHAT YOU GET

“A sense of wider meaning to one’s existence is what raises a man beyond mere getting and spending. If he lacks this sense, he is lost and miserable.

“Man and His Symbols, C.Jung

“Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.”
Socrates

Why is it that we are constantly dissatisfied with what we have? The LCD TV must be replaced with a LED TV. The car needs changing because it’s 3 years old and the PC no longer has that solid, par performance we desire. The answer is: The economic model in vogue requires people to be DISSATISFIED because if people cease to organise their lives around having more and more, the economy is in a terrible danger of griding to a halt.
Our consumerism supports this economic system which feeds on our buying power. Hence, we are constantly bombarded with adverts showing new products, new functions added to old ones or cutting edge technology we simply cannot afford to ignore. Summarising, we are encouraged to consume and we bite the bait, relentlessly.
Let’s go back to the idea of dissatisfaction. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory (1954) proposes that there are a number of needs a human being seeks to fulfil in life. In his famous representation of this hierarchy, a pyramid, the most basic and fundamental needs such as the physiological and the safety needs are at the bottom. Towards the top, the need of love, belonging to a community, esteem and self-actualisation – curiously, everything that MONEY CAN’T BUY. Moreover, a number of studies into the source of happiness also concluded that once some minimal income is attained, the amount of money people have matters little in terms of bringing happiness. Don’t we have reasons to be unhappy? What really matters in life cannot be purchased!
Ok, but what about the pleasure we all get from buying a brand-new LED TV set? Well, we have to ask ourselves the reasons why we may derive satisfaction from the act of buying. Is it to keep up with the Johnsons or to replace another subconscious need? Whatever the primal reason, the happiness acquired is not long lived. Just like a child loses interest in a new toy within a couple of weeks, people certainly lose interest in their recently-bought source of happiness and, therefore, the feeling of ecstasy will fade away just as easy.
You might be wondering: What has all this got to do with myths and the purpose of this blog? We have the right to discover our destiny, to discover our personal myths (myths here taken as the heroic journeys we have full potential to pursue in life). To which extent are we living according to our own myths or simply conforming to what society expects us to believe as appropriate / normal? To which extent are we doing the best we can to develop our full potentialities? This is an age when we have our egos (Freud, 1923) deluded by aspirations which do not tally with our individual myths (or the journeys we, consciously and unconsciously, have planned for ourselves). I’m in a continuing quest to find the myths I live by. I’m determined to develop my individual self (Jung, 1912).

And you?

Powerful sex

Carl Jung proposed that human beings are driven by two distinct forces: power or sex. He names these forces “basic attitudes”.

Some people are power oriented. They usually ask themselves “How well am I doing this?”, “When will I be given a chance to do this?”. Jung calls these people introverts. The meaning of the word, however, is a bit different from common use. Jung characterizes the introverts as people who are power oriented and would like to make the world function according to their own personal views.

People driven by sex are called extroverts by Jung. They are basically interested in what goes on outside around them. They desperately want to fall in love with a person or an object. 

We are not 100% power or 100% sex. We’re a mix of the 2 attitudes. So, what’s your personal balance? 60% power and 40% sex? Or vice-versa?

Keep calm & be pessimistic

“Myth is what we call other people’s religion”, Campbell, J.

The word MYTH has acquired a new meaning, one that is synonymous with fiction, half-true or an irrational/superstitious popular belief that can be easily put to the test and busted by an experiment – those of you who haven’t seen any episodes of the acclaimed series Mythbusters, please raise your hands! However, one must not forget the importance of MYTHS as seen in the context of this blog.

And in case you ask yourself what specific context it is, Campbell’s quotation opening this post provides an excellent explanation. Myths exemplify and bring to life a series of principles and convictions shared by any society – be it ancient or modern. We live surrounded by our own myths in the West: Santa Claus and Superman are modern ones. Some of the stories taken from the Bible account for some of the more ancient ones, such as Jonah and the whale or David and Goliath.

Therefore, what we call Greek myths were, to the Greeks, at that time, their professed religion. But what kind of religion was that?
We all know they worshipped a myriad of gods and deities and that, far from being perfect, these gods and deities displayed many of the vices and imperfections characteristic of human beings. Zeus, for example, is said to possess a philandering behaviour. Apollo, god associated with law and order skinned Marsyas alive and tried to ravish some innocent nymphs – Daphne was one of them.

From our Judeo-Christian perspective, Greek religion was fairly pessimistic. Why? Let’s go to the facts:

  • Human life was ephemeral, filled with preoccupations and suffering – according to Sophocles and Pindar, better for men was to have never existed or, being born, die as soon as possible;
  • There wasn’t a single man to whom Zeus wouldn’t send a thousand evils (Mimnermus of Colophon);
  • Death, however, would not solve men’s immediate troubles as it did not bring existence to an end;
  • Good deeds did not guarantee peace in the afterlife – in fact, it did not matter if you had been good or not. The only mortals inflicted with eternal tortures were Ixion, Tantalus and Sisyphus – and that was because they had defied Zeus himself;
  • Human life was decided at the moment people were born by the Moirai, three women who represented fate or destiny. They determined how long each newborn would live;
  • In the Homeric poems, although the Moirai were related with the limit and end of life, Zeus appeared as the guider of destiny;
  • Human beings were not, stictu sensu, created by the gods. Therefore, men did not expect that their prayers would grant sympathy or favours from them.

The Greeks, however, did not see their beliefs through pessimism-tainted glasses. For them, life had to be lived to the full due to its precarious and ephemeral condition. In other words, they had nothing to lose. The average Greek knew his life was limited by his condition as a mortal (human being) and by his moira (fate). So much so that he would do his best to seize the day and take advantage of everything life granted him: youth, health, happiness and the opportunities to practise temperance and virtue. This JOY OF LIFE had nothing of profane. It revealed the immense satisfaction of existing and participating of the spontaneity of life.

Instead of inhibiting men’s attitudes and behaviours, this “tragic” vision of life led to the valorization of whatever could be done to live life to the full. No wonder why the Greeks were so keen on sports, festivities, politics, philosophy, geometry, astronomy, architecture, etc.

The Judeo-Christian tradition preconizes God created us all, that we are the ones to rule over any other creature, that we are special to His eyes. It also defends the curbing of any excesses in this life and the glorification of the afterlife when all the goods done will be rewarded. Because of that, we have turned our backs to the present moment. The unforeseen and undesirable side effect was that we have become incredibly individualistic and vain. We are so worried about our own salvation, going to churches, praying in the silence of our bedrooms, waiting for Judgement Day, etc that we have forgotten to live life to the full and make the difference AT THE PRESENT MOMENT. SEIZING THE DAY has acquired an almost profane, sinful meaning nowadays, usually connected to physical and sensual pleasure.

I for one think we should all live like the Greeks did. Let’s seize the day and the opportunities to make our lives worth living and this world a better place. We should achieve the understanding that we are just human beings without the sympathy of God (or the gods) with a mission in our hands: ENJOY LIFE AND OUR EPHEMERAL EXISTENCE.

Reference:

Eliad, M. Histoire des croyances et des idées religieuses – volume I. 1976. Zahar

Foot fetishism

As the story goes, Hephaestus (Romans called him Vulcan) was one of the Olympian gods, the son of Hera (Zeus’ wife) alone. Yes, in some people’s account of events, Zeus’ help wasn’t necessary – when Hera decided she wanted to bear a child, she did it all by herself (this process is called parthenogenesis). Fuming with anger, Zeus, who though Hephaestus to be the conceived child of an affair, grabbed the poor child by his foot and threw him out of Olympus onto the earth below. As a result, Hephaestus became lame and forever walked with a limp.

Another story tells us of Oedipus. Mostly everybody has heard of “Oedipal complex”, a boy’s desire to compete with his father and sleep with his mother, a concept put forward by Freud (1856 – 1939). What mostly everybody doesn’t know is that Oedipus was left to die by his own father who had been warned his son would be responsible for his death, and would then marry his own mother. Needless to say, Oedipus survives to, blithely unaware of facts, kill his father and later marry his mother, Jocasta. Oedipus means “swollen-footed” because his father had the nerve to pin the poor child’s ankles together so as to prevent him from crawling when he was abandoned.And you have probably made use of the expression Achilles’ heels, meaning a deadly weakness. Legend has it that when Achilles was born, his mother bathed him in the river Styx to give him invincibility and strength. But because she held him by one of his ankles, this part of his body was not bathed by the magic powers of the river waters, therefore making it the only spot in his body where defeat could be inflicted against him. Destiny had an arrow pierce his very unprotected heel during the Trojan war and tragically, he died as a result of the wound.

By now, you may have guessed the reason I gave this post such an unconventional title. The common thread in these 3 stories is the ubiquitous presence of people’s feet. Hephaestus, Oedipus and Achilles had their destinies shaped by events involving this part of our body, not coincidentally. Is there any symbolism in it? Definitely! In dreams, being barefoot means feeling vulnerable, unprotected. Our feet are also responsible for our footprints, which symbolize a journey. In myths, journeys are not mere distances covered but a self-realisation process to develop the self – i.e. all your potentialities in life.

Besides, when reading these stories, we must understand that, unconsciously, we no longer assume a spectators’ passive view, but rather become the main characters ourselves. Jacques Lacan (1901 – 81) explains it in a very complex way. To put it simple, the knowledge we have of ourselves is constantly made and remade in confrontations with the other. In this process, the other is the projection and reflection of our ego – the other becomes us. Therefore, by analysing the poignant stories of Hephaestus, Oedipus and Achilles we better understand who they were and who we are. And we also learn to avert tragedy.

We all feel vulnerable from time to time. Maybe because, like Hephaestus, we also possess a disability, be it a physical or a psychological one. In both cases, something we’d rather hide from other people. Carl Jung (1875 – 1961) used the term shadow for the part of our unconscious mind where we keep some personality traits we’d rather hide from everyone, including ourselves.

Like Hephaestus, who used to work for hours on end as a blacksmith, forging and shaping iron (an interesting allegory for his attempts to reshape himself) we lose time and energy trying to reshape our shadow. It’s of paramount importance to understand and accept our shadow as an integral part of our personality (psyche), in order to live a better, healthier life, without too many confrontations with ourselves and other people (refer to the post entitled ME AND MY PET MINOTAUR for more on the Jungian concept of shadow).

Like Oedipus, we cannot escape from some of the twists and turns of life, no matter how much we try, no matter how unthinkable they seem. We all have to face grave events in our life, such as illnesses, losses or unrequited love. And the sad truth is that no one else can endure the hard path in our place. Going back to Lacan, we sympathise with Oedipus. The sheer thought of becoming him for a split second and going through his hardship soothes our hearts because, despite the problems we are fraught with, our fate cannot be as cruel.

As for Achilles’ tale, what can we learn from it? We all have a vulnerable spot, so throwing stones isn’t at all wise whilst living in glasshouses. We may look strong and invincible in our daily battles, but one single arrow (a single word, a single action) can put us down. If we don’t protect our most vulnerable spots, things we hold dear, such as a belief, a principle or any social engagement like our marriage, our family, our friends, our job, etc we may have it attacked beyond repair.

Shall we learn with these myths and put our best foot forward?

Myths, archetypes & iPads

It seems that some people have a special talent for becoming entangled in a torrent of events which leads to a dramatic and inevitable end. Everybody knows a couple of stories involving loved ones, acquaintances, ordinary people or celebrities who fell victim of an unstoppable and catastrophic chain of events. What may be unknown to many, however, is that the writing on the wall was there all the time, yet blatantly ignored by those directly involved or the spectators of the show. A case of knowing the tragedy – in the words of Seneca – in order to avoid being part of it. And guess what!! That’s another function of Myths!
Many myths depict gods and heroes (and humans alike) all involved in a great deal of confusion with tragic ends. Prometheus, Perseus and Helen of Troy, to name a few, have had their share of misfortune pursuing their personal quests. Because he stole fire from the Olympus and delivered it to mankind, Prometheus was tied to a rock by Zeus and had part of his liver eaten by an eagle during the day only to have it regenerated during the night so that his torment would continue the following day. Perseus ran into a lot of trouble to protect his mother against a man called Polydectes, who relentlessly tried to make a pass at her. As a final act of bravery, he decapitated one of the Gorgons, Medusa. Helen of Troy was behind the genesis of a war against the Spartans that lasted years, all because of her love for a Trojan prince named Paris. But how can myths serve as warnings against what the future may have in stock for us? And, ultimately, can we change our future just by knowing these stories, written at the dawn of civilisation?
In a myth, the moral component incorporates primitive archetypes which still exist in our psyche and therefore wield influence on our behaviours today. For those not yet familiar with the concept of archetypes, think about them – forgive me the purists – as iPad apps. Just as iPads come with some apps, we are all born with a certain number of archetypes and we’ll die with them. Others, will be added as we grow up and develop our conscious and unconscious mind, much the same thing as apps being added to an iPad. When we cannot access one or another app – oops, I mean, archetype – we’re bound to get ourselves into trouble. Why wouldn’t we be able to access them? Either because they weren’t installed in our infancy (by means of stories, fables, fairy tales, etc being told to us) or throughout our lives (by means of social rules and regulations we have to abide to) or simply because we may have an archetype ‘bugged, not running properly’.
Someone who drives a car at 100 miles/hour may lack some fundamental archetypes operating in pristine conditions which ‘send a message’ to the conscious mind saying: hey, this may end up in an ugly way. Likewise, someone who pursues eternal youth, undergoing countless cosmetic surgeries and lavishly spending a fortune on medicine and anti-wrinkle creams may have a faulty archetype which fails to communicate something is wrong.
All in all, myths reinforce moral, social and cultural orders that once installed in our conscious and unconscious minds will guide our behaviour towards other people and the world around us, helping us tell right from wrong. You’ll certainly benefit from reading about ancient myths. And by the way, I’ve recently bought an iPad and I personally recommend it (no merchandising involved).

Me & my pet Minotaur 

img_0625-1

Theseus slays the Minotaur

Once again I delve into a Greek Myth and try to link it to the depths of our psyche. This attempt is intrinsically insightful, after reading and re-reading the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. Don’t Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth Davis and Illustrated Book Of Myths by Neil Philip were the base of my readings for this article. The works of Joseph Campbell, needless to say, are always a source of inspiration.

The Minotaur, as you probably know, was yet another of the so many creatures abounding in the Greek Myths. A fearsome half-man, half-bull, it was kept inside a labyrinth meticulously engineered by Daedalus, a great sculptor and architect of the time with the deliberate intention to hide the beast and its bestiality from prying eyes. And although the Greek Minotaur was killed by Theseus, another one may still wander inside our own personal labyrinths. Think about it. We all have our Minotaur (or Minotaurs, for that matter) inside, living in the labyrinths of our minds. And we do our best to keep it (them) concealed.

The Minotaur can be understood as a representation of our shadow (Jung, C). The shadow is the part of our personalities we choose not to see, something we simply cannot uphold in our idea of ourselves. In other words, it is a set of repressed attributes we have and we keep deep inside our unconscious mind. Vulgar, shameful or corrupt in nature, such attributes might be traces of arrogance, low or high self-esteem, lust, envy, jealousy, etc. In short, we might not know the nature of our Minotaur because it’s kept so well-hidden that it’s often impossible to perceive its existence. This is a natural self-defense mechanism and we can’t blame ourselves for that. Should we kill our Minotaur(s)? From a Jungian perspective, we should not repress but acknowledge the material in our shadow as a way of disallowing its full expression in daily life. In other words, we must gather a great deal of strength and courage and go inside our labyrinth and face the beast!

We, like Theseus in the myth, should go inside the labyrinth of our mind and find out what our pet Minotaur is (e.g. arrogance) and on what it lives off (e.g. fear of not being accepted with our flaws). Then we must figure out a way to “kill it” (suppress its influence from the structure of our psyche). Finally, find our way out of the intricate labyrinth of our unconscious mind and return safe and sound from this journey. Phew!

The clue to subdue our Minotaur may lie, again, in the myth. Theseus used a thead of wool to find his way out of the labyrinth. Like him, we must retrace our path back into our past and find the mechanisms responsible for the creation and nurture of our Minotaur. Incidentally, Neil Philip mentions the labyrinth was a sort of representation or map of the underworld (psychology-wise: our unconscious mind). This journey into the unconscious mind seems to be the answer for almost all the psychological troubles in life. I also mentioned its importance when I wrote about Heracles in the post entitled WHY DO MEN FIND COMMITMENT SO RESISTIBLE?.

Theseus accomplished his task successfully. As an added bonus, he even fell in love with Ariadne, the girl who had given him the ball of thread so that he could easily find his way out of the labyrinth. What a clever girl!

Like a castaway

image

Curaçao blue

Holidaying in the Caribbean is indeed a lifetime experience. Sitting in the sun while gazing at all the different hues of blue the sea renders in this part of the world is indescribable. However, I must confess that no sooner had I set foot on my destination than I started to ponder the reasons for choosing a holiday by the sea. For a start, I am hopeless at swimming. Moreover, my skin is rather sensitive and gets sunburned very easily. And to top it up, I am positively not fond of sand at all.

But then, here I am, like a modern Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, spending a week under the Equatorial sun, surrounded by water and travelling alone. Have I unconsciously chosen my destination so as to be forced to look inside myself and find what remains good, uncorrupted and noble? Will I be able to accidentally run into my “Friday”, the “bon sauvage” (noble savage) lying dormant deep inside myself? Will I be able to project into him all my inner feelings of independence and self-sufficiency – maybe to conceal my feelings of inadequacy? I can certainly say that there is no better metaphor to explain my mental status at the moment than that of being stranded on an island. I have been feeling lonely, unreachable, inadequate. I have been battered by waves of incomprehension and winds of misjudgement. An island is symbolic of our individual egos according to the Hindu tradition. Jung also used the same allegory when referring to our ego (our sense of who we are).

Gazing at the blue sea and listening to the rhythmic sound of the waves reaching the shore induced me to look inside the depths of my mind and analyse my ego. Yes, I took the plunge! Not into the sea, of course. In an almost meditative state, I thought of my life and what and who had to be rescued so that I could ensure my own survival (pun intended).

Robinson Crusoe came to my mind again: He desperately wanted to leave the island he had been cast away not because he was never able to become self-sufficient while there. He was. Nevertheless, he knew he would never feel completely independent. And semantics do matter here: I argue that Crusoe knew that although he could make shelter, maintain his orchard, fish, hunt, design, sew and mend his own outfits, etc he was not an independent man. He was dependent upon the people he loved the most: his family and friends. In the 28 years he lived as a castaway, never had the idea that he had been forsaken crossed his mind. The first thing he did when coming back to England was to look for his family who, for his dismay, believed him to be dead.

However much I have done to show otherwise, I am neither self-sufficient nor independent. And after just three days here in the Caribbean, I fear going back to those I care the most, only to realise they already believe I am dead.

Does anyone have a dinghy to spare? I have pressing businesses to deal with on the mainland.

Unconscious battles

image

You probably do not know why and how you have become what you are today. If I were to bet, I would say your actions, your attitudes and your behaviour are the product of an endless battle carried out inside your unconscious mind. And guess what! You are completely unaware of it most of the time!

This fierce battle started when you were a child, precisely when mummy or daddy (or both) began to tell you “No”. Since then, your unconscious mind has served as a battlefield where two opposing forces fight bitterly. At one side, you have your wants, your needs, your desires and your fantasies. They are the expression of what Freud called PLEASURE PRINCIPLE. At the other side, the norms of public activity and public behaviour dictated by your culture (and that of your parents, for that matter, who effectively ensure it). Freud called these cultural and social regulations the REALITY PRINCIPLE.

Truth is, you would have become utterly intolerable had the REALITY PRINCIPLE lost all the battles since your childhood. In fact, the PLEASURE PRINCIPLE has lost a considerable number of them, forcing you to observe social rules and social conventions. In other words, you have learnt to repress your wants, needs, desires and fantasies. By doing so, you have become mature enough to live according to what society expects from you. It is as if you were a product of losing battles. In the end, the REALITY PRINCIPLE wins and you are left helpless to abide by the contemporary cultural and social norms. You are a product of social repression!

But relax. The degree of social repression would be too high to be tolerated if at least some activities were not left free from its dominion. It is in dreams that you find relief from the constraints of the REALITY PRINCIPLE. Artists in general (actors, writers, painters, sculptors, musicians, poets, etc) usually find their own peculiar ways to escape from the grips of the REALITY PRINCIPLE. Though subject to censorship, art forms are far less regulated than other public actions. Therefore, you will find in plays, literature, paintings, etc different (filtered or not) expressions of the PLEASURE PRINCIPLE. As products of fantasy, such art forms are, like dreams, products of relaxed repression.

But Freud believed that civilisation was gained at the cost of repression. Csapo summarises Freud’s ideas as follows:

“…repression is an agency of culture and committed to the reality principle; fantasy is an individual expression of allegiance to the pleasure principle.” (Csapo, p.93).

Your mum did the right thing when she said no to you years ago! A world without the rule of law would be barbarous and brutal.

At this point, you might be asking: And so what? What difference does it make to know all this stuff?

Well, by getting to know more about your unconscious and by better dealing with the repressed contents you harbour you may find relief from the constraints imposed by your culture. And as an art form, myths can help you do that. Myths are products of fantasy and of primitive cultures – they are products of unrepressed minds. They are therefore a privileged source of information about the contents of the unconscious and how these contents shape your actions, attitudes and behaviour.

“Myths throw light on a large number of symbols which would otherwise be unintelligible.” (Csapo, p. 94).

My suggestion: Grab a good book on mythology and start reading it. You should not be surprised if you come across a story in which a god, a hero or a simple mortal behaves just like you or possesses the same desires and aspirations. The story lines might even make some repressed content in your unconscious mind come to the surface and become conscious again. You may have the opportunity to get to know more about you!

Have a good read! Have a good journey of discovery!

Reference:

Csapo, E. Theories of Mythology. Blackwell Publishing. 2005.

Why do men find commitment so resistible? 


Taking the plunge and popping the question seem particularly difficult for some males. Commitment is not an entry in their dictionaries and, seemingly, nothing concerns them the least. Is it (A) a behaviour of modern times or (B) has this lack of commitment to a relationship been attached to men’s personality since the beginnings of time?

 

If you chose alternative B, you hit the nail. This pattern of behaviour can be found in men for at least 2500 to 3000 years as described in the Greek Myth of Heracles. Heracles is commonly known by his Roman name, Hercules. His most striking characteristic: his strength. But there’s more surrounding Heracles than a shallow display of muscles and vicious fights.

 

To start with, one must understand that when analysing the patterns of psychological behaviours depicted in myths, details do not matter much – I mean they do not contribute to the core message of the narrative. Also, accounts shouldn’t be taken literally.

 

Heracles, first of all, was hated by his father’s (Zeus’) wife (Hera), who knew Heracles to be the conceived child of yet another of Zeus’ countless affairs. Hera represents the overbearing power of the feminine in Heracles’ life – which could only come from his “step-mother”, not his real mother. In this Cinderella’s-life scenario, Heracles has to cope with the consequences of Hera’s never-ending grudge against him and grows up to be a man who cannot get rid of her influence, however much he tries.

 

The myth goes on to tell us of, now, a married-with-children Heracles slaying his wife and offspring. Remember: Let’s not take this account literally. What our hero kills is the commitment to bind with someone else and raise a family in the structure of his psyche. Can you see how this myth relate to today’s men who are willing to stay single?
You can bet: If a man is more than 30 and single, there’s every likelihood the power of the feminine was – and might still be – too much for him to handle. The result? Well, there are many. Some unproven speculations even claim such men may develop homosexual behaviour, but avoiding commitment is certainly the commonest aftermath.
What happens to Heracles then? Well, the myth tell us he has to accomplish a certain number of tasks (called labours) in an attempt to strip himself from all the guilt he was feeling. So, he simply finds a way to occupy himself and keep his mind busy. Have you ever noticed how busy commitment phobes are? And how difficult they are to reach?
Unless, of course, you’re a woman who doesn’t want commitment either (yes, they exist, and myths can shed light on this behaviour, too!). It seems these men sense the women who don’t need commitment and hang around with them only, leaving you as a second or third best. Mind you: Heracles wasn’t thoroughly engrossed in his work. He also found the time to hang around with the opposite sex.
Truth be said, some of our modern Heracles are in steady relationships. They too have suppressed the feminine power in their minds, but then miss the source of external authority in their life, finding it again in relationships that cater for their most immediate needs. And let’s be honest, some women have developed an expertise to be nasty.
But what happened to Heracles? Well, he managed to complete all his labours perfectly well. However, oddly enough, his very last task (the one supposed to free him) demanded him go into the underworld. From a psychological point of view, that means going on a journey into the unconscious mind. Heracles had to stop occupying himself so much and find the time to look inside him to finally get some answers. Likewise, the type of man we’re looking into also has to undergo the same journey and find out what makes him tick and escape from the vicious circle of suppressing the feminine or blindly abiding by the rules dictated by any feminine presence in his life.

 

Sadly, unless these men are determined to investigate “their underworld”, there’s little anyone can do to alter the pattern of behaviour described. The good news is that Heracles succeeded into his exploration, came back to life as a different man and, surprisingly, got married again, having children. If he could do so, any commitment phobe can. It’s just a matter of giving him enough time and… remain hopeful.