Sexual Shame

Discovering Susan Ullman's work locks in an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle (see Sex negative, sex positive: sex addiction). There are more pieces to be put in place of course, but at least we can begin to see the larger picture. I've mentioned two other important pieces before; the work of Robert Sapolsky and David Finklehor. The pattern that is emerging is that shame is a major factor in creating a neurotic 'stress' complex. This leads to the obvious conclusion that in order to prevent these stress complexes from arising we need to minimise shame. But this research is [...]

Kore And Shadow

There's a reason both art and psychology consistently turn back to the Greco-Roman tradition for inspiration and that's because the Judeo-Christian tradition is, in comparison, rather narrow and pathological. Indeed, I would say there is no insight in the Judeo-Christian narrative that is not also found in the Greco-Roman - with the Greco-Roman containing greater depth and sophistication.  Of course, many Judeo-Christians will claim that their narratives has made some unique contributions, but I just don't think this stands up to a close examination, especially when you consider that the 'Christian' component was largely inspired by specific Greek ideas. The [...]

The Transgressive Kore

Okay, time to stop pulling my punches... I understand society and culture in terms of hermeneutics. Things are not always what they first seem. A thing may be both its self and a symbol pointing to something else. The 'culture' war is not a debate about things as they are, but things as symbols. The culture war is a debate about meaning. The debate over children is not actually a debate about children as they are (or as they seek to define themselves) but about children as symbols. Jung described the Kore archetype thus: As a matter of practical observation, [...]

Jessie Mann On Jung

I've already mentioned Jessie Mann, daughter of photographer Sally Mann. She was one of those pesky precocious kids who transgressed the conservative stereotype and did things like run around naked and grow up to be an intelligent non-conformist. Jessie is now an artist in her own right. She is also highly articulate and clearly is quite 'gifted'. I was very impressed when I read what she had to say about Jung. This taps right into my discussion of Jung's Anima/Kore archetype. Here's Jessie's own words. From Subjectify I began to think about my subjecthood, not just in terms of the [...]

The ‘asexual’ Alice

Okay, so I'm on a roll - might as well continue... The Alice archetype appears in Wild Child. It is Bliss's favourite story, but she sees herself as a 'darker' version. Indeed, her first album is called Dark Alice. I know I'm not being original, but then, that's the point. Alice in Wonderland has always been a metaphor for the hippie sub-culture and the mushrooms and potions she takes are metaphors for hallucinogens. Even Disney referenced hippie psychedelia. However, what is more interesting about Alice is that she is also a metaphor for the battle over competing 'images' of childhood. [...]

Dark Alice And Kore

There's a definite theme behind many of my posts. I am aware of it even if I don't always make it obvious. The clue lies in this blog's subheading - Psyche, Eros, Transgression. I admire the work of Carl Jung. Yes, some of his work is dated, but I still think he has a lot to contribute. Not so much in terms of psychiatry, more in terms of hermeneutics. I think he has a lot to say about the way individuals and cultures construct narrative. Let me restate that: philosophically I'm inclined towards hermeneutics. Without going into a dense discussion [...]

Child Psychology And Me

Okay, what qualifies me to criticise Michael Carr-Gregg? I first trained as a primary school teacher. I loved the kids but despised the system and I left my training a few weeks before graduation. I just couldn't face being tied into the government system, which at the time was still authoritarian. I was faced with the awful reality of corporal punishment in my final teaching attachment and I was never going to be a part of that. I also found myself drawn to the rebels. If I had known then what I know now I would have specialised in working [...]