Make Life a Mythic Journey
….the shadow [is] that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior and guilt-laden personality whose ultimate ramifications reach back into the realm of our animal ancestors…. —C. G. Jung
Yesterday I saw the Broadway play, Clybourne Park, about racism then (1959) and now (2009). It’s set in Chicago and the connection with our first African-American President who is from Chicago is probably not coincidental. At least, Jung would say that it’s “synchronistic” or a “meaningful coincidence.” The repressed fears we all have lead to their release in our interactions with each other where we often place them or project them onto others rather than confront them directly. And so it is, not only in today’s Clybourne Park, but also in today’s America where racism is now outdated. Nevertheless the shadow has morphed and moved on.
We have gone from anti-Negro racism, to anti-Muslim terrorism, to anti-gay sexism, and now the battleground –ism appears to be anti-feminism in what has been dubbed the “War on Women.” It is a true Hydra-headed monster appearing daily in multiple actions. Yesterday House Republicans said they’ll agree to keep the interest rate low on student loans, but it must be paid for by taking money from women’s health care. And today, I found an e-mail in my inbox from Faithful America asking me to sign a petition to “stand with the sisters” and oppose the Catholic Church’s crackdown on nuns for their supposed liberal support of women’s health.
The largely Republican-led War on Women started with attacks against President Obama’s decision to have reimbursement for reproductive health services required even by Catholic hospitals. It has been followed by states such as Virginia requiring limits on abortion—both temporal that may be medically justified, but also expensive, out-of pocket procedures that are clearly punitive. Advocates for reproductive services that could prevent the need for abortions have been condemned and called “sluts” by right-wing, largely male spokespersons. The illogic of the position seems to escape the fear-based attacks from the religious and political right. The shadow, of course, cloaks rationality in the primitive emotion of fear.
So, as noted in “Our Mother Earth,” Mother’s Day is coming, but Mom is under attack. Jung knew that the restoration of the feminine Eros was essential to our society—both politically and spiritually. Clearly, the time has arrived. The battle is being waged. Can and will women, the primary carriers of the feminine, respond?
Paul Marshall Wortman
April 30, 2012