April 15-16, 1988: Eugene Monick

Lecture: Phallos: The Archetypal Source of Masculinity

Up to recent times, the dominance of masculinity has been taken for granted due to the pre-eminence of patriarchy in social and psychological structures. No longer. The upsurge of feminine awareness requres both men and women to look anew at the basis of masculine presence in the psyche, one-half of Jung’s eternal syzygy.

Strangely, while psychoanalytic conceptualization has given priority to the Mother, psychoanalytical attitudes and procedures have often depended upon the dominance of patriarchy in thinking and procedure. Freud’s “penis envy” and Jung’s “hero’s journey” are examples of this. Neumann’s notion of “higher” and “lower” phallus are another.

The lecture will seek to establish Phallos, rather than the Mother, as the archetypal basis for masculinity. Only when a conscious understanding of Phallos as one-half of primal source emerges can the unconscious pressure to assert it as such diminish. Such an understanding establishes the authority of the masculine and at the same time removes from the feminine the burden for masculine development and well-being.

Workshop: The “Iron John” Quality of Masculinity: Rough, Fierce, Wild 

“Iron John” (“Hans”) is a Grimm’s fairy tale which deals with the quality of masculinity that is essentially opposite to the feminine, neither dependent nor derivative of it. The poet Robert Bly’s treatment of the Grimm tale in New Age magazine, “What Men Really Want”, will provide the point of departure for the workshop. (Upon registration, a reprint of this article will be sent to the regsitrant).

The problem addressed by Bly is the feminization of men. This is an issue especially important in a time of feminine empowerment. The fairy tale, however, is not a modern invention. Men have always needed a knowledge and feeling of themselves that is authentic to the phallic archetype…that does not emerge as only re-action to the feminine. How does roughness, fierceness, wildness live itself out in a male without damaging the feminine in himself or in the other?

The workshop depends upon input from the participants, who have reflected upon the Bly interview. It is recommended that each participant also read the fairy tale itself, only half of which is treated by Bly in his interview.

 

Eugene Monick, a diplomate of the C.G. Institute, Zurich, is in private practice in New York City and Scranton, PA. He is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate at the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities. As an Episcopal priest he has serverd parishes in Maine and continues to do so in the dioceses of New York and Bethlehem, PA. He is the author of Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine, published 1987 by Inner City.

Phallos: The Archetypal Source of Masculinity