Archive for the ‘phallic’ tag
One of the places visited while in Hanoi was the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology. It wasn’t originally on the program but it turned out to be quite interesting. The museum does a good job of highlighting each of the fifty-four ethnic groups in Vietnam. Many of these ethnic groups are very tiny and on the verge of disappearing as the modern world breaks down the barriers of geography and communication. The youth move from their hillside villages to the cities as they become educated. Life in the city has many attractions, the chief attraction being an opportunity to leave the poverty of their remote and isolated villages.
In one ethnic group, the funerary chamber is a straw and wood hut surrounded by carved wooden figures that are explicitly sexual in nature as seen in this photo. The concern with the decreasing tribal numbers lead to the practice of encouraging procreative acts in those who survive so that the tribe can survive.
At a basic human level, a primal level, sexuality is synonymous with procreation, the survival of the tribe. At a psychological level, it is about finding a way to join both spirit and soul, light and darkness. Rather than think about denying or downplaying the instinctual and biological gender, one needs to uncover the contrasexual self so that the self approaches a psychic balance, a wholeness. Not only is the marriage of the male and female necessary for the survival of the collective, the marriage of the masculine and the feminine is a vital task on the journey of individuation, a soulful journey towards union, or should I say communion.
On one of my innumerable walks, I passed by a new housing community that featured about a dozen skyscraper high rises and a collection of two and three story complexes and homes. Standing at the edge of the community was a short two story building that was like a miniature castle. It wasn’t a home, though. I saw this tiny thing as quite pretentious in its location. One would have expected it to be the tallest of the structures rather than one of the shortest buildings.
The image taken and then left on the computer with other photos from the walk, it was soon forgotten. Then, while looking for a specific photo, I saw this one again and decided that it had something in it that merited another study. So, I cropped it to see what emerged. The first thing to stand out was the phallic symbol. Ah-ha, a photo for the series of posts that I want to do on the theme of the masculine. I then left the image on my desktop screen until I could place it in its appropriate folder that I have set up for the images that might be useful for the theme. yet, I never did drag the photo to the folder and it stayed on the desktop staring at me.
Today, I began to think of writing my blog post after checking my morning e-mail and reading my Twitter and Facebook pages in order to see how family and friends were doing. Before deciding on today’s topic, I somehow chose this image to be here.. I trusted that the words would find their way here. Besides, I could always change the image later. Then, I turned to Mythologems and soon found the reason why this photo belongs here:
“Looked at archetypally, a god is the image that arises out of a depth experience, an encounter with a mystery. For this reason, divinity is always renewing itself. How could it possibly be fixed? It is energy, not image. The image is only the transient husk of divinity. Divinity floods the husk, renders it numinous, and when the human ego seeks to fix it, worship it and constrict it in service to its own ego security agenda, the god “dies,” which is to say, leaves the husk to reincarnate elsewhere. This is the meaning of the “death of a god” motif, which may be found in the ancient mythologies of all peoples, long before Nietzsche’s mid-nineteenth-century pronouncement.” (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 91)
The phallic imagery in these words “fit” the image I have brought here. Of course, I don’t equate “god” with “phallos,” but I do see the metaphor of being filled and being emptied, about being a “husk” and about worshiping the image instead of the energy. It has to come back to the energy. The mating of self and other in which both are “filled” to create a holy marriage followed by a small “death,” that is part of the imagery. It isn’t the swollen membrane that deserves worship, if one must worship, it isn’t the holder of the energy be it a penis, Allah, Yaweh, Baha u llah, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius or whoever; it is the energy which gave rise to these holders of the energy that one must honour. For me, it is about honouring and not worshiping the energy that arises from the depths, a place where “self” and “Self” become one.
I have to admit that I find old Chinese architecture very interesting. This is a detail from a traditional roofline found on most older buildings still found in China. As I wander the city of Changzhou, I see frequent examples of this style still remaining. Most are in some state of disrepair though functional. Some, such as this one, have been carefully restored using original materials. I chose this photo because of the simplicity of colour – just black and white against a “whitish” sky.
Then after choosing the photo and cropping it so that it seemed to be right for inclusion here, I saw more, the layering of the tiles as though I was seeing the layering of shadow. I also saw in greater detail, the white flower which appeared to be growing out of a tree. And then I saw the tree and was struck by the image that emerged, a symbol of man, potent man. Out of the darkness, the light grows upwards.
I find my mind caught is a number of contradictions here, just as I find my mind caught in the contradictions of relationship. The key to a good relationship is communication. However, from what I said yesterday, the key to a good relationship is keeping one’s stuff to one’s self. Sharp sums it up nicely:
“Those who think that talking about a relationship will help it get better put the cart before the horse. Work on yourself and a good relationship will follow. You can either accept who you are and find a relationship that fits, or twist yourself out of shape and get what you deserve.
The endless blather that takes place between two complexed people solves nothing. It is a waste of time and energy and as often as not actually makes the situation worse.” (Sharp, Jungian Psychology Unplugged, p. 72)
Communication is served by silence, and consciousness is arrived at through darkness, through the unconscious. How can I sense any truth to these paradoxes? The image helps me. I see the swollen member bursting forth with life and I think how that swollen member gives life only in the darkness of the mysterious, dark and moist inner world. And in giving up the essence of self, there is a unity that allows the self to disappear into a wholeness in which there are no separations between darkness and light, between masculine and feminine, between self and other.