Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-8kt4b Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-18T05:50:56.775Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Men Dreaming of Men: Using Mitch Walker's “Double Animus” in Pastoral Care

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2011

Philip Culbertson
The College of Saint John the Evangelist, Auckland, New Zealand


In her recent book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, Susan Faludi pointed out the violence endemic to the Wild Man paradigm set forth in Robert Bly's Iron John:

For months, Bly has refused requests for an interview—his media interviews are largely with men—but today he accedes to a brief conversation over lunch. Between man-size bites of a sandwich, the poet says he bars women from most of his events because men need a sanctuary from a female-dominated world. “There's no place for the warrior in this country. The feminists have taken over from the Catholic priests.” And this is only the start of the female incursion. “I just see it getting worse and worse. Men will become more and more insecure, farther from their own manhood. Men will become more like women.…” What evidence does he have that all this is happening, or that feminism is actually turning men “soft”? The venerable poet flies into a sudden rage. “I don't need evidence. I have brains, that's how I know.”

Research Article
Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 1993

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


1 Faludi, Susan, Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women (New York: Crown, 1991) 312Google Scholar. See also Bly, Robert, Iron John: A Book about Men (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1990)Google Scholar.

2 Jung, Carl, “Two Essays on Analytical Psychology,” in Read, Herbert, Fordham, Michael, and Adler, Gerhard, eds., The Collected Works of C. G. Jung (trans. Hall, R. F. C.; Bollingen Series 20; 2d ed.; 18 vols.; London: Routledge & Kegan Paul and Princeton: Princeton University Press, 19561976) 7Google Scholar. 65, 269–70; and idem, “The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche” in idem, Collected Works, 8. 136–37.

3 Jung's stages of human development are not as schematically structured as Freud's or Erikson's, for example; he did believe, however, that humans appropriately spend up to the age of forty developing their egos, and after that age they should turn their attention to exploring the impact of the collective unconscious upon them, among other things, as a way of preparing for a good death. See Carl Jung, “The Practice of Psychotherapy,” in idem, Collected Works, 16. 41; and idem, “The Development of Personality,” in idem, Collected Works, 17. 44–45.

4 Carl Jung, “The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature,” in idem, Collected Works, 15. 81. See also Joseph Rychlak, Introduction to Personality and Psychotherapy (2d ed.; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981) 194.

5 Jung, “The Practice of Psychotherapy,” 34.

6 “It is no use at all to learn a list of archetypes by heart. Archetypes are complexes of experience that come upon us like fate, and their effects are felt in our most personal life.” See Carl Jung, “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,” in idem, Collected Works, 9.i. 30.

7 Carl Jung, “Mysterium Coniunctionis,” in idem, Collected Works, 14. 106.

8 Moore, Robert and Gillette, Douglas, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990)Google Scholar.

9 Thistlethwaite, Susan Brooks, “Great White Fathers,” Christianity and Crisis 51 (1992) 416Google Scholar. Karen Horney wrote of Freud: “Psychoanalysis is the creation of a male genius, and almost all of those who have developed his ideas have been men. It is only right and reasonable that they should evolve more easily a masculine psychology and understand more of the development of men than of women.” See Karen Horney, “The Flight from Womanhood: The Masculinity-Complex in Women as viewed by Men and by Women,” in idem, Feminine Psychology (ed. Kelman, Harold; 2d ed.; New York: Norton, 1973) 5470Google Scholar.

10 Johnston, Jill, “Why Iron John is No Gift to Women,” New York Times Book Review, 23 February 1992, 33Google Scholar. On masculinity as a social construct, see Gilmore, David, Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990)Google Scholar; on heterosexuality as a social construct, see Marmor, Judd, ed., Sexual Inversion (New York: Basic Books, 1965)Google Scholar and idem. Homosexual Behavior: A Modern Reappraisal (New York: Basic Books, 1980)Google Scholar.

11 See Freud's comments in his 1933 essay, “Femininity,” in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (24 vols.; trans. Strachey, James; London: Hogarth, 1963) 22Google Scholar. 131–35. Jung did, however, say that he really would have preferred not to have treated so many women in his practice, because he found women to be “strange”; see Maria von Franz as quoted in Segaller, Stephen and Berger, Merrill, Jung: The Wisdom of the Dream (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989) 118–19Google Scholar.

12 Carl Jung, “Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self,” in idem, Collected Works, 9.ii. 69–70; see also Hillman, James, Anima: An Anatomy of a Personified Notion (Dallas: Spring, 1985) 5169Google Scholar; Hopcke, Robert H., Men's Dreams, Men's Healing: A Psychotherapist Explores a New View of Masculinity Through Jungian Dreamwork (Boston/London: Shambhala, 1990) 3233Google Scholar, 87–90, 127; Segaller and Berger, Jung: The Wisdom of the Dream, 113–18.

13 Jung, “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,” 70; see also p. 56, where femininity is viewed as a trap that causes men to fall.

14 Carl Jung, “Psychological Types,” in idem, Collected Works, 6. 140; see also idem, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (ed. Jaffe, Aniela; trans. Winston, Richard and Winston, Clara; New York: Vintage, 1965) 187Google Scholar. In general, Jung uses animus and anima frequently, but in ways that are frequently mythological and often contradictory; see Hillman's attempt to sort it out, Anima, 59–63.

15 Jung, “Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self,” 69–70, 142, 151–81; and see Hopcke, Robert H., Jung, Jungians & Homosexuality (Boston/London: Shambhala, 1991) 1820Google Scholar; and Hillman, Anima, 65.

16 Mitch Walker, “The Double: An Archetypal Configuration,” Spring (1976) 165; see also Hopcke, Jung, Jungians & Homosexuality, 117–18.

17 See n. 12.

18 This thesis of fear is set forth particularly well in Stoltenberg, John, “Other Men,” in Abbott, Franklin, ed., New Men, New Minds: Breaking Male Tradition (Freedom, CA: Crossing, 1987) 122–29Google Scholar.

19 Lewis, Karen Gail, “Treating the Absent Man: Is It Possible? Is It Ethical?” in Bograd, Michele, ed., Feminist Approaches for Men in Family Therapy (New York/London: Harrington Park, 1991) 214Google Scholar.

20 Hopcke, Men's Dreams, 55.

21 On unconditional positive regard and congruence, see Rogers, Carl, “A Theory of Therapy, Personality, and Interpersonal Relationships, as Developed in the Client-Centered Framework,” in Koch, Sigmund, ed., Psychology: A Study of a Science. Study I. Conceptual and Systematic, vol. 3: Formulations of the Person and Social Context (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959) 184256Google Scholar, esp. 206–8. The concepts are, of course, Rogerian, but are of particular use t o pastoral counselors. According to Rogers, Carl (On Becoming a Person [Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1961] 5051Google Scholar), “The term 'congruent' is one I have used to describe the way I would like to be. By this I mean that whatever feeling or attitude I am experiencing would be matched by my awareness of that attitude.” The counselor should not be concerned to judge the therapeutic work of the counselee, including suggestions of homoeroticism, unless the counselee is disturbed by them. As Eugene Monick points out (Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine [Toronto: Inner City Books, 1987] 115–16Google Scholar): “It is as wrong for psychoanalysts to judge where a man should be on the continuum of the homosexual radical as it would be for them to judge his masculinity by the size of his penis.”

22 In dream interpretation, all meanings are contextual. This basic principle is an ancient one. In the Oneirocritica by Artemidorus of Ephesus and Daldis, the image of dung is taken t o be a positive one for a farmer, who uses manure as fertilizer, but a negative one for a city dweller; see White, Robert J., The Interpretation of Dreams: Oneirocritica by Artemidorus (Park Ridge, NY: Noyes, 1975) 212Google Scholar. For further examples, see Hall, James A., “The Use of Dreams and Dream Interpretation in Analysis,” in Stein, Murray, ed., Jungian Analysis (Boulder/London: Shambhala, 1984) 125Google Scholar. The conflicting interpretations of the dreams in Gen 40:5 and 41:25 confirm the importance of contextuality in decoding symbols, “each dream having its own meaning.”

23 Hopcke, Men's Dreams, 19–20; see also Michele Bogard, “Women Treating Men,” The Family Therapy Networker, May/June 1990, 54–58.

24 Corneau, Guy (Absent Fathers, Lost Sons: The Search for Masculine Identity [Boston/London: Shambhala, 1991] 1213Google Scholar) has termed this phenomenon “père manquant, fils manqué” (“absent father, failed son”); see also Osherson, Samuel, Finding our Fathers: The Unfinished Business of Manhood (New York: Free Press, 1986)Google Scholar.

25 See, for example, Carl Jung, “Psychology and Religion: East and West,” in idem, Collected Works, 11. 460; Hillman, Anima, 53; Hopcke, Jung, Jungians & Homosexuality, 120, 171; and idem, Men's Dreams, 32–33. In Jung's writings, Eros is sometimes the opposite of Logos; see Carl Jung, “Alchemical Studies,” in idem, Collected Works, 13. 41; and idem, “Mysterium Coniunctionis,” 179; at other times it is the opposite of “pure gnosticism”; see idem, “Psychology and Religion: East and West,” 460.

26 I wish to acknowledge Jim and Charlotte Pritchett, at whose home these ideas first fell into place; the Rev. Al Minor, who gave me the initial opportunity to air these ideas in public; the John M. Allin Fellowship, for underwriting time out of my teaching schedule; and Rebecca Abts Wright, for research assistance. I am also grateful to Jacques Nicole, Margaret Koch, the staff and “angels” of the Institut CEcumenique, Chateau de Bossey, Switzerland, who gave me the space and encouragement to write.