August 20, 2009
Conversations With Robin, Page 3
Conversations between R.E. Prindle And Robin Mark
Well, well, well. Robert Goulet. I should have known that filthy bastard would be mixed up in there somewhere. What amazes me is that Guralnik could write two fat volumes on Elvis and never mention the Mob once. I think we can begin to integrate Elvis’ Mob conflicts pretty clearly now, although research will have to establish the connections for sure.
For starters, entertainment is a Mob industry both records and movies; that includes both Jews and Sicilians. If you haven’t read Gus Russo’s Supermob yet, do so. The Sidney Korshak role at MCA is crucial.
Anent shooting out TVs remember that Sinatra had a plane he called Superwop or something to that effect so it is clear he bore a grudge against the Anglo world. The plane was a small ‘Lear’ if I remember correctly. Elvis went out and bought a 707. Big plane, big penis; little plane little penis. Not exactly true in Frank’s case, but you get the point. So at least Goulet and Sinatra. I can understand why Dean Martin tried to distance himself from those creeps.
Parker must have had the business dealings with the Outfit. As he ran into gambling problems the only commodity he had to barter was Presley. Thus he would have had to ‘sell’ Presley to keep both his legs under him. Elvis’ rapid deterioration could have been because of his realization that he was ‘caught in a trap. I can’t get out.’ Devastating awareness. One could only retreat into booze and/or drugs.
Now, Leiber said that he and Stoller at one time worked for the Mafia. This wouldn’t be unusual nor should it be held against them because if you’re in entertainment you’re involved, like it or not. The question is when were they involved, for how long, and for what purpose.
We all know Fabian was a Mob creation. Why not others? If you haven’t seen and studied The Girl Can’t Help It, do so. The movie is an alegory of the record business. Everything you see in the movie is the Outfit in action. In the fifties every Juke Box in America was stocked by the Outfit. You didn’t get your record stocked unless you were Mobbed up somewhere along the line. Someone recently told me that the girls on the Dick Clark Show were prostitutes and Bandstand was used to showcase them for Johns. Don’t know that it’s true but I wouldn’t be surprised.
Leiber and Stoller could have been co-opted to write songs for, say, The Coasters. A Black act with interchangeable personnel. Kind of an early Back Street Boys. I don’t know but I’d like to hear Leiber talk about it. Might prove enlightening.
So, let us assume that the Colonel was drawn into the Mob scene from the beginning of Presley’s movie career. That might explain some of his stupid decisions and those dumb movies. Perhaps Parker didn’t have a free hand but was ‘wise’ enough to figure out that something is better than nothing.
Then after Vegas Presley was increasingly drawn into orbit until he learned the horrifying truth. Guralnik seems to have his head up his ass as far as I’m concerned.
As Presley learned the truth looking forward to forty more years of slavery he found drugs more comfortable than reality. Possible, it would make things make sense.
November 13, 2008
Conversations With Robin
Robin Mark and R.E. Prindle
Well, you know, the river just keeps right on a flowin’ and you have to stay afloat but the bozos in Washington just don’t seem to have a clue and they’re so cynically dishonest. Eighty percent were against the bailout but they said we had to have it or the world would end yesterday. Now the bailout has gone away. first there was a bailout, then there was no bailout.
I thought both Obama and McCain were genuninely crazy to want to step into Bush’s shoes and I hope Obama gets what he’s got coming.to him before I get mine. The Commies have to be stopped this time; twice was enough of that bull roar.
But to turn the radio back up. Have you read any of Miss Pamela’s latest: Let’s Spend The Night Together? she interviews twenty-four groupies mining their minds for golden memories.
As super Presley buff you’ll want to read the first chapter by someone called Tura Satana. Taught Elvis nearly every thing he knew. How to kiss, the whole works. Came to her as a country bumpkin and left as The Sheik. Funny I haven’t heard you vent on her before.
And then a Catherine James invents the most improbable story about Dylan you’ve ever heard.
Elvira makes her guest appearance with some more info on Elvis that sounds like it might be as true, at least, as a Hollywood movie.
It’s kind of a kiss and invent book but Miss Pamela is her usual charming self. Get’s a little gruesome after a while though, but, Hey, here it is 2008 and they’ve all survived. Even Miss Mercy. Carazy mama but she’s got a few more tidbits on Elvis. Did he ever have an interest in a Memphis area club called Hernando’s Hideaway?
Those girls did get around but the question is what can they actually remember? It makes you wonder how Jimmy Page ever had a spare moment to practice guitar.
Good luck with your school. We’re a long way from the bottom yet. It amazes me how few people understand how far its fallen and that it is absolutely impossible for it to bounce back. For crying out loud the Faller has barely gotten ‘Timber’ out his mouth already.
I pity those poor Liberals who’ve finally gotten their wish. Now what are they going to do with General Motors. There is no forgiveness in my heart for them.
Exhuming Bob 11:
Bob Dylan And Toby Thompson
Positively Main Street
Thompson, Toby: Positively Main Street, U Minnesota Press, 2008 reprint of the 1971 edition.
Toby Thompson’s self identification with Bob Dylan is an interesting situation. In a way he predated the Elvis impersonators; blazing a new trail. That he recorded his infatuation on the spot and got it into print is even more fascinating.
I suppose people have always identified with important people as the insane asylums full of Napoleon Bonapartes indicate, but when the movies came into existence things changed. Movie actors were designed to appeal to certain character traits making identification with the actors more accessible. That the actors came from social strata much like one’s own with no apparent effort or skills made identification easier. (See the novel Merton Of The Movies by Harry Leon Wilson) When sound was matched to image one could act like and even talk like these heroes.
Older people being formed already were more immune than younger people so that the John Wayne imitators, Bogarts, Jimmie Stewarts or what have you began to surface in numbers beginning in the fifties. Still there was a psychological distance between the people on the screen and oneself while a direct imitation brought ridicule on oneself.
Then in the mid-fifties Presley burst on the scene. Here was a guy who drove truck, we were told, one day and was a major recording star the next. Then, as immediately as it seemed to all of us, more to some of us than others, he parlayed that into becoming a movie star. That was just about every teenagers dream. Now that was something we all could do and a great many of the most venturesome did get at least to the level of recording stars but they all wanted the movies.
Presley was the first who created a legion of impersonators. The movies formed a cadre of amateur impersonators but Presley spawned a full frontal impersonation for a profit; People who became Elvis Presley as a surrogate for themselves. This began fairly early in the Presley career too.
Then as the sixties hit young people were conditioned by phonograph records. Records were the way the generation communicated with each other; They took the place of movies and literature. One could still write books or rarely, like Presley, make it into the movies but anyone with enough ambition, little training during the sixties and none in the seventies, could make a record.
This was no more evident than in the case of Bob Dylan. Quite frankly my own first impression was that here is a talentless guy putting out records. If Dylan could do it, if I wanted to, I could. It then became easy to identify with Dylan. Plus he was a nobody, had never even been to college.
After I and many others had written his early records off he surfaced in a way to seize your attention, however his appeal was limited to a certain psychology. But, now, in the twentieth century via records and radio if there were only a million of any certain type those million could make an artist very, very successful, viz. Janis Joplin.
When Big Brother And The Holding Company with Janis Joplin released its first CBS disc the record went to the top of the charts on the strength of a small minority of the public. The vast, and I mean vast, majority of the public had never heard of the band or Joplin. I was in the record business at that time and was astounded that a relatively few hippies made a group and singer unkown to 9 1/2 out of ten, at the minimum, could send a record to the top. Hippies were not known to take care of their possessions. They trashed that record in a week or two playing it perhaps a hundred times or more then coming back to buy another one after another. Each one of those sales contributed to the accumulation of a million so the entire course of American music was swayed by the success of a record purchased by a very small percentage of the population, and the lunatic fringe at that.
So with Dylan. Dylan provoked a violent split in society. Just as Pat Boone was opposed to Elvis as a role model so Simon and Garfunkle were opposed to Bob Dylan. In 1966-67 the S & G faction was much larger than Dylan’s. Bob got more TV attention however. His cult was as the misunderstood, oppressed genius, the Outsider who was shucking the world. You can see where his fan base came from. So, all of us who were in that category became devoted, almost obsessed, advocates of Bob Dylan. I was one, I’m merely analyzing not being superior. I never went as far as Toby Thompson in my obsession but then I didn’t think of what he did either and I was six years older. I already had a life of my own, such as it was.
The younger people took to the pop stars with ease. We had Jim Morrisons, various Beatles and Stones or whatever as well as Dylans walking around campus, people completely immersed in the various identies. I don’t even have to p[oint out the Deadheads and they were truly legion.
So Thompson's notion of reliving Bob's youth in his own person while extreme was not completely imcomprehensible. Still psychotic but borderline as he never completely lost contact with reality. Really interesting because unlike Freud's Schreiber he was able to write a book about it even as it happened.
Thompson was born in 1944 being three years younger than Bob thus being able to look up to him as a role model. Being three years older than Bob I always looked down on him as a younger sibling who was somehow outshining me. The identification was there nonetheless.
Through 1966 Bob befogged us all. Blonde On Blonde was such a towering effort both musically and lyrically that it was incomprehensible. No one could understand it. Some of it you couldn't even listen to but you were convinced it was a work of genius. The people who called it mere noise weren't entirely wrong either. Philistines nonetheless.
I knew that Bob had peaked along those musical lines and there would have to be a model change. But then the word came out that Bob was dead, close to it or paralyzed from the eyes down. He disappeared from the stage for a while but as he wasn't dead or paralyzed we all stood with out faces turned to Woodstock waiting for news from the East. We all, being those of like psychology.
Then Bob dressed like Billy the Kid or some other Western desperado released John Wesley Harding. the psychology was changed. What had drawn us in for '64 to '66 was the muse using Bob Dylan as an instrument and he now had been discarded. I dropped him as did many others.
A year later Toby Thompson conceived the idea of searching out Dylan's roots in Minnesota. He didn't go as a mere reporter though. He went as a Bob Dylan impersonator. There was Toby Thompson standing in Bob Dylan's shoes.
The Thompson that emerges from his telling is a very disturbed young man of twenty-four. His intake of alcohol and marijuana was prodigious. Of course, he's telling a story, but I can't recall one day that he wasn't stone drunk. He keeps a pint in his glove compartment. He gets so drunk he stands on his head in the middle of a dance floor and can't remember it the next day. The guy must have smelled like a brewery all the time. I'm sure the fumes coming from him when he interviewed Dylan's mother in the daytime gave her a very negative opinion of him. Robert Shelton, Dylan's biographer, future biographer at this time, had been out to Minnesota the year before. He was a professional Journalistic persona older than Dylan's friends. Thompson was three years younger and appears to have been accepted on a personal rather than professional basis. After all he had no journalistic history, he was only going to write.
On that basis he formed an intimate relationship with Dylan's high school sweetheart, Echo Helstrom. I'm going to concentrate on that aspect of the book for this review. Bear in mind that she is three years older than Thompson.
Thompson's visit to Hibbing must have had the locals' heads spinning. Thompson, in his book, doesn't seem to be aware of the impression he was creating. From his description it seems that he appeared among them as a Bob Dylan impersonator. Bobby Zimmerman left Hibbing ten years earlier, became Bob Dylan, and now ten years later this guy shows up impersonating him. Doing a good job of it too.
One can only imagine what Hibbingites thought.
The idea of this guy pictured below going forth to conquer the world of popular music appears to be absurd. We all have known kids who wanted to do the same. We may even be one of those kids but the odd
Look Out Little Richard
of succeeding were about a million and a half to one. How could anyone even suspect that Bobby Zimmerman, the kid above, from the virtually uninhabited North Country would be the ONE. Everyone in town must have been laughing up their sleeve, like the guy on the right above, when Bobby Zimmerman sallied forth to 'join Little Richard' and conquer the world.
Now, this guy Thompson using his own name came posing as a journalist but impersonating Bob shows up. Thompson seems surprised at the reaction of Maurice and Paul Zimmerman, Bob's uncles, but can you imagine being interviewed by a guy talking and acting like your nephew Bob. It's kind of crazy. Imagine what Beattie Zimmerman, Bob's mother, thought sitting across from Toby doing Bob. Maybe that's what Bob meant when he said 'This guy Toby Thompson has got some things to learn.'
Nobody knew what was going on there, did they?
When Bob and John Bucklen and Echo Helstrom were kids, like many another group of Musketeers, they swore that if one of them made it he or she would help the others along. Well, Bob made it but he forgot John and Echo. No big deal. Teenage vows even spoken in earnest have no meaning after the fact but the promise lives on in the innocent hearts of those who aren't pulled through by the successful one. There is a sense of betrayal. Added to that there was romantic ill will on Echo's part because of Bob's eleventh and twelfth grade betrayal.
Bob is making it big while Echo just has a job. A young woman trying to make her way has a tougher row to hoe than a guy. But, if she knows how to work it she does have a story that's worth at least a couple three or four years worth of wages. She doesn't know how to market it though. Robert Shelton came out to Minneapolis a year before Thompson and paid her a hundred dollars for an interview. She held the hundred up to Toby as hint but he wasn't thinking that way. She was only going to get screwed by Toby, literally.
If Toby hadn't been in an alcholic haze he might have realized that the story Positively Main Street was only subsidiary to Absolutely Sweet Echo. The money was with Echo.
As they’re driving up Highway 61 Echo pulls out a hundred dollar bill and says ‘See what Robert Shelton gave me for an interview.’ The light still didn’t go off in Thompson’s head. He reached into the glove compartment for his pint.
I am astonished at the amount of alcohol Thompson consumed on these trips. If he isn’t novelizing the guy was in a virtual stupor the whole time. When he and Echo arrive in Hibbing they go to a bar where Toby becomes blotto on beer, no less. He has no memory of the moment but Echo tells him that he stood on his head in the middle of the dance floor as coins and keys showered out of his pockets.
Echo must have been one tolerant girl or else she was hoping for something to happen. Perhaps a large part of the charm of Positively Main Street is the stunning unconciousness of Thompson. The guy was twenty-four years old at the time, not a kid- exactly. He had been telling Echo he was going to write a book. When he gets the first trip written up he sends her sixty pages. Echo writes back: ‘Sixty pages isn’t enough for a book is it?’ She has reasons to be disappointed. Heck, Toby is using her to attempt to make his fortune and he hasn’t even promised to cut Echo in for a dime. Think about this. The self centered naivete shines through with startling clarity. For that reason it is one of the most interesting books in the the Dylan canon.
Now, in these sixty pages Toby has misunderstood what Echo told him about the time Bob called her on the phone and played Bobby Freeman’s Do You Want To Dance claiming to be singing the song.
In his sixty pages he projects a better story where Bob shows up on Echo’s front porch playing guitar and sings Do You Want To Dance then strutting all through the house singing and playing somewhat like Elvis in the dime store in King Creole.
Echo points out this error. Toby liked his version so much he left it in the way he first wrote it. Then when Echo introduces this Bob Dylan impersonator into his parents home Toby whips out his quitar and reenacts his version of the incident strutting around the house as he plays and sings. The guy was absolutely out of his mind in his alcohol haze. He must have smelled like a brewery the whole time.
One is astonished that he was so well tolerated. Of course maybe everyone was thinking: ‘This is amazing, but it won’t last long’ and let it pass. Waved his car goodbe as he sped away.
One wonders what Echo’s emotional rection to the Bob Dylan impersonator was. Toby must have reactivated dormant affections for Bobby Zimmerman as he came on to her strongly in Bob’s persona. Echo had ten year old memories of Bob and now here he was, his double, coming onto her again. Frightening actually.
Toby left again and never returned. In the book he seems oblivious to the havoc he created in Echo’s life. In the interview at the end of Main Street given many years later he doesn’t seem to be any more aware. In fact he seems to be still posing as Dylan’s double. He mentions that he still contacts Echo, who has moved to LA, occasionally as does Bob but Bob seems to have better success in finding her.
Hurt and mystified that Thompson had no more use for her she wrote a poem for him that she mailed to him in far off Washington D.C.
Where can you be?
Somebody told me
That you went back to
Washing Machine D.C.
How can that be?
You came to town in your Volkswagen
And I’ll tell you we sure had fun!
And now you’re gone!
You played for me on your old guitar,
Took me for a ride in your little car,
Drove me near and drove me far,
We looked at the moon,
And stared at the stars,
You stood on your head in my hometown bar…
How could it be you’ve gone so far?
Hey Toby? Where are you?
- Echo Helstrom
Toby hadn’t gone anywhere. Like Bob he’d just never been there. His fantasy like Bob’s didn’t include anyone else, they were just bit players in his own movie. Toby was no longer thinking of Echo. He was married to the bottle. He was touring bars across the country to get material for his next book. Echo could just consider herself as one of those bars. Once Toby had visited it there was no reason to return.
The tragedy for Echo was that she was betrayed once by Bob in 1958 and then again by a Bob impersonator in 1968. Perhaps a wound was created in her heart that could never heal. One wonders what her later history was after she left Minneapolis and drifted West.
I wonder where you are tonight.
I wonder if you are alright.
I wonder if you think of me
In my lonely misery.
There stands the glass,
Fill it up to the brim,
Till it flows o’er the rim,
It’s my first one today.
Here’s to old memories. Bottoms up.
April 30, 2007
A Mother’s Eyes
The Baby Marie.
Dr. Anton Polarion
Well, yes. What is this Baby Marie you ask. I’m going to tell you even though it’s a story I’m sure you won’t be able to understand. It is perhaps the most real story ever told but it’s reality will probably be too transparent for meager intellects. I almost said, like yours, but I didn’t because I want to retain your sympathy at least to the end of the story; after that you’re on your own and I don’t care.
You think that’s just a little bit too truculent do you? Well, maybe it is but I have my reasons which I am not going to divulge to people like you. Not least is the way I was treated as a child. Not only by strangers like you but by my own mother. I had enough problems with those others all my life. They gave me psychological complexes that it took me a long time to resolve. But then the unkindest cut of all was my mother.
You say, oh pshaw, everyone has those kinds of problems. I’ll grant you that but you’ve got them in spades and haven’t resolved a single one. I’ve got a clean slate having resolved them all. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. Well, so maybe everyone does have those sorts of problems, what’s that got to do with me? Let everyone else live their own life; I’ve got me to worry about. Besides if this generalized public you talk about is any kind of example look at the world these mutants have made. I’d laugh if I weren’t terrified.
I’ll take my own problems any day. Besides all my problems, psychological that is, have been solved since the Baby Marie came to live with me. Since then I’ve known only peace. Before the Baby Marie I only had problems with my mother’s memory and my eyes.
Yes, that old fraud Freud was right about one thing. The mother is the most important influence in a man’s life. Yes, I know, I should have said person’s but here’s a fact for you to digest, I’m a man not a woman. Let the little girls work out their own problems with their mothers. All that politically correct crap doesn’t have anything to do with my own mind so leave me alone and let me get on with my story as happened to me. I’m not going to acknowledge any more interruptions.
Speaking of fraud Freud this story doesn’t have much to do with him. All he ever did was take eggs out of other bird’s nests and sit on them himself like he was the one who laid them. If you know your sources you can write the whole substance of Depth Psychology without having to mention his name. It was all there, all the Fraud did was gather it into his own nest. He didn’t even do a good job of that. His notion of the mind is just a big joke.
Well, no matter, you have to start somewhere and Freud did at least succeed in imprinting his ridiculous notions on the mind of more than one generation. He got the ball rolling now we have to get it moving in the right direction.
No, you’re wrong. I’m not writing this from inside an insane asylum. I’m saner than you are or ever will be or even could be. If you must know I write from the lap of comfort with a beautiful sylvan view out of my window. No Landor’s cottage but then that nineteenth century quality of perfection is lost for the next thousand years.
I’d say I’ve got a tall cool one in my hand but since the Baby Marie came to live with me I’ve had no desire to drink. In fact, if I do she’ll leave. I don’t want that.
So, my mother. She rejected and abandoned me when I was five. This is where Freud comes in. Freud didn’t understand how the mind works. More specifically he didn’t know how it was organized. Not his fault really; there wasn’t that much information available at the time. He was only a pioneer. Still, he shouldn’t have let on that he knew more than he did.
Let’s skip this nonsense. Suffice it to say that the brain is divided into right and left lobes and a conscious and subconscious mind. When the brain is presented with a Challenge which it cannot successfully handle the failure becomes a fixation in the subconscious. For every mental fixation there is a physical affect. The mind automatically converts its mental failure into a physical consequence. You see, that’s where the talking cure comes in. When you identify, recognize and express the fixation it and its’ physical affect are exorcised.
Real simple, not as easy as it looks for the central childhood fixation, but simple. The talking cure is one of those eggs Freud plucked from another’s nest; in this case his benefactor and friend, Breuer. Oh well, Breuer didn’t know what to do with it anyway. He could never have hatched that egg if he’d sat on it till he was a hundred or as old as Methuselah or possibly the hills.
Now, you see, these other people gave me a number of Challenges my mind couldn’t resolve and a whole bunch of fixations with detestable physical affects. As the affects all emanate from the mind you may include mental afflictions also.
OK. So I found my fixations and exorcised them. Straightened myself out in body and mind. Got rid of my constipation, post-nasal drip, everything. There were dozens. I felt great afterwards. But after a while you forget how great it is and concentrate on other problems. The amazing thing is after you get rid of the major ones the least significant fixations demand attention thereby assuming a significance they never had. They’re easy to understand and get rid of though. After exorcising the central childhood fixation all the other stuff is an anthill compared to the mountain of the central childhood fixation.
So, now I think I’m home free but then I discover I’ve got another problem. My mother. But she isn’t anywhere in my conscious or sub-conscious mind. So where is she?
I found her way down deep below both the levels of consciousness and subconsciousness. The brain stem. There’s one Freud missed. An obvious one, too. The Brainstem. The first brain in the evolutionary scheme of things. First you have the brain stem then the midbrain and finally the pre-frontal lobe evolves. So then Man can sneer as he looks down on the other vertebrates who have a lot more sense that he does.
Now all we have to do is rise to our scientific knowledge and get rid of that miserable attitude of the bible. There is no longer any reason to enshrine that immature consciousness with its primitive monotheism.
Here’s an obvious thing you probably never thought of before. Since the brain stem came first the sensory organs are associated with it. That’s right. The optic nerves are associated with the brain stem. When you get that REM, Rapid Eye Movement, when you’re dreaming? That comes from the brain stem.
What’s as old as the brain stem? Yo’ mama.
That’s right. Freud was right on that one. That’s a main reason why your mother is the most important influence in your life. Your mother’s eyes. Never thought of that one, huh? Well, plenty of song writers have. As an infant your mother’s eyes drilling into your own as you looked up from your breast feeding established that connection to the brain stem and your own eyes.
So here’s what I found out. That connection between your mother’s eyes and your own is paramount. When your mother rejects or abandons you that connection between your mother’s eyes and your own is broken. That fires a lightening bolt right through your brain stem down below the subconscious part of the mind. At some time in your life you’re going to have trouble with your eyes.
The circumstances of the break will dictate the nature of your problem. If a scientific survey were conducted some sort of general rules could be drawn up. Heck, someone could catalog fixations and their affects. They will be the same with everyone. Nobody’s that unique. The exact form may vary but the affect will be same. We’re closer to mental health than most people think. It’s just that you people prefer to be crazy.
My mother remarried and reclaimed me when I was ten so I didn’t have any real trouble with my eyes until I was after forty. I’m younger than that now but that needs no explanation. I’ll die soon anyway.
I had to have these operations on my eyes a few years ago. I thought I would have to go blind. While I was waiting I read Sybille Bedford’s biography of Aldous Huxley. He was rejected and abandoned by his mother also, she died when he was fourteen. Then his eye problems started when he was sixteen. I realized immediately that my eye problems were connected to my mother too.
My problem was that I knew my subconscious had been cleared out long before so that my problem with my mother couldn’t be in my subconscious.
The answer was revealed as answers of that type are, in one’s dreams.
I dreamt that I went down to the deepest spot known to man and there I knelt before a well. The well was dry; there was no water in it. It might be romantic to say I filled it with my tears but that’s not what happened. You know, science fails when you refuse to observe its tenets. That’s one of the big things wrong with world now, you want override obvious truths for emotional reasons. Think about it.
Since I had identified the ‘fixation’ and expressed it, by all the rules of Depth Psychology it should have disappeared, but it didn’t. The brain stem is different than the upper brain. Returning to the surface by the way I came I woke up.
Now I did have a dilemma. I thought I had the solution to my problem but I didn’t know how to apply it.
For a couple months I could only worry about it. Which is to say that by applying auto-suggestion I hoped to have my mind show me the answer. Naturally, it did.
The Baby Marie came to me. The Baby Marie is real but she’s just not flesh and blood. She came to me as all balms do, in dreams. I almost didn’t recognize her. It was close. I might have lost her with terrible consequences for myself.
I was at a party, in my dream, strange enough in itself as I never go to parties, wouldn’t know how to act at one; didn’t know how to act at this one. Fact is for some reason I never get invited. Who’d want to go anyway? There was much hilarity and boisterousness, two qualities I lack. I began to wonder why I went. Then a man, who while he may have been an alter ego, I still don’t know, asked me to come into the other room where they were delivering a Baby Marie for me.
I’d never heard of Baby Maries so I was really annoyed; so annoyed that I could hardly relate to the situation.
This dream is related to another dream I had once and is actually a fulfillment but why interrupt this story. If you want I can send you the other one, just ask. Well, they brought in this big barrel or keg. The barrel came apart in the middle so the upper part was slid aside. I have never seen a stranger sight. The barrel was half filled with the clearest water you ever saw. Sight for the blind you might say. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Floating, not so much in, but under the water was the head of a little infant with these large loving eyes that met mine.
I can tell you I was nonplused. ‘What’s this?’ I asked truculently enough. ‘It’s for you. We got this Baby Marie for you.’ Said my alter ego in his Hawaiian shirt. ‘It’s a Baby Marie.’
I was disgusted. The idea, putting a baby in a barrel of water and shipping it from god knows where. The poor thing would drown, should have already drowned. I almost missed my connection over past grievances and meaningless technicalities. Then I realized that if the Baby Marie was still alive she must be floating in living water. That must be why she hadn’t drowned. I knew the value of living water if I didn’t understand the importance of a Baby Marie.
More for the sake of the living water than the Baby Marie I accepted the gift. The water and the Baby Marie were then poured into the dry well in my brain stem down below where the sea monsters go. The eyes of the Baby Marie which were so loving replaced those of my mother who had rejected me. The connection was restored.
Unable to reach the problem through conscious Depth Psychology my mind had nevertheless found a way to resolve the dilemma. Or, perhaps problems of the brain stem function independently of the methods of Depth Psychology.
That’s how the Baby Marie came to live me completely changing my life. That’s why I don’t and won’t drink alcohol again.
The details of the dream are not clear to me but perhaps this crowd of people at the party are the people who laid my central childhood fixation on me and are offering me compensation for their crime. I certainly can’t be sure.
I suppose it right to speculate some on who or what the Baby Marie might be. Since she is a construction of my own mind that may not be as hard as it may seem.
Obviously with the Baby Marie I am born again. In fact, I had been reading Jung and I was struck by his analysis of the bapismal font and the idea of the infant being born again in that holy or living water.
I had also read of a dream of Bob Hunter’s, the song writer for the Grateful Dead, you know. He had a recurrent dream that terrified him for days after. In his dream he went down to the lowest place in the world where he stood before a black muddy river. I had no trouble recognizing this river as a symbol for his relationship with his mother. I also knew that it would take more than a box of rain to unsully those waters, but if he knew how to use the box of rain it would be a good start especially if the rain was living water. You see, he had the problem and the solution in his mind all along.
Last and perhaps most important is a song that had been playing in my memory for over fifty years. It was a song about a man trying to reach a person over the phone known only as Marie.
He knows neither her phone number nor her address. He pleads desperately with the operator to help him get in touch with his Marie. The operator cannot help him even though the man explains quite explicitly that Marie lives only half a mile from the Mississippi Bridge in Memphis, Tennessee. As it turned out Marie was merely an infant.
I had fixated on Marie, the Mississippi Bridge, the Mississippi River and Memphis, Tennessee all my life without realizing why. Why I should have done so is not clear to me. How I might have associated my unrealized problem with an inexplicable answer is a mystery of the mind, yet both problem and answer were ever present in my mind just as they were in Bob Hunter’s.
It took several decades to cross that bridge over the river but at last I have gotten in touch with my Marie.
This is a true story. You may believe it or not as you choose, but if you heed it you will find it a major contribution to the understanding of human psychology as well as your own.
That’s all I have to say. I bid you goodnight. Don’t call me, I’ll call you. Don’t wait up.
Dr. Polarion can be cantankerous at times. Don’t let his attitude in this relation fool you. He’s actually a nice guy, not as cranky as he allowed himself to sound. He’s a pretty deep psychologist, kind of look through and behind his narration. I mean, you know, he’s got literary ambitions. Wants to be another Freud. Get the Nobel prize for literature.
As a more gradual transition to Part III let me lead you through the art gallery of the mind to the Salvador Dali Room. Over on this wall here, look at this picture called ‘The Temptation Of Saint Anthony.’ This was done in 1946. I’m not sure of Dali’s sources. For all I know he may have been reading Poe.
Look down here in the corner at the naked Saint Anthony recoiling on the ground from the horse figure, holding out his cross to exorcise the demon. See that skull of death on the ground between his legs. Look at the rearing mare or the Mother Archetype, you can tell it’s a mare, look back between the legs, look at those horse shoes all askew on those enormous front feet. See those teeth showing between the parted lips, look on these baleful eyes. What could be more clear?
Then see, coming behind the Mare are the pack elephants of memory on their precarious spindly legs. Memory is like that but the bulk of the elephants is such that you know the memories must be important. The first bears a female figure on the pedestal. The Mother Archetype. See her holding up her breasts like some antique figure of Mother Earth promising all and delivering nothing. Give her a baby, that ‘s all she wants.
Behind her comes a symbol I can’t really understand. Perhaps a triangular cenotaph. I don’t know what Dali means.
Finally comes the elephant bearing the house or symbol of the self. Now, let us turn to Part III, ‘Cow Eyed Hera And Edgar Allan Poe.’
April 27, 2007
A Mother’s Eyes
Part I: The Remarkable Case Of Aldous Huxley’s Eyes 30 pages
Part II: The Baby Marie: 10 pages
Part III: Cow Eyed Hera And Edgar Allan Poe: 21 pages
Part IV: The Hand That Rocks The Cradle: 9 pages
The Remarkable Case Of Aldous Huxley’s Eyes
This essay will deal with certain unconscious relationships between the Indo-European male and the Mother Archetype. This essay is retricted to the Indo-European sub-species because the author is not convinced that all Homo Sapiens sub-species are identical in intellectual makeup nor are they subjected to the same cultural influences which would produce a uniform effect across all sub-species of mankind. What Jung calls the Collective Unconscious of Man does not use the same symbolism in every period of time, every place and with all sub-species. While the Horse will be a central focus of the Indo-European after minus 2000, for instance, prior to its introduction to the Middle East the beast could not have figured in the Collective Unconscious of either the Indo-Europeans or Semitic Mesopotamians. Thus the Black, Semitic and Mongolid sub-species may be subject to the same relationship with the Mother Archetype but may express the same issue in different symbolism.
The female of the Indo-European or other sub-species is structurally different from the male hence subject to different responses to the same issue in different symbolism. I will touch on that briefly in Part IV.
Further, one ought not to confuse the role of female with the role of mother. The female is a different person until she becomes a mother. Once a mother her response to the role will depend on female societal desires which will control her attitude to motherhood. The intelligence and intellectuality of the female person is in conflict with the Structural Psychology of the Mother. Not all females are intellectually adapted to become mothers although most do become mothers.
The topic will be approached from the point of view of Depth Psychology based more on the approach of Carl G. Jung than that of Sigmund Freud. Freud’s approach was based on the personal psychology of the upper brain while Jung approached the subject more from a Special angle hence his notion of the Collective Unconscious with a universal heritable symbolism regardless of education or sub-species.
Because he was dealing with a more homogeneous population unlike the heterogeneous population of the United States he was able to believe that all people are subjected to identical influences even though he had the obvious sub-special differences of the Jewish Semitics before him.
There can of course be no such thing as a collective mind hence no Collective Unconscious. Neither can this Collective Unconscious be inherited. There can only be a shared sub-special understanding of phenomena. This shared understanding will express itself in certain common symbols induced by a universal field of education depending on one’s level of consciousness.
Specifically I wish to examine the relationship between the mother and the eyes of the Indo-European male as well as the mother’s identification with the Horse by the male. All three are intimately related.
The difference between Jung’s Collective Unconscious and the individual unconscious or, rather, sub-conscious, is that Jung without having actually differentiated the two was referring to Structural Psychology by his notion of the Collective Unconscious.
Before the human organism can be subject to personal psychology there must first be an organism. The construction of that organism will then determine its psychological potential.
Thus while all the higher vertebrates share the same Structural Psychology the addition of the upper brain separates man from the beasts while causing a conflict between the Structural Psychology and Personal or Intellectual Pyschology.
While a human entity appears to be an organic whole it is actually a construction of component parts. The nature of those parts determine the psychological potential of the completed construction.
Not enough attention has been paid to how a human is constructed or the signficance of that construction. The basic organism seems to be taken for granted.
The human is a combination of two different components which are then integrated. On the one hand there is the passive ovum which is provided by the female of the species; on the other hand is the active sperm provided by the male. Passivity and activity are important and should not be passed over lightly. The ovum provides one half of the structural elements as well as all the mitochondrial DNA. These are significant facts and not merely incidental.
The ovum is always female or an X chromosome. Thus the male always has this female X chromosome component which Jung and Freud using the imperfect data of their time referred to as a man’s ‘feminine side.’ Jung called it the Anima in the male, the corresponding role in the female the Animus.
The presence of an X chromosome in the male in no way affects his sexual identity as a male. It is not a cause of homosexuality or effeminacy. Using the imperfect data of his time Jung acted on the notion that sexuality was caused by a ‘preponderance’ of male or female genes. This would of course distort his vision of sexuality creating non-existent possibilities.
An unfertilized ovum is, of course, of no value. The male provides the fertilizing element in the form of the sperm. The sperm contains the other half of the structure which when joined with the ovum completes the structure.
The sperm can be either X or y. There must be a difference in nature between the ovate and spermatic X chromosomes. If X the completed structure is a female. But the spermatic X contributes the gene pool of the mother of the male which is part of the Anima so that the female has two female components. Without the X chromosome the male could not provide X sperm.
It must also be true that the spermatic side of the female provides a set of genes received from the father while the ovate side provides a set of genes from the mother, so that not all of the female’s ovum are the same.
In the case of either an X or y sperm the ovate or female mitochondrial DNA is always and solely the source of mitochondrial DNA in the resulting construction whether male or female. The Spermatic mitochondrial DNA is always expelled from the united ovum.
Thus the Mother Archetype establishes itself in a much more intimate connection with the male than the Father Archetype. This is a physiological fact with real consequences and not a matter for sexual pride.
When the ovate and spermatic parts combine the ovate X chromosome assumes the left side of the structure while the spermatic X or y forms the right.
Many organs which can function independently are therefore duplicated such as kidneys, lungs, gonads or ovaries. Those which can only function as a unit are formed of two separate lobes which are seamed such as the heart, liver, penis or clitoris.
Now, this may be controversial but the gonads or ovaries, the spinal cords and brain from an integrated unit like the power train of the automobile. All three are parts of consciousness.
The ends of the spinal cords, it follows that one each must be provided by the ovum and sperm, anchored in the gonads or ovaries intertwine up the spine until they cross over at the brain stem so that the passive ovate left side of the body becomes the passive right side of the brain while the active spermatic right side of the body crosses over to become the active left side of the brain.
The two cords, spermatic and ovate anchored in the gonads or ovaries pass up the spine to emerge from the brain stem as ‘loose wires.’ To give them a name we will use Jung’s terminology but assert that male and female have both an Animus and Anima rather than as Jung has it, the male an Anima and the female an Animus.
Now, as man evolved he began with what is referred to as the serpent’s brain or the brain stem followed by mid- brain, parietal lobes, upper brain and pre-frontal lobe.
Thus structurally to the point of the brain stem all vertebrates function more or less identically. By which I mean to say that to that point the psychology of say, sub-species five of the lion is identical to man. If this isn’t true than evolution is bunk.
Of necessity the optical nerves are associated with this very primitive organ of the brain stem. This fact must have some relation to the association of the Mother with the eyes.
Such a psychological association must operate independently of personal psychology as Structural Psychology or, as Jung would have it, the Collective Unconscious.
There are then tree levels of consciousness: the autonomic system, the brain stem and the upper brain.
In fact the as the brain stem is not intellectual as in personal psychology, it may function independently of the upper brain and require a different technique for therapy.
At any rate the symbolism Jung discusses is related to Structural Psychology and not the neuroses and psychoses of personal psychology.
When the male Indo-European experiences rejection or abandonment by the mother this rejection may be evidenced by eye problems associated with a horse symbolism.
Having laid the frame for my discussion I wish to begin with the case of Aldous Huxley, his relationship to his mother and his celebrated eye problems. Aldous Huxley is, of course, the important literary figure who wrote ‘Brave New World’, ‘Eyeless In Gaza’, ‘Point Counter Point’ and other intriguing and important novels.
All his adult life from the age of sixteen on Huxley endured terrible problems with his eyes. He was frequently able to improve his vision remarkably only to suffer setbacks. He first suffered maternal rejection when his mother opened a girl’s school relegating Huxley to an inferior status in both his and her eyes to her female students. This alone had a permanent effect on his character and his adult relationship with women. Then, when Huxley was fourteen his mother died abandoning him completely as it were.
No matter how natural or unavoidable death may be, those affected are under no obligation to react rationally. While on a conscious or even sub-conscious level Huxley seemed to handle his mother’s death well he was devastated on the structural level. First rejected and then abandoned by his mother, Huxley, at the age of sixteen was attacked in his eyes. Actually the reaction could have been predicted although how and when would have had to await manifestation.
Huxley developed an inflammation of the cornea called Keratitis Punctata. Thus his reaction to his mother’s rejection and abandonment was of the most serious sort. In the days before modern medicine he would have successfully blinded himself in both eyes. Given the medicine of the day he might have been cured with minimal or no loss of vision. As it was he was misdiagnosed allowing the disease to take almost full course. By the time he was treated he had lost his vision in his right or ovate eye while being as good as blind in his left or spermatic eye.
The nature of Keratitis Punctata is such that it damages or scars the surface of the cornea while the internal functions of the eye remain intact. The effect of the scar tissue allowed his vision to fluctuate.
I think that if a survey were taken it would be found that the right or ovate eye is always affected the worst. This would strengthen my contention that certain eye problems are due to relationships with the mother or ovate side.
It may be argued that Keratitis Punctata is a physical problem and not subject to psycho-somatic influence. It is my contention that Huxley’s psyche in search of a satisfactory ailment subconsciously sought the affliction out.
Over the years Huxley was able by an act of will to improve his vision dramatically but he always suffered relapses as his structural need for the infirmity overcame his conscious will. While had he been diagnosed and treated promptly he would not have lost his vision still his Structural need was such that he would have had a continuing series of eye problems over his lifetime.
Medical science poses problems to psychotic needs by being able to overcome psych-somatic reactions; the sub-conscious must search for new ways to gratify its need for affliction.
I too suffered abandonment by my mother beginning when I was five and ending when I was ten when she remarried. I was first put into two foster homes and then placed in an orphanage. The orphanage was critical. While I had very acute vision until I was forty a variety of eye problems have plagued me since.
While all the problems were quite natural therefore seeming to be of a strictly physical nature yet I had been plagued by fears of going blind since I was ten when my mother remarried. I therefore left myself open to attack in the appropriate time and place. Finally at sixty-four I had a cataract operation on my right or ovate eye followed by one on the left. I realized the psycho-somaic source of the problem while I was reading Sybille Bedford’s biography of Aldous Huxley.
Prompted by the reading I had a dream of a horse. This is the only horse dream I can remember ever having.
The horse clearly represented my mother staring at me with large guilty eyes not unlike the description of the Greek goddess Hera who was styled ‘cow-eyed.’
Sometime in the near past, two or more years ago, I had seen a TV show about a horse trainer who I can remember only by the name of the Horse Whisperer. He had developed a new technique of gentling a horse rather than breaking it. In my dream I was using his technique to gentle a mare. She seemed to want to be affectionate to me but I kept pushing her away or she shied away in my attempt to gentle her.
By that time I had already developed my ideas of Structural Psychology. I had also integrated my personality clearing all fixations from my subconscious. As I expressed it then, all the way down to my brain stem. Now I realized I was dealing with the brain stem itself having spoken more truly than I knew.
While I had made progress in rectifying my Animus I cannot say for certain that the process was complete. In all probability I have reconciled my Anima and Animus. I have never had trouble with my Anima although my Animus was seriously blunted as a child affecting my ability to express my manhood.
However, contrary to Depth Pschology, having recognized and spoken this apparent fixation caused by my mother’s abandonment the fixation did not respond by immediately being exorcised as had my fixations of the upper brain. Thus the problem of Structural traumas obviously requires a different technique for treatment.
The appearance of a horse figure in my dream was startling to me. I have never liked horses. All my life I have had an irrational hatred of them even to the point of verbally abusing them at sight.
Aldous Huxley, characteristically of the trauma, expressed his own reaction through horse imagery. Huxley wrote his first novel ‘Crome Yellow’ in 1921 followed by ‘Antic Hay’ in 1923 and ‘Those Barren Leaves’ in 1925. Those three novels lead up to 1928′s ‘Point Counter Point’ in which his problem with his mother finds expression in varied symbolism. In this last novel Huxley portrays himself in the character of Philip Quarles. He has a wife, Elinor, as a mother substitute and a son called signficantly, Little Phil, in other words a doppelganger.
In the novel Quarles has a limp rather than bad eyes. Huxley, through Quarles, expresses his mother’s abandonment and his attack of Kertitis Punctata this way:
‘…Philip…was remembering that immense black horse kicking, plunging, TEETH bared and ears laid back; and how it suddenly leaped forward, dragging the carter along with it: and the rumble of the wheels; and ‘Aie!’ his own screams; and how he shrank back against the steep bank, how he tried to climb, slipped, fell; and the appalling rush and trampling of the giant; and ‘Aie, aie!’ the huge shape between him and the sun, the great hoofs and suddenly an annihilating pain.’
Note expecially the teeth which will appear more prominently in Part III.
This very vivid picture is done so well that one might actually believe such an event really occurred. It didn’t. Here Huxley transforms his mother into a huge black horse. The steep bank I interpret as the brain stem which appeared in my own imagery as a deep dry well. There was a huge shape between Huxley/Quarles and the sun which must represent both the loss of his mother, when the sun went out of his life, and the onset of Kerititis Punctata.
In the novel Quarles had his leg crushed by the cart but in this version it is not clear where he received the injury while it was definitely caused by the huge black horse. There was only the annihilating pain. One assumes that the pain was the loss of Huxley’s mother.
Huxley gives his hurt a full scale treatment here. Quarles and his wife live in a mews in London. A mews is a converted stable. Horses had formerly been kept there. Now the ‘huge machines’ or cars of a hundred horse power or more are kept there. The arch at the end of the mews through which the horses were led stands as a constant reminder to Huxley/Quarles of his tragedy.
Not content to retell his own pain, Huxley then goes on to punish his mother in his imagination as he feels she punished him by dying. Remember a man in Huxley’s situation uses a woman as a surrogate to avenge himself on his mother who is beyond retaliation. In ‘Point Counter Point’ Quarles’ mother is still alive. It is she who has care of Little Phil when he is stricken with meningitis so the guilt remains with her.
On the eve of the meningitis attack Elinor Quarles, Little Phil’s mother, was about to commence a dalliance with another man. Quarles’ mother’s telegram reached Elinor in time to prevent her beginning the affair. Elinor believes that Little Phil’s meningitis was caused by her intended infidelity and suffers accordingly.
Elinor’s intended infidelity corresponds with Huxley’s mother’s betrayal of her love for him by relegating him to a secondary role while she lavished attention on her girl students.
Huxley’s descriptions of Little Phil’s suffering are quite gruesome.
‘…she found the child already awake. One eyeball was wide open and the eye, all pupil, was looking straight up at the ceiling; the other was half shut in a permanent wink that imparted to the thin and shrunken little face an expression of ghastly facetiousness.
‘He can’t open it,’ the nurse explained. ‘It’s paralyzed.”
Thus the crux of Point Counter Point is the punishment of Elinor Quarles qua Huxley’s mother for the crime of rejecting him in favor of her female students and later dying. Huxley quite rightly associates eye disease with his mother through his wifely surrogate and the symbol of the giant black horse with giant hooves and teeth bared rearing in the brain stem. He obviously had no clear idea of what this imagery meant to him personally. No doors of perception were opened for him there.
While this horse imagery is clear in ‘Point Counter Point’ Bedford also quotes Huxley as noting emphatically the remarkable deeds of horses in Homer’s Iliad. I think the horse symbol is replaced in a man’s active life by his relationship with women.
I now intend to devote a few pages to the relationship of mothers and women to horses and eyes in Greek mythology leading back to the present time.
My two lines of argument will concentrate on the nature of the God of Waters, Poseidon and the relationship of that greatest of all mama’s boys, Achilles, with his mother, the sea nymph, Thetis.
I follow the Jungian concept of attempting to penetrate the symbolism by this narrative of action.
In the divine dispensation of spoils in Greek mythology the preeminent god, Zeus, was awarded the sky, Poseidon preeminence in the oceans and rivers, Hades possession of the underworld. Obviously Hades got skunked which made him a sour sort of guy.
The surface of Mother Earth was common to all three.
The significant fact here is that the three gods are male while the Earth named Ge, Gaia or Demeter was female. Thus you have three men with equal claims to the same woman, Mother Earth.
In ancient Greek sourcs as well as in Biblical story Man realized that there was a time before consciousness. Thus the story of the creation of the universe is less a story of creation than one of the crystallization of consciousness.
In the creation myth all objective reality is confused; all is seen as one. In other words, there was only an animal consciousness. Then a divine wind blows across the plane of consciousness separating the upper and lower spheres; the conscious and subconscious. Thus the upper sphere of consciousness became heaven and was allotted to the mind of infinite power, Zeus. The subconscious was given to the Father of Waters, Poseidon while the underworld of the brain stem went to Hades. The plane of consciousness was shared by mankind and the gods. This is as it should be.
Poseidon’s dominion is the seas, oceans and rivers. The waters of oblivion are associated with the subconscious and irrational which is to say the female or matriarchal consciousness. The subconscious and irrational are therefore equated with the matriarchal order. Thus Poseidon, who must actually predate Zeus as a carryover from the Matriarchal consciousness has relations with a number of domineering women who are very hard on men.
The question of why Poseidon is also closely related to horses is very difficult to answer, especially as Poseidon was early on the scene while horses arrived later. I offer only a working hypothesis.
It has been suggested that the rollers of the sea are reminiscent of horses’ heads. It has also been suggested that rivers as they dash down mountain slopes and race to the sea are quite similar to the flight of the horse. There may be truth in both suggestions as when the horse arrived it had to be associated with some god; in association with Poseidon that may possibly explain how horses came to be associated with the Mother Archetype. Their association with the Mother can only have begun after the Indo-Europeans brought horses to the Aegean world which was after the year minus 2000.
Of the mean flesh eating mares or mothers with whom Poseidon is associated it is only necessary to give two examples. The most important of the two by far is the Medusa and her Gorgon sisters, the other is the enchantress, Circe.
The Medusa is a very important study. She apparently dates back to an early period of the Matriarchate. While in the Patriarchic myth of Perseus and the Gorgon she is a hideous evil witch whose mere glance can turn a man to stone there is evidence to point to a time before the rise of the Patriarchate when she was a belle ideal; a tower of strength. Shields with the Medusa head continued to be used in classical times as a magical charm to repel the enemy. The snakes which form her hair were once a symbol of her authority rather than hideous emblems of hatred. She was then one of Poseidon’s wives or , more probably, he was her consort.
When the Patriarchate displaced the Matriarchate Perseus was chosen to destroy the Medusa or, in other words, the symbol of the Matriarchate. This he did by decapitation. Decapitation or the separation of the head from the body is a powerful symbol in itself which should have destroyed the Medusa’s power to lithicize men with her EYES. Even in death, which is to say after the power of the Matriarchate was broken, the mere sight of her now dead eyes continued to turn men to stone.
The myth of Perseus is a keystone story that tells of the birth of the new order of the Patriarchate. When the old order of the Matriachate was beheaded a remarkable thing happened; two beings that correspond to the male Anima and Animus emerged from her neck or, shall we say, brain stem.
The Animus of the liberated Patriarchate was represented by the Golden Knight named Chrysaor. As the Animus he had no concrete identity. He represented the mind of infinite power and rationality possessed by Zeus and shared by men but not by women. He consequently fades from view.
The Anima that sprang from Medusa’s severed brain stem was the great winged horse or mare, Pegasus. The great mare allowed man’s imagination to soar as though godlike, above the earth’s plane that was the dominion of the Matriarchate.
Further having now passed through the dawn of consciousness as represented by the creation myth the male had now reached the level of consciousness where he could begin to attack and destroy his subconscious demons. Thus Perseus finds the maiden Andromeda chained to a rock awaiting destruction by the monster of the sea depths of the subconscious.
Soaring above the Leviathan on his Anima, Pegasus, in the conscious sphere, Perseus is able to destroy the monster of the subconscious and liberate Andromeda, or the female, from destruction by the subconscious. In his arms, under his protection Andromeda, or the female, was freed from animalism. She too was released to find her full potential under men’s guidance and protection.
As decapitation wasn’t totally effective there was more than one way to handle the attempted suppression of the Matriarchate. It has been truly said that you can kill men but you can’t kill ideas. Perhaps because of the Iliad with its gathering of the tribes at Troy one thinks of Greek mythology as an indissoluble whole. This is not the case. There are many strands and traditions to Greek mythology.
It is highly probable that when the Greeks invaded the Peninsula that their route bypassed Athens which was shielded from above by the Boeotian Semites. Thus the Greeks were shunted West where they fell on the Pelopponesus bypassing Attica.
While the Athenians avoided military invasion they were yet unable to resist the Patriarchal tide.
The myth of Perseus and the Gorgon which belongs to the Argive or Pelopponesian cycle gives only one view of the suppression of the Matriarchate. That was how it happened West of Attica. In Athens itself the transition from the Matriarchate to the Patriarchate was more evolutionary. This would be the result of being bypassed by the Greek invasion.
Perseus on his way back to Argos from Palestine gave the Medusa’s head to Athene who then wore it as an emblem on her bosom. This would be another way of saying that Perseus influenced the Athenians to convert to Patriarchalism.
I would suggest that, even though the Iliad lists a contingent of Athenian ships present at Troy, there were no Athenians there. As the Greek heroes for the most part are from the Pelopponese or other Greek locations and the quarrel is between them and Troy while none of the Greek heroes was Athenian. I would suggest that the Athenian contingent is an interpolation. Agamemnon and the Argives as invaders would have had no influence over non-Greek Athens such as they had over Odysseus in Ithaca.
The Athenians always claimed to be an autocthonous people, that is that they sprang from the soil or, in other words, were there before the Greek invasion. Of necessity that would mean that they were not Greek per se.
Their early heroes are half snake, half human, which I understand to mean that on the one hand as snakes emerge from the soil the Athenians were autocthonous; on the other hand that they were half Matriarchal and half Patriarchal. In other words, there was an evolutionary transition. This idea is borne out by subsequent Athenian mythology.
If this is true then it must follow that the gods of Athens had formerly been Medusa and Poseidon- the Queen and her consort.
Imagine Perseus handing the head of Medusa to Athene. Athene must have neutralized the power of Medusa because as of the handing of the head to Athene it was still capable of turning men to stone at a glance. As Athene’s emblem displayed on her breast where all men must see it, it could no longer do so.
As the Athenians told the story of the suppression of the Matriarchate, Zeus swallowed a matriarchal goddess known as Metis. This is a normal method of disposing of one’s enemies. As the Africans down to the present day say when they intend to destroy an enemy- We will eat you up.
When you eat someone up you obtain their qualities. Metis was the goddess of Wisdom. Whether she was one of the Gorgons I don’t believe is recorded but I suspect so. Perseus and the more primitive Argives believed that destruction was simply a matter of cutting off a head, the Gordian knot approach. The Athenians thought differently.
Having eaten up the Matriarchy Zeus found that it gave him a serious case of indigestion. His eyes were bigger than his stomach. The Matriarchy would not stay suppressed.
As it was necessary that some other expedient be employed the Matriarchy was allowed to exist but only as subordinate to the Patriarchy. While not abolished, the Patriarchy attempted to reform it in an acceptable way. The attempt was made to replace the uncontrollable Matriarchal figures as represented by Ares and Aphrodite with a more rational goddess embracing both.
Thus the indigestion of Zeus gave him a headache. In other words, he had to give the problem some serious thought. He had an idea, as why wouldn’t the mind of infinite power have an idea. He transformed the old wild undisciplined Matriarchal god and goddess into the superbly rational and controlled Athene. Her idea formed in the Patriarchal brain then sprang fully formed and armed from Zeus’ forehead. Actually she didn’t spring but was chiseled out by Hermes and Hephaestus who are both gods of resource.
Thus when Perseus handed the head of Medusa to Athene he was passing the torch for the application of Patriarchy in Athens. The destruction of Poseidon’s consort in Athens left that god without a female counterpart and that’s the way he stays throughout the Patriarchate. Athene was a chaste virgin who would have nothing to do with men. As a goddess with a technological sideline she came into conflict with the Matriarchal technological god Hephaestus. He attempted to rape her or in other words reimpose an aspect of the matriarchy on her which she successfully resisted. Instead he spurted on her leg in a pre-mature ejaculation which she, as the goddess of weaving, wiped off with a piece of wool.
Unable to seduce Athene and reestablish his supremacy in Athens on his part, Poseidon then had a contest with Athene to see who should be the tutelary deity of Athens. In other words, should Athens be Patriarchally or Matriarchally inclined. Should it be named Athens or Poseidonia?
Poseidon peformed the seemingly impossible task of making water spring from the rocky high crown of the Acropolis. Athene countered by making an olive tree grow on Rocky Top.
The Athenians opted for the olive tree but it was not a clean cut victory for the modified Patriarchy. The Athenians ever after nurtured several snakes on the Acropolis along with both the olive tree and Poseidon’s spring. Thus the Matriarchal past was not forgotten.
Further Athene retained some attributes of the Matriarchy. She was sometimes theriomorphically represented with a horse’s head while her attribute of the owl is represented in statuary and she is referred to as owl eyed, undoubtedly a reference to the wise Metis. A snake was also shown coiled on the ground in the shelter of Athene’s shield as she leaned on it.
In point of fact all Greek heroes were symbolically horse headed by virtue of the horse hair crests on their helmets. They were always under the protection of the Mother Archetype while sharing in the qualities of her symbol the horse.
The wearing of lion and leopard skins is also an aspect of theriomorphism. Obviously one hopes to share in the prowess of the lion or leopard by wearing its skin. Thus Heracles armored himself in the skin of the Nemean Lion which, in itself, was a symbol of the Matriarchy.
I hope this exposition established the nature of the relationship between the Mother, horse, eyes and the brain stem to the Son in ancient Greek thought. These are not irrelevant details of myths but important symbols when understood in the Jungian sense. The Ancients were not just amusing themselves with strange tales. The message for the initiate is different for that of the hoi polloi.
The myth of Circe explains what happened under the Matriarchate when men allowed themselves to be dominated by their carnal desires. It is only when one controls one’s sexual needs that one escapes domination by the female to dominate the female. In that way one rises from the level of the beast to that of a man. Nor is this ‘repression’ in the Freudian sense.
Before attacking the issue of Achilles and Thetis let me point out the significance of Oedipus. Oedipus was abandoned as an infant by his mother Queen Jocasta of Thebes. On his way to Thebes as a young man he was jostled out of the road by a chariot and a team of horses. Enraged he killed the driver who he later learned was his father. By killing this man, who was king of Thebes, he made the widowed queen his wife. He then learned that she was his mother. Horrified at the thought of having married his mother he gouged his EYES out using the clasp of a woman’s dress. Thus one has son, mother’s abandonment, horses and eyes.
Achilles, on the contrary, had an excellent relationship with his mother, too good. He remained tied to her apron strings all his short life.
His mother, Thetis, is one of the more interesting mythological characters. Zeus had it mind to make Thetis his own but backed away when he learned that she would bear a son who would be greater than his father. No god would then touch her so she was married to the mortal, Peleus, to whom she bore Achilles.
Thetis and Peleus lived apart. As she was a Nereid or sea nymph, closely related to Poseidon or the subconscious, she lived at the bottom of the sea whence she always made sure that Achilles had a superior team of horses, fabulous armor and an incredible shield. Thus while Achilles was a formidable warrior his success depended as much on his doting mother as it did his own prowess.
It was fated that Achilles could have a short life if sought glory on the field of battle or a long life as sort of an effeminate mama’s boy. You see, the relationship to the mother. This was his and his mother’s dilemma in the Iliad.
To protect her boy as long as she could Thetis had him reared among the girls in the girl’s quarters in girl’s clothes. He was so good at female impersonation that when the Greeks sought him out to serve in the war it was impossible to identify this giant amongst men among the girls.
Think about this.
Still it was reputed that he was a mighty warrior who was destined to defeat the Trojans. He should have had such a physique that he stood out head and shoulders above the girls.
When the Trojan War began his mother desperately wanted to keep him out of harm’s way among the girls. Odysseus, surnamed the Wily, smoked him out by raising an alarm. While the girls ran screaming Achilles true to his heroic nature seized his arms to meet the threat thus betraying his identity. Abandoning his transvestism Achilles is conscripted into Agamemnon’s Folly.
Quite frankly the Greeks have been coerced into a war for the sole benefit of the Brothers Atrides. What did Achilles care if Paris abducted Menelaus’ wife. She went with him willingly anyway. Menelaus behaved like a fool in leaving the guest Paris in his house with Helen while he left on a business trip. Would you do that? I wouldn’t.
Nevertheless Agamemnon was the sole representative of Zeus on Earth; he ruled by divine right. Zeus had given him the nod to assure victory. In point of fact he couldn’t lose. One wonders what would have happened if he had refused to help himself. How would Zeus have affected victory as the gods help only those who help themselves?
Homer in his brilliance depicts a very detailed picture of this society. Agamemnon is especially suited to command although he is not the greatest of the heroes nor a totally admirable man. In fact, his pettiness injures Achilles to the point where the latter must make a retort.
Achilles’ first thought is to take arms against the slings and arrows of outrageous Agamemnon but Athene counsels him to suffer that particular sea of troubles in his mind. Achilles heeds her advice and goes into a pout befitting this greatest of mama’s boys. He self-centeredly withdraws himself and his troops from the war.
This act is very serious as he is the greatest of all Greek warriors while it is a known fact that the Greek’s can’t win without him. Now, Achilles has some serious mental problems. After his alter ego, Patroclus, is killed Achilles opines:
…O Zeus and Athena and Apollo
If only death would take every Trojan
And all the Achaeans except for us two,
So we alone might win that Sacred City…
That’s a prayer he hopes will be anwered. In his anger and spite he even wants his own side to be defeated and destroyed so long as he and his friend alone find salvation in that Sacred City. The City Of God?
After being robbed of his prize by Agamemnon he goes to the seashore to summon his mom from the deeps. Arising from the sea of the subconscious she comes to him. The result of this interview between a doting mother and a spoiled rotten son defies all concepts of morality both in Achilles’ request and his mother’s response.
Achilles asks his mother to intervene for him with Zeus to cause the slaughter of the Greeks until they are fighting the Trojans among their ships in the camp. There is nothing that Thetis won’t do for her boy no matter how criminal. She is willing that the Greeks be destroyed if that is what her son wants. Thetis and Ma Barker would have gotten along just fine.
Not only did Zeus have a soft spot for Thetis but in a past time when the gods rebelled and had overpowered Zeus in an attempt to depose him Thetis had come to his rescue. Zeus owed her one.
Zeus and the gods are away in Ethiopia for twelve days but she promises her son to visit him him as soon as he returns. On his return she implored Zeus by grasping his knees with her left arm, Homer is explicit, thereby immobilizing him with her feminine side, with her right hand she grasps his chin arresting his attention. She implores him to smite the Greeks unto death to appease her son’s sense of affront.
Understand the enormity of Achilles’ request to his mother. She does not reprove him in the least instead she rushes off to Zeus for his complicity which Zeus in his profundity of mind grants.
Nor is this an easy thing to fit into his schedule. He has already given the nod to Agamemnon which must be fulfulled while he can refuse nothing to his Grecophile daughter Athene and also while he is being badgered by his wife Hera to favor the Greeks.
In the face of all these conflicting demands even though he has given the nod of victory to Agamemnon and once his nod has been given his decision cannot be altered he agrees to at least hurt the Greeks for the benefit of Thetis’ son with no possible reward for himself from Thetis as her sexual favors would cost him Olympus. Now you know what a mind of infinite power is capable of.
Zeus then unleashes Hector and his Trojans until they breach the Greek walls firing a number of ships.
Still unrelenting, Achilles refuses to help but does allow his faggot, Patroclus, to don his armor frightening the Trojans into thinking Achilles has entered the fray. Patroclus exceeds his authority being killed by Hector who appropriates the splendid armor of Achilles as well as those great horses.
Now horseless, armorless, shieldless and friendless, in other words completely defenseless and emasculated, Achilles runs once again to mom. Mama is always there for her boy. Now, for those of us whose moms have not always been there for us this is a cause of deep envy and anguish. She promises to have the technological god, Hephaestus, make him a new shield and armor to be ready the NEXT DAY. Even Hephaestus is not too busy for this paragon of mothers; he sets aside all else and gets down to it. You see what a good relationship between mother and son is worth.
Aldous Huxley thought about such matters deeply. He never consciously associated his mother with his eyes although his attachment was such that he said that if you wanted to know how polite educated people of his mother’s time spoke his speech was a living example. In other words he thought that he emulated his mother down to her speech patterns. In essence he had become his mother.
He had been unable to penetrate his ‘unconscious’ but he had studied the subject carefully. Sybille Bedford quotes his thoughts on the unconscious in which Huxley says that, obviously, Freud did not invent psychology or even the ‘unconscious.’ Huxley discusses a book by one F.W.H. Myers who laid out a theory of the unconscious in a book titled ‘Human Personality’ in 1886.
Myers dealth with the Homeric concepts of the unconscious qualities of Ate and Menos. Ate was the destructive or dark side or the unconscious while Menos was the creative or positive side.
Freud appropriated the concept of the unconscious but only the dark or destructive aspect appealed to him so he went no further than that.
Obviously Huxley realized subconsciously that with his mother’s eyes he was in a constant struggle between Ate and Menos, darkness and light.
It has always troubled me as to why Hephaestus, or Menos, was married to Aphrodite, or Ate and why the goddess of love and god of technology should live at the bottom of the sea.
If you remember Aphrodite arose from the sea as a sea foam riding on the half shell. Obviously love has all the substance of foam while seeing only one half of the truth. This is a form of Ate.
She and her husband live at the bottom of the sea because they represent Ate and Menos which reside in the subconscious.
Aphrodite as Ate is so thoughtless and self-indulgent that she causes pain to everyone in her willfulness. Hephaestus was not too pleased to be awarded Aphrodite as his wife by the council of the gods. No sooner were the two married than, while Hephaestus was off on business, Aphrodite invited her natural complementary aspect of the subconscious Ate, Ares, to bed.
Aphrodite and Ares are the two parts of destructive Ate. When they are caught by Hephaestus in union they form the ‘beast with two backs’ or, in other words, they hatched from the same egg. As unreasoning hatred and love they are Ate in its complete form or aspect of the subconscious that Freud chose to exploit with much less subtlety.
Hephaestos is Menos, the god of invention and technology, also seems to send his good ideas up from the subconscious. Ideas just seem to occur to us. Hephaestus as Menos therefore resides at the bottom of the sea where he is in close contact with the Mother Archetype in the brain stem in union with Aphrodite and Ares as Ate.
It should be remembered that the mother of Hephaestus is Hera who give birth to him parthenogenously. Hephaestus has no connection with the Father Archetype. In fact, he was thrown out of heaven by Zeus. Thus Achilles’ mother is able to obtain from him whatever she wishes at a moment’s notice.
Being in close contact with the Father of Waters, Poseidon, Thetis is able to procure the finest horses for her boy. Achilles has a team that is the envy of both Greece and Troy. It goes without saying that he has no trouble with his eyes.
The imagery of mother, horse and eyes has persisted in the Indo-European male down to the present. Let us give two examples here with more to follow in Parts III and IV. Bear in mind that the imagery is subconscious so that it is not necessary for an author to knowingly select his imagery.
In Rudyard Kipling’s novel ‘The Light That Failed; the hero, Dick, was an orphan who was placed in a foster home with an orphan girl, Maisie. There were very close as children, one might say that she became Dick’s mother surrogate, but they became separated going about their careers apart.
They met again as adults in London where Dick has his attachment to Maisie renewed although in an irrational manner while she only reluctantly acknowledges him ultimately rejecting his attentions at which point Dick loses his sight.
Kipling doesn’t make the connection between mother’s abandonment, Maisie’s rejection and Dick’s eyes but it must be there in his subconscious.
Dick, a war correspondent, returns to a war in the Sudan as a blind newspaper correspondent. Traveling through hostile territory, just as he reaches the safety of the British camp he is shot dead off, not a horse, but a camel.
The second example is the play and movie Equus by Peter Shaffer. I saw only the movie. The plot centers around the psycho-analysis of the male figure. The story concerns a stable boy who blinds the mares under his care by slicing their eyes. Whether based on a true analysis or not Shaffer has a very confused presentation of his ideas which he probaby does not understand.
As the protagonist is a stable boy it follows that he was drawn subconsciously to the job to be around horses indicating a weak mother relationship. That he sought a job in a stable to be around horses is a subconscious indication of his pain. We have seen what a doting mother, Thetis did for her boy Achilles and conversely what happened to Oedipus.
The mother substitute appears in a girl who seduces him in full sight of the horses. Unable to perform sexually in full sight of the horses, or Mother Archetype, he revenges himself on his mother by blinding the horses.
It is only speculation but I infer that the stable boy had been rejected, abandoned psychologically or both by his mother causing a deep abiding anger. It is forbidden to retaliate one’s rage on the mother so he vented his anger on both a young woman and the mother symbol, the horse. He disappointed the girl while putting out the horse’s eyes.
The flesh eating mares of Greek mythology is a difficult image to understand but perhaps they represent filiophagus mothers who victimize their sons knowingly or unknowingly. The opposite of Thetis.
The subsequent relationship of the rejected or abandoned son to women is important. In the stable boy’s case he was impotent with women. Dick needed to affirm his relationship to a childhood mother surrogate to avoid the consequences of abandonment. In Huxley’s case he was very fortunate in recognizing a woman who would serve him as he felt his mother should have served him and in finding a woman who realized the exact need for unconditional love of a man in her own makeup.
One hesitates to say that Huxley created conditions by which his wife would predecease him but she did. After a marriage of nearly forty years Huxley quickly married a self-sufficient woman while apprearing to be relieved at the loss of his mother surrogate.
I hope I have made the connection between mothers, horses and eyes clearly. As the problem is not in the upper brain but the brain stem the fixation cannot be voided by the normal means of identification and expression.
In my own case in attempting to resolve the matter I have taken the approach of trying to reconcile my mother’s actions with my feelings about it but I haven’t been too successful.
Obviously the primitive brain stem presents different obstacles than the mid-, upper and pre-frontal brain.
End of Part I. Go to Part II, The Baby Marie.