Dreams and Fantasies as Sources of Revelation: Feminist Appropriation of Jung
Naomi R. Goldenberg from Womanspirit Rising
Naomi R. Goldenberg is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Women's Studies at the University of Ottawa. Author of Changing of the Gods and The End of God, she is at work on a book titled Returning Words to Flesh-Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and the Resurrection of the Body.
The psyche is the point of intersection, hence it must be defined under two aspects. On the one hand it gives a picture of the remnants and traces of all that has been, and, on the other, but expressed in the same picture, the outlines of what is to come, in so far as the psyche creates its own future.'
jung thus establishes a teleological function to the analysis of dreams. Studying a dream from the "constructive standpoint," does, according to jung, indicate a future psychic outlook. In 1914, jung did not connect this constructive standpoint with any spiritual or religious attitude toward the dream. It was not until 1933, in the essay "The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man," Ill that jung spoke directly of the use of dreams to provide spiritual insight. In this essay, jung outlines the spiritual problem that he saw arising in the modern age-the failure of contemporary religions to provide many people with a religious outlook to give them a sense of meaning. jung suggests that a solution to the problem is provided by dreams. He expected people to be somewhat displeased with this answer. "I admit," he said, "that I fully understand the disappointment of my patient and of my public when I point to dreams as a source of information in the spiritual confusion of our modern world."" In the essay, he mentions the dream as a religious entity in rather halting and apologetic tones. He alludes to other "things besides dreams" that he can talk about, but that he "cannot discuss":
If I spoke before chiefly of dreams, I did so because I wished to draw attention to one of the most immediate approaches to the world of inner experience. But there are many things besides dreams which I cannot discuss here. The investigation of the deeper levels of the psyche brings to light much that we, on the surface, can at most dream about. No wonder, then, that sometimes the strongest and most original of all man's spiritual activities-the religious activity-is also discovered from our dreams."
"The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man" probably contains jung's strongest statements about the connection of dreams to religious activity. jung was always aware of the sensitive nature of such a suggestion to theologians. Three months before his death in June 1961, jung wrote a grateful letter to the Reverend John A. Sanford thanking the clergyman for sending him a sermon he had delivered in Los Angeles on the importance of dreams:
Thank you very much for kindly sending me your sermon [on the impor- tance of dreams]. I have read it with interest and pleasure. It is a historical event, as you are-so far as my knowledge goes-the first one who has called the attention of the Christian congregation to the fact that the Voice of God can still be heard if you are only humble enough.... The understanding of dreams should indeed be taken seriously by the Church, since the cura animarum is one of its duties, which has been sadly neglected by the Protestants. Even if confession is a relatively poor version of the cura, the Catholic Church knows at least the function of the directeur de conscience, a highly important function which is unknown to the Protestants. I admire your courage and sincerely hope that you will not become too unpopular for mentioning a topic so heartily hated and despised by most of the theologians. This is so at least over here. There are only single individuals who risk the fight for survival. The pilgrim's way is spiked with thorns everywhere, even if he is a good Christian, or just therefore."
This letter to Sanford shows how sensitive jung was to offending theologians by the suggestion that dreams ought to be taken seriously by established religions. Nevertheless, we can see that he viewed dreams as the "Voice of God." jung considered dreams a means of attuning a patient to her or his own religious processes. In his view, such processes should not be codified by religious institutions. jung wanted "religion" to be a phenomenon that always remained open to whatever was revealed in the activities of dream and fantasy. jung fell short of his ideal of keeping fantasy activity open to individual variation. This point can be seen especially well in regard to jung's conception of "the feminine." In both his idea of adding feminine imagery to religious symbology and in his theory of the operation of the anima and animus in the psyche, he codified images and rigidified them into stereotypes. Although this was done with the intention of giving women a better place in the patriarchal systems of religion and psychology, it was nevertheless limiting for women. jung deserves some credit for trying to introduce feminine symbols into religion and psychology. Nevertheless, his good intentions should not make people ignore the faults in the work he produced. I-suggest that jung's position on the religious nature of fantasy and dream -is more important for feminists than his views on "the femi- nine." As a feminist, I am intrigued with jung's use of fantasies and dreams as streams of imagery that could inspire religious reflection. The Jungian method may point to a source of religious iconography accessible to everyone and particularly appealing to those of us who are not entirely at home with orthodox creeds.
Extract from: THE CASE AGAINST
SPLITTING MIND FROM BODY
Naomi R. Goldenberg From Weaving the Visions
Separating the "mind" or "soul" from the body is certainly a well- established practice in Western thought in general and in Western re- ligious philosophy in particular. Whichever way the dichotomy is worded, body comes out as the thing valued less, while the mind or soul is seen as more permanent, more noble, and closer to the sphere of divinity. It makes little difference whether the contrast is drawn between body and mind or body and soul. The important point is that one thing- mind or soul-is seen as qualitatively different from physical exis- tence-as separable from the physical world and definitely superior to it. Although formulations of the soul/body or mind/body dichotomy can vary widely among philosophers, all will agree that one entity exists in some sense apart from the other, is better or higher than the other, and is meant to prescribe, to rule, or govern the other. Indeed, there are many ways of naming the higher parts: Plato generally employed the term fornu. Jung used the word archetypes. Religions use the word God in singular or plural form. In each case the better thing is seen as more or less disembodied. Although minds, souls, forms, archetypes, and gods are all conceived of as interacting with the physical world in various ways and to various degrees, they are all said to be things apart, things that exist independently of this or that merely physical repre- sentation. The better thing is always thought to be closer to "mind," while the worse thing is seen as nearer to "body." Debate about the mind/body split has proceeded for centuries among philosophers and religious theorists. It has only been in the last few decades, however, that the rather abstract discussion about mind and body has taken a practical, pragmatic turn. Thinkers other than profes- sional philosophers and theologians have developed important critiques of mind/body dualism. These critiques insist that thinking in terms of the separateness of mind and body has serious effects-effects that constrict freedom in human life and that are perhaps destructive to all life on the planet.... It is the recent work of ecologists and feminists that has questioned the separation of mind and body with an urgency that is new to the philosophical discussion. Ecologists have suggested that our environ- ment is suffering from the notion that body (in this case, the body of the earth) is not of central importance. These people argue that the portion of the Western philosophical tradition that deprecates physical existence is in part responsible for the physical abuse that we have heaped on our planet and its plants and animals.' Thus, the age-old separation of mind and body may have abetted the inflicting of real damage on the earth. Feminists have pointed to another kind of damage which is done by separation of mind and body-i.e., damage to women. Several feminist writers have argued that the oppression of women is linked to the iden- tification of women with bodily nature.7 It has even been suggested that the equation of women with "mother" nature herself reveals that the misuse of the environment and the oppression of women have much in common.' The existing body of feminist theory is so rich and varied and has raised so many issues around the consequences to women of the mind/body split that it argues powerfully for all future feminist theory to be firmly grounded in an understanding of the body's role in cognition. Simone de Beauvoir was the first to draw the attention of feminists to the injustice of equating women with body and nature.
But to say that Woman is Flesh, to say that Flesh is Night and Death, or that it is the splendor of the Cosmos, is to abandon terrestrial truth and soar into an empty sky. For man also is flesh for woman; and woman is not merely a carnal object; and the flesh is clothed in special significance for each person and in each experience. And likewise it is quite true that woman-like man- is a being rooted in nature; her animality is more manifest; but in her as in him the given traits are taken on through the fact of existence, she belongs also to the human realm. To assimilate her to Nature is simply to act from prejudice.'
Woman, argues de Beauvoir, came to represent body both because her "animality is more manifest" and because her sociopolitical situation led her "to stress the importance of animal nature." But both sexes, she insists, must recognize and cope with the problematic reality of bodily existence....
In order to begin to accept our physicality, we must search for the- ories that explain both why we associate corporeality with women and why we flee our bodies in the first place. We must look for the causes behind the equation of woman and body which de Beauvoir first de- scribed. Dorothy Dinnerstein attempts to find those causes in her book The Mermaid and the Minotaur: Sexual Arrangements and Human Malaise. Dinnerstein urges us to "look hard at what is very hard to look at." This is "the precise feature of childhood whose existence makes the adult situation de Beauvoir describes inevitable, and the consequent necessity for female abdication of unilateral rule over childhood, which she stopped short of facing."'O Dinnerstein argues that our sense of the transience of the human body is complicated by our memories of women as the first caretakers of our bodies. "The relation between our sexual arrangements and our unresolved carnal ambivalence," she explains, "begins with this fact: when the child first discovers the mystical joys and the humiliating constraints of carnality, it makes this discovery in contact with a woman. The mix of feelings toward the body that forms at this early stage, under female auspices, merges with our later acquired knowledge of the body's transience." It is because of the fact that women mother, Dinnerstein believes, that we come to equate women with body and mortality. Our hatred of the body is expressed in our hatred of women. In fact, it is the oppression of women that permits us to make women the scapegoats of our fear of aging and mortality. As long as we hate women we will fail to come to terms with our bodies and with mortality. We will continue "the self-contemptuous human impulse toward wor- ship of dead automatic things and disrespect for what lives."'I Dinnerstein's answer to the problem of the human flight from car- nality is to end the female monopoly on early childcare. If men too cared for infants, it would become impossible to see them as creatures beyond the concerns of human flesh. Women would no longer be scapegoats responsible for fleshly failings. Everyone would thus be forced to come to terms with her or his own mortality. An end to female-dominated childcare is also a solution proposed by Nancy Chodorow in The Reproduction of Mothering." Chodorow does not explicitly address the problem of identifying women with body, but rather seeks to explain why women become exclusively responsible for mothering. She concludes that women reproduce mothering to regain the physical and emotional intimacy that they enjoyed with their moth- ers and that they, unlike men, cannot get from heterosexual relation- ships. Chodorow's work implies that if men too cared for babies, intense physical intimacy would cease to be an experience that both sexes could only achieve with women. Her argument points to the same conclusion as Dinnerstein's-namely, that women will cease to be disproportion- ately associated with body only when childcare is in the hands of both sexes. Thus Dinnerstein and Chodorow present us with a solution from the viewpoint of psychology to the problem of equating women and body. Future work in psychology and the social sciences will reveal whether their ideas suggest societal directions that can lead to greater acceptance of both women and body. Grounding our philosophical, psychological, and sociopolitical theory in a firm awareness of physicality will amount to a major change in the orientation of much of Western thought. Adrienne Rich has given us a vision of that change in Of Woman Born. Rich calls on feminists to build theories that "touch the unity and resonance of our physicality, our bond with the natural order, the corporeal ground of our intelli- gence." She urges us to transform "thinking itself" in order to trans- form contemporary culture, which, she says, "has ... split itself off from life, becoming the death-culture of quantification."ii Adrienne Rich asks us to learn to "think through the body."" I en- dorse her plea. As feminist theory sets about constructing new systems of thought, let us make sure that those systems are life-enhancing. Let us not cling to disembodied ways of thinking that lead us to disparage women in particular and physical life in general. We need to show how the much-disparaged bodies of both women and men give rise to all so-called higher intellectual activity. We need to inspire thought that supports physical life by understanding in detail how physical life gives birth to thought. I suggest that feminist theory radically depart from the Jungian archetype, from the Platonic form, from all systems of thought that posit transcendent, superhuman deities. We should study these out- worn theories as history and not use them as models for present efforts at envisioning new ways of thought. I suggest that we seek our inspi- ration from theories and disciplines that see the body as the nexus of all human experience.
Some useful directions for building feminist theories that "think through the body" might well come from a domain that is midway between art and science, i.e., from psychoanalysis, specifically Freudian and post-Freudian traditions. Psychoanalysis has produced an extensive body of theory based on the idea that human beings are essentially physical creatures whose mental and emotional experience is derived wholly from bodily life. Thus, analytic theory should be a natural ally in feminist efforts to explore the "corporeal ground of our intelli- gence."
Comment from Chris: Archetype does not have to involve separation of mind from body. Jug's mistake appears to have been with the psychoid concept which does appear to launch the archetype into the transcendental domain. Archetype has a simpler more physical interpretation as an existential motif which spans space-time through synchronicity and the pre-cognitive capacity of the dreaming state. This allows for archetype to transform and to be very much a part of the living mind-body of the universe.
Jung's importance for feminist thinking lies in the methods he devised to cure religious alienation. As more and more of society accepts feminist criticism of patriarchal religious systems, more and more people will be seeking alternative religious forms. We have seen that when father-gods fall, people tend to look inward to understand the forces or gods that are at work in their lives. Since Jung pioneered the psychological search for religious forces, his work becomes increasingly relevant in the post-Oedipal age.
From: Changing of the Gods 1979
Naomi Goldenberg, Beacon Press, Boston.
IN SEARCH OF A LIVING RELIGION
True religion has to be alive. This life consists in how well the religion nurtures a mythic understanding in its followers. Catholicism, for example, almost qualifies as living religion because it presents the rich imagery of the story of Jesus and the lives of the saints. All of the ceremony, ritual, mystery and color of Catholic tradition provides many Catholics with a vital mythic context in which to live. However, even though Catholicism has myth and mystery, it is a dying religion.
Catholicism, Jung observed, can not allow individual people to depart from the myths dispensed by the Catholic hierarchy. Thus, if someone needs to reflect on images other than those presented by Jesus, she or he is vigorously discouraged from doing so. The person is made to feel guilty and sinful if her or his psychic experience differs appreciably from that of Jesus. In past times, Catholicism dispensed with people with different visions by labeling them heretics. What is a heretic if not someone who experiences religious consciousness in myths other than those prescribed by tradition? If a religion allows no room for its heretics, it leaves no room for individuals who need to live their own myths. Catholicism is fine for obedient souls for those whose imaginations could fit into standardized categories. The creators, however, have to leave the faith. Jung romanticized creators to a great extent. He viewed himself and many of his patients as part of an elite cadre, set apart from the herd, whose psyches were too original to fit into stereotyped molds. He dwelt very little on the possibility that more and more people would find themselves playing the role of religious creator. When the stereotyped molds of Catholic experience are smashed by the awareness of sexism, an increasing number of people will become heretics of tradition. Their need for new myths will be unable to be filled by prescriptions derived from an imitation of Christ. Jung's criticism of Catholicism might become the "daily bread" of millions who, although they may never hear of Jung, will perceive a deadness in Catholic mythology. Some features of Protestantism make it better qualified to endure in an age with an increasing demand for living religion. Protestantism has purged itself of most myth, ritual and imagery. Jung saw it becoming increasingly undogmatic with fewer and fewer mythic models to force on its followers. Protestantism seems to be developing a greater tolerance for variety both in individuals and in sects. In this sense, it permits a person to explore her or his experience more freely than does Catholicism.
However, even though Protestantism is generally good-natured about permitting people to go their own way, it offers no insights into the nature of myth. Protestantism gives its followers no clues about what living a life informed by myth and symbol might mean. While Catholicism presents a standardized set of myths to live by, Protestantism offers nothing at all. It is likely that Protestants will have a harder time constructing a living religion since they have little training in recognizing religious imagery.
The range of Jung's criticism of Protestantism and Catholicism applies to all the world's major faiths. If a religion such as orthodox Judaism presented a rich tradition of myth and ritual to its followers, Jung would approve of the type of experience the religion offered; nevertheless, he would criticize it for not allowing individuals to discover their own myths. On the other hand, if a religion such as Quakerism allowed much latitude to its followers, Jung would be pleased by the absence of dogma, yet dismayed by the lack of substantial mythic content. Both kinds of religion fail to be truly alive.
What then is a living religion? It is a religion that satisfies a person's need for mythic reflection and understanding. Technically, any standardized religious system can be "alive" for a person as long as it coincides with her or his specific needs for myth and image. The more aware a person is of her or his individuality, however, the less likely is a standardized religious package to suffice.
Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and all other founders of traditions have experienced living religion. They have lived their lives in uncompromising loyalty to their visions, that is, to their myths. Disciples are so impressed by the stature of these leaders by the force and power devotion to their visions conferred upon them that they found mythic systems based on the content of the leader's experience. The myths of the leaders, however, never have the same impact on the disciples. Jung believed it was the process of discovery of the myth that gave the leaders their power. Without going through a similar process, a disciple could not experience the original myth. Appropriation of the content of the founder's vision could not make the vision work in the way it did for the founder; power was lost. Unless the disciple discovered her or his own vision, pale imitation of the leader was all that was possible. There is a story that illustrates this point very well. A wise woman went into a cave to meditate. She stayed there for many years, drawing all sorts of diagrams on the walls to solve the mystery of life. Finally, she drew an elliptical shape with purple chalk and added a yellow triangle in the middle. "I have solved the mystery of life," she said and left the cave to resume her previous way of life. People from all parts of the district flocked to the cave. They saw the yellow triangle inside the purple ellipse and copied it down. "Now I have the answer to life," each one exclaimed. This, of course, was not true. In fact, the purple and yellow design had come to the old woman only after years of scrutiny of her own soul. It was the process that she had undergone to discover the figure that had made it the symbol of her solution. The purple ellipse was a myth of great power for the old woman. For her disciples, it was merely a purple ellipse.' Most of us do not choose to live as intensely as the great founders of religions Christ, Buddha, Mohammed or even the old woman in the fable. For most of us, standardized religious creeds would do nicely. However, when those creeds become blatantly objectionable, complacency is no longer possible. Today, more and more of us are stuck with the difficult task of making sense of life for ourselves.
HOW DO YOU BUILD A COMMUNITY IF EVERYONE DOES HER OR HIS OWN THING?
There is a problem with the concept of living religion. If everyone becomes committed to developing her or his own set of myths and symbols, how is community possible? One of the valuable functions the great religious traditions serve is the unification of large groups of people around a given set of symbols. Christians, Jews and Moslems have sets of rituals which are based on the myths of their sacred texts and function to bring people together for communal acts of joy and sadness, meditation and celebration. Such rituals are possible, one might argue, only if members of a religion acknowledge that they are all somehow alike that they can all feel the importance of the same set of images and symbols. It is for this reason, one might say, that we need to maintain standardized sets of religious imagery. Human beings enjoy the feeling of sharing common myths and common histories. If we deny these unifying ties and embark on projects of creating individual myths and symbols, won't we be cutting ourselves off from one of the great pleasures of being human? I am going to argue that it is not necessary for human beings to share the same myths, images and symbols. Instead, it is more important that human beings share the process of symbol creation itself. This is an age in which pluralism is a fact of life. At no other time in history have the ideals of freedom of thought had so much chance to become part of so many facets of social and cultural life. By advocating any restrictive set of myths and images, we will be limiting human experience once again. One of the great ideals of the feminist cultural revolution is that all human beings be encouraged to find their own dignity and pursue their own truth. The creation of a new set of stereotypes would be sad indeed. In the chapters that follow, I hope to show how sharing the processes of symbol creation can build a sense of community. Before doing that, however, I want to return to Jung once more this time for guidance as to what not to do in an age of religious innovation.
From: THOU SHALT NOT CREATE ARCHETYPES!
Jung is often considered to be an ally of the women's movement because of the high value he placed on "the feminine." It is certainly true that he thought women who exhibited the feminine deserved more respect in Westem culture. However, as soon as a woman began to behave in a way that deviated from Jung's feminine archetypes, she was heavily censured. For example, Jung believed that women courted psychological disaster if they attempted to work at "masculine" jobs:
No one can get around the fact that by taking up a masculine profession, studying and working like a man, woman is doing something not wholly in accord with, if not directly injurious to, her feminine nature. She is doing something that would scarcely be possible for a man to do, unless he were a Chinese. [Note the racism.] Could he, for instance, be a nursemaid or run a kindergarten? When I speak of injury, I do not mean merely physiological injury, but above all psychic injury. It is a woman's outstanding characteristic that she can do anything for the love of a man. But those women who can achieve something important for the love of a thing are most exceptional, because this does not agree with their nature. Love for a thing is a man's prerogative. 12
Jung believed that women's consciousness was characterized by "Eros" the ability to make connections. On the other hand, the consciousness of men exhibited "Logos" characteristics a fact which made men more capable of analytic thought. "In men," Jung said, "Eros, the function of relationships, is usually less developed than Logos. In women, on the other hand, Eros is an expression of their true nature, while their Logos is often only a regrettable accident."" In Jung's opinion, it was the deficiency in Logos that made it impossible for a woman to work like a man. The ineradicable Eros nature of the feminine is elaborated in Jung's anima/animus model of the psyche. Anima/ animus theory postulates a contrasexual personality in each sex. In men this personality would be female (anima) in women, male (animus). The word personality, however, is too light. In Jungian thought, anima and animus are weighty words conjuring up associations with the unconscious and the soul. The terms Eros and Logos are analogous to anima and animus in that both sets of words are rarely clearly defined and are often used with differing connotations. This slippery quality serves to insulate the ideas from much questioning. In Jungian usage of the terms, the only element one can be sure of is that an anima is man's picture of his female "other" side, while an animus is woman's picture of her "other" side. The model sets a psychological task of getting in contact with this "other." Jung defines the anima and the animus as archetypes. On a practical level, this means that a woman's basic nature is dictated by Eros and that her capacity for logical thought should never be pushed too far. This is the origin of the continual Jungian warning about "women's libbers" overstepping the bounds of appropriately feminine use of the intellect. I am often termed animus-ridden when I speak to Jungian audiences about the logical flaws in the anima/animus theory. No matter how demurely I dress for a lecture, I am sure to be warned about departing too far from femininity as soon as I raise doubts about the universality of inferior Logos in women. To Jungians, the anima and animus are unchangeable archetypes for the sexes. Because they are called archetypes, they are supposed to remain fundamentally unchanged per aeternitatem. A bit of research into how Jung discovered this pair of universal archetypes raises serious doubts about the credibility of the theory. Jung tells us that a good deal of his thinking about the animus in women was deduced from what he observed about the anima in men. He wrote:
Since the anima is an archetype that is found in men, it is reasonable to suppose that an equivalent archetype must be present in women; for just as the man is compensated by a feminine element, so woman is compensated by a masculine one. I do not, however, wish this argument to give the impression that these compensatory relationships were arrived at by deduction. On the contrary, long and varied experience was needed in order to grasp the nature of anima and animus empirically. Whatever we have to say about these archetypes, therefore, is either directly verifiable or at least rendered probable by the facts. At the same time, I am fully aware that we are discussing pioneer work which by its very nature can only be provisional.
The hesitation, the assertion of probability and the mention of "pioneer work" at the end of the paragraph reveal Jung's uncertainty about the idea. The key statement is the first sentence: "Since the anima is an archetype that is found in men, it is reasonable to suppose that an equivalent archetype must be present in women." Jung certainly seems to have deduced the presence of the animus in women from his hypothesis of an anima in men. Jung never developed the animus idea to the extent of his anima theory. I suggest further development was impossible because he was forcing a mirror image where there was none. He hypothesized the animus in woman to balance the anima in men. The reasoning was that if the unconscious in men was a feminine anima, in women, it must be a masculine animus. According to the Jungian stereotypes of masculine and feminine, this gives women and men qualitatively different kinds of unconsciouses. Certainly this is a startlingly broad assertion based on so little evidence. The anima/animus model and its goal of unification works better for men than for women. The model supports stereotyped notions of what masculine and feminine are by adding mystification to guard against change in the social sphere, where women are at a huge disadvantage. In practice, men can keep control of all Logos activities and appropriate just whatever Eros they need from their women as a psychological hobby. Women, on the other hand, are not encouraged to develop Logos. Instead, they are thought of as handicapped by nature in all Logos areas such as those found at the top of any important profession. Acceptance of the anima/animus theory does not support integration of the sexes, but rather leads to more separatism. Intra-psychically, the theory might do some good for people who have been afraid of experiences that have been seen as appropriate for just one sex or the other. To people with these fears, the anima/animus theory says, "Go ahead, develop your contrasexual element." However, the model is decidedly inadequate if a person is questioning the masculine and feminine stereotypes themselves.
A formal critique and revision of the Jungian archetype is a task to which feminist analysis is obligated. Since it is women who have been most limited by the assumption of absolute determinants at work in human life, it is up to women to question any philosophy which tends to create absolute categories. If feminists do not redefine the archetype, we are left with only two options: The first is to accept the patriarchal ideas of feminine as ultimate and unchanging and work within those; the second is to indulge in a rival search to find our own archetypes this time the true ones to support our conclusions. Quite a few feminists are taking the second option. An example is the trend to proclaim matriarchy as historical fact and to draw conclusions about the superiority of women based on such facts. Although much research into the role of females in prehistory needs to be done" and although there is great psychological value in cultivating visions of female power," facile assumptions about the archetypal nature of feminine superiority should be avoided, I believe. Such assertions of an empirical absolute based on shaky evidence are the very same means men have employed to justify the subjugation of women. While we must recover lost history and buried images of women, we ought not to set up these images as archetypes. If we do, we run the risk of setting bounds to experience by defining what the proper experience of women is. This could become a new version of the ideology of the Eternal Feminine and it could result in structures just as limiting as those prescribed by the old Eternal Feminine. We must redefine the archetype and experiment with new attitudes to myth and iconography. (The traditional notion of archetypes implies that they are better and grander than the dreams, fantasies and imaginal experiences that all of us have.)