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From Eisteacht magazine, from article by Dr Reamonn O'Donnachadha

Portrait of the artist as a Jung man

Hardy Man: An Fear Cruaidh

This is the man who never needs help, who always has the answer and who values self reliance more than anything else. It is not culturally acceptable to show weakness or to appear vulnerable in any way. It is a perversion of the hero archetype or the superman myth where the man is always capable, competent and in control. While these traits are valuable in both men and women they are not the sole exclusive role of either gender nor are they to be found all the time in any one man. Society has tended to overvalue the idea of independence and self reliance in men to such an extent that any sign of weakness, any desire to ask for help, or any admission of vulnerability is seen as undesirable.

This is the animus driven man whose feeling function is buried deep in his unconscious. As his persona is built up by the continuous action of the social and emotional environment in which he is reared, society and family reward the behaviours which he feels comfortable with. Simultaneously those behaviours which society and family do not value are discouraged, unused and generally are seen as undesirable. The result is that these behaviours gather negative affect and are repressed. It does not mean that these are ipso facto 'bad' behaviours, only that they are deemed to be. The result is the formation of the shadow, containing all those aspects of self which are unpleasant for the person by which although unconscious continue to exercise influence over the person. For the Hardy Man, the shadow contains all the anima characteristics which help to express feelings, emotions and creativity which give balance to the masculine in the person.

The Fear Cruaidh has been trained to value above all else self reliance and independence to an inordinate degree, and in the process to hide his feelings to treat pain as a sign of weakness.

The Green Man: An Fear Grinn

The joker or rogue who hides his real self behind constant talk and funny stories. He is the man who is always the 'star' in the group: the man who always has the funniest story, who always gets a laugh. Silence is the inferior function of this man and it must be avoided at all costs, because if there is silence he may have to allow his real inner thoughts and feelings to come to the surface. In Jungian terms he is the eternal trickster who always gets a laugh.

The joke is used as a power tool to enable him to achieve position and status in the group because he has not got the requisite skills to relate to people on an equal and feeling-oriented way.

The joke is used as a power tool to enable him to achieve position and status in the group because he has not got the requisite skills to relate to people on an equal and feeling-oriented way.

Umbilical Man: An Sean Fhear Og

Sometimes termed Puer Aeternus this is a boy who never grew up. Where idealisation takes place the identity of both mother and son become submerged in each other and there is no real emotional separation. The energy of the child is syphoned off by the mother and he becomes an emotional cripple with neither the capability or the will to relate to others at a feeling level.

The boy's ego is an extension of the mother's ego and his behaviour, attitudes and feelings are in reality the behaviour attitudes and feelings of the mother. He is never allowed to develop as a separate person and any criticism of the child is taken by the mother as criticism of her personality, so the child never has to face the consequences of his actions.

Emotionally this man has never been allowed to grow because he has never been allowed to develop feelings that he can truly call his own, or to practice using them with the result that he never achieves emotional independence. He is never allowed to act without being made to feel that everything he does has a bearing on his mother and on his relationship. His actions are always governed by the fear that if he behaves in a certain way that his relationship with his mother will be under threat. It is as if there is a psychological umbilical cord permanently in place...

Action Man: An Fear Ghno

This man is always on the go. He is addicted to work, golf, meetings and friends. He never has time to take stock, to spend time with his children or to 'be', with his family. He becomes a human doer rather than a human being and is addicted to doing. It is a way of avoiding having to confront his feelings or to deal with the Eros side of his being. Satisfaction at the conscious level comes through doing and achieving. Addiction to distraction is his shield against feeling. He is the type A personality who always focuses on the next task and is never in the 'now'. Always thinking of what he has to do next and where he has to go, he finds it difficult to enjoy what he is doing or to be 'with' anybody especially himself.

Abusive Man: An Fear Dorcha

The abusive man operates at two levels, the physical and the emotional. The physically abusive man is a bully who uses his physical power and his stature as a father, boss, or husband to get what he wants. He believes he is the dominant person in the group and therefore he is entitled to his own way at all times. When anyone inhibits this he resorts to physical violence, aggressiveness, fear and the threat of violence to make people do what he wants them to do...

SNAG Man: An Fear Nua

The Sensitive New Age Guy, who supports the 'rights' of women [but men's - ed?], spends time with his children, is ecologically aware and non violent. This type of man raises the issue of the role of participation mystique in the formation and development of our idea of what men should be. The pressure exerted by the cultural imperative to conform can force men to take on the fashionable persona of the new man which may be no more than a superficial cloak for society's benefit. The drive to be a part of society's mainstream and to appear 'with it' may be far greater than any real development or growth within the person himself...

The idea that we need to set up workshops for men to rediscover their masculinity seems rather like attempting to teach birds to fly and rather like trying to deconstruct and reinvent the new man. All that is required is to provide the conditions in which we can recover the old man which is within each of us.

Perhaps the inherent predisposition to categorise as either good or bad, black or white, new man or old man is what is at fault and the focus shooed be on seeing every man as new and old, Eros and Logos, animus and anima, right and left brained and that society and education should be preoccupied with the idea o the conditions of growth for the man who is both conscious of and accepting of his masculinity and his femininity.