Woman as the Temptress

The mystical marriage with the queen goddess of the world represents the hero’s total mastery of life; for the woman is life, the hero its knower and master. 

1000 faces, page 101

Nevertheless, every failure to cope with a life situation must be laid in the end, to a restriction of consciousness.  Wars and temper tantrums are the makeshifts of ignorance; regrets are illuminations come too late.

1000 faces, page 101

Who and where are his ogres?  Those are the reflections of the unsolved enigmas of his own humanity.  What are his ideals?  Those are the symptoms of his grasp of life.

1000 faces, page 101

Cont’d…

In the office of the modern psychoanalyst, the stages of the hero-adventure come to light again in the dreams and hallucinations of the patient.  Depth beyond depth of self-ignorance is fathomed, with the analyst in the role of the helper, the initiatory priest.  And always, after the thrills of getting under way, the adventure develops into a journey of darkness, horror, disgust, and phantasmagoric fears.

1000 faces, page 101

Cont’d…

The crux of the curious difficulty lies in the fact that our conscious views of what life ought to be seldom correspond to what life really is.  Generally we refuse to admit within ourselves, or within our friends, the fullness of that pushing, self-protective, malodorous, carnivorous, lecherous fever which is the very nature of the organic cell.  Rather we tend to perfume, whitewash, and reinterpret; meanwhile imagining that all the flies in the ointment, all the hairs in the soup, are the faults of some unpleasant someone else.

1000 faces, page 101/2

But when it suddenly dawns on us, or is forced to our attention, that everything we think or do is necessarily tainted with the odor of the flesh, then, not uncommonly, there is experienced a moment of revulsion: life, the acts of life, the organs of life, woman in particular as the great symbol of life, become intolerable to the pure, the pure, pure soul.

1000 faces, page 102

The innocent delight of Oedipus in his first possession of the queen turns to an agony of spirit when he learns who the woman is.  Like Hamlet, he is beset by the moral image of the father.  Like Hamlet, he turns from the fair features of the world to search the darkness for a higher kingdom than this of the incest and adultery ridden, luxurious, and incorrigible mother.  The seeker of the life beyond life must press beyond her, surpass the temptations of her call, and soar to the immaculate either beyond. 

1000 faces, page 102

Where this Oedipus-Hamlet revulsion remains to beset the soul, there the world, the body, and woman above all become the symbols no longer of victory but of defeat.  A monastic-puritanical, world-negating system then radically and immediately transfigures all the images of myth.  No longer can the hero rest in innocence with the goddess of the flesh; for she is become the queen of sin. 

1000 faces, page 102

!!!     (Buddha’s penultimate)

Not even monastery walls, however, not even the remoteness of the desert, can defend against the female presences; for as long as the hermit’s flesh clings to his bones and pulses warm, the images of life are alert to storm his mind. 

1000 faces, page 104

(Great quote at the bottom of 104 – Queen of Sheba)