spiritual_emergency Posted August 23, 2010 Report Share Posted August 23, 2010 THE LADY WHO LIVED ON THE MOON Jung's discovery of the religious dimension of unconscious fantasy and its relation to trauma is an interesting part of psychoanalytical history. Jung was especially intrigued by a fantasy one traumatized female patient reported of a whole secret drama where she lived on the moon and tried to save the children from a winged vampire who menaced the land. Jung completely cured this patient of her psychosis and this cure required him to carry an archetypal transference -- an image of her diabolical daimon-lover who was the principal figure in her fairy-tale like fantasy. In the projection of this figure, Jung saw a redemptive "intention" in the psyche which didn't seem to fit the Freudian reduction of such material to sexual wishes or daydreams.The young woman was 17 years old and catatonic when Jung first saw her. She had had only a rudimentary education, had grown up in a small town nearby, and had not trace of mythological knowledge. Two years earlier she had been seduced by her older brother, a doctor, and further abused by a schoolmate. These traumatic events had fragmented her psyche and she had withdrawn into complete isolation -- her only relationship being with a vicious watchdog which belonged to a neighboring family. The brother, in desperation, brought her to Jung and gave him carte blanche to do everything that was humanely possible to help her -- despite the obvious risks of suicide. By the time Jung saw her she was completely mute, refused food and heard voices. Jung describes her first appearance:her hands were cold and bluish, she had livid patches on her face and dilated feebly reacting pupils. I lodged her in a sanatorium nearby, and from there, she was brought to me every day for an hour's consultation. After weeks of effort I succeeded by dint of constantly repeated questions, in getting her to whisper a few words at the end of every session. The moment she started to speak, her pupils contracted, the livid patches on her face disappeared, soon her hands grew warm and assumed their normal color. Finally, she began -- with endless blockings at first -- to talk and to tell me the content of her psychosis. She now related to me a long and elaborate myth, a description of her life on the moon, where she played the role of a female savior for the moon people. The classical connection of the moon with "lunacy" was as unknown to her as the numerous other mythological motifs in her story.Here is the fantasy she finally told Jung:... she had lived on the moon. The moon, it seemed, was inhabited, but at first she had seen only men. They had once taken her with them and deposited her in a sub-lunar dwelling where their children and wives were kept. For on the high mountains of the moon there lived a vampire who kidnapped and killed the women and children, so that the moon people were threatened with extinction. That was the reason for the sub-lunar existence of the feminine half of the population.My patient made up her mind to do something for the moon people, and planned to destroy the vampire. After long preparations, she waited for the vampire on the platform of a tower that had been erected for this purpose. After a number of nights she at last saw the monster approaching from afar, winging his way toward her like a great black bird. She took her long sacrificial knife, concealed it in her gown, and waited for the vampire's arrival. Suddenly he stood before her. He had several pairs of wings. His face and entire body were covered by them, so that she could see nothing but his feathers. Wonder-struck, she was seized by curiosity to find out what he really looked like. She approached, hand on the knife. Suddenly the wings opened and a man of unearthly beauty stood before her. He enclosed her in his winged arms with an iron grip, so that she could no longer wield the knife. In any case she was so spellbound by the vampire's look that she would not have been capable of striking. He raised her from the platform and flew off with her.After telling Jung her story, the patient was able to speak again without inhibition but having betrayed her secret, she suddenly realized she could no longer go back to the moon, whereupon she became violently insane again and had to be re-hospitalized. After a two-month interval, she could be moved back to the sanatorium and was able to resume her sessions. Slowly, reported Jung, she began to see that life on earth was unavoidable. "Desperately, she fought against this conclusion and its consequences," once again giving in to her daimon and being sent back to the sanitorium. 'Why should I return to earth,' she wondered, 'this world is not beautiful, but the moon is beautiful and life there is rich in meaning...'Once this patient had resigned herself to her fate of entering this world for good, so to speak, she took a job as a nurse in a sanitorium where it turned out that she carried around a concealed revolver. A young doctor there made a pass at her and she shot him. In her last interview with Jung, she handed him the loaded gun, telling him to his amazement, "I would have shot you down if you had failed me!" After the excitement about the shooting had subsided (the doctor survived), she returned to her native town, married, had several children, and for more than thirty years thereafter kept Jung informed by letter about the state of her health, which continued to be excellent.In the Moon-Lady's redemptive fantasy, then, Jung thought he had glimpsed a deeper understanding of how the psyche tries to heal itself after unbearable trauma. Could it be, Jung wondered, that this truly mythic story was simply a disguised sexual daydream as Freud thought? Was the feathered body of the winged daimon for example, a possible stand-in for the brother whose naked body had perhaps been revealed for the first time to the patient on the occasion of her violation? Or did this figure with its "numinous" power stand for something more? Did it perhaps represent a part of the patient's self-care system that had come to the rescue here -- that had cast a spell over her, encased her in a world of "lunacy" in order to protect her from being injured again, i.e., in order to keep her from ever trusting anyone again? These were the kind of teleological intuitions that Jung had about such material. The psyche seemed to be making use of "historical layers" of the unconscious in order to give form to or "outpicture" otherwise unbearable suffering -- suffering that had no expression except in mythopoetic form. The wisdom of Jung's intuition here can be apprehended from a slightly different angle if we consider the frequent relationship between religion and trauma. In a book called God is a Trauma, Greg Mogenson makes the interesting point that we tend to experience and propitiate traumatic events as if they were divine, and that we do this, to use Winnicot's language, because a trauma is an event whose overwhelming pain cannot be experienced within the area of omnipotence. Says Morgenson:Whatever we cannot inhabit psychologically, we propitiate with religious responses. It is not just that God is unknowable and unimaginable: it is that we reach for God most earnestly when imagination fails us... to stand before an event for which we have no metaphors is to stand in the tabernacle of the Lord.And yet, says Morgenson, the slow evolution of symbolic metaphors seems to be the only way severe trauma can be healed.Overwhelming events, events which cannot be incorporated into the life we have imagined for ourselves, cause the soul to bend back on itself, to commit "incest" with itself, and to revert to heretical modes of the primary principle. Like the festering process which removes the sliver from a wound, the traumatized imagination works and re-works its metaphors until the events which have "pierced" it can be viewed in a more benign fashion. The traumatized soul is a theologizing soul.Source: The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal SpiritThe following piece of music was shared with me by a young woman who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and DID along with a history of trauma. She related very strongly to a male figure who had a vampiric form. I would call the same a negative animus figure and assign it a shadow category rather than purely one of the animus.Music of the Hour: Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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