Depth Psychology — Icarus — the wounded masculine — Night Sea Journey — analysis

In order to frame via Depth Psychology the concept of the wounded masculine we can look at the myth of Icarus.

Icarus, wearing wings flew too near the sun, this is from the Wikipedia…

In Greek mythology, Icarus (the Latin spelling, conventionally adopted in English; Greek: Ἴκαρος, Íkaros, Etruscan: Vikare[1]) is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings constructed by his father. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and fell to his death. The myth shares thematic similarities with that of Phaethon, and is often depicted in art…

Icarus’ father, Daedalus, a talented and remarkable Athenian craftsman, attempted to escape from his exile in the place of Crete, where he and his son were imprisoned at the hands of King Minos, the king for whom he had built the Labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur (half man, half bull). Daedalus, the superior craftsman, was exiled because he gave Minos’ daughter, Ariadne, a clew[2] in order to help Theseus, the enemy of Minos, survive the Labyrinth and defeat the Minotaur.

Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Before they took off from the island, Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms. And so, Icarus fell into the sea in the area which bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos.[3]

Most of us have been following the Gibson story as it unfolds, but, I want to give you a deeper imaginal experience of what happens at midlife for many men.  Also I want to speak about the Madonna/Whore concept in western thought — because that is also what is going on here.

This is a classic “fall from grace” sort of tale — but what is interesting is that at midlife people tend to go through what Jung called “The Night Sea Journey.”  We can think of Icarus flying high in Hollywood — having it all and then the fall.  Icarus falls into the sea and “dies,” in the myth.  But Jungians look at this as a death to a part of one’s being.  The Night Sea Journey is the case here.  The quest for Self.

Let’s reframe this, somewhat.  Like many men who have been devoted fathers and family men — a woman comes along and upsets that.  This happens all the time, and it is a part of feminine mythology as well.  It is impossible for men to conceptualize women as being able to contain both elements.  One’s wife must be a madonna, no?  Because she can never be the other, or?

If we think about the things that we have heard on those tapes — what are the things that bother the angry male psyche doing the ranting?

The fake breasts, the botoxed lips?  These are unnatural to the “motherly madonna figure,” about to breastfeed.

It’s obvious to anyone that this is a classic affair.

What is interesting to me in this music video is the flaming piano and the themes presented.  There is the melted wax of the Icarus myth — piano keys in flames…go watch and see!

There is a great gift that can come from this though.

Once in the depths of the SEA, the healing comes because one finds oneself and one’s true nature.

As I think about what lies underneath the rage — you can look at the “heroic” male in this clip and think about the other roles this actor has played in the past.  In Mad Max #1, and Braveheart, and Patriot there is a wound to the family and wife.  Take a look:

This is the book to read to understand “deep patriarchy” in terms of the heroic warrior.

I was talking yesterday about the gift of this in terms of making films about the wounded masculine.   You actually have a chance to do this by using DV as a backdrop?  I was thinking of the films “The Burning Bed” and also “A Star is Born,” because there are aspects of this story that are very much like Norman Maine — at least from all the tabloids.

I don’t want to see Gibson as Maine, frankly.

Because I see that he can make art from tradgedy and not only that?  It would heal thousands of men if he could illuminate this myth for them on film.  One of the reasons I stopped being a therapist was because I simply couldn’t hold so much pain from people.  I really felt that trying to write stories would work so much faster — films would work faster!  In terms of illuminating things.  They really would, especially if you can show pathos.  We are out of drama that is making audiences feel.  The entire baby boom tail end grew up on that?

But really in the last 25 years those are not the kinds of films being made at all.

This is a screenplay I’d like to try and write if it weren’t so difficult in that form.  I do better as a novelist — myself.

I’ll tell you something that touched me very personally about those tapes.  My own first relationship so many years ago now was with an actor very much like this.  His father had been a very famous director.  I had held off on writing the harder parts of this memoir of mine — but, I feel that the fiction might illuminate the “feelings” from the feminine end.  It’s from my own brave heart that I can write it now.  I will.  I wrote a portion of it for CS as “Song of Solomon,” and it’s over there — but it is a true story of myself ages ago when we lived on Cahuenga together.

I fled a situation much like that, so, I’ll write it.  Because I can, now.

The gift that can come out of this is the backstory of the male?  We all know the backstory of the females in cases like this.

The gift is to not make that story into a joke?

The gift is to illuminate the underlying dynamic for the masses.

You can hear in the lyrics of these songs, the male heart.  Neil Young!

2 thoughts on “Depth Psychology — Icarus — the wounded masculine — Night Sea Journey — analysis

  1. While we are taking on the topic of Depth Psychology — Icarus — the wounded masculine — Night Sea Journey — analysis Valentine Bonnaire, Psychosocial support is an approach to victims of disaster, catastrophe or violence to foster resilience of communities and individuals. It aims at easing resumption of normal life, facilitate affected people participation to their convalescence and preventing pathological consequences of potentially traumatic situations.


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