21st Century Men?

Yesterday the last class period before Concordia’s break we watched Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp in Don Juan DeMarco. I also had posted on the class’s Moodle website the hour-long documentary The Real Casanova to watch outside of class. Wikipedia states that “Don Juan (Spanish) or Don Giovanni (Italian) is a legendary 15th Century, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors.” Giacomo Casanova (2 April 1725 – 4 June 1798), however, is a real Italian man from the Republic of Venice, whose autobiography, (Story of My Life) gives us a very authentic look at 18th century European social life. Wikipedia describes both men as libertine, which is defined as “a dissolute person; usually a person who is morally unrestrained”. However, these two films present the psychology of these men with a morally uplifting view of women affecting a sexual awakening, which our current Century is obviously lacking.

Have you ever loved a woman?

The assignment for the class to ponder, as some lay on the bikini clad beaches of South Florida, is the relevance of these films to our study of international management or the broader issue – globalization? Before starting this journal entry this morning, I came across Bryan Adams Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?, which suggests, as do the films, remove the mask. When doing this one begins the process of examining the Shadow within, the first step in the process of individuation.  I remember listening to the 1950’s radio show The Shadow Knows, and after almost 40 years of teaching, I have decided to as fully as I can develop with this class the first step in analytical psychology – examining one’s Shadow – what does it know about us and what are the implications for globalization?

The Shadow

Marie Louise von Franz,  one of Jung’s most talented students, sets forth the inward direction and Erich Neumann another very talented Jung student, outlines in his book, Depth Psychology and A New Ethic, the way forward. This is a deep issue and it seems I am determined to press it to its limits even if like the University of Mary, I have to quit rather than endure the unconsciousness that permeates today’s institutions. Speaking of the most unconscious institution we are currently facing Neumann (1969: 91) takes on politicians stating:

The instability of attitude which is caused by the presence of the counter-position  (the Shadow) in the unconscious is not confined to the average man, who, as a constituent member of the mass, makes up the following of all “movements”; it is also found – and this is even more dangerous – among so-called leading personalities such as educationists, teachers, and politicians.
The incompetence of the politicians, which has become so cruelly and sanguinarily obvious to modern man, is essentially due to their human inadequacy – that is, to a moral undermining of their psychic structure which culminates in their total, breakdown when faced with any real decision. To future ages, the fact that the leading politicians of our period were not required to pass a test of any kind to determine their human and moral qualifications will appear exactly as grotesque as it would seem to us today if a diphtheria-carrier were to be placed in charge of the children’s ward in a hospital.

So, do these men give us a peek at being 21st Century men and women?

Finally, Edinger (1994:18) in his seminar on Jung’s book Symbols of Transformation begins Lecture III quoting Jung’s Latin statement, si duo faciut idem, nonest idem, meaning that “If two people do the same thing, it is not the same.” Jung goes on to say:

The quality of the desire is important because it endows its object with the moral and aesthetic qualities of goodness and beauty, and thus influences our relations with our fellow men and the world in a decisive way. Nature is beautiful because I love it, and good is everything that my feeling regards as good. Values are chiefly created by the quality of one’s subjective reactions.

Edinger’s above comment, I suggest plays a part in Don Juan and Giacomo Casanova’s psychological stance and it is part of the stance of a transformational leader. Watching Don Juan in action, it is clear that he had a real impact not only on women but on his black male attendant and especially on Dr. Jack Michler, his analyst. We are interested in studying the mental dynamics, transformations,  taking place between Don Juan and Michler.

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