In Quest of Being a Great Lover

Before term break 2/21 my Concordia class watched the movie Don Juan DeMarco. I show this Johnny Depp film to illustrate his postmodern interpretation of Don Juan’s secret in loving women and influencing men. When suicidal John DeMarco takes the name Don Juan DeMarco and is admitted to a state mental hospital, his romantic affect on the women nurses quickly gets out of hand. So Don Juan’s psychoanalyst Dr. Jack Mickler switches his attendant to Ron, a tall muscular black man, who we soon see being taught to tango on the front lawn by Don Juan. Don Juan has a powerful transforming affect on both women and men and understanding it is one objective of the class.

The dynamic analytical relationship that unfolds between analyst Mickler and analysand DeMarco is a transforming experience that needs to be unpacked. The unpacking illustrates a Depth Psychology framework is at the center of being a great lover. Aizenstat (2010) states that depth psychology requires us to “first explore what is going on at the depth of our experience, to realize in going deep we are activating our creative imagination, which allows one to then see into the social, political, and economic realities facing us. This is not only a way of seeing the world but one of being in the world.” Let’s begin with Don Juan DeMarco’s scent of a woman, where he suggests there are “only four questions of value in life, “What is sacred?, Of what is the spirit made?, What is worth living for?, And what is worth dying for?” The answer to each is the same – Love.”

Don Juan MeMarco thinking about a woman and love

What is the transformation in both DeMarco and Mickler, how do these transformations come about, and how are surrounding individuals being affected?  We need to understand the psychoanalytic processes involved and in one heated analytical session Don Juan gets Mickler to admit he needs Don Juan to understand his own life and to be a great lover, which slowly we see transforming his relationship with his wife. Now realized, it is essential to work on becoming a great lover – isn’t this a dream of every healthy person? On Sunday night the Academy Awards were watched and early Monday morning I had this dream.

2/25/2013 Dream: I am videoing (black & white) a woman waist high with shoulder length hair in a long sleeve shirt walking from a distance toward me. As she walks toward me, I reduce the zoom so that she always remains the same image size in the viewfinder. I then made these Associations: Last night we watched the Oscar Awards with many beautify people. I have also recently watched the Don Juan Demarco and Casanova films heavy with sexuality. It seems that the animus and anima archetype is activated.  I suspect his woman is my anima and she is walking toward me – I will pay attention to her! Her presence indicates hard work ahead leading to dynamic change in my psyche.

Don Juan, I think we are onto you. Of course, shadow work comes first and always needs attention – one never reaches the end of withdrawing shadow projections. However, once this work is consciously underway the next phase in Jungian analysis, contra sexual assimilation, begins with animus work in a woman and anima work in a man. We can see that Don Juan DeMarco understands the Mask, his Persona, his Shadow, and is deep into the work of assimilating Anima into his Self – all of which has been define as the process of individuation.

After the above was recorded in my dream journal, I returned to work on my class. I had posted the video documentary The Real Casanova in order to examine the life a real lover. A short time later I added this to my dream journal. Amplification: After recording the above dream and associations, I came across and watched a new video clip, Casanova World’s Greatest Lover, and was struck when I learned that Casanova did not speak until he was 8 years old. He was raised by his grandmother and after several sever nose bleeds was taken to a local witch for help. The witch placed Casanova in a box and cast spells over it. Later that night just, as the witch prophesied, a beautiful flowing female spirit came to Casanova, spoke softly to him, kissed him, and then disappeared. The nose bleeds stopped, he instantly began to talk, and within a month learned to read. From this experience Casanova was forever interested in the occult and made a living studying and using it. My dream on 2/25 seems to have an active anima archetype as in Casanova’s dream and these two experiences now suggests that a synchronicity, a meaningful coincidences has occurred.


Immediately after the above experience this idea came to me! Can Neumann’s (1959) analytical essay on Leonardo Da Vinci and the Mother Archetype be used to analyze Casanova’s Mother Complex? Both boys had missing mothers, were raised by grandmothers, were sexually active, and were creative geniuses. Following this idea would take us down the path to Don Juanism or the Don Juan Syndrome, which is “a non-clinical term for the desire, in a man, to have sex with many different female partners due to his latent homosexuality or insecurity about his masculinity.”

However, Carl Jung’s approach is that “Don Juanism is an unconscious desire of a man to seek his mother in every woman he encountered,” which is known as a Mother Complex. (Jung, Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype, Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 9, Part 1. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1968. 451 p. (pp. 75-80). We will come back to this issue, but for now will note there are positive aspects of Don Juanism, which include “heroism, perseverance, and strength of will” that we need to understand when we extend our analysis to transformational leadership.

I showed the movie Don Juan DeMarco Thursday afternoon 2.21 and then learned the next day that last night Johnny Depp had been a special guest of David Letterman, talking about the new film The Lone Ranger, with Johnny Depp playing Tonto. Letterman asks about the genus of the story and Depp says “it comes from a dark story and is how this Texas Ranger becomes the Lone Ranger through Tonto’s guidance.”

Depp on The Letterman Show

Following on from the theme of Don Juan DeMarco, I expect we are in for a psychoanalytical story about the individuation of The Lone Ranger. In this trailer the Lone Ranger says to Tonto, “If we ride together we ride for justice,” Tonto replies, “Justice is what I seek Ke-mo sah-bee.” We cannot get deeper than the quest for the individuation of justice – it is at the center of being a successful leader. Growing up on the plains of North Dakota in the 1950s The Lone Ranger was my hero.

The Lone Ranger

Here is to remembering  “Hi Yo Silver, Away!”

The Lone Ranger Theme Song

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