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Lying with the Heavenly Woman

Robert A. Johnson, Lying with the Heavenly Woman: Understanding and Integrating the Feminine Archetypes in Menís Lives. (San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994)

Lying With the Heavenly Woman: Understanding and Integrating the Feminine Archetypes in Men's Lives
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Contentment: A Way to True Happiness.
by Robert A. Johnson and Jerry M. Ruhl
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Book cover
Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir.
by Robert A. Johnson
(with Jerry M. Ruhl)
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Other books by
Robert A. Johnson

Once again, Robert A. Johnson offers us a simple little book with profound insight. This time, he explores aspects of the feminine in men's lives. Without good masculinity, a man is weak and ineffective, but it is femininity that inspires his strength, meaning and value. Many of us have heard that we need to get in touch with our feminine. Mr. Johnson stresses that it is important to differentiate between the various faces of the feminine, and be aware of which aspect of the feminine we are in touch with at any given time. He tells us about the mother and the sister, often prelude to the anima. He talks of the anima, the world of magic and mysticism that carries a man's soul and is mistress to his inner world. We tend to project this anima into our romantic relationship. The anima generally comes in double form in a man's life; the light side that is idealistic, lofty, noble and ascetic and the dark gypsy anima that is illicit, wildly sensuous and chaotic. The double anima is one of the points of greatest suffering in a man's life. An ideal solution is to marry a woman carrying one of the anima's images, and invest the other in an art or creative endeavor in his outer life.

Mr. Johnson also tells us of Sophia, a depth of femininity not often experienced by man. She carries the ancient wisdom of the earth and moon, as opposed to the solar masculine wisdom. There is also the hetaira, a Greek term for a woman who is companion, intellectual partner, carrier of grace and beauty, and a source of inspiration. Other sections are devoted to friendships and homoerotic relationships. The book concludes by outlining the problems that arise when we confuse these various forms of the feminine.


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