Monday, September 12, 2011

Archetypes and Models of Sexual Differences

The need for the Marian and Christ archetypes in modern times is ever the more present. It wouldn't be purely out of the sheer sociological necessity rationalized away by Joseph Campbell in his seminal work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, but there is a ring of truth in that purview into the human consciousness no matter the society or time.

The schools of thought as to how to explain the truth found in such works stretches back as far as the arguments of how to explain Faith either from a purely spiritual, religious standpoint to the notion that science can explain Faith away in a purely empirical way. This debate results in the classic chicken and the egg conundrum. What matters, however, is that such a correlation can be made and be accepted for what it is.

So the need is present for both Christ-like and Marian persons in our everyday life because they are underlying models for masculinity and femininity. What modern thought and design has gotten wrong in this arena is to assume that this is somehow "typecasting" the players on the stage, so to speak. I daresay, it would be dangerous to otherwise not assume these roles!

The hyper-roles of either masculine or feminine models and the perversions within, bespeak to the danger of Man to take either the testosterone-packed or estrogen-soaked emotional roller coaster of living by hormones alone, as if they were both merely just animals and not rational animals. Both are prominently present in modern day as any quick view of the cable lineup or a simple Internet search can testify. Both can be intermingled between the sexes and assigned to either at seemingly sheer will by the social scientist. This is the underlying mistake of living by and acting through hormones alone: no act of will exists and certainly no rationality to it whatsoever.

This then all leads to the response that is begged in light of the present-day situation. The framework on how to respond for such situations where hormones and biological tendencies cut one way and the prevailing social winds cut the other can very well leave a person stranded without any paddle, wind for the sails, or compass to guide. In short, the framework is no framework at all except to base itself off the fact that there is no structure to a response. The actors act simply because of sheer observations of their actions and declaration that this is indeed the new "normal," whatever that might mean to the observer upon circumspection.

In light of this new "normal," however, the archetypes come in to play for good to unsnarl the precarious mess before the precipice of so-called progress. If one knew and understood that "monomythic" truth to not be simply an observation of the societal underpinning but an overarching design, how would the approach to the given roles change? Would you question the reasons as to why such promptings and cultural refrains repeat without ceasing? Could it very well be that such prompts of the will are, dare we say in poetic form, written on the hearts of all? And, of course, the answer is an emphatic and strong yes.

With the two archetypes in place, the vocations are brought into focus and made clearer. The clarity that results lasers in the sight of both male and female to the beauty of the other and catapults the other into that image of the Divine, which is Love. Love, not out of our incompatibility or sheer difference, exists and even thrives in the sameness that can be found in an equality that does not equate the notion of equality of the physiological with the equality of freedom and God-given dignity before all. One exists to help the other, not to dominate the other. "Love conquers all" does not mean it dominates. Rather, Love allows the other to coexist even when the Lover consumes the Beloved. The Other does not cease to exist in the union of love, but rather it lives in union or completion of that end love. That is why martial love begs for a consummation—or, in other words, a completion. The union, and therefore the two sexes, are incomplete without it.

All of this funnels into the reality of the two models of Christ as the New Adam and Mary as the New Eve and the necessity of both. For if the two sexes are incomplete without total and complete union, then how will the imperfect union of Love ever suffice the Eternal? How does Love conquer death? Given such a model in Jesus and Mary, it does.

Both exist in the supernatural sense to help point the natural inclinations to the Eternal and to relate from the Eternal to the temporal. If we take their models into our everyday existence and experience, then when we do we naturally rise to lofty heights of both esteem and understanding that is the reality of the Eternal. Christ as the natural and perfect Bridegroom and Mary as the first member of Church, which is the Bride of Christ, shines the way to the Eternal and to the fulfillment of life itself, whether in marriage or in religious life.

Thus, in this present reality, the vocational "crisis" is made clear. It is not that we do not have enough priests, enough religious, or even enough faithful marriages that we must resort to some how "redefine" their definitions or somehow erase the original image of their definitions. It is that we do not have enough Christ-like or Marian examples living out their God-given natures fearlessly today.

We, too, can dare to live faithfully, fruitfully, fearlessly, and freely as New Adams and New Eves if we only accept that call. It is a call into the Darkness, but the Call still remains.