Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Hounded to death: the last years of T. E. Shaw. 17. The women's hero

Integrazione dei sentimenti femminili nella coscienza androgina
(Integration of women's feelings in the androgynous consciousness)
Rosarium Philosophorum, 1550

"Animus is the archetype of reason and spirit in women. This is the male aspect of the female psyche, as the anima is the female aspect of male psyche."

Harold Orlans in T. E. Lawrence: Biography of a Broken Hero, p.226f explains the difficulties that T. E. Shaw experienced in his relationship with Clare Smith: for him, she was a close friend, but for her, he was something more:

"...he was often in their home and spent much time alone with Clare, exploring coastal waters in a motorboat. The Golden Reign, her glowing account of that time, does not mention that her marriage was shaky and she loved Lawrence, who did not respond "Am I a beast?" he asked Lady Astor. "But she wants something which I want to keep, and she ought to understand it."
His celibacy could have had little effect against her projection, on him, of her animus archetype, I think it likely that it would even have enhanced it as he was unattainable as well as a real flesh and blood manifestation of the archetype:

"Not every man of real intellectual power can be an animus, for the animus must be a master not so much of fine ideas as of fine words— words seemingly full of meaning which purport to leave a great deal unsaid. He must also belong to the “misunderstood” class, or be in some way at odds with his environment, so that the idea of self-sacrifice can insinuate itself. He must be a rather questionable hero, a man with possibilities, which is not to say that an animus projection may not discover a real hero long before he has become perceptible to the sluggish wits of the man of “average intelligence.”"
Jung, C. G.. Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 17: Development of Personality: Marriage as a Psychological Relationship, (p. 199). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition. Online copy of the 1925 paper.
Shaw made his feelings about women and physical love very clear to other friends:

To Ernest Thurtle, 1st April, 1929
Women? I like some women. I don't like their sex: any more than I like the monstrous regiment of men. Some men. There is no difference that I can feel between a woman and a man. They look different, granted: but if you work with them there doesn't seem any difference at all. I can't understand all the fuss about sex. It's as obvious as red hair: and as little fundamental, I fancy.
To Lady Astor, 31st December 1933:
"I am sorry about the dark lady, and rather frightened. Where is safety, if I am rumoured to have lost my heart to a lady of sixty, upon once visiting her after lunch to apologise for not lunching? A lady whom I had met for the first time at Lympne in the summer? It is rather hard, I think. Probably it would be wholesome for me to lose my heart - if that monstrous piece of machinery is capable of losing itself: for till now it has never cared for anyone, though much for places and things. Indeed I doubt these words of 'hearts'. People seem to my judgement to lose their heads rather than their hearts. Over the Christmas season two men and four women have sent me fervent messages of love. Love carnal, not love rarefied, you know: and I am uncomfortable towards six more of the people I meet, therefore. It's a form of lunacy, I believe, to fancy that all comers are one's lovers: but what am I to make of it when they write it in black on white? If only one might never come nearer to people than in the street."
His thoughts about the "lunacy" of the situation with the rumor mill about his relationships echoes what Jung says about the anima/animus projections themselves:

"... when animus and anima meet, the animus draws his sword of power and the anima ejects her poison of illusion and seduction. The outcome need not always be negative, since the two are equally likely to fall in love (a special instance of love at first sight). The language of love is of astonishing uniformity, using the well-worn formulas with the utmost devotion and fidelity, so that once again the two partners find themselves in a banal collective situation. Yet they live in the illusion that they are related to one another in a most individual way.
"In both its positive and its negative aspects the anima/ animus relationship is always full of “animosity,” i.e., it is emotional, and hence collective. Affects lower the level of the relationship and bring it closer to the common instinctual basis, which no longer has anything individual about it. Very often the relationship runs its course heedless of its human performers, who afterwards do not know what happened to them.
Jung, C. G.. Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 2): Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (pp. 15-16). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Perhaps not the best quote to use in a Valentine's Day card, but one that I think Shaw might have enjoyed.

Tomorrow, T. E. Shaw's Clouds Hill, Dorset, cottage.

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