Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Eros = Sophia Becoming

Excerpt from a book in progress,  Miles To Go Before I Sleep,  by Daryl Sharp.

Feeling derelict and dissolute, I spent a pleasant evening with my close friend Rebecca, talking of our lives and sealing wax. Rebecca is happily married, and ours is a chaste friendship that my inner woman Rachel indulges herself by imagining that she (Rachel) is Sophia, famed consort of God and King Solomon.
Now, Rebecca is as beautiful as any movie star who ever walked the red carpet on Oscar night. We desire without physical intimacy. I  romance her to pieces by holding hands and massaging her feet. We are happy sharing a bottle of wine, listening to Dave Brubeck or Dinah Washington, or just staring at the wall. We laugh a lot. We don’t cuddle but I massage her feet. She responds with an enigmatic Mona Lisa smile.  
Rebecca is my confidante; I can tell her anything . We supervise each others’ clients, and she gives me sound counsel regarding my presumptive paramours. I am in awe of Rebecca/Sophia. She is highly intuitive and so apprehends things that entirely escape my notice; thus I take her thoughts and advice very seriously. (She is after all known as Wisdom in the Bible).[1] It is erotic and sensuous just being together without a bedroom agenda. Call it a trystNot. I am romantically passionate about my friend Rebecca but not lustful. It is a higher clime of love making.
    Rebecca personifies for me the essence of the feminine: her looks, her smell, her touch, her walk, her talk. Now, she is a real woman onto whom I project Sophia, and so she (Rebecca) becomes that, and so my anima cloaks herself in that wonder, which manifests in me as a loving interlocutor with no thoughts of undressing her. And the funny thing is, after a few hours with my under-cover loverNot, I feel as if we are lovers. I wish every man might experience this – carnal love subsumed by a soulful connection. Of course, it takes some restraint and psychological awareness on both sides. But that’s what Sophia is all about.
    Now, I don’t know about Rebecca’s intimate life, but Sophia does not shrink from consummating relationships when appropriate. Indeed, it is between the sheets that Sophia really shines, for she gives and receives with equal ardor; and further, she is monogamous but not possessive, receptive without being devouring; always helpful, thoughtful and affectionate. She is fun to be with, and, with apologies to dogs, she is in fact a man’s best friend.
    My relationship with Rebecca/Sophia is Eros requited and undiluted by acrimony or sentimentality.
    More: Sophia is the gentlest and most forgiving of creatures. She includes in herself all the earlier stages of a man’s anima development (Eve, mother; Helen, sexuality; Mary, spiritual). She is indeed wise beyond her years and said to have been co-existent with God at the Creation, a possibly apocryphal fact that has enticed feminists to call God She. Well, I won’t go there, but simply note that Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom, and the modern goddess cult owes much to the Gnostic belief that Sophia was a fourth member left out of the Trinity by the early patriarchal Church Fathers. This was formally, if belatedly,  recognized by the Catholic Church in a 1950 Papal Bull by Pope Pius XII proclaiming the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.” Jung applauded this momentous event as symbolically signifying “the recognition and acknowledgment of matter.”[2] In his autobiography, Jung is more explicit:
The new dogma affirms that Mary as the Bride is united with the son in the heavenly bridal chamber, and as Sophis (Wisdom) she is united with the Godhead. Thus the feminine principle is brought into immediate proximity with the masculine Trinity.[3]
And thus more grounds for seeing God as She, for those who have had quite enough of the nasty or indifferent side of Yaweh, who did not stop the Holocaust or multiple wars killing women and children.
    Now, men, you don’t need my Rebecca to celebrate Sophia. Turn to your own beloved and listen to her instead of taking your pleasure in haste. Find out who she is besides lover, mother, house keeper. She will reward you ten-fold with wisdom you cannot otherwise acquire. See Sophia in your partner and she will become that numinous personification of the feminine.

[1] See esp. Proverbs 8:22-31.
[2] “Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype,” The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, CW 9i, par. 197.
[3] Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 202n.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Excerpt from the work in progress, MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP, by Daryl Sharp


Two of my esteemed Jungian colleagues, Mario Jacoby and James Hillman, died this year (2011). I am now one of the few surviving second-tier Jungian acolytes who endeavor to keep Jung’s message alive in our hectic extraverted collective culture, where ambition and electronic toys are valued more than character development. I despair that Jung’s ideas will ever crack the mainstream, though I am heartened to see several videos of him on YouTube.
    And so I wonder, after writing twenty books, what more do I have to say? This is the question that keeps me awake night and day.
    I was recently alerted to my mortality by a week’s stay in hospital. I was experiencing extreme fatigue and difficulty breathing. My doctor sent me to emergency where my symptoms were immediately recognized as CHF (congestive heart failure). They put me on oxygen for a week and an intravenous diuretic to drain the fluids from my lungs and heart. I was x-rayed, MRI’d, echocardiogrammed and ultrasounded. They took my blood pressure every twenty minutes, drew blood from my arms three times a day, and constantly monitored my vital organs with space-age body patches. Every day they asked me if I knew who and where I was.
    I didn’t mind the inactivity and incarceration; it was in fact a welcome holiday away from my lonely turret and business concerns. I enjoyed the attention and Razr flirted outrageously with the nurses. Of course, I had to cancel my planned Christmas vacation at a semi-nude Jamaican resort (Hedonism II), but what the hell. Every twelve-hour change in shift brought a new nurse more lovely than the last—East Indian, Pakistani, Thai, Phillippina, Russky and more. They did everything to make me comfortable but hop into bed with me. Never mind, I was catheterized and wasn’t up to much except trying to sleep between tests. There was nothing to complain about except the food. However hard they try—and I think they do—every hospital serves unpalatable gruel. The soup is generally good, also the fruit. It’s hard to kill a banana.
    But seriously, it finally got me thinking. What am I here for?
    This new “Jungian romance” may or may not be an answer.