ANDROGYNY by June Singer


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If we are indeed edging hesitantly into an androgynous age--as a walk down any metropolitan street will suggest--then a follower of lung would be an appropriate guide to both the origins and the implications of this human development. June Singer is a practicing Jungian analyst, and her thorough investigation of the archetype of the hieros gamos--the sacred, creative marriage of the masculine and feminine principles, both in the cosmos and in each individual-is rich with lung's dramatis personae of the psyche (anima, animus, daimon, inner child, guide) and with his unfailing sense of mystery and surprise. While Carolyn G. Hellbrun, in Toward a Recognition of Androgyny (1973), concentrated primarily on the androgynous heresy that has been a vital underground stream in Western literature, Singer works along lung's enchanting if slightly overwhelming intimate-cosmic axis, beginning with a very lengthy personal odyssey through ancient tradition--the Bible, Kabbalah, Greek creation myths, Kundalini yoga, the Tao, and in modern times, the writings of Blake. This material will be overfamiliar to readers who have studied the mystical traditions, but its application to such specifics of individual psychosexual development as homo-, hetero-, and bisexuality, masturbation, and widowhood-illustrated by case histories from Singer's practice and acquaintance--is often subtle and refreshing. The book suffers from too much length, far too little humor, and a cumbersome style; and some readers may object to the vestigial sexism implicit in labeling human complementarities ""masculine"" and ""feminine"" even while claiming that everybody has them. But Singer's work has value as an energetic reintroduction of Jung's still-fertile insights into the individual's quest for reconciliation with self.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Doubleday