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Transformation: Understanding the Three Levels of Masculine Consciousness by Robert A. Johnson

Johnson explores three fictional characters: Faust, Hamlet and Don Quixote. Johnson notes chumpy old Hamlet creates vicious cycles of anxieties and ambivalences within himself while a murderer sits on the throne. Hamlet should fire up retributive sentiments and act despite anxieties.


Wanting to feel alive, Faust had enough of work, had enough of aging, had enough of trivial knowledge. Faust should ignore sunk costs and find a moral life. Instead, he cultivates despair, distraction and willful ignorance. The devil offered Faust a deal, and he took it. Consequences matter little to him.


Don Quixote is a lost man, a ridiculous chaser who cannot be excused.


All three men caved in to terrible reasoning. We should find a good life despite regret, boredom, stress, dread, shame, inertia, discomfort, opposition, self-loathing, setbacks, mixed feelings and weak counterarguments.


Much of Transformation I euphemistically call Jung dung. Worth browsing if the subject intrigues you.

Book review article by J.T. Fournier, last updated July 7, 2009


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