A woman is a complex being and is often tagged as mysterious. At some point she is guise as the weaker sex but at the same time is also categorized with wisdom. She is both strength and weakness. She symbolizes love, beauty but she is also wicked and obnoxious. She is gentle, kind but also rough and cruel/cold-hearted. At times she is also both success and failure.
These opposites within the women psyche pursued me to explore on the depths of the women’s mystery as to where these are coming from. As a woman myself, I see all of these combinations in the way I act or react, the way I deal with people and the like – it is my interest to discover more of women as I found it in my own self.
My inquisitiveness also led me to ascertain in my readings that most of these complexes in women are also portrayed in the female goddesses mentioned in Greek & Roman mythology. Other than my fascination for mythology I am convinced that there are similarities with these goddesses and the mystery within each of us women.
In my belief over these, I coined my Theory as the “Inner Goddesses of Women”, my very own perception on the psychology of women – being a woman myself.
In my theory I will be combining Carl Jung’s archetypes (Inner Goddesses), Frederick Perls ‘polarities’(extremities), Karen Horney, Henry Murray’s ‘Needs’, Carl Rogers ‘self-awareness’ (knowledge) and Zen Buddhism’s ‘enlightenment’ (insight)&consciousness.
As a woman, it is my aspiration to understand myself better and inspired by my fondness of mythical goddesses I have developed this theory. Some of these goddesses that have encouraged me in writing this theory are: Artemis – goddess of the hunt and the moon, Athena – goddess of wisdom and craft, Aphrodite – goddess of love and beauty, Hera – goddess of marriage and more.
I also find some identities to the goddesses mentioned in mythology on how they are depicted in their stories. These goddesses also influence me mostly on how I would think, act, describe or categorize things. As a personal experience, I also see these goddess tendencies in every woman I met as I see in myself. These tendencies or traits if not controlled can cause some complaint for others and even for the woman experiencing it. A woman, as I am can manipulate others with these ‘inner goddesses’ and may cause mayhem within me or my relations with others if I cannot regulate it.
Construct of Personality:
There us an innate ‘inner goddess/es’ (Archetypes on C.Jung’s collective unconscious*, using Greek & Roman Mythology’s Goddesses) in every woman that influences and makes me behave, act or react in various situations.
*Collective Unconscious refers to structures of the unconscious mind which are shared among beings of the same species.These are common to mankind as a whole and originating in the inherited structure of the brain. According to Jung, these contains archetypes, or universal primordial images and ideas.(e.g. universal symbols such as the Great Mother,Water, the Tree of Life, and many more.)
These ‘inner goddesses’ are powerful inner patterns or inner forces that are responsible for major differences in women. Mythology described the goddesses as strong and powerful creatures that intervene in humanity. They are at times disguised in any form and most often involving themselves in human affairs.
This theory believes that these ‘inner goddesses’ in women is also powerful in nature, it has ‘extremities’ (Gestalt, F.Perls ‘polarities’) which can make or break women. Such that, if the woman is unaware of these patterns it will cause a conflict, thereby creating a disarray or disturbance in the personality. In a way, this conflict or disturbance the woman is unconscious of would further develop as a disorder.
Therefore, it is necessary that a woman should achieve self-awareness, consciousness (Zen Buddhism & Carl Rogers) over these extremities to have a healthier personality. If the woman is mindful of these they will be able to perform their duties as set by norms of society or standards.
Knowledge of the Inner Goddesses:
- Provides a means of understanding for the woman and her relationships with others, as well as perceptions into what is motivating, compelling, frustrating or satisfying for her.
- Provides the woman a quest in finding a personal meaning for herself and her choices (Zen Buddhism, Existentialism, Gestalt). When the women senses that there is a mythic dimension to something she is undertaking, that knowledge also touches and inspires deep creative centers in her. Thus, would allow her to realize her connection to all other creatures (Zen Buddhism).
Types of Inner Goddesses in Women (structures of personality):
- Independent Goddesses – represents the self-sufficient qualities of women, the need for autonomy, goal directedness, competent nature and logical thinking.
- Vulnerable Goddesses – represents the traditional roles of women as wife, mother, sister and daughter. It is the women’s need for affiliation or bonding, and the proactive nature to grow despite sufferings.
- Transformative Goddesses- represents the single-mindedness, receptiveness, intensity, creativeness, openness to change and dynamism of women.
The Mystique & Insight
The woman as a whole has a ‘mystique’ or that emptiness or dissatisfaction (like Murray’s Ambition Needs & Horney’s Neurotic Need Affection & approval, Power, Prestige, Admiration & Achievement) within herself as well as her endeavor to do something be it performance or role in school, career, family life and relations with others.
Women would seek to fill in this/these ‘mystique/s’ continuously till solutions are found. This attempt of seeking out in finding meaning or purpose is ‘insight’ (or ‘enlightenment’ of Zen Buddhism). Whenever the woman find this ‘insight’ it is a passage for her to reach her full potential thereby she can productively perform her role/s or duty/ies in school, career, family life or in her relations with others.
A woman has to be aware of these inner goddesses functioning simultaneously within her. She should know that she is always driven to perform better, to aim for excellence in all she does, though she may put too much pressure and standard on herself because there is always something that is and will be missing – or ‘mystique’. The existence of ‘mystique’ drives women to find ways of knowing the purpose, of finding meaning in all that she does, or everything that happens or‘insight’ – if only to fill the void or those missing in her. Her finding of these purpose, meaning is ‘insight’.
In the woman’s psyche it will always be a continuous process, a never ending circle that goes on and on, an infinite adventure. In every woman, the ‘mystique’ exist because of ‘insights’ and vice-versa, that one exists for the other. In every mystique, insight occurs and whenever there is insight, a mystique is also present.
Thus if the woman is conscious or aware that these things simultaneously existing within her, she will be able to perform her best and breakthrough her full potential. She will be a fully functional individual able to perform her duties with excellence as well as not perturbed by unlikely situations. Therefore,she will be more creative, prolific,flexible or innovative in all she does as well as in her relationships with other people.
In conclusion, this theory believes that a normal personality is a woman who knows, aware of:
…the ‘inner goddesses’ in her
…the existence of ‘mystique’ that this is
typical of any woman
…there is ‘insight’ in every ‘mystique’
…that her full potential can be achieved.
Unhealthy personality or a disorder may occur when a woman is unaware and unable to control her ‘inner goddesses’ which will make her act or react in her extremities… either she is extremely independent or dependent, logical or illogical and the like. It can also happen when she allows these ‘inner goddesses’ to rule her more than her regulating them.
To prevent these extremities, a woman has to know the types of ‘inner goddesses’ in her for her to control and not be controlled by it. She has to be the captain of these ‘inner goddesses’ and not the other way around. She has to tame her ‘inner goddesses’ to act and react with appropriateness to any given situation.
a personal perspective:a theory passed as a subject requirement:-)
ON FEMININE PSYCHOLOGY