Book update: as I mentioned in my last post, I’m in the process of writing my next book The Age of the Orphan: An Archetypal Analysis of Modern Western Civilisation. My dream of knocking it into shape in two weeks did turn out to be rather optimistic. I think it’s going to be more like two months until the book is ready.
For this week’s post, though, I want to touch on a current issue that fits into the Orphan archetypal analysis.
We are now in the post-corona world according to the people who get to decide such things. But it should be pretty clear to everybody that the underlying archetypal machinations that brought us corona have not stopped. One such issue that has stepped in to fill the void is the trans “debate”. It’s a sign of how fast things are moving that the trans issue was barely even on the radar at the time that I wrote The Devouring Mother just two years ago. From memory, I didn’t even mention it in the book.
From a political point of view, the transgender issue is structurally identical to corona. It is being pushed from the top-down via government agencies, government funding of private agencies, NGOs, globalist institutions and the MSM. Through a combination of shaming, character assassination and censorship, there is the attempt to create the appearance of consensus where those who disagree must be “extremists”. In this respect, it is identical to corona, vaccines, climate change, renewables, the Voice (here in Australia), eating bugs or any of the other wonderful ideas cooked up by our “elites”.
I should point out that I’m not denying that some individuals have difficulties with gender and sexual identity. In fact, one of my best friends from high school now identifies as a woman and has had surgery to mark the change. But that happened well before the trans issue became an apparently urgent matter of public discourse.
Clearly some people have issues with gender and sexuality. Equally clearly, some people catch colds and flus and some of those (mostly the elderly) will die as a result. We can accept these facts while still admitting that the way in which corona and transgenderism have become socio-psychological lightning rods is deeply weird. It was possible to construct a seemingly logical argument to account for corona but even the most hardened “conspiracy theorist” is struggling for a logical account of the transgender debate. Nevertheless, the issue makes perfect sense within the Devouring Mother archetype.
When my friend underwent surgery to mark his change of gender, he was a fully-grown adult in his 20s. As an adult, he was free to make his own decision and his parents would not have been involved at all (most likely they would tried to talk him out of it). It’s worth noting that the related issue of eunuchs throughout history almost always involved consenting adults. In many cases, men would even self-castrate in order to qualify for jobs in the royal court because the lucrative benefits involved in such a position were only available if you were a eunuch. It’s a testimony to how much humans desire power that people have taken a knife to their own genitalia to achieve that outcome.
What we are seeing now with the transgender issue is a focus on pre-pubescent children whose parents are actively involved in the matter (we are also seeing the State take on the role as quasi-parent to override the wishes of the real parents where necessary, but this also fits within the Devouring Mother archetype with State as “parent”).
Forcing gender roles onto pre-pubescent children is, by definition, unnecessary since puberty is the time when we all must deal with the complex issues around gender and sexuality not as an abstract ideological argument but as a lived experience. The biological transformation of puberty forces these matters on us whether we like it or not. And therein lies one of the key points that is behind the trans issue. Puberty is fate. Death is fate. Just like we freaked out about death during corona we are now freaking out about puberty. In both cases, it’s the denial of biological fate.
Here is a diagram I used in my Age of the Orphan series to elucidate how the Orphan archetype fits into the human lifecycle:
The Orphan archetype sits between the Innocent and the Adult. As the name suggests, the Innocent represents the time we associate with childhood in all its innocence. The Orphan represents the time of puberty and the transition to adulthood. In traditional societies, the onset of puberty was the trigger for the social transition into adulthood via ceremonies and initiation. For example, the Native American vision quest and the Australian aboriginal walkabout happened around the onset of puberty.
In modern western society, we have decoupled adulthood from puberty to a large extent. We have no formal initiation ceremonies or markers. Little is required to be done to earn the status of adulthood. Rather, it is attained by default through proxy markers such as the voting age, the drinking age, the driving age and the age of consent. Thus, we have gradually erased the Orphan transition into adulthood. We have removed any exoteric rituals and left each individual to go it alone. We tell ourselves that this is “freedom” but it’s a bit like the freedom to drive a car without having learned to do so first. To change metaphors, we throw you in the deep end and let you sink or swim.
What happens in practice is that most people will look for something to keep them “afloat”. They become dependent and this is where the Devouring Mother comes in. Becoming dependent on the Devouring Mother prevents the Orphan from completing the transition into adulthood. Note that dependence is the natural state of the Innocent. Childhood is the age where we all really are dependent on our parents and there is nothing problematic in that dependence.
Thus, another way to frame the Devouring Mother dynamic is that the mother wishes to keep the child in perpetual Innocence by preventing the Orphan transformation. She can then claim that she needs to “protect” the child since that is the natural relationship between the parent and the Innocent. Thus, the language used around the transgender issue is identical to corona. It’s all about keeping people “safe”.
With corona and the transgender issue, these archetypal dynamics are now manifesting in the physical world. What were mandatory vaccines except “mummy” (the Nanny State) getting us to “take our medicine” like good little boys and girl. Similarly, we now see surgical and pharmaceutical intervention of pre-pubescent children with the goal of “delaying” puberty. In reality, it is the denial of puberty and is therefore about keeping the children in a biological state of “innocence”.
We can represent this by reference to another concept from my Age of the Orphan series which was levels of being:
|Level of Being||Orphan Transformation to Adulthood|
|Social||Work, marriage, citizenship, church|
In most societies, the biological transformation of puberty is accompanied by the social transformations of work, marriage, citizenship and church (or whatever cultural specific exoteric institutions map to these). The combination of the biological and social change results in a psychological process called Individuation and, at the highest level, the formation of the Jungian Self. Both of these latter transformations can form a life’s work but it is at puberty where they are begun in earnest.
What we have seen over the last centuries in the West is the progressive removal of the Orphan transition to adulthood at the “higher” levels. In the post war years, the breakdown moved into the Social dimension. Thus, we saw a massive increase in divorce rates, falls in church attendance, an increasingly fake democracy and the rise of bullshit jobs.
Both corona and the transgender issue represent the ultimate manifestation of that process as it now arrives in the Physical plane with surgical and medical interventions that prevent the biological transformation into adulthood.
Of course, this is not the way our ideology represents these matters. Our ideology says that this is “freedom”. Everybody shall have the freedom to choose a gender, a job, a life partner, a religious denomination and even which country to live in. This “freedom” is central to the post war ideology of the West. In archetypal terms, however, this is a false freedom.
The Orphan’s challenge as so beautifully portrayed in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov is to face the ultimate lack of freedom which is death. To face death and come out the other side with your childlike sense of wonder, optimism and faith intact is what Dostoevsky considered the highest task in life. But one must face death. That is the Orphan’s challenge. To revert to the Innocent without going through the initiation of the Orphan is the denial of that challenge and a false pathway.
We can represent this using the Jungian concept of the Shadow as follows with the shadow forms at the bottom of the table:-
|Level of Being||Orphan Transformation to Adulthood|
|Psychological||Individuation (the Self)|
|Social||Work, marriage, citizenship, church|
|Physical||Denial of puberty|
|Social||Breakdown of marriage, church, state, bullshit jobs|
|Psychological||Denial of Self|
This fits with Jung’s idea that the task of the modern world was to incorporate Satan. For him, what is happening right now is the integration of the Shadow at the societal level.
It also represents the end of the Antichrist phase of history. Both Dostoevsky and Nietzsche analysed the historical figure of Christ as the Innocent. Whether that’s historically true or not, there can be no doubt that the modern West was founded on such a concept as we see in the ubiquitous Virgin and Christ Child paintings.
If the Virgin and Christ Child was the founding archetype of the Faustian, we have now arrived at its inversion: Devouring Mother and Child in Shadow form.