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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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She: Understanding Feminine Psychology Paperback – November 1, 1989

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert A. Johnson, a noted lecturer and Jungian analyst, is also the author of He, She, We, Inner Work, Ecstasy, Transformation, and Owning Your Own Shadow.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 81 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Revised edition (November 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060963972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060963972
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Robert A. Johnson, a noted lecturer and Jungian analyst, is also the author of He, She, We, Inner Work, Ecstasy, Transformation, and Owning Your Own Shadow.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"It is very easy to relegate mythology to a far away place long ago and thus isolate it from the mainstream of here-and-now life." So says Robert A. Johnson in the final chapter of SHE. This short, easy to read book, like Psyche's lamp, sheds light on the inner life of women, as well as the feminine within the male psyche. I've been aware of the Myth of Psyche for many years and have read several books mentioning it. However, I felt the authors often got lost in intellectual jargon or digressive personal experiences, so the meaning of the myth always eluded me. While I had a general idea of its importance, its deeper meanings always remained just out of reach. Johnson systematically takes each stage of the myth apart and shows the reader how it applies to the psyche, and there were many revelations for me in this book. For those who have read SHE and come away unenlightened or confused, I would suggest that perhaps this is not the fault of either author or reader. It does help to have at least a little knowledge of Jungian thought (although Johnson's book could serve as an intriguing introduction to Jungian psychology). I would say that if you're interested in the topic, keep reading about it. Keep building on your knowledge. Over time, your mind will sort out the information--just as the ants help Psyche to sort out the seeds--and you'll come to your own epiphany about the Myth of Psyche, just like I did when I read Johnson's book. I wish readers well in their search.
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I admit, I didn't get it. I bought this book on the strong recommendation of a psychology major, who praised He, She & We (all three books by Johnson). Perhaps my lack of understanding of Jungian theory interfered with my ability to glean meaning from the text.
The book is a short, readable eighty pages, developed around the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche. In Johnson's explanation of how femininity evolves (including the man's feminine side, or anima), a person must go through certain rites of passage, in sequential order, to develop fully as a woman. Psyche must complete four tasks assigned by Aphrodite. Failure to complete any task before nightfall will result in death. The tasks include sorting a pile of many different seeds, collecting golden fleece from rams, filling a crystal goblet with water from the river Styx, and collecting a cask of beauty ointment from Persephone, goddess of the underworld. Johnson explains how each of these tasks represents an evolution in a woman's life (choosing one of the many seeds a man gives to a woman to begin the miracle of birth, gathering the fleece as acquisition of a bit of masculinity necessary to survive in the world, the single goblet of water from Styx as focusing on a single item at once from the vast choices in the universe). The text is rich with metaphor -- marriage as both death and resurrection for a woman, a beautiful oil-burning lamp as a woman's natural consciousness, etc. Interesting, but (at least for me) not particularly enlightening. Overall, I enjoyed the story, but I didn't come away with an enhanced understanding of female psychology.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because I wanted to know more about women. I've been fascinated by them, and irresistably, magnetically attracted to them all of my life. I wanted to understnad a little more about this powerful pull. Women are beautiful, mystical, and wonderfully different. There's that quality in a woman's voice that just doesn't exist in a man's that can make all of the world feel like it's suddenly become light as a feather. There's always been that bewitching paradox about the sexes. We're all human, but our perspectives are inherantly different.
In this slim but nourishing volume, Johnson lucidly examines the Greek myth of Psyche and Cupid. Using Jungian pysychology, he shows that the trials a girl must undertake to become a woman are no different today than they were in the ancient world. Johnson tells us why myth is so important to us as humans. It's one of the truest, clearest records of ourselves. When a myth is passed on from one generation of storytellers to another, it is refined and slowly given its truest shape. The parts that glow are given more emphasis and the parts that don't are left along the way.
As the author stresses, this book is not really about women, but rather about the 'feminine' that exists in both women and to a lesser degree men. In learning to understand the psychological imperatives of the female, not only will a man be more adept in his relationships with women, but he will also better understand his own complex nature.
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Format: Paperback
This is a short, easy read (about 80 pages) of large-typed, generously-spaced, amply-margined words. Johnson's style is light and casual. Whilst not as in-depth as Marie-Louise Von Franz' treatments, for example, it is also much more approachable and less academically inclined. Still, it provides a concise forray into Jungian thought as related to færy tales and myth.
Whilst the readers of Von Franz might find it too light, I suggest it simply adds to the analytical repertoire. If you enjoy Clarissa Pinkola Estes' work relative to færy tales, you should also enjoy this, too.
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