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He: Understanding Masculine Psychology Paperback – November 1, 1989

4.3 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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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: 83 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Revised edition (November 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060963964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060963965
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This small book actually began with 10 lectures given by Robert Johnson at an Episcopal Church. Thus they are concise and do not offer a broad array of examples. I found the book to be excellent and found it much more to the point that Emma Jung's long study of the Holy Grail myth in all it permutations.

Of course, as a Jungian, Johnson sees mythology as reflecting underlying psychological and spiritual processes that take place in the human psyche. These myths are spontaneous images from the unconscious and contain both psychological and spiritual truths. Myths allow the interaction of archetypes, which are patterns of life that are universally true for humans. Myths are to mankind as dreams are to an individual. Therefore a dream shows the dreamer a truth about themselves whereas the myth shows mankind a truth that applies to all of us.

Individuation is a process that Jung describes as a life long movement toward wholeness and completion. It involves the life long expansion of consciousness and the ability of the conscious ego or personality to reflect the total self. One interpretation of Jesus Christ is that of a man who has been able to allow the unconscious to fill up the self and be always present in the personality. Because God the Father moves through and emerges in the world through the human unconsious, Christ may say that he and the Father are one.

A primary first step in the individuation process is the confrontation with the Shadow. Actually the confrontation with various aspects of the Shadow continue throughout a lifetime, but the first encounter is usually of great psychological power.
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This book is disjointed, underdeveloped, and, at times, cursorily written. Why, then, the four gold stars?

Because it reveals every man's story: through the retelling of the deeply symbolic Grail Legend, it unmasks many of the landmark trials in man's psychological development, and it does so in an unassuming way.

Some of the trials Mr. Johnson addresses are:

1) The Fisher King Wound - that happy fall that casts him out of his "ignorant paradise" into duality and starts him on the arduous path toward redemption and wholeness.
2) The healing function of the Inner Fool (the childlike unconscious)
3) The Red Knight killing (overcoming the Shadow and using its power for strength)
4) The poison of the Mother Garment (overcoming the mother complex)
5) Learning from the Godfather (furthering one's masculine development)
6) The mother death (the necessary separation from the mother in the transition from boy to man)
7) Blanche Fleur (the Anima, or internal feminine motivator) and her danger
8) The Hideous Damsel (Doubt, Hatred) that motivates a new grail search
9) Consulting the Old Hermit (our wise, introverted aspect within that leads us toward the Grail)
10) The true meaning of the Grail

I saw myself on every page and had many awakenings about my identity, about masculinity, even about the development of western civilization.

The writing at times may be muddled, but this book is a rich and momentous journey which will help you on your own.
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Format: Paperback
A very pleasant and quite interesting little book analyzing the story of parsifal and the castle of the grail through the lens of male psychology.
Though it's treatment of the mythological story seems quite conscise it seems to fail to really bind this and it's psychological interpretations to any tangible real world experience of my male psyche. In a way it is to abstract, not tying things back to reality.
Thus it offered so far (finished it a few hours ago) no real insights or answers. How many questions and different ways to look at things and approaches to take as well as those experiences of catching your inner world tricking you it will induce will have to be seen.
All in all at 80 pages and it's small format a very pleasant and worthwile read.
A note about another reviewer's complaint about it being heavy on preachy christianism. I am normally quite allergic to christian preachyness in 'unrelated' books like these. And though I have noticed slight hints thereof, it is by no way as bad as the reviewer makes it look like.
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Robert Johnson is a life changer. I have read everything he has done several times. HE and SHE should be a required read for everyone. I recommend you read the book on your own sex first so that you become familiar with Johnson's style before prying into the opposite sex's mind. :) If you find some of the other self help books too trite and not very thought provoking, Robert Johnson is for you!
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After gaining personal insights that I had never seen articulated so well, I gave HE to all my sons -5 - one of whom told me "that HE was a book which should be made mandatory reading for every boy in high school. HE helps put the forces which drive male psycholgy in perspective and balance incredibly well.
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Format: Paperback
In "HE", Robert Johnson, relates the myth of the Fisher King, and explains the age-old psychology of masculinity in both men and women. His insights into human consciousness and the meaning of myth are invaluable to any man trying to understand and free himself, and any woman trying to understand a man
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