I could relate to many of the subjects that this book covered and could understand where the authors ideas originated. Not only can I see his ideas appearing in my own actions, but I also see them in males in their mid-forties to fifties. This observation supports the idea of us going from innocence to doubt and back to innocence. The first idea that stuck with me is the interpretation of the salmon and how it represented Christ. Because my thoughts on religion and god are so unclear in my life, it led me to interpret the whole situation differently and with different symbolism that is more adjacent with my life. I could still comprehend what the author was trying to say, but I couldnt relate to his interpretation.
I can see how a boy might be introduced to something that is too powerful for him at the moment. The experience gives him a wound that is hard to recover from. For example, the act of making love is a wonderful thing if it is done in a pure environment. But, if a boy develops a relationship with an older woman and is not ready to lose his virginity, and the woman is pushing for it, he might enter into something that he is not ready to deal with. When a boy is put into an uncomfortable situation like this, he could receive wounds that could last for a lifetime. He will have been scarred by this woman and carry around a wound that is hard to heal and could effect the rest of his life.
The next thing that stuck with me is the theory of the Red knight and how it represents aggression. This explains how we enter the stage of aggression. I havent entered this stage yet, but there are a number of people in my life that have definitely been lingering in this area for a long time. I wait for the day when they move on. One of my gymnastic coaches is still in the stage of aggression, although he seems to have harnessed it very well.
He is working both as a lawyer and a coach. This combination is successful for him because he uses his aggression in court to help prove a point and in gym he really urges the kids on and pushes them just hard enough to get the most out of their workouts. I really admire him for his ability to manage his anger and never let it get the best of him, in spite of his high level of testosterone. It seems that during childhood, people develop through an intricate process of observing what their family and peers are doing and then trying it on for size to see if it works for them. Most of the characteristics that we take on, we later throw away, after discovering that they do not work for us. Many of the characteristics that we develop from this time remain with us for the rest of our lives.
We continue to do things like a family member does or did. Some of the complexes that we develop when we are mere toddlers take us a lifetime to shed. It is during the whole stage of adolescence when we begin to doubt. During this stage we begin to find out who we really are. This process can only be achieved by sifting through the complexes we have developed, questioning them, and changing what we dont like.
We build on what fits who we are. Although this process slows down, it still continues for the rest of our lives. Robert Johnson emphasizes that every human being has got to break away from their parents at some point in time, especially their mother-complex that lives inside each and every one of us. It is the mother-complex that effects us the most and that requires the greatest struggle to recover from. When a child first tries to separate themselves from their mother, it is all in vain. They are only trying to hide it from themselves and