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The World is a Waiting Lover October 25, 2009

Posted by jassnight in Change, Love, Relationship.
Tags: , , , , ,

Waiting Lover

Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is more common phenomenon than we would like to admit. For centuries, unrequited love has been the main staple for sonnets, poems, art, music and literature. Just go to the movie theater. There will be at least one movie playing that centers around one-sided passion. Turn on the radio. I will bet you that you will hear at least one song within the first three played that explains the pain of loneliness at the hands of another.

Trebbe Johnson’s, “The World is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved” is an artful and thoughtful rationalization of pain and subsequent resolution of unrequited love that both William Shakespeare and Carl Jung would both endorse. Johnson, using personal experiences and reflection, uses colorful and descriptive narration as the brush for infusing Jungian psychological philosophy into this emotionally riddled topic.

The basic lesson that Johnson continuously accentuates in her literary journey is that unrequited love can be a mirror to find a new and unique affection for Self. Self is defined by Carl Jung as the inner spirit – what we would more commonly call the soul. Jung explains that the Self is the “regulating center of the psyche and the archetype of wholeness.” Johnson, for reasons you will see as you read the book, calls Jung’s Self, the “Beloved.”

If allowed, the pain associated with this experience can cloud our immediate lives. It can manifest in lack of sleep, stress, loss of productivity, withdrawal from family and friends, weight loss or weight gain and much more. However, Johnson explains that when we struggle with the phenomenon of unrequited love, the longed-for person actually serves as our “Escort to the Beloved.” In loving someone who is unavailable or unwilling to return the same type of affection, one can find a reconnection with Self through that person.

Johnson takes a step back at one point in the book to explain that throughout history there have always been references to a spiritual guide. Socrates taught that a semi-divine guardian called a Daimon accompanies us all. He argued that the Daimon knows exactly why we were born and continuously nudges us into making appropriate choices to fulfill our destiny; our path to heaven, so to speak. The Ancient Christian church, true to form, was not liking the idea of having such a helpful hand to heaven since that was solely the job of the sanctioned priest. So the propaganda from the church twisted the idea that the Daimon was not the guide to heaven but indeed the leader to hell and renamed it the Demon.  The Daimon lived on in the secular world however, as the Muse, the personification of artistic inspiration.  Artists to this day talk about their Muse and the different forms in which it appears.

The experience of unrequited love is powerful. It drives people inward to search themselves and find who they really are. It makes them think deeply about attraction, connection, and passion. Johnson, in alluring personal experiences and thoughts, grabs this two-dimensional struggle and morphs it into a three-dimensional spiritual journey. I strongly urge anyone currently struggling with the un-affections of another, to read this spiritually provoking and powerful guide.

Related readings;

Brehony, K. (1996). Awakening at midlife. NY: Riverhead Books.

Stein, M. (2006). Jung’s map of the soul: An introduction. Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing Company.



1. BigLittleWolf - October 31, 2009

Very thoughtful analysis. Sounds like a terrific read. We’ve all been there.

2. Running is… « The Critical Path - November 15, 2009

[…] try to label.)  I will call him the Beloved for this post, reflecting Trebbe Johnson’s book, “The World is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved.” Her description of an internal connection with the soul that reaches out to the creator best fits […]

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