Thursday, October 20, 2011

Where the boys are

I've previously commented that in a subset of gay maledom, people want to self-identify as boys forever. Jung gave us a pertinent concept:
Puer aeternus. Latin for "eternal child," used in mythology to designate a child-god who is forever young; psychologically it refers to an older man whose emotional life has remained at an adolescent level, usually coupled with too great a dependence on the mother.

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The puer's shadow is the senex (Latin for "old man"), associated with the god Apollo-disciplined, controlled, responsible, rational, ordered. Conversely, the shadow of the senex is the puer, related to Dionysus-unbounded instinct, disorder, intoxication, whimsy.
Between the puer and the senex, which sounds like the better fit to mainstream queerness, which favors the Dionysian over the Apollonian? This concept also explains many of us who have never fit in with the mainstream, particularly those of us who grew up being "old souls."

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