III: The Existence of the Orphan
Recognizing the A of O
The A of O begins with a direct associative response to the Orphan but quickly expands to include a multiplicity of other related subjects. Before searching inside yourself for straightforward evidence of the Orphan's presence in your psyche, look first for more subtle examples.
Perhaps you have found yourself admiring images, stories and personages without realizing their association to Orphanhood, If you have ever come upon yourself rapt with covetous desire at the likes of a child engrossed in solitary play or the careening ennui of an unrequited love, then you have experienced a displacement of your Orphan self. In the midst of a social situation, maybe you have been unable to differentiate your voice from a cacophony of voices surrounding you. Or faced with a difficult decision have you been unable to confidently access and lead with your true desires?
In our discussion about the Orphan, we have addressed its cultural history and significance, as well as considered more metaphoric manifestations. As we have seen, the cultural stronghold of the Orphan is much broader than the story of a parentless child. To identify whether you have a personal connection to the Orphan, consider some of the other subjects we have discussed thus far. What is your relationship to the process of individuation? How do you define and experience childhood and adulthood? Are they in harmony or opposition? Do you believe in the possibility of an absolute and unspoiled self?