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Volume 1559
I'll Be Hurtin' Either Way
Edgar Rice Burroughs And His Three Women
R.E. Prindle

It's so hard to leave.
It's so hard to stay.
I can't never win
In this circle game I'm in,
Woe, woe, I'll be hurtin' either way.
                                                                  - Jeannie Kendall

     In the Fall 2005 BB #64 Danton Burroughs released information on the third woman in ERB's life, Dorothy Dahlberg.  With the addition of Mrs. Dahlberg a pattern was established in ERB's relationship with women.

     The pattern was the product of ERB's subconscious.  I'm sure that while he may have known what he was doing he didn't know why he was doing it.  I would like to see if I can understand him and explain his actions.

     As I said in another place a human being is a bilateral creature.  He is a construct of two contributions of genetic material.  One half from a female, the other half from a male.  The two halves combine to form a whole.  The union can be made in varying degrees of perfections.  Fully twenty percent of fertilized eggs are aborted almost immediately due to gross imperfections of union.  Getting it right isn't easy even for nature.  Most successful unions produce reasonable facsimiles  but not perfect matches.  In most if not all people the right side of the body is stronger than the left while feet, for instance, are almost always two slightly different sizes.  So the product of ovum and sperm seldom make a perfect match.  The left side of my face, for instance, is quite different from the right.  As is sometimes painfully obvious one of a woman's breasts may be quite large while the other is quite small.

     The brain and the body are a psycho-somatic unit.  That means that all bodily functions are monitored or controlled by the brain.  The autonomic system such as breathing, digestion and excretion function without conscious effort.  An insult to the ego for which no appropriate response is available will then subconsciously be converted into a somatic reaction such as ulcers, constipation or whatever.

     In some cases the response may be directed outward on other people in a vengeful manner.  One becomes a psychopath or sociopath.  Child molestation and such are extreme cases of this response.  This response is subconscious; the ego will certainly not know why it does destructive or anti-social things and it may not even be aware it is doing them.  These responses are properly caused by fixations.

    As is known the female chromosomes are XX and male are Xy.  Therefore the female has two female chromosomes which means she is unalterably different from the male.  Her brain functions differently as a result and nothing can change that.  The male has a female component in the X which is psychologically represented as his Anima ideal and a male component the y which is represented as his Ego, himself, his person, his penis.

     When he is unable to respond to an insult to his Ego his Animus suffers a degree of emasculation which may result in a permanent fixation or if not too severe a temporary one.

     An injury to his Anima will also have serious consequences.  In this essay we are only going to be concerned with the Anima.  Because of the baby's relationship to the Mother the mother fills the complete Anima for a number of years.  Other women over the years will share the Anima, placed there either by affection or trauma.

     A well known fact is that the Mother controls the social status of the son.  A strong Mother will usually produce a strong son.  The father is secondary.

     As Kipling said:  A woman is only a woman while a good cigar is a smoke.  Mothers are only women.  Therefore Mothers come in all female personality types.  The kind one gets is the luck of the draw but she will affect your life for good or evil.

     We have one event in Burroughs life which affected his Anima that we know for sure.  That was his encounter with John the Bully when he was eight or nine.  Since Burroughs wrote extensively around that encounter we have a fairly good idea of how that affected his Anima and the relationship of his Animus to it.

     Every writer talks incessantly about his Anima and its relationship to his Animus if you know how to read him.  The understanding of the Anima and the Animus is not a new thing.  The ancient Egyptians developed the idea fully perhaps well before -2000 and probably -3000.  It would be pure speculation to go beyond that but I wouldn't be surprised if the understanding went back tens of thousands of years into the civilization of the prehistoric Mediterranean; back into the depths of the ice age when very large habitable areas of the Med basis were above water.  It is an indisputable fact that they were.

     It's like that wonderful knowledge you have as a child that grown ups have forgotten that you say you never will but you do.  As you learn more some things disappear into the mists of your mind, still there but unretrievable.  Undoubtedly it's part of that lost knowledge that is hopefully buried beneath the Sphinx.

     The knowledge was never in general distribution but part of the learning of the colleges of Priests.  The ancient Egyptian imparted it to the Cretans who, when they were made the Priests of Apollo at Delphi brought it to Greece while certain Greeks studied at the source in Egypt long after that ancient land had fallen from glory.  A fine understanding of part of this knowledge can be found in Rider Haggard's The World's Desire.  you'll need a little background to understand it though.

     A lot of people without the background don't think much of the novel.  They don't understand the significance of Odysseus Golden Armor.  While I'm here on the subject I might as well give you more detail than you likely want.  Let me ramble.

     Haggard's story takes place just before the Dark Age that occurred after the big battles between the declining Matriarchy and the emerging Patriarchy.  The war represents the development of human consciousness on its way to the Scientific.  A big battle was represented by the story of Perseus and the Medusa.  Only one detail is important to us here and that is the beheading of the Gorgon, Medusa.  She personifies the Matriarchy whose consciousness had suppressed the intellect of the male beneath a yoke of excessive sexuality, not unlike what is emerging today.

     Men formed a little chorus line as the kicked their legs and sang:  I just gotta be free.

     When Perseus cut off the head of the Gorgon a strange thing happened - out flew the great winged white horse Pegasus and the Golden Knight Chryseis.  This represents the freeing of the male intellect from the oppression of the Matriarchy.

     The horse is a symbol of the female so Pegasus represents the perfect Anima while the Golden Knight represents the perfect Animus.  Gold is the metal of perfection.  Perseus, who assumes the attributes of the Golden Knight, mounts Pegasus to go off to rescue his Anima ideal, Andromeda, from the perils of what became Freud's Unconscious which is represented by a sea serpent rising from the depths, i.e. the Unconscious.  Man having been freed from the chains of the Unconscious then frees the female.

     The following war between the Trojans and the Greeks represents a hoped for conquest over the Matriarchy. 

     Helen was the object of that war.  Now, Helen was one of the four offspring of the coupling of the Swan King and Leda.  In sort of the model for Burroughs' Mars Leda laid two eggs which, I suppose, shows what happens when a Swan and human female mate.

     Out of one of the eggs Castor and Polydeuces were hatched while the other produced Helen and Clytemnestra.  What these four deities represent are the four portals of the calendar year.  The two solstices and the two equinoxes.  Castor is the first or mortal half of the year.  Born on 12/21 he dies on 6/21 when the days begin to shorten.  Polydeuces is the immortal part of the year when although the days shorten the unconquerable Sun is born again, the once and future king, on 12/21 and the cycle starts again.

     Clytemnestra represents the Fall Equinox, the evil sister, Libra of the balances when the year tips into the worst months.  Helen then represents Aries, the Spring Equinox when the fairness of the Earth returns.  Thus she has the beauty of eternal youth - The World's Desire as Haggard accurately divined.  The ideal Anima.

     There were some who said that Helen didn't go to Troy at all, that only a shadow of Helen went there while the real Helen was spirited off to Egypt.  She must have passed Menelaus on the way.

     After the Great Trojan War, Poseidon, the god of the waters, in a fit of pique refused to allow Odysseus to go home.  The Great Wanderer then roamed for ten more long years.  During this time he refused to become the sexual slave of any woman or combination of women.  He had a pocket full of Moly to enable him to resist the charms of Circe.  While his fellow sailors were turned into sexual lusting beasts Odysseus subdued the female bending her to his will.  The same was true of Calypso and the Sirens before her

     Odysseus stuffed his ears with wax to avoid hearing their seductive song while he had himself tied to the mast so he couldn't go to them.  The Patriarchal Revolution was safe in the hands of the great Odysseus. He was to seek the purity of a union with his Anima, Helen, even abandoning his wife Penelope in the pursuit of this perfection.

     Thus when he come ashore in his golden armor in Egypt he represents Chryseis the perfected Golden Knight who emerged from the defeated Matriarchy.  His adventures lead him to the sanctuary of his Anima ideal - Helen.

     Helen lives in a castle fortified by charms.  Only one man can succeed while imposters die by the thousands in a foolhardy attempt to find bliss in her arms.  Sounds a little like the sword in the stone doesn't it?

     Of course Odysseus succeeds in this brilliant story of genius by Rider Haggard.  We know that Edgar Rice Burroughs read a number of books of Haggard but as there were none in his library we can only guess which from the contexts.  Certainly ERB read King Solomon's Mines, She and Allan Quatermain.  There is evidence in Forbidden City that he read Cleopatra while he follows Haggard's lost civilization formula in all his lost city novels.
     There is clear evidence he read The World's Desire and that it made an indelible impression on him. 

     The story of John Carter and his disrupted love affair with his princess, Dejah Thoris is clearly the story of Odysseus and Helen.  Tarzan of the Apes is the same as regards to La/Helen who lives in a ruined castle in the ruins of an Atlantean city while Tarzan is married to a Clytemnestra lookalike.  The Odysseus-Helen theme can be applied to David Innes and Dian the Beautiful also.  Dian can be pronounced Die-ann also so she can be associated with the goddess Diana.

      We know that ERB was a student of the Greek myths so that his readings in Haggard would support his readings in mythology.  Between the myths and Haggard, one of the greatest mythologists who ever lived, his reading would be augmented.

       Haggard was also a very perceptive student of Egyptian religion.  The Egyptians developed the idea of the Anima and Animus or perhaps inherited the idea from the Med Civilization.  In any event the notion was central to Egyptian religion.  There is no reason Burroughs didn't grasp the notion whether he understood it in full or not.

      Legend has it that a great knowledge - the Lost Word - disappeared about the time of the Great Flood.  Legend has it that this knowledge is in subterranean chambers beneath the Sphinx.  It is imagined that this knowledge is very advanced.  I suppose in a way it might be.

     If this knowledge is ever found I imagine that it will be about mind and body and the laterality of the body.  The Word was lost when life became too complex to hold it in memory.  In a more primitive state with little learning to occupy the mind certain material states were easier to capture.  This was not knowledge for the multitudes.  Few in the Priesthood were taught the knowledge and fewer still understood it.  Rituals were developed to represent the knowledge using various pictures and symbols.

     That any of this knowledge survived is remarkable yet even today there are a learned few who have penetrated the mysteries, at least in part, I haven't seen a comprehensive survey while perhaps I would not have recognized it if I had.

     In 1938 Dr. Hoffman isolated the chemical substance LSD.  By the sixties the use had become widespread.  I myself have never taken LSD so I can only speak second hand and from observation.  The people who did take LSD speak of a number of physical effects such as becoming aware of the cellular structure of their bodies.  It is quite possible that they saw their Animus and Anima but didn't recognize them.  Perhaps they had too many distractions what with phonograph records, movies, TV and all the distractions of the city.  In fact they placed themselves in the way to become victims of the hypnopaedic media.

     Back when the Med Valley showed its face to the moon and stars the proto-Libyans had no such distractions.  They had no electric lights, the principles of lamps were not either well known or known at all or perhaps they were one of the first things invented.  When the sun went down in the those days you were faced with twelve to fifteen hours of weary darkness.  There was nothing to do but sit and listen to your heart beat and study the stars.  There is no reason to believe that they weren't aware of Nature's pharmacopoeia - the opium poppy and possibly the hemp plant.

     Just as in the Middle Ages the ergot of the wheat plant from which LSD is manufactured sometimes undoubtedly was eaten by whole villages making them cavort about in wondrous ways.

     There were no books, language if it existed at all was at its most primitive.  Probably communication of ideas was transmitted with sand painting or some such as with the Indians of the American Southwest.  The accretion of consciousness and knowledge is truly miraculous in conditions such as these.  As I say, they learned of the Great Year by studying the stars of the North Pole, Hamlet's Mill as Professor Santayana calls it.  He was pilloried for the knowledge he uncovered.

     The ancient Libyans must have also have discovered the nature of laterality which they carried with them to the Delta of the Nile when the great waters rose.

     What one calls the Egyptians is a generalization because the people of Upper Egypt had no cultural relationship with the people of Lower Egypt.  The unification of the two Egypts c-3400 was tenuous at best.  The Upper Egyptians occupied the former highlands when the Med Valley lay exposed.  The Lower Egyptians were Libyans flushed out of the Basin by the Great Flood thus they were much more culturally advanced than the Upper Egyptians.

     By the Third Dynasty the Libyans had succeeded to the Pharaohate.  Then Heliopolis and the Great Pyramids came into existence.  Heliopolis - the great city of Sun worship.

     I'm sure that most if not all the great symbols associated with Egypt were of Libyan origin.  The wonder of the ancient world, the religion of Egypt was surely of Libyan devise.  The Uas symbol.  The Uas scepter was a long staff representing the backbone surmounted by a bird like head with the lower end bifurcated,  In one instance it was separated and curved inward to represent the male genitals while in the other curved outward to represent the female, a perfect symbol of human consciousness.  When held in the left hand it symbolized the ovate or left side and when held in the right the spermatic side.

     The Egyptian priesthood was able to maintain this knowledge in a recondite manner.  To try to explain it to the unprepared minds of the multitude would indeed be casting pearls before swine.

     The sixties rock group, Fleetwood Mac had an LP titled Mystery To Me.  The cover  portrayed a sad wise old man handing the book of wisdom to a baboon.  The baboon promptly took a chomp out of it and sat there puzzled because it wasn't good to eat.  When the student is ready the teacher will appear.  Sometimes he arrives a little early.

     There are those who say that the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx were used as religious colleges which is probably true.  The great Egyptian religious establishment was shattered when the conquering Assyrians crossed the River of Egypt to destroy the foundations of Egyptian civilization.  A most bitter moment for the proud Priesthood.

     Now, remember that Burroughs read Rider Haggard.  Haggard is absolutely uncanny in his ability to understand this ancient civilization.  Perhaps in his story of Smith And The Pharaohs he is symbolically telling his own experience.  Nevertheless he understood completely and Burroughs sat at his feet.  How well he understood is a matter of opinion.

     When the Assyrians came in, intolerant of all thought but their own as the Semites always have been, the Priesthood hurriedly gathered the mummified bodies of the Pharaohonic gods and cast them down shafts heaping great piles of rubbish on top of them to keep them from the Assyrian wolf who would surely have destroyed them.

     The entrance to the great subterranean chambers of the Great Pyramid was filled with rubble to prevent the Assyrians from disturbing the sarcophagus of Osiris resting in its subterranean replica of the Nile.

     Professor Hawass emptied the shaft to gain entrance once again to these storied chambers of Osiris and the hall of initiation.  This was shown on TV.  Of course legend and Herodotus had exaggerated the story of Osiris and the great river flowing beneath the Pyramid and the tomb of Osiris but there it was, a stone sarcophagus in a pool of water symbolic of the Nile.

     There are some who insist that there were halls of initiation also in these chambers.  Hawass found evidence of corridors but they were filled with what?  rubble.  There's a dead giveaway that the halls contain something sacred.  If the corridors were filled with rubble how and why did it get there.  The Priesthood obviously placed it there so that the conquering Assyrians should they get that far would be too discouraged to go further.

     The shrines were no longer usable.  They Egyptians would never be able to drive the Assyrians out.  The Assyrians would be replaced by the Persians, of Indo-European origins they were tolerant of the 'native' religion at least allowing it to breathe, the Persians by the Ptolomaic Hellenes and they by the Romans followed by the Moslems.  Bye-bye Egypt.

     The Priesthood daren't reclaim the Pharaohs  or tidy up the Pyramids so things stayed as they were.  There wasn't even an obvious entrance to the great stone mountain.

     The wisdom, the knowledge, the learning of the Priests of ancient Egypt couldn't be allowed to die, the true religion couldn't be allowed to disappear so the Priests devised other means to perpetuate the Religion Of Their Fathers.  One way was the Tarot deck which degenerated into Medieval playing cards.

     There is a fairly large number of very intelligent men who have tackled ancient civilizations from the point of view of consciousness.  Conventional historians are pure materialists.  To them history consists only of ruined monuments, pot sherds, literature, numismatics and other hard artefacts.  They describe and measure these artefacts but they consider it unwise or foolish to try to understand their meaning.

     The former group while they find the efforts of academic historians useful wish to penetrate into the psychological and intellectual meaning of these artefacts.  Naturally their findings are controversial.  No one of them has penetrated to the bottom of the arcana however they have all added solid bits of interpretation for which they should be appreciated.  Not being an academic myself I am free to roam about amongst all the points of view without fear of losing my livelihood.

     One of the shortcomings of the alternate school is that they always end up with notions of spacemen having visited the earth millennia ago.  If these visitors were as intelligent as they must have been to get here they were eons ahead of the earthmen they were attempting to educate.  It would be the same as the wise old sage handing the baboon the Book Of Wisdom.  Chomp, chomp. 

     My own feeling which runs counter to the feelings of everyone I've ever talked to is that we're all alone out here; there's no one out there to visit us.  But that doesn't mean these scholars haven't gone a long way in explication of the meaning of ancient symbolism.  One who has done a fine job, although he too finishes with the inevitable spacemen, is Paul A. Laviolette.  I refer now to his Beyond The Big Bang: Ancient Myth And The Science Of Continuous Creation.  God only knows what continuous creation is but Laviolette's scholarship on ancient Egyptian myths is superb.

     He discusses examples of Egyptian laterality without understanding the physical or psychological meaning.  As I read this before developing my views on laterality I suppose Laviolette may be the impetus for my views so I will give examples from his book.

     These are what Laviolette describes as Masculine and Feminine symbolic stereotypes: 

Left Hand Side- Feminine  Right Hand Side- Masculine
The Moon
Hidden Activity
The Implicit
The Unconscious
The Sun
Expressed Activity
The Explicit
The Conscious
     As can be readily seen the attributes of the feminine correspond to the qualities of the ovum while the masculine correspond to the sperm.  Bear in mind that the female also has an ovate and spermatic side but the spermatic side is an X not a y.

     The Uas scepter which connotes the human being gathers its significance from whether it is being in the right or left hand.  When held in the left hand it denotes the feminine with the qualities of the ovum which is the female contribution to laterality while when held in the right hand it denotes the spermatic qualities of laterality.

     Not only did the Egyptians have a very highly developed notion of the sexual nature of laterality but they transmitted it to the Cretans and Pelasgians, ultimately to the Greeks who received their early notions from the Pelasgians and Cretans ultimately going to the source, Egypt itself.

     In Greco-Cretan mythology, as well as in Egyptian mythology, the Animus was represented by vigorous symbols such as the Bull, the Ram or the Sun.  While in the female the Anima and Animus were represented by two snakes, two lions, etc.  They symbols are duplicated because the female is constructed of two X chromosomes hence being the same although the ovate is still passive while the spermatic remains the active chromosome.

     Thus Cretan images portray the Goddess as the Good Mother with a Snake in each hand held hip high sexually erect with a dreamy look on her face; the Bad Mother is portrayed by a violent expression on her face holding squiggling snakes above her head in threatening manner.

     Now, because the female has two Xs she is lacking a y.  As the complete organism before sexualization was XXXy the female misses this component and is fatally attracted to it in the male.  This is what Freud was criticized for naming 'penis envy.'

     Thus the Cretan goddess is also depicted standing on a mountain top on a pillar, which represents the penis, flanked by two lionesses as symbols of the sun supporting themselves against the pillar.  She as 'the moon' is longing for her mate 'the Sun.'  Astronomically the Sun on the Summer Solstice and the Full Moon occur very close together once in every nineteen years.  This is called the marriage of the Sun and Moon.  These two orbs then quite clearly represent the Anima and Animus.

     These ideas became part of Greek psychology.

     The Assyrian conquest of Egypt was followed by the Persian occupation which was succeeded by the Greeks subsequently by the Romans and then in the seventh century by the Moslem Arabs.  Egyptian religion if it were to survive then had to compete with a host of other religions in the Mediterranean area.

     The religion of Isis and Osiris was then adapted for universal dissemination ultimately being incorporated into Christianity.

     Thus in its limited way Christianity reflects Egyptian concepts of the Anima and Animus in Mary and Jesus.  Mary may be assumed to be a representation of Isis and Jesus as Osiris-Horus.

     In Roman times a priest of the Isiac religion Apuleius wrote a religious allegory called The Golden Ass.  The centerpiece of the Golden Ass is the Anima story told as the fable of Psyche and Eros.

     How old this story was at the time is beyond anyone to determine but the form it has taken in Western literature is that of Cinderella.  If Burroughs was wrestling with his Anima problem Cinderella should show up in his oeuvre which indeed it does, most clearly in Marcia Of The Doorstep.  The chapters titled The Drab Girl and Cinderella are Burroughs version of the story.  Perhaps also as Tarzan and La and a few other representations.

     The gist of Psyche and Eros is that Psyche was the most beautiful girl in the world which excited the jealousy of the goddess Aphrodite.  The goddess sent her son Eros (Cupid in Roman mythology) to make Psyche fall in love with the most vile man in the world.  Instead Eros falls in love with Psyche himself, taking her to wife.

     However he visits her only at night (sort of an ideal situation) while forbidding her to ever look at him. (Wow, what technique.)

     Psyche has two older sisters who she wishes to tell of her good luck.  Eros advises her against it, she persists and like a good husband he permits it but warns here she may lose him.  Psyche's sisters persuade her to look at her husband as he is probably an ugly old monster.  Psyche does, is entranced by the beauty of Eros but awakes him.  He leaves.  Both become ill at the separation.

     After a lifetime of searching Psyche and Eros are reunited.

     Thus at birth the Anima and Animus are in harmony.  Circumstances eventually disrupt this perfection while both the Anima and Animus receive impurities that have to be rectified while the two have to be reconciled.  So, at separation Psyche and Eros become 'sick.'

     This knowledge of laterality was lost sometime after Apuleius' The Golden Ass and wasn't rediscovered until the time of Jung and Freud when they broached the notion of 'bisexuality.'   laterality and the Anima and Animus under a different name.

     If Freud's unconscious exists at all then the feeling of laterality unconsciously appears in many works by many writers.  Rider Haggard's 'She' is perhaps the most famous example.  Edgar Rice Burroughs work is characterized by his search to reconcile his Anima and Animus.

     I wish we knew more about his relationship with his mother which appears to me to be cold and distant.  As Freud indicated the, not so much relationship, but experience of the mother when the child is very young is instrumental in establishing the character of the man.

     The relationship is very special nor do I think Freud really understood it.  The ancient statue of the mother, The Great Mother, seated on her throne, which represents the Earth, with her infant on her lap while the father stands discreetly on her left side is a perfect symbol of the situation.  The goddess is looking tenderly at her infant with her hands raised as though to say behold the man.  In nature the previous husband has been replaced by the new year while the Great Mother Earth goes on forever.  Thus the infant is son and husband to be replaced by another in virgin birth after virgin birth.

     In human terms the son displaces the father in the mother's affection.  The relationship between the mother and son is very special.  I do not believe with Freud that the relationship is sexual in any manner.  The mother feeds the infant from her body thereby establishing an economic connection that the child requires until perhaps five years of age as Freudians assert, then beginning to cut himself free of his mother's apron strings.

    I am not a clinician but I believe that for the development of a healthy Anima the mother and only the mother administer to the child's needs.  The current rage for involving the father in bathing and diaper changing is, I think, a major mistake.  Likewise it is impossible for two homosexual males to adopt and raise a psychologically healthy child.  The Anima must be distorted as ERB's was to be distorted by John the Bully.

     However Burroughs experienced his mother his experience with John the Bully accounts for, perhaps, ninety percent of the damage to his Anima.  That damage affected how ERB related to women.  The evidence indicates that he both loved and resented them; he wanted to punish them for his Anima's abandoning him so he abandoned them.  This is all on the unconscious level, of course.  Over his lifetime he developed serious relationships with three women each one of diminishing importance.  The first two, Emma and Florence, he married; the third Dorothy Dahlberg he seduced and abandoned. 

     The interesting characteristic is that he took each woman from another man.  Emma from Frank Martin and the last two from their husbands.  In each case to one degree or another he ruined these women's lives.  In doing so he was imitating John the Bully who took his Anima from him ruining his own life.

     The most tragic case is that of his first woman, Emma.  ERB attended Brown School with her.  Burroughs records only that he had an encounter with John the Bully on a street corner on the way to school.  He doesn't say whether he was alone or with others.  Possibly, I suspect, he may have been walking with Emma and possibly others.  It would be normal to want to humiliate your victim if front of others in these childhood confrontations.  Indeed, there is very little satisfaction if you don't.  Such a situation then would affect his relationship with Emma possibly unconsciously commingling Emma into his Anima problem.

     Although he began proposing to Emma in his early teens, possibly as a result of his emasculation by John, by the time he graduated from the MMA his attitude may have changed so that he wanted her on the shelf perhaps as a witness to his humiliation but he appears to have had no intention of marrying her.  For all practical purposes he abandoned her when he joined the Army going to Arizona without even communicating with her.

      Some five months after he joined Emma wrote him in September 1896 to indicate she was there.  This could be construed as pursuing him indicating a deep affection.  Indeed, my interpretation of Emma is that she was a one man woman.  She put up with whatever he did without leaving him including his long affair with Florence of which she could not have been ignorant.

     One can only conjecture why it was so urgent for ERB to want a release from his Army obligation, just being in is enough to want out, but it may have involved the courting of Emma by Frank Martin.  ERB seems to have been deeply impressed with his time in Arizona.  He returned to the State a number of times in life including a hermitage just before he divorced Emma.  It may be significant that he has John Carter visit him in his hermitage.  Thus both he and Carter returned to Arizona nearly forty years on.  Perhaps he might not have returned to Chicago except for Emma.  Or, perhaps, merely romanticized the period in later years as is so common with soldiers and sailors in old age.

     He was not Emma's father's favorite, in fact, Hulbert was absolutely opposed to Emma's marrying what he considered a ne'er do well. Adamantly.  He much preferred Frank Martin.  So, Burroughs was competing for Emma and he won her, or took her away from Martin.  He very likely would never have married her except under that circumstance.  Thus he began a pattern of taking women from other men.  He was to repeat this two more times.

     By all reports he and Emma had a tempestuous marriage.  He himself says that he walked out on her a number of times before he finally divorced her.  She put up with a lot as Burroughs' friend Herb Weston says.  As he probably associated her with this humiliation at the hands of John, while his self-humiliation in Idaho in 1904 when he gambled away the couples resources must have been thrown up to him in many arguments, his trouble with Emma would have had more to do with himself than with her.  Of course, there is the question of why he would have risked his money and marriage by gambling.  Perhaps he expected her to leave him or was trying to drive her away.

   In 1927 he began his affair with Florence Gilbert who was then married to Ashton Dearholt.  He was her second husband so ERB was her third.  She was easy enough, marrying a fourth time shortly after being discarded by ERB.

     I don't say Burroughs intentions where conscious.  I believe he was driven to avenge his Anima ideal through these women.  His Anima had abandoned him under the terror of John the Bully.  He then tormented these three women in vengeance.  But, he wasn't necessarily aware of why he was doing what he was doing although he knew he was doing it. 

     Thus he tortured Emma for seven long years while he fooled around with Florence.  She had to know.  I suspect ERB left little evidences of his infidelity around so that she couldn't  miss it.  At this time her drinking became serious.  Why shouldn't it?  That she drank herself unconscious and had to be carried back into the house is evidence that her hurt was too much to bear.

     When ERB left her behind he was particularly vicious about it just as when his Anima deserted him.  He was unrelentingly cruel to her even dancing on her grave, as it were, when she died.

     He may have perhaps thought that life with Florence would be idyllic which was a serious mistake, the problem lay within him not in any woman.  On his honeymoon he took Florence to the earthly paradise of Hawaii which proved futile.  When it came time to abandon her he took her back to Hawaii where he drove her from him.

     Still not satisfied he took up with Dorothy Dahlberg, another married woman.  His treatment of this woman was particularly callous.  Having ruined her marriage, separated her from her husband, he coldly abandoned her, left her standing.

     Perhaps this cruel treatment gratified his need for revenge on his Anima or perhaps he was too old to consider pursuing another woman.

     The three women give a definite pattern of wooing, winning and abandonment.  This cannot be coincidental, there must be a reason for it.  Such a reason must be psychological.  One's treatment of women is involved with the state of one's Anima.  It therefore follows that Burroughs had a malaise of his Anima.

     The most obvious source of the malaise would come from his mother which could occur at any time from birth to the mother's death but most likely no later than twelve.  If his mother did contribute the source can't be found, although it is possible he may have thought that she deserted him also.

     The central childhood fixation of ERB's life occurred on that street corner with John.  ERB was both emasculated on his Animus while his Anima was annihilated being replaced by a man in drag as evidenced by De Vac in the Outlaw of Torn.

     As hard as ERB tried, as evidenced by his writing in The Girl From Farris's, The Mucker Trilogy and Marcia Of The Doorstep he was apparently never able to successfully completely reconcile his Anima.  Thus he was driven unconsciously to take vengeance on his Anima substitutes Emma, Florence and Dorothy.  This was tragic for himself as well as his three women but inescapable in this world that functions without regard for good or evil.  What IS is unavoidable.  How responsible can anyone really be?

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