Saturday, 2 July 2016


Don Juan Vs Casanova - An Elixir of Free Love for Flower Child                       

                                                          Johnny Depp as Don Juan

Don Juan, Don Giovanni is a legendary, fictional libertine. The first written version of the Don Juan legend was written by the Spanish dramatist Tirso de Molina.  

Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie, is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the Eighteenth century.  Among other things he has narrated many a love escapade by him in this book.  Casanova is the world’s most famous lover.


 Heath Ledger as “Casanova”                                                                         

                                                                                                              Mohanlal as “Casanova”

To Sir with love,

I would like to present here a case study from one of the famous Psychologist about Don Juan Vs Casanova which is interesting and amusing at the same time.

Psychology is often not the best source of wisdom concerning the passions of life. Probably better to turn to great literature and real life itself. This is especially true when discussing love and sex, those two perennials of the consultation room.

It was not so many years ago that female patients who were sexually active were labeled 'nymphomaniacs' by traditional psychologists. As an antidote to that prejudice, a more liberated practitioner once stated: "A nymphomaniac is a woman who is having a more active sex life than her analyst."

Let's look at some characters on the male side of the fence. Both Don Juan and Casanova are terms applied to male predators who are sexually active. But the two are radically different. Looking closer, the Don Juan is a man who seduces many women, then discards them and moves on to the next. He is more interested in the conquest than the woman. In the opera, he gets his comeuppance, as we all know.

The term Casanova comes from the name of a real person, Giovanni Jacopo Casanova (1725-1798), a great Italian adventurer who wrote a historical memoir in 12 volumes, discussing among other things, his many love affairs. Casanova was born into a family of actors, and was known for his great wit. At the tender age of 12, it is said, he established himself at a party by giving a clever answer to a difficult question. A noblewoman asked the young lad, who was somewhat of a linguist, why it is that in many languages the male sex organ is classified as 'feminine', while the female variant takes the 'masculine' case (referring here to the sphere of grammar). The budding seducer answered wisely: "Because the servant takes the name of his master."

The Casanova, as a type, is not as cold-hearted as the Don Juan; instead, he loves women, adores their charms, and just cannot get enough of them. He cannot limit himself to any one woman, but needs to express his love to many. He does not drop one lover to go on to the next conquest, as is the case with the Don Juan, but prefers to retain his lovers.

The distinction, so often blurred in everyday usage, could not be more clear. The Don Juan is primarily interested in the chase, the lure of the hunt. He prides himself in being a skilled hunter, and the woman is simply the prey, the hunted. He is not so terribly interested in the women themselves. This is the picture we get from the literature on the Don Juan, and in the real world, there are certainly many men who fit this description.

The Casanova is more concerned with having a love story, albeit often a short one. But he is in search of love, or at least is able to delude himself that this is his main goal.

As an example of a modern-day Casanova, let's take Jamie, an acquaintance of mine from university. He's a tall, slender, dark gentleman who devotes most of his time to seducing women and loving them. For he truly adores women, that's how he spends most of his time.

He has dabbled in philosophy, and even a few odd jobs, but his main interest in life is pursuing the eternal feminine. It's not that he has any special power with women, he explained to me one day, but his success is due to his persistence. He simply spends more time on the pursuit of female beauty than other men. The rule seems to be, if at first you don't succeed, try with another one.

So he exerts himself day after day, picking up women, and eventually will find one who falls for his line. Other men give up too easily, or don't have the time to devote to this endeavor, but for Jamie it's the major portion of his life. A rather thin life, many would say, but for him, it's the great play of passion.

According to the classical Freudian theory, he is doing all this in order to prove his manhood, i.e., there is an element of latent homosexuality behind all this effort. A normal man, according to psychoanalysis, would not need to go so far to prove to himself that he is virile.

Moreover, Freud believed that the constant chase after women is in reality an attempt to discover one that has the male sexual elements. That is, he is driven compulsively to undress women in a fruitless search after a penis.

Well, that's the theory, and one may or may not believe it. And one is not compelled to accept every theory; I prefer to judge each case on its own merits – look at the quality of the activities involved. Does Jamie appear driven by some irrational inner compulsion? Or does he take genuine pleasure in the search? Only by a closer examination of the details can one come close to understanding what is actually going on. I have known men similar to Jamie who one day meet a special woman and then give up their quest, settling down into a 'normal' family life style.


I was discussing this topic over lunch not long ago with a colleague, who recommended I see the Hollywood film 'Don Juan Demarco'. A good film, with Johnny Depp playing the lead, a romantic young man who adores women; actually the character is more of a Casanova type than a Don Juan, since he loves women and throughout the film does all he can to make women happy. But that´s Hollywood; they probably thought the label 'Don Juan' would sell more tickets. Marlon Brando plays a psychiatrist who learns something from his patient. All in all, an entertaining and moving story.

My colleague who appreciated this film also told me of one of his recent cases, who perhaps represents a sub-group of the Don Juan type – maybe you could label him the 'Don Juan teaser'. Roy is a very handsome young man who likes to have women run after him, but has no interest in returning their lust. When Roy sits on the underground, women stamp on his feet to attract his attention – so appealing is he to the average woman. But he apparently gets his pleasure from arousing their desire, only to return their eager look with a disdainful shrug.

Flower Child:

“Happiness held is the seed;
Happiness shared is the flower.”  -   John Harrigan.

Flowerchild originated as a synonym for Hippie.  Flowerchild is a young person, especially a hippie, rejecting conventional society and advocating love, peace and simple idealistic values.  The Flowerchild is someone “born happy-go-lucky” pretty, a hippie, environmentalist, a person who love peace and happiness.  A Flowerchild as a custom carrying or wearing flowers to symbolize peace and love.  The flowerchild is especially among the idealistic those who gathered in San Francisco and environs during the Summer of Love in 1967.

A famous quote about flower –

“A Flower cannot blossom without sunshine,
And man cannot live without love.”

                            -            Max Mueller

I would like to share an excerpt from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem here –

 “A damsel with a dulcimer,
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ‘twould win me,
That such music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! Those caves of Ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of paradise.”

 Another interesting lyric about Flower Child by Lenny Kravtiz –

Dressed in purple velvets
With a flower in her hair
Feel her gentle spirit
As the champa fills the air
She wears rubys on her fingers
Tiny bells upon her toes
She's the finest thing
I've ever seen
Love that ring inside her nose

Flower child yeah, flower child
Flower child oh yeah

She's a psychedelic princess
On a magic carpet ride
And where her trip will carry you
Is somewhere you can't find
She's on a plane of higher consciousness
Meditation is the key
She's got her shit together
'Cause her soul and mind are free

Flower child, free yeah yeah yeah yeah,
Flower child that is
Flower child, oh yeah
Flower child yeah
My little flower child
Flower child yeah

She's a child of Martin Luther
As a freedom fighter she
Speaks of liberation on the land
And on the sea
Her eyes are made of sunshine
And her lips are jelly sweet

Flower child yeah
My little flower child
Flower child oh yeah
Flower child yeah
My little flower child
Flower child oh yeah

You gonna free me
You gonna free me
You gonna free free free free free yeah.

Now, let me share the experience of a flower child laid bare to my acquaintance about one of her loony moony nights -

Dolce Far Niente (Pleasant idleness):

There is amazing beauty in the feeling of nothing to do, nowhere to go and no pressing matter to attend to.  I was out to enjoy and experience the joy of commune living and in search of ‘Utopian concepts’, like freedom and inner peace.

Living in a commune means where love is available freely, and in abundance.  In a habitat where the focus is on feeling rather than thinking, it takes on a form that’s both fluid and all-encompassing.   Conversations are heart-warming, and contact is natural extension of the interaction.  On the flip side love adheres to no set rules and refuses to co-exist with emotions such as hostility, jealousy, rivalry or ambition. 

I felt like an onlooker with rose-tinted vision. Here, I felt like I was stripped down to the basics.  The joy of being completely in touch with every breath and rhythm of my body was overwhelming at first, and then it became something I wanted to celebrate.  Though it sounds like something out of ‘Hippiedom or Dummies,’ it’s absolutely true.

Thus, when I met Krishna (not real name) for the first time, I took his loving embrace as nothing more than an effort to integrate with me with the clan.  The girl outside the commune would have resisted this sort of contact, as excessive and unnecessary, especially coming from a man possibly thrice her age, and someone in a position of authority.  The girl inside, though, reveled in the fact that passages to her heart were finally wide open to let in some of that free-flowing love  and anybody who wished to enter therewith.  So I let myself become one with it, as I did with the rest of my surroundings, but not without noticing his impish smile and the grandeur of his sultry salt and pepper strands. 

I am not entirely sure when the emotions turned primal, but I won’t say I was surprised.  This time around, he kissed me ever so slightly on my cheeks and let the gaze and the embrace linger longer than they were supposed to.  My inhibitions dropped to ground level instantly.  That’s when the game of seduction really started – slow, but steady with an intensity that could have only come with years and years of practice.  When our lips met for the first time under the moonlight, I knew no force in the world could have extinguished the fire our bodies ignited.

It was in this moment of catharsis that the magic of meditation dawned upon me.  We were so in the moment that everything else faded into oblivion -  the years that separated us, his role as one of the authorities, the women who had been here before me, or the woman who was bound to him by law  - all these were realizations that in the outside world, had the potential to shred me into pieces.  At the same time neither of us lingered in the possibility of a shared future – not that it could not exist, but the burden of expectation was too much.  What did remain constant was the vulnerability in his eyes, something that I had seen in all the lovers before him.

It’s hard to tell whether he made a concerted effort to woo me, or if we acted out of an electrifying connect, but I am now a firm believer in the heat of the moment.  It has left me with a taste so intoxicating that I can’t wait to get my hands on the elixir of free love.

 Humans various conquests for forbidden fruits are illustrious in the history of mankind.



Similarly, a sexually liberated commune in Pune, Maharashtra, India’s OSHO Ashram, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh used to drive his disciples into dizzying heights through his hermitage in-house programs.  Bhagwan Rajneesh was an Indian mystic guru, and spiritual leader.   Rajneesh Ashram is located in Koregaon Park, Pune and now known as OSHO International Meditation Resort. Through meditation and sexually liberated views he attracted millions of devotees to his OSHO Rajneesh Ashram in Pune. 

His syncretic teachings emphasize the importance of meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity and humor, the qualities which he viewed as suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition and socialization.  Rajneesh’s teachings had a notable influence on Western spirituality and New Age thought.   Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh said that Religion is an art that shows how to enjoy life.  Bhagwan means in English “Blessed One”. Indian cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh created the Spiritual practice of dynamic meditation. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh also known as Aacharya Rajneesh and later on  as OSHO. His unusual form of Indian spirituality, especially known for its encouragement of free sexual activity attracted many followers as well as considerable controversy.

Bhagwan Rajneesh advocated a more open attitude towards sexuality, a stance which earned him a sobriquet as “Sex Guru” in the Indian and International press.  Bhagwan Rajneesh had base in Antelope, the central Oregon, in the United States.

OSHO died in 1990 aged 58 years at his Pune Ashram. His epitaph or tomb inscription reads “OSHO Never Born, Never Died. Only visited this Planet Earth between Dec 11, 1931 - January 19, 1990.”

Don Juan and Casanova on the one side and the Flower Child on the other side are both sides of  the same coin.

In my quest for writing interesting and amusing Blog posts in JOHNNY’S BLOG, I ended up writing a post about the different love interests in the history of human race.


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