Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche: Archetypes Evolving
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Between ancient Greece and modern psyche lies a divide of not only three thousand years, but two cultures that are worlds apart in art, technology, economics and the accelerating flood of historical events. This unique collection of essays from an international selection of contributors offers compelling evidence for the natural connection and relevance of ancient myth to contemporary psyche, and emerges from the second 'Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche' conference held in Santorini, Greece, in 2012.
This volume is a powerful homecoming for those seeking a living connection between the psyche of the ancients and our modern psyche. This book looks at eternal themes such as love, beauty, death, suicide, dreams, ancient Greek myths, the Homeric heroes and the stories of Demeter, Persephone, Apollo and Hermes as they connect with themes of the modern psyche. The contributors propose that that the link between them lies in the underlying archetypal patterns of human behaviour, emotion, image, thought, and memory.
Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche: Archetypes Evolving makes clear that an essential part of deciphering our dilemmas resides in a familiarity with Western civilization's oldest stories about our origins, our suffering, and the meaning or meaninglessness in life. It will be of great interest to Jungian psychotherapists, academics and students as well as scholars of classics and mythology.
integrity, and duty to the polis or country resonated with my father’s experience of war. I wondered why the goddesses and the feminine were such an important part of the action in the epics. I became intrigued with the goddess Fate/Nemesis and her counterpart Shame/Aidos. What role does the feminine play in heroism? And might that be a useful question for soldiers in treatment today as they return from active duty? This essay is a meditation on these questions in the form of addressing the
the sacred realm, Herakles first undergoes his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries. He then travels to Hades as an initiate.29 Moving into the afterlife prefigures his move toward immortality. He is a hero who is forced by his cursed fate/µοιρα or portion to move back and forth from the land of the dead to the land of the living. Herakles dies a mortal death at the hands of a woman, his wife Deianeira, who gives him a robe soaked with what she thinks is a love potion. The blood is tainted
because in early Greece the very notion of fertility included the notion of death and rebirth, indeed was founded on it, as Jane Harrison explains in her discussion of the picture shown in Figure 5.4.13 A large pithos or jar is sunk into the earth as a grave. Hermes is holding a magic staff or wand, a rhabdos, in his right hand, and the Kerykeion – or, in Latin, Caduceus – in his left hand, and is both evoking and revoking the souls of the dead. (The rhabdos and the kerykeion are distinguished
their union. But, significantly, the change from Inspiration to Imagination – from the mind of Zeus to the mind of Hermes – brings with it the awareness that absolute knowledge is no longer possible. With increasing interiority, embodied in Hermes, the friendliest god to humans, comes a realization that Imagination, becoming more accessible to humanity, loses its earlier identification with the ultimate source of knowledge, whether called Zeus or the Self. Human fallibility has entered into the
creation, such that the created universe participates in the divinity of the creative source. In orthodox Christian doctrine, immanence is sacrificed to transcendence, in contrast to the metaphor, say, of Indra’s Net, from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, where transcendence and immanence are not opposed to each other and become a unity. There the universe is seen as an infinite net, and wherever the threads cross there is a clear shining pearl that reflects and is itself reflected in every other