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.
death of which Sophie Scholl dreamed is located. As Donald Kalsched said of this dream, the child that Sophie Scholl carried was, indeed, her imperishable soul.28 Does such hope for spiritual wholeness account for Alcestis’ remarkable action, a longed-for inner coniunctio with psyche within the physical bond of her marriage? We can’t know for sure because “she” is a fictional character. But we can notice what Euripides stresses about her actions as she prepares to die: she bathes in fresh
as pankarpia in the alternating cycle of life and death. Significantly, the Pot of Seed was sacrificed to Hermes Chthonios alone, he who is explicitly described as not an Olympian, being instead the earlier spirit, the Agathos Daimon, the old god of fertility. Hermes may be closing the ritual in the vase painting shown in Figure 5.3. The Ker he is looking down on, poised directly beneath his raised wand, appears to be falling head first into the Pithos, as though being commanded back into the
However, this was also a template of thought for daily life in time, showing a way of weighing up the truth of an action or an idea, just as it is now: penser, “to think” in French (from which we get “pensive”), comes from Latin pensum, which was the wool to be weighed out each day, thoughtfully weaving the pattern of the life to come. The Kerykeion or Caduceus In Figure 5.7, the faces of the two sphinxes evocatively resemble the face of Hermes, as though they symbolize dimensions within him or
origin was a herald of death, the Daimon of the Ker, whose time had come to go down into the underworld or to come up into the light. In the Orphic Hymns, for instance (which are usually dated to between 300 BCE and 400 CE but are much earlier in feeling and sometimes said to be as early as 600 BCE), there are two separate hymns to Hermes: one to Hermes Chthonios and one simply to Hermes, significantly, in both cases, asking for a “good end” to a life of work.24 In Aeschylus’ The Libation
backward, making vast sandals of his own as he walks from side to side with them – all of which make it impossible for Apollo to work it out rationally, indeed mocks his earnest attempts to find a rational explanation. The idea is to make this fierce god less absolute, more permeable, and, most importantly, to baffle and confuse him, so that Apollo needs a further judgment, which means he will take Hermes to their father Zeus. Hermes does this most obviously by stealing his cattle, but also, more