This is a post of our Psyche and consciousness, within the concept of mythology, and Yogic meditation with the symbols of the mandala. C.G. mentions the ego, our conscious mind, and the difference between the ego and the unconscious. He speaks about a possible source of our ‘daimons’. He also speaks about coping mechanisms that develop through the understanding of our ego and life’s purpose through the spontaneous exploration of our unconscious mind, to which projects symbols to the external world that many dismiss as imaginary or magical thinking.
Read more, learn more, grow more, enjoy. Peace & Love ❤
“Psyche” Greek for “Soul”
[Psyche is] the ‘totality’ of the conscious and unconscious life. The mind considered as an organic system reaching all parts of the body and serving to adjust the total organism to the needs or demands of the environment.
The ego, the subject of consciousness, comes into existence as a complex quantity which is constituted partly by the inherited disposition (character constituents) and partly by unconsciously acquired impressions and their attendant phenomena … Analytical psychology differs from experimental psychology in that … it is far more concerned with the total manifestation of the psyche as a natural phenomenon – a highly complex structure….Carl Jung
To Jung, the psyche, like the living body, is a self-regulating system.
Psyche in Mythology
In classical mythology, Psyche is a princess of outstanding beauty who aroused Venus’ jealousy and Cupid’s love. The fullest version of the tale is that told by the Latin author Apuleius in his Metamorphoses The Golden Ass. According to Apuleius, the jealous Venus commanded her son Cupid (the god of love) to inspire Psyche with love for the most despicable of men. Instead, Cupid placed Psyche in a remote palace where he could visit her secretly and, by his warning, only in total darkness. One night Psyche lit a lamp and found that the figure at her side was the god of love himself. When a drop of oil from the lamp awakened him, he reproached Psyche and fled. Wandering the earth in search of him, Psyche fell into the hands of Venus, who imposed upon her difficult tasks. Finally, touched by Psyche’s repentance, Cupid rescued her, and, at his instigation, Jupiter made her immortal and gave her in marriage to Cupid. The sources of the tale are a number of folk motifs; the handling by Apuleius, however, conveys an allegory of the progress of the Soul guided by Love, which adhered to Psyche in Renaissance literature and art. In Greek folklore the soul was pictured as a butterfly, which is another meaning of the word psyche.
Jung – dreams memories reflections
“The figure of the yogi, then, would more or less represent my unconscious prenatal wholeness, and the Far East, as is often the case in dreams, a psychic state alien and opposed to our own. Like the magic lantern, the yogi’s meditation “projects” my empirical reality. As a rule, we see this casual relationship in reverse: in the products of the unconscious we discover Mandela symbols, that is, circular and quaternary figures which express wholeness, and whenever we wish to express wholeness, we employ just such figures. Our basis is ego-consciousness, our world the field of light centered upon the focal point of the ego. From that point we look out upon an enigmatic world of obscurity, never knowing to what extent the shadowy forms we see are caused by our consciousness, or possess a reality of their own. The superficial observer is content with the first assumption. But closer study shows that as a rule the images of the unconscious are not produced by consciousness, but have a reality and spontaneity of their own. Nevertheless, we regard them as mere marginal phenomena.
“On this complicated base, the ego arises. Throughout life the ego is sustained by this base. When the base does not function, stasis ensues and then death. Its life and its reality are of vital importance. Compared to it, even the external world is secondary, for what does the world matter if the endogenous impulse to grasp it and manipulate it is lacking? In the long run no conscious will can every replace the life instinct. This instinct comes to us from within, as a compulsion or will or command, and if – as has more or less been done from time immemorial – we give it the name of a personal daimon we are at lest aptly expressing the psychological situation. And if, by employing the concept of the archetype, we attempt to define a little more closely the point at which the daimon grips us, we have not abolished anything, only approached closer to the source of life.
“Affirm one’s own destiny. In this way we forge an ego that does not break down when incomprehensible things happen; an ego that endures, that endures the truth, and that is capable of coping with the world and with fate. Then, to experience defeat is also to experience victory. Nothing is disturbed – neither inwardly nor outwardly, for one’s own continuity has withstood the current of life and of time. But that can come to pass only when one does not meddle inquisitively with the workings of fate.”