The Eternal Drama: The Inner Meaning of Greek Mythology

The Eternal Drama: The Inner Meaning of Greek Mythology

Edward F. Edinger

Language: English

Pages: 161

ISBN: B012HUPL4A

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Eternal Drama: The Inner Meaning of Greek Mythology

Edward F. Edinger

Language: English

Pages: 161

ISBN: B012HUPL4A

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Athena—do the gods and goddesses of Greece have anything to say to us that we haven't already heard? In this book, based on a series of his lectures, the eminent Jungian analyst and writer Edward F. Edinger revisits all the major figures, myths, oracles, and legends of the ancient Greek religion to discover what they can still reveal—representing, as they do, one of the religious and mythic foundations of Western culture. Building on C. G. Jung's assertion that mythology is an expression of the deepest layers of mind and soul, Dr. Edinger follows the mythic images into their persistent manifestations in literature and on into our modern lives. He finds that the gods indeed continue to speak as we grow in our capacity to listen and that the myths express the inner energies within all of us as much as ever. Heracles is eternally performing his labors, Perseus is still confronting Medusa, Theseus is forever stalking the Minotaur, and Persephone is still being carried off to life in a new realm.

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myth as it can be understood by the modern mind. This is the psychological view of C. G. Jung, which can be summarized by saying that mythology is the self-revelation of the archetypal psyche. Jung conceived of the human psyche as consisting of two interpenetrating levels, the personal and the archetypal (or transpersonal). The personal level derives from the immediate experience of one’s own life history. The deeper, archetypal level does not have its source in personal experience, but is an

“Take some of my blood. It is a love charm and if ever you’re in danger of losing the love of Heracles to another, you can apply this charm and it will regain his love for you.” What he gave her was his blood containing the hydra poison. Later, when Heracles became enamored of another, Iole, Deianeira made use of what Nessus had given her. She dipped a shirt in the poisoned blood and sent it to Heracles, thinking she would thereby win him back. But as Heracles put on the shirt it burst into flame

the larger dimensions of our being, an understanding of myths can teach us as well what we are not. Jung tells us: The libido that will not flow into life at the right time regresses to the mythical world of the archetypes, where it activates images which, since the remotest times, have expressed the non-human life of the gods, whether of the upper world or the lower. If this regression occurs in a young person, his own individual life is supplanted by the divine archetypal drama, which is all

and have striven in every way to make myself one of them. But whether I have striven aright and have met with success, I believe I shall know clearly, when I have arrived there, very soon, if it is God’s will.2 This is pure Orphism translated into philosophic terms. Those he calls the initiated and purified philosophers are, in psychological terms, those who have submitted to the rigors of the individuation process. The mire that the uninitiated fall into represents the mud of the unconscious

of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.7 Such an attitude is not Orphic at all. Jane Harrison says about this subject: Orpheus found for “miserable men” another way, not by the vine god [the vine god leads to forgetfulness] but through the wineless ecstacy of Mnemosyne [memory]. The Orphic hymn to the goddess ends with the prayer “And in thy mystics waken memory of the holy rite, and Lethe

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