The Myth of Psyche

3675 Words Mar 6th, 2016 15 Pages
THE MYTH OF PSYCHE
(excerpted from http://www.mythicjourneys.org/newsletter_jul05_transitions_bolen.html )
As most of you know, psyche is the Greek word for soul. It's also the Greek word for butterfly. If you have a protagonist in a story whose name is Psyche, you might expect that she will go through a major transition and crisis. Will she survive it? Will she come through and be transformed, or will she die? That's one way of looking at the
Psyche myth. Those of you who heard Robert Bly's White Bear story on the first day of this conference heard a variation of the Eros and Psyche myth.
The form that Psyche broke was the understanding with her unseen lover who came every night. The piece of the story I want to focus on is what happens
…show more content…
What good is knowing that you are in a very dysfunctional relationship, if you haven't the capacity...that is the symbol of the knife...to draw a boundary, to discriminate, to cut it off, to end the relationship if it turns out that what you see really is negative?
In this part of the story, Psyche takes both symbols in her hand. As you know, when she raises the lamp and sees her unseen lover, her unknown bridegroom, he turns out to be the immature god of love, Eros. Immature in that he was carrying on this secret affair. He had promised his mother, the goddess Aphrodite, that he would punish Psyche who was so identified with the goddess because of her beauty that the goddess's shrines were ignored. People were worshipping a human girl as if she was a goddess, and the goddess plotted revenge for what psychologically is true. If you identify with an archetype, you lose your humanity, your individuality. You get inflated by it. You get taken over by it. You do get Aphrodite's revenge.
In this case Aphrodite had told her son Eros to aim his arrows at Psyche in punishment so that she would fall in love with the vilest of men. This is the negative power of Aphrodite and Eros: to have Psyche fall in love with someone who would really be vile for her and her development. Instead Eros sees Psyche and falls in love with her himself. He decides to keep all that from Mother, and so he's been having this clandestine, hidden affair
Open Document