Search Results for satan
Christian apologists say that Job’s suffering points to the mysterious ways of God and highlights the need for faithful obedience in the absence of human understanding. Critics say that it depicts God as an immature, cruel tyrant. For instance, the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung and some Jungians say that God “makes a bet” with Satan. In the story, Satan contends that Job will not remain faithful if God allows Satan to torment him.
In Jung’s Answer to Job, a short commentary about the Job’s plight, Jung says the Biblical story reveals a dark, non-integrated aspect of God. Why would a perfect God, Jung argues, allow a blameless servant to be persecuted by the devil? When Job challenges God, asking why he suffers, God answers not on Job’s terms but by completely overwhelming him. God asks if Job is able to create the stars, the oceans and a sea monster.
Jung sees this as indicating God’s immaturity. For Jung, God projects his own dark side onto Job. While this dynamic may occur in many people, to Jewish and Christian believers it’s misguided to suggest that God would behave this way (See Isaiah 55:8-9). As God implies to Job, could an allegedly immature consciousness create all of creation?
Biblical scholars debate whether the story of Job refers to an actual person or if it’s just a folktale outlining the general human problem of why do bad things happen to good people? The author of the book is not mentioned. Some traditional rabbis and early Christian theologians believed the author was Moses. Today, some scholars believe that parts of Job were written by at least one additional author.
But to return to Jung, he seems to overlook the folktale aspect by treating Job as a real person. Jung’s writings about Job have also been criticized by Fr. Victor White. White says that Jung confuses a narrative image of God with the actual God. In Jungian terms, White says Jung confuses the God-image (archetypal image) with God (archetype).
Indeed, it seems that Jung analyzes God from the perspective of his own, man-made psychological theories. In reducing God to Jung’s all too human ideas, might Jung, himself, exhibit the psychological mechanism of projection? Theological critics of Jung would certainly say that his commentary on Job suffers from presumption—that is, intellectual arrogance.
Regarding the problem of evil, many theologians would maintain that God’s ways are usually way over our heads. Along these lines, we could hypothesize that God permits evil to torment Job for a greater good which, Job, Satan and Jung couldn’t hope to understand.
Jung’s (questionable) analysis aside, the story of Job has parallels in other cultures, most notably the ancient Egyptian Protests of the Eloquent Peasant.
- Lessons from Job. (katherineannesmith.wordpress.com)
- Jung-jung (knittedart.wordpress.com)
- “Why Do the Righteous Suffer?”: Wisdom From the Book of Job (thomaslovesjesus.wordpress.com)
- Putting Satan in his place (reassuringquotes.wordpress.com)
- Nuanced Media is Proud to Present the Southern Arizona Friends of Jung Website (prweb.com)
- Murray Stein and Brigitte Egger Discuss the Power of Water and the Vital Impact it has on Earth. The Asheville Jung Center will host “Elixir of Life” on April 4th (prweb.com)
- A Love Affair With Carl Jung (jeanraffa.wordpress.com)
- Do you relate to the greatest story of suffering yet, faith? His name was job…Read on (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
- When I was back there in seminary school… (mclark.wordpress.com)
Normally clairalience involves the smelling of odors and scents beyond the usual range of human perception.
Reports of clairalience could be grouped into three main types¹:
- Smelling a familiar odor or scent associated with a loved one who’s passed
This usually happens sometime soon before, during or not too long after the loved one has passed.
Parapsychologists hypothesize that this type of clairalience takes place to warn, prepare or possibly reassure friends and family that their departed loved ones are still alive, possibly see them on Earth, but are mostly in another world.
- Smelling a hellish, rancorous odor such as burning sulphur, or heavenly scent such as roses
Parapsychologists hypothesize that this type of clairalience warns of the dangers of hell and, conversely, reassures of the joys of heaven.
- Smelling another living person or thing at a distance beyond the range of the normal senses. This may be further differentiated into distance smelling (a) a physical body or conventional environment or (b) a spiritual body, essence or subtle environment
Parapsychologists hypothesize that type three takes place to teach us that all of creation is connected in some fundamental way, with the implication that we should strive to behave responsibly toward others, our planet and beyond.
As for the mysterious connecting principle implied by the idea of clairalience, tentative explanations arguably depend on the worldview of the theorist.
For instance, a Catholic might talk of The Holy Spirit (in the positive sense of, say, smelling roses while praying to the Virgin Mary) or Satan (in the negative, deceptive sense) whereas a sub-atomic physicist or futurist might invoke concepts like wormholes, quantum non-locality and quantum interconnectedness.
Meanwhile, a psychiatrist would likely want to check for physiological factors contributing to potential olfactory hallucinations (phantosmia) before considering the possibility of clairalience. And many individuals with a strong materialist bias might entirely dismiss the idea of psi and prefer to explain clairalience using a neuropsychological model.
To this Art Garza adds:
What sort of smells occur in your type three clairalience? And would the smells be all different or occur all at once? And as far as purpose goes, is there any purposed idea on what the individual smells mean? What are they smelling? the souls, essence, psyche… i know they are all related in some way but certainly there is a name which works best… personality? » See in context
Michael Clark replies:
I think you are pointing toward a distinction that could be made in type 3 between smelling at a distance (a) a living person’s spiritual essence or environment and (b) their physical body or environment. » See in context
¹ This observation is, in part, based on my volunteer work at allexperts.com
Deva is a Pali and Sankrit term denoting a ‘heavenly being’ or ‘shining one.’
In Hinduism the devas may refer to
- The absolute (Brahman) in the form of a personal god
- Mortal beings inhabiting a realm higher than the human sphere
- A name attached to human beings who have realized God and attained enlightenment
Regarding the third instance, whether or not individuals actually attain perfection or merely become subsumed by the power of a deva is a point of debate sparked by the traditional Catholic view of discernment along with C. G. Jung‘s archetypal psychology. Catholic mystics would probably see anyone claiming to be perfect as a victim of a Satanic influence, whereas C. G. Jung would likely frame the issue in terms of the ego over-identifying with an archetyapl power.
In the New Age movement the word deva is adapted to refer to nature spirits, spiritual forces behind visible creation, or spiritual forces behind a species—i.e. a group soul.
Related Posts » Demons
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Most religious and mythological traditions attest to the reality of demons. For the most part, demons are regarded as dark, evil spiritual beings whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc on individuals and the world.
In Hinduism, demons appear in the Puranas as Rakshakas (evil beings capable of shape-shifting) and tramp souls. Also in Hinduism the, at one time, god-like asuras of the Vedas devolve into demonic spirit beings which, the mystic Sri Aurobindo says, try to place false and harmful ideas into the minds of impressionable, vulnerable human beings.
In Tibetan Buddhism, immediately after a person dies a priest reads the Tibetan Book of the Dead aloud over the dead body, instructing the departed soul how to avoid different spiritual lights and deceptions that demonic beings use to try to trick the deceased into falling into another earthly incarnation. And Mahayana Buddhism portrays many hells, each presided over by horrific entities
In China demons are thought to be able to inhabit dead bodies and haunt various places, both inside and out.
Demons in China… are capable of animating dead bodies, haunting cemeteries, cross roads, and the homes of relatives. Some live in Hades…others inhabit the air. Many are hungry ghosts, the spirits of those who have had no proper burial or who have no decendants to feed them sacrifices.¹
Traditional Roman Catholicism doesn’t envision the demon in terms of a psychoanalytic, physiological id or Jungian shadow archetype, as is fashionable in some circles today. Instead, traditional Catholicism makes no bones about the belief in demons. The Prayer Against Satan and The Rebellious Angels, published in 1961 by order of H. H. Pope Leo XIII refers to various “spirits of wickedness,” “diabolical legions” and “infernal invaders” that are to be driven away with the help of this solemn prayer.
Contemporary Catholicism, however, is incorporating secular and psychiatric perspectives on demons, but arguably in a clunky manner that seems to conform to ancient and medieval styles of analyzing issues. This shouldn’t be surprising as certain aspects of Catholic theological discourse borrow from Aristotelian and Thomist analytical categories and modes of analysis. And as history suggests, deeply entrenched patterns of thought and practice usually take time to be positively redirected.
In secular society alleged demons are often described as nothing more than a product of the imagination, hallucinations, an arrested or disturbed personality, mutated chromosomes, or the much debated idea of chemical imbalances. Along these lines the Catholic Catechism makes a sharp distinction between “the presence of the Evil One,” on the one hand, and current understandings of mental illness on the other:
The solemn exorcism, called “a major exorcism,” can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church. Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.²
In contrast to the arguably underdeveloped either/or perspective outlined above, a more productive and responsible approach would intelligently consider different perspectives — physiological, psychological, cultural, transpersonal and spiritual — using as many of the analytical tools that are available to us in the 21st century.
Having said that, we should also keep in mind the very real possibility that God could permit a fundamentally good and ‘well adjusted’ person to be afflicted by evil, as we find, for instance, in the Old Testament Book of Job.
Related Posts » Aliens, Alien Possession Theory, Anathema, Angels, Avesta, Bodhi Tree, Bosch (Hieronymus), Christianity, Discernment, Fallen Angels, Hero, Jinn, Lilith, Madness, Mandala, Michael (St.), Miracles, Occam’s razor, Possession, Psychosis, Rakshakas, Shaman, Spiritual Attack, UFO, Underworld
¹ S. G. F. Brandon, A Dictionary of Comparative Religion, 1971, p. 230.
² Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1673.
- Audio of exorcism performed in Germany, 1976 (NoiseMadeMeDoIt.com)
- Woman Says ‘Exorcist’ Priest Abused Her (courthousenews.com)
- The Religious Demon Thrives Off of Your Investment (pamsheppardpublishing.com)
- Modern Possession (moinarc.wordpress.com)
- As Bad As You Thought?: The Devil Inside (houseofgeekery.com)
- They Don’t Have Enough Problems? Jewish Demonic Possession Returns (reason.com)
- Angels and Demons (probings.wordpress.com)
- Faith, not spinning heads, takes center stage in ‘Exorcist’ play – Articles (wilmingtonfavs.com)
- Clergyman Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Woman During Exorcism Rituals (dreamindemon.com)
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Extrasensory perception (ESP) is a type of alleged psi phenomena. ESP is sometimes used as an umbrella term for many types of alleged paranormal phenomena but it properly refers to the ideas of telepathy (reading another’s thoughts) and clairvoyance (‘seeing’ without the eyes).
Some Fundamentalist, Protestant and Catholic Christians have a knee-jerk reaction to this idea, saying ESP is the workings of Satan, a delusion or evidence of mental illness. However, in Catholicism some of the more advanced saints claim to have been given similar gifts, usually called the reading of hearts. Indeed, some Catholic mystics claim to know another’s thoughts and/or feel their emotions near or at a distance with no observable cues.
Reading of Hearts. The knowledge of the secret thoughts of others or of their internal state without communication is known as reading of hearts. The certain knowledge of the secret thoughts of others is truly super-natural, since the devil has no access to the spiritual faculties of men and no human being can know the mind of another unless it is in some way communicated. But knowledge of the secrets of another’s heart may be conjectured by the devil and transmitted to a person, or they may be surmised by a deluded individual who takes his conjectures to be supernatural illuminations.¹
From the above it should be clear that Catholics – or, at least, sane Catholics – are cautious when it comes to mysticism. Central to Catholic mysticism is the idea of discernment or “the discernment of spirits.” Discernment is said to be a gift and acquired ability that enables one to differentiate supernatural experiences and abilities that come from God from those that do not.
¹ AUMANN, J. “Mystical Phenomena.” New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 10. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 105-109. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.
- Empath (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- ESP: how it works (holykaw.alltop.com)
- How to identify your extrasensory perception? (using-spiritual-energy.blogspot.com)
- Do You Have ESP Abilities? (towardstomorrow.net)
- The Psychic Life (theosophywatch.com)
- Unverified Results: The History of Scientific Research into ESP [Pseudoscience] (io9.com)
- Politics & NWO – Re: THE ESP OF ESPIONAGE: REMOTE MIND-CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES (disclose.tv)
- Play Dr. Peter Venkman (On Your iPhone) [IPhone] (kotaku.com)
In the popular sense of the term, the idea of the fallen angel denotes something gone wrong with a person or with a purely spiritual being who freely chooses to reject and, therefore, oppose God’s will.
Myths, stories and artistic representations about fallen angels abound. John Milton (1608 – 1674) in Paradise Lost imagines legions of Satanic angels who rebel against God. Massive wars break out, and St. Michael leads the Lord’s Angels, who must overcome ingenious contraptions built by Satan and his fallen army. While St. Michael is prominent in the battle, the final victory is reserved for Christ. So St. Michael stands aside as Jesus defeats the evil army.
Traditionally, we find the notion of the fallen angel in Jewish and Christian lore, and some argue that a very similar idea is found in Hinduism. For in Hinduism the asuras are described as benevolent spiritual beings in the Vedas that devolve in subsequent Hindu scripture to become demons.
In Islam the personification of evil is Shaytan. In the Koran God commands Iblis to bow down before Adam and serve mankind but through his pride Iblis refuses. God allows Iblis to tempt mankind until Judgement Day, at which time he will be cast into hell. In Islamic thought Iblis is often seen as the master jinn, the head of demons allowed to torment humanity. But there is no concept of the “fallen angel” in the Islamic tradition.
To this coolguymuslim adds:
There is no such thing as a fallen angel in Islam. No doubt, in Islam, Iblis a.k.a. Satan is a jinn and he is most evil. However at the same time, he never is nor was an angel. Angels in Islam do not have free will and they cannot disobey God. In terms of Iblis, he used to be a rightous slave of God so much so that he was elevated to the level of angels before he refused to bow down, however, he was never an angel. Jinn, on the other hand, do possess free will and there are good and evil jinn just as there are good and evil humans.¹
Some believe that the powerful “Sons of Man” mentioned in the Old Testament are Fallen Angels. And some contemporary writers believe that aliens are really fallen angels (while others say they are not).
In the fictional Star Wars films, fallen Jedi - like Darth Vader – could be taken as a rough parallel to the idea of fallen angels, mostly because both good and “dark side” Jedi possess paranormal powers and psychic abilities.
Related Posts » Aurobindo (Sri)
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- The Mayan Conspiracy (disclose.tv)
- What are Demons – Evil Spirits – And Ghosts ? (epages.wordpress.com)
- Frantic as a cardiograph scratching out the lines, Day 13: Fallen Angel #14 (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com)
- Ballad of Fallen Angels (cjreye.wordpress.com)
- Cindy Trimm and the Fallen Angel Ashtar (settingcaptivesfree.wordpress.com)
- The Fallen Angel Ashtar Is Behind “Slain In the Spirit!” (pamsheppard.wordpress.com)
Rosemary Ellen Guiley (19?? – ) is an American researcher, author and broadcaster on paranormal phenomena. Dr. Guiley promotes awareness of the paranormal. At her website she writes that her “driving purpose is to help further our understanding of our place and role in the cosmic scheme” (visionaryliving.com). She also addresses issues like communicating with the dead and dealing with malevolent spirits.
This is all very interesting stuff. Unfortunately, it’s still difficult for most people to understand because of the inherent difficulties in the public verification of paranormal reports. In addition, some materialist or (ironically enough) religious reactionaries tend to cast aspersions on anyone interested in trying to understand the paranormal—even though the very same people will often delight at movies like The Exorcist.¹
¹ The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, of course, would say that the horror movie watcher is momentarily fascinated by the archetype of the shadow. For Jung this is not unhealthy. But in some destructive instances, if left unconscious the shadow archetype apparently can erupt and compel non-integrated individuals to behave in a manner harmful to self or others.
- Paranormal? Earling Possession – Anna Ecklund – Last Sanctioned Exorcism – Begone Satan (etxhaunted.com)
- Demonspotting: Vassago (teresawilde.wordpress.com)
- deZengo liked Eli’s blog post ‘What Is Affirmative Prayer?’ (community.humanityhealing.net)
- Strange Dimensions January 2012 (visionaryliving.com)
- Stuart Gordon (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- The Paranormal Genre (kyomirichardsa2.wordpress.com)
- Paranormal Activity (ambalabamba.wordpress.com)
Hubris (Greek: hybris) This term, often used in literary criticism, denotes haughtiness, arrogance or overconfidence usually resulting in some sort of personal disaster.
The term has a complex history in ancient Greek culture. And the idea crops up in the Old Testament Proverbs, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”¹
In the 20th and 21st centuries the idea of hubris has been explained through the psychological concept of the unconscious. For instance, most of us have probably heard of the idea that some criminals, at some level, want to get caught.
So they leave obvious clues or do things that appear hard to understand (like a wealthy Hollywood celebrity shoplifting in a store that has security cameras, or an important politician tweeting profane things).
However, they do this unconsciously, so the theory goes, because they actually want to face their unresolved issues and come back to their true selves and feelings. And getting caught in a silly, shameful thing is a surefire way of being humbled and brought back to oneself.
Theological explanations concerning why bad things happen to people, even seemingly good people, usually refer to God testing, strengthening or purifying us for everlasting life in heaven.
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The term heterodox means about the same thing as “unorthodox.” It denotes views and related practices opposed to and usually publicly condemned by established figures or leaders. The word heterodox is found in religious and secular matters.
In religion, a heterodox position might be an outright heresy, which counters core doctrines, or it may just be different enough from standard teachings to elicit public condemnation from orthodox leaders.
Historically, both Protestant and Catholic forms of Christianity have imprisoned, tortured and burned people alive for holding apparently Satanic views about the nature of Christ or some other item of dogma. In retrospect, any reasonable person is compelled to ask who was really behaving like a devil.
Today, the Catholic Church publicly opposes some charismatic preachers of Christianity while accepting others. The tension between orthodox and heterodox groups seems to be greatest when they share areas of ideological overlap.
Sociologists and Religious Studies professors like John Gager say that whenever the beliefs and practices of an out-group get a bit too close for comfort to those of an established in-group, members of the in-group get upset. The in-group then wants to better define its boundaries, which may lead to exclusion, condemnation or, as we’ve seen in the often grisly march of human history, persecution.
According to this theory, it’s the similarity of the two groups that riles the established in-group. Radically different out-groups lacking some kind of thematic overlap with an entrenched in-group are usually ignored. But when an out-group hits a nerve by getting too ideologically close to the in-group—that’s when sparks fly.
This dynamic apparently took place between the early Christians and the Gnostics. And a similar kind of dynamic continues to this day.¹
The following is a smattering of historical usage for the term “heterodox” from the Oxford English Dictionary, illustrating its different meanings that have existed through the centuries:
1650 J. Row Hist. Kirk Scotl. (1842) 354 Christ’s locall descending to hell, and divers others heterodoxe doctrines.
1658 G. Starkey Natures Explic. 18 Whosoever should dare to swarve from these [Galen and Aristotle]‥being looked upon as Heterodox, was the object of scorn and derision.
1859 W. Collins Queen of Hearts I. 20 The Major‥held some strangely heterodox opinions on the modern education of girls.
¹ See “DVD Review – The Murder of Mary Magdalene: Genocide of the Holy Bloodline” » http://epages.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/
- Entering the Justification Debate (greenbaggins.wordpress.com)
- Poaching and Trespassing in the Royal Forest (missionmusings.wordpress.com)
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- Demons and Repentance: Part 1 (aleksandreia.wordpress.com)
- The Re-admittance of the Heterodox (vatopaidi.wordpress.com)
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- 17 November 2011. An Illustration of the Konvertsy “Mind”… Lockstep Stepford Wives-Style Conformity, Anyone? (02varvara.wordpress.com)
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In depth psychology and New Age publications we often hear about the Hero. This kind of usage isn’t referring to a Martin Luther King, Neil Armstrong or Terry Fox. While these individuals certainly were heroic, and heroes by the usual definition of the word, they weren’t necessarily heroes from the perspective of depth psychology or New Age spirituality.
The psycho-spiritual idea of the Hero is really talking about an archetype of the Hero. And the notion of the archetype can be traced back to the Greek philosopher Plato and his theory of Eternal Forms or Perfect Ideas. After Plato, the idea of the archetype was remixed by various medieval thinkers. We need not go into their complicated theories here.
What’s important for us is how the Swiss psychiatrist, C. G. Jung, adapted the ideas of the Archetype and the Hero into one concept—namely, the archetype of the hero. The Jungian archetype differs from the Platonic formulation, most notably because Jung’s archetypes involve eternity but are grounded in the human body. Plato’s archetypes are just “out there.” They are imprinted in the eternal soul and have some kind of relation with matter but they are not grounded in matter.¹
For Jung the archetype indicates the psychological contents of a proposed collective unconscious. He says the archetypes are inherited patterns encoded in the body, universally shared by mankind. Not unlike the gods and goddesses of ancient times, archetypes apparently have a psychic life of their own that extends beyond everyday consciousness and concerns.
According to Jung, when the conscious ego encounters the archetype, the individual experiences a sense of the numinous. This encounter may be psychologically constructive or destructive, healing or disorienting. The type of effect that the numinous has on consciousness depends on the psychological stability and maturity of the individual, as well as the character and intensity of the numinosity, itself.
Visible manifestations of the archetypes appear as archetypal images. Jung distinguishes these recognizable images from the archetype proper, which Jung says can never be fully known. So the archetypal image of the Hero may appear in many different forms, but there’s only one Hero archetype.
Joseph Campbell built on Carl Jung’s idea of a hero archetype in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces (1949). Campbell says that the idea of the hero’s journey to the underworld (and return to everyday life) is found throughout world myth and religion.
Typically, the hero is born into a problematic setting. Two biblical examples would be the infant Moses and Jesus Christ. Moses was abandoned as a baby, left in a basket to float down the Nile river. Jesus Christ was born in a manger because his parents were forced to flee the paranoid anger of King Herod “The Great” (c. 73-4 BCE) who hoped to kill the infant Jesus by ordering the killing of all children in Bethlehem under age two.
Campbell says the next phase of the budding hero’s life is a “call to adventure.” The hero usually doesn’t want to be a hero but is slowly drawn into his or her historical, perhaps sacred role. At this stage he or she may exhibit some kind of superhuman powers and insight.
A definite turning point in the hero’s journey is precipitated by some kind of crisis. The hero is either sucked into a whale’s belly (e.g. Jonah), dismembered (e.g. Osiris), abducted (e.g. Sita, Eurydice), abandoned (e.g. Joseph), hanged (e.g. Odin), sent on a ‘night sea’ voyage (e.g. St. John of the Cross) or a strange journey (in literature, Alice in Wonderland), forced to fight a threatening dragon (e.g. St. George, Beowulf), drawn into battle with relatives (e.g. Arjuna) or demons and monsters (e.g. Gilgamesh, Hercules), all of which point to a passage from the everyday into a supernatural world of danger and magic (again, in Jung’s terms, the collective unconscious).
At this time the hero encounters mythical beings and beasts. Some are helpers, others are tricksters, and yet others are enemies. In learning how to discern among these mythical creatures, the hero faces a series of life-threatening tests (e.g. Odysseus binds himself to his ship’s mast to prevent the Sirens from luring him to his death; Jesus rejects the temptation of Satan in the wilderness, in the holy city and on the mountain).
The hero’s journey continues to the inner depths of an abyss, a dragon cave, a bottomless ocean, a deep underworld pit or, in modern myth, a Death Star or a Borg cube. At this point the hero hopefully discovers what the alchemists call the lapis (philosopher’s stone or inner human). There may be atonement with a father or a father figure, a sacred marriage, a theft, or perhaps a bargaining for the elixir of immortality.
Having found the proverbial Holy Grail within, the hero gains profound insight into the eternal, infinite connections among life, death, space, time, heaven and hell. But like Theseus after slaying the Minotaur at the center of the labyrinth, the hero must return to the world of day to day living. After his or her return to everyday life, he or she is symbolically reborn.
Concerning the journey to and from the underworld, the Hero understands well Plato‘s comments from his famous Cave Analogy about entering and exiting the cave.
The eyes may be confused in two ways and from two causes, coming from light into darkness as well as from darkness to light… the same applies to the soul.²
In practical terms, the hero’s quest is often confusing due to the sheer magnitude of fast paced change that’s involved. Not everyone finds their way out of the collective unconscious. Some simply go mad.
In myth and religion, Theseus found escaped from the labyrinth because he’d unwound a ball of thread that Ariadne had provided in advance. Moses and the persecuted chosen people were delivered from the Egyptians by the miraculous parting (and subsequent closing) of the Red Sea. And Jesus, after his death, descended to hell for three days before ascending to heaven.
Parallels among mythic and religious stories about the hero obviously differ in important details. In fact, the content of hero stories often varies quite radically. And each story arguably has a qualitatively different effect on those who invest their energy into them. However, Jung and Campbell contend that all the Hero stories display a basic structural similarity.³
In psychological terms hero stories point to a circular passage from ego → archetypes → self → archetypes → ego. On returning, being rescued or resurrected, the hero is transformed. He or she may reclaim former elements of the older personality but these are put to a new purpose, integrated within a new sense of self.
On the social level, the hero brings to society various boons of wisdom, and possibly miraculous abilities, gained from the underworld.
¹ For an unusually good summary of Plato’s theories about the soul, see Herschel Baker, The Image of Man: A Study of the Idea of Human Dignity in Classical Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance (1961).
² G. M. A. Grube (trans.), Plato’s Republic, Indianapolis: Hackett, 1974, p. 170 [par 518a].
³ Campbell notes that the film Star Wars is a contemporary reenactment of the hero myth, rendering ancient stories and motifs into images that speak to people today.
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- Immortals (mercifullyshortreviews.wordpress.com)
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- Greek Beasts and Heroes: The Monster in the Maze by Lucy Coats – review (guardian.co.uk)
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- Why does Theseus give sanctuary to Oedipus in ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ (wiki.answers.com)
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- Unravelling the Rumors of Henry Cavill of Immortals (2011) Movie (boh86.wordpress.com)
- Inflation (earthpages.wordpress.com)
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- Jung, Carl Gustav (earthpages.wordpress.com)
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- The archetypes are gods: Re-godding the archetypes, by John H. Halstead (humanisticpaganism.wordpress.com)
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- ‘Matter of Heart: The Extraordinary Journey of C.G. Jung’ (dangerousminds.net)
- The World of Opposites (thejungian.com)
- Heaven (earthpages.wordpress.com)