our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a

2011/03/22

SYMBOLS OF TRANSFORMATION

"...It is not man as such who has to be regenerated or born again as a renewed whole, but, according to the statements of mythology, it is the hero or god who rejuvenates himself. These figures are generally expressed or characterized by libido-symbols (light, fire, sun, etc.), so that it looks as if they represented psychic energy. They are, in fact, personifications of the libido.

Now it is a fact amply confirmed by psychiatric experience that all parts of the psyche, inasmuch as they possess a certain autonomy, exhibit a personal character, like the split-off products of hysteria and schizophrenia, mediumistic 'spirits'; figures seen in dreams, etc. Every split-off portion of libido, every complex, has or is a (fragmentary) personality. At any rate, that is how it looks from the purely observational standpoint.
But when we go into the matter more deeply, we find that they are really archetypal formations. There are no conclusive arguments against the hypothesis that these archetypal figures are endowed with personality at the outset and are not just secondary personalizations. In so far as the archetypes do not represent mere functional relationships, they manifest themselves as daimones, as personal agencies. In this form they are felt as actual experiences and are not "figments of the imagination," as rationalism would have us believe. Consequently, man derives his human personality only secondarily from what the myths call his descent from the gods and heroes; or, to put it in psychological terms, his consciousness of himself as a personality derives primarily from the influence of quasi-personal archetypes.
Numerous mythological proofs could be advanced in support of this view. .... It is, then, in the first place the god who transforms himself, and only through him does man take part in the transformation. ..." ~CGJUNG, in CW5, SYMBOLS OF TRANSFORMATION