Friday, May 15, 2009


".......There is, however, another kind of symbolism, belonging to the earliest-known sacred traditions, that is also connected with the periods of transition in a person's life. They point to man's need for liberation from any state of being that is too immature, too fixed or final. In other words, they concern man's release from - or transcendence of - any confining pattern of existence, as he moves towards a superior or more mature stage in his development. ........
It is similar to cases reported among the simple food-gathering tribes, which are the least family-conscious groups we know. In these societies the young initiate must take a lonely journey to a sacred place (in Indian cultures of the North Pacific coast, it may actually be a crater lake) where, in a visionary trance-like state, he encounters his "guardian spirit" in the form of an animal, a bird, or natural object. He closely identifies himself with this "bush soul" and thereby becomes a man. Without such an experience he is regarded, as an Achumaui medicine man put it, as "an ordinary Indian, nobody."
Symbols of Transcendence
Part 2: Ancient Myths and Modern Man - Joseph L.Henderson

from the book 'Man and his Symbols'
Edited, with an introduction, by Carl Gustav Jung

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