Sunday, January 1, 2012

Myths, and the Powers of the Psyche

"An altogether different approach is represented by Carl G. Jung, in whose view the imageries of mythology and religion serves positive, life-furthering ends. According to his way of thinking, all the organs of our bodies - not only those of sex and aggression - have their purposes and motives, some being subject to conscious control, others, however, not.

Our outward-oriented consciousness, addressed to the demands of the day, may lose touch with these inwards forces; and the myths, states Jung, when correctly read, are the means to bring us back in touch. They are telling us in picture language of powers of  the psyche to be recognized and integrated in our lives, powers that have been common to the human spirit forever, and which represent that wisdom of the species by which man has weathered the millenniums.

Thus they have not been, and can never be, displaced by the findings of science, which relate rather to the outside world than to the depths that we enter in sleep. Through a dialogue conducted with these inward forces through our dreams and through a study of myths, we can learn to know and come to terms with the greater horizon of our own deeper and wiser, inward self. And analogously, the society that cherishes and keeps its myths alive will be nourished from the soundest, richest strata of the human spirit.

Page 4, The Impact of Science on Myth, in 'Myths to Live By', Jospeh Campbell

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