Archive: June, 2013

A Love Myth

Love constellates positive, negative and challenging elements to our personality. Love opens us to the impenetrable or unspeakable truths about the human condition, and particularly the pain and confusion often occurring in relationships. The intensity of love and its travails experienced personally is similar to the archetypal motifs and mythic patterns that demonstrate the path of self-discovery. Recognizing the mythic dimensions at the basis of our personal experiences unites us in the universal nature of what it is to be human. Love leads us down the alleyways we might otherwise avoid. It takes us into ourselves. It shakes our foundations. It is rude, shocking and enlightening. Love rocks our world and sets us on the path of the unexpected.

The ancient Greek myth of Psyche and Eros portrays the beauty in love, the excitement as well as the fact that gaining consciousness brings with it the pains of betrayal and loss. All these aspects are psychological awakeners.

A poem by Rumi, entitled Lovers describes love: “Everywhere the murmur of departure; the stars, like candles thrust at us from behind blue veils, and as if to make the invisible plain, a wondrous people have come forth”.

Throughout collective history and personal fantasy, ideas and emotions about love appear in various forms. Love relationships often feel over laden with expectations of mythic proportions. Looking at myths leads us into the range of the psyche’s depth and breadth, its emotionality, frustrations and satisfactions. Rather than reinforcing blind acceptance of society’s constructed rules, mythical stories contain hidden meanings and speak to us in unexpected ways. Myth enables us to reconnect with different forms of knowing that are intuitive and embrace the broader mysteries of life. They awaken the collective and personal unconscious through the use of the symbolic and metaphoric. They help us uncover the treasures and the essence within ourselves through expanding upon the fixed normative patterns. At its most negative edge, myths show us how the patterns can become compounded into repetitive cycles that burrow down into hatred and revenge. In this instance rather than love, the partners are drawn to each other in karmic roles from which they do not escape, until they take the difficult yet rewarding journey to gain consciousness.

For example, the myth of Psyche and Eros reveals the many unexpected elements about love. Concepts appearing in this myth, such as roles of men and women, projection and envy lead us into the complex intricacies of love for self and other. Eros, the god of union, pierces the heart with an arrow, making an opening for love to pour through. This opening alternately also leaves room for a broken heart as through it we are lead to explore the meaning and the healing of the heart’s wounds. Especially when the opening is painful, we wish it did not have to happen this way. But, it is through this portal that consciousness pushes and we realize this is the way. And, along the path, there is no choice but to tackle the seemingly impossible and find our love.

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