What is This God Called Eros?



As I read through James Hollis’ book, What Matters Most, the constant reference to Eros suggested that I take a bit of a time-out in order to get this Greek God figured out, that is arrive at a psychological understanding as it relates to my own self. I borrowed this image from the Wikipedia article which can be found here for those who like doing their own reading and interpreting.  As I read through the article, this passage struck me as vital:

At the beginning there was only Chaos, Night (Nyx), Darkness (Erebus), and the Abyss (Tartarus). Earth, the Air and Heaven had no existence. Firstly, blackwinged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Darkness, and from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Love (Eros) with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest. He mated in the deep Abyss with dark Chaos, winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race, which was the first to see the light.”

This Eros is different in some fundamental way from the Cupid version. This Eros is the one that I recognize as hovering at the edges of darkness. As Eros enters the darkness, Anima or soul, begins to be awakened. I guess it might even be said that the mating of darkness and love gives birth to the soul.  And of course the soul, Anima, contains both the golden light of Eros and the darkness of Chaos. Psychologically speaking the journey is to balance, to find the thread, an individual thread between the archetypal power of both Eros and Chaos. To shift into the realm of Eros or Chaos is a shift into psychic pathology, into being numbed by either of these two archetypal gods – numbed with darkness, emptiness; or numbed by being to much into other so that the self is abandoned.

There, I think I have that understood, at least in my own mind for the present. Now, I can return to reading, thinking and writing.

The Power of the Feminine

7322634-lgThere is a power in the feminine that often overwhelms a man.  That power is one that comes out of nature and out of the world of the inner psyche. Men often look at images of the feminine for a host of reasons, one of the most dominant of which is fear. Often, in truth, the vast majority of the time we really don’t know or understand what it is exactly that we fear. The image here to the right side is a photo taken by Rudolph Kartelin, was found as I searched for an image that would evoke the “mother earth” archtype (this image and others in a series of 184 can be found here). Seeing this image, there is no sense of this woman that touches the idea of pornography. This is not a woman objectified for a man’s sexual pleasure, the image of woman subjugated. This image shows the woman, the feminine much too powerfully. She is no sex toy.

Woman – a full, natural woman with a full natural body is about the full power of the earth, the moon, the water, the night – the power of beginnings and endings. There is no need to know the facts of the real woman beneath any image such as this one. The image tells us she is “mother” and that she “knows” who you are and what you are. In the presence of such a woman, a man becomes a child again, a man is forced out of his head and into his body, a body that is often denied and hidden. There is no inner sense of equality here – a man becomes a boy child and yearns for the mother to comfort and nurture his psyche.

At the same time, a man wants to possess the woman, to claim her power as his own. He needs to dominate if only so that he escapes being enclosed within her bosom and suffocating within the darkness of her depths. Unknowingly, the man seeks to control and finds himself controlled. Unconsciously the anger and resentment of being being controlled is transformed into dark behaviours where human women get punished, pummeled and ravaged, even destroyed by men caught in the grips of their own complex. As a man inflicts his dominance on a woman, his own inner core is wounded. He feels the wound and turns again in anger, frustration and fear to again try to conquer the woman he has projected his complex.

And yet, man returns again and again to woman in the hopes that there is a woman out there that will be the needed mother that will nurture and heal. For many caught in this trap, that woman is never found because the woman they seek can only be found within themselves.