“Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They're just braver five minutes longer.”
“Name one hero who was happy."
I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason's children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus' back.
"You can't." He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
"I know. They never let you be famous and happy." He lifted an eyebrow. "I'll tell you a secret."
"Tell me." I loved it when he was like this.
"I'm going to be the first." He took my palm and held it to his. "Swear it."
"Because you're the reason. Swear it."
"I swear it," I said, lost in the high color of his cheeks, the flame in his eyes.
"I swear it," he echoed.
We sat like that a moment, hands touching. He grinned.
"I feel like I could eat the world raw.”
― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
"Now suddenly there was nothing but a world of cloud, and we three were there alone in the middle of a great white plain with snowy hills and mountains staring at us; and it was very still; but there were whispers."
“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”
Puer Aeternus is the name of a god of antiquity. The words themselves come from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and are there applied to the child-god in the Eleusinian mysteries. Ovid speaks of the child-god Iacchus, addressing him as puer aeternus and praising him in his role in these mysteries. In later times, the child-god was identified with Dionysus and the god Eros. He is the divine youth who is born in the night in this typical mother-cult mystery of Eleusis and who is a kind of redeemer. He is a god of vegetation and resurrection, the god of divine youth, corresponding to such oriental gods as Tammuz, Attis and Adonis. The title puer aeternus therefore means eternal youth, but we also use it sometimes to indicate a certain type of young man who has an outstanding mother complex and who therefore behaves in certain typical ways which I would like to characterize as follows. In general, the man who is identified with the archetype of the puer aeternus remains too long in adolescent psychology; that is, all those characteristics that are normal in a youth of seventeen or eighteen are continued into later life, coupled in most cases with too great a dependence on the mother.
This all leads to a form of neurosis which H.G. Baynes has described as the “provisional life,” that is, the strange attitude and feeling that one is not yet in real life. For the time being one is doing this or that, but whether it is a woman or a job, it is not yet what is really wanted, and there is always the fantasy that sometime in the future the real thing will come about. If this attitude is prolonged, it means a constant inner refusal to commit oneself to the moment. With this there is often, to a smaller or greater extent, a saviour complex, or a Messiah complex, with the secret thought that one day one will be able to save the world; the last word in philosophy, or religion, or politics, or art, or something else, will be found. This can go on so far as to be a typical pathological megalomania, or there may be minor traces of it in the idea that one’s time “has not yet come.” The one thing dreaded throughout by such a type of man is to be bound to anything whatever. There is a terrific fear of being pinned down, of entering space and time completely, and of being the singular human being that one is. There is always the fear of being caught in a situation from which it may be impossible to slip out again. Every just-so situation is hell. At the same time, there is a highly symbolic fascination for dangerous sports – particularly flying and mountaineering – so as to get as high as possible, the symbolism being to get away from reality, from the earth, from ordinary life. If this type of complex is very pronounced, many such men die young in airplane crashes and mountaineering accidents.
In general, the positive quality of such youths is a certain kind of spirituality which comes from a relatively close contact with the unconscious. Many have the charm of youth and the stirring quality of a drink of champagne. Pueri aeterni are generally very agreeable to talk to. They usually have interesting things to talk about and have an invigorating effect upon one. They do not like conventional situations; they ask deep questions and go straight for the truth. Usually they are searching for genuine religion, a search that is typical of people in their late teens. Generally the youthful charm of the puer aeternus is prolonged through later stages of life, but there is another type of puer who does not display the charm of eternal youth, nor does the archetype of the diving youth shine through him. On the contrary, he lives in a continual sleepy daze, and that too is a typical adolescent characteristic: the sleepy, undisciplined, long-legged youth who merely hangs around, his mind wandering indiscriminately, so that sometimes one feels inclined to pour a bucket of cold water over his head. The sleepy daze is only an outer aspect, however, and if you can penetrate it, you will find that a lively fantasy life is being cherished within.
In Symbols of Transformation Jung spoke of one cure – work – and having said that he hesitated for a minute and thought, “Is it really as simple as all that? Is that just the one cure? Can I put it that way?” But work is the one disagreeable word which no puer aeternus likes to hear, and Jung came to the conclusion that it was the right answer. My experience also has been that if a man pulls out of this kind of youthful neurosis, then it is through work.
There are, however, some misunderstandings in this connection, for the puer aeternus can work, as can all primitives or people with a weak ego complex, when fascinated or in a state of great enthusiasm. Then he can work twenty-four hours at a stretch or even longer, until he breaks down, but what he cannot do is to work on a dreary, rainy morning when work is boring and one has to kick oneself into it; that is the one thing the puer aeternus usually cannot manage and will use any kind of excuse to avoid.
In his paper "Über Einige Motive Bei Baudelaire" or "On Some Motifs of Baudelaire" Walter Benjamin points out a particular phenomenon spreading in our modern world, namely the "withdrawal of the aura", Benjamin’s observation affirms the perspective of the poet Charles Baudelaire that photography dispels the magic outline, or aura, surrounding the things we use everyday The problem is that a camera captures a person’s image without returning any ‘glance’, but implied in every glance is the anticipation of the glance being returned. When this expectation is fully satisfied, we experience the aura of something. In Benjamin’s opinion the aura experience is based on transferring a commonly experienced reaction from human relationships to the relationship between inanimate nature and mankind. "To feel the aura of something" means to give it the power of returning our glances. If our modern world often seems to be meaningless, perhaps this is a consequence of the fact that the objects that surround us have lost their aura, and have no more power to ‘return a glance’. Objects are reduced to mere functional apparatuses which are seen to be useful only if they satisfy our material needs. It has been suggested that a form of psychological animism could be adopted in which we might treat objects in a different way, taking special care of them almost as if they were alive.
Excerpt Taken From
"Beyond Synchronicity: The Worldview of
Carl Gustav Jung and Wolfgang Pauli"
Marialuisa Donati, Milan
As we enter into this world, it is so far as we know it, against our will, we leave the warmth of the body of our mother and we enter into the light screaming, bearing the sudden cold, we listen to muttering voices and we can barely discern the blurry images beset onto us. Soon after adjusting to this profound experience we arrive into childhood, the provisional life, childhood is practice time, our schooling, a time for us to learn from our successes and to master our mistakes, we will walk many times into what I call the forge, the place where steel is created and hardened into useful tools and weapons, whether in our provisional childhood life or in our adult life, we will many times be beaten, fired, cooled and then beaten some more, all of these trials in the forge makes us stronger, it derives a different version of ourselves after the ordeal, it hardens us and knocks some of the sludge off so that our metal becomes cleaner, sharper and wiser.
Mind precedes all knowables,
mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
If with a corrupted mind
one should either speak or act
dukkha follows caused by that,
as does the wheel the ox's hoof.
Explanation: All that we experience begins with thought. Our words and deeds spring from thought. If we speak or act with evil thoughts, unpleasant circumstances and experiences inevitably result. Wherever we go, we create bad circumstances because we carry bad thoughts. This is very much like the wheel of a cart following the hoofs of the ox yoked to the cart. The cart-wheel, along with the heavy load of the cart, keeps following the draught oxen. The animal is bound to this heavy load and cannot leave it.
Mind precedes all knowables,
mind's their chief, mind-made are they.
If with a clear, and confident mind
one should speak and act
as one's shadow ne'er departing.
Explanation: All that man experiences springs out of his thoughts. If his thoughts are good, the words and the deeds will also be good. The result of good thoughts , words and deeds will be happiness. This happiness will never leave the person whose thoughts are good. Happiness will always follow him like his shadow that never leaves him.
Childhood-In the first painting, Childhood, all the important story elements of the series are introduced: the voyager, the angel, the river, and the expressive landscape. An infant is safely ensconced in a boat guided by an angel. The landscape is lush; everything is calm and basking in warm sunshine, reflecting the innocence and joy of childhood. The boat glides out of a dark, craggy cave which Cole himself described as "emblematic of our earthly origin, and the mysterious Past." The river is smooth and narrow, symbolizing the sheltered experience of childhood. The figurehead on the prow holds an hourglass representing time.
Youth-The second painting, Youth, shows the same rich, green landscape, but here the view widens as does the voyager's experience. Now the youth grabs the tiller firmly as the angel watches and waves from the shore, allowing him to take control. The boy's enthusiasm and energy is evident in his forward-thrusting pose and billowing clothes. In the distance, a ghostly castle hovers in the sky, a white and shimmering beacon that represents the ambitions and dreams of man. To the youth, the calm river seems to lead straight to the castle, but at the far right of the painting one can just glimpse the river as it becomes rough, choppy, and full of rocks.
Manhood-In the next painting, Manhood, the youth has grown into an adult and now faces the trials of life. The boat is damaged and the tiller is gone. The river has become a terrible rush of white water with menacing rocks, dangerous whirlpools, and surging currents. The warm sunlight of youth has been clouded over with dark and stormy skies and torrential rains. The trees have become wind-beaten, gnarled, leafless trunks. The fresh grass is gone, replaced by hard and unforgiving rock. In the boat, the man no longer displays confidence or even control. The angel appears high in the sky, still watching over the man, who does not see the angel. Man must rely on his faith that the angel is there to help him.
Old Age-The final painting, Old Age, is an image of death. The man has grown old; he has survived the trials of life. The waters have calmed; the river flows into the waters of eternity. The figurehead and hourglass are missing from the battered boat; the withered old voyager has reached the end of earthly time. In the distance, angels are descending from heaven, while the guardian angel hovers close, gesturing toward the others. The man is once again joyous with the knowledge that faith has sustained him through life. The landscape is practically gone, just a few rough rocks represent the edge of the earthly world, and dark water stretches onward.
A Donkey, feeding in a meadow, saw a Wolf approaching to seize him, and immediately pretended to be lame. The Wolf, coming up, inquired the cause of his lameness. The Donkey said that he had a thorn in his foot, and requested the Wolf to pull it out.
The Wolf consenting, the Donkey, with his heels, kicked his teeth into his mouth and galloped away. The Wolf said: I am rightly served, for why did I attempt the art of healing, when my father only taught me the trade of a butcher?
Everyone has his trade.
It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more.
When we are born, we are given this amazing organ inside our head, this organ is our brain, our mind, it's so complex that even the best and brightest scientists really don't know how it works, it truly is an amazing 3 pound piece of functional tissue. We should never let our brain atrophy, we should never let it get weak, we should consistently be putting new facts, new stories, new events and new material that is learned into our brain, it needs exercise just as much as the body needs exercise.........................
So................................................. read a book, learn a language, study a new subject, learn pottery, practice painting, write some primitive poetry, take a class.............................the more we learn, the stronger we are.
Anxiety, Stress, Depression, and many other of life's maladies are but a constriction upon a certain complex, dilemma, or problem that we may encounter or may develop. When we experience a certain negative feeling, emotion or event it makes us feel defensive, it makes us feel weak, when we feel defensive and weak, we regress into more child-like behaviors of "putting things in boxes", we then encapsulate this "issue" into its own little bubble, we take all that negativity and wrap it neatly up into this little sphere, this little sphere has very high levels of negative energy, we think we have this bubble controlled, but we do not, it controls us, we then feel a constriction, a receding, a shrinking away from, as if the idea that if we shrink and get tinier "it" would not be able to see us, we would escape from escape from being trapped by this bubble, it is from this bubble we must be born again, we must not shrink, but rather expand, this expansion pops this bubble and that is to engage in deep psychological change.
Cory Ian Shafer