Eros and Psyche: Divine and Human in Love

The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.
-Percy Shelley
Imagination is the instrument of Self Knowledge.
-Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you’ve never experienced the dynamism  of Eros (being struck by Cupid’s arrows) during your life on earth, you’re missing out.  Eros is love, desire, sexual yearning, a condition of creation, a feeling of being alive.  But all Eros’s attributes carry a voltage.  Eros can groove a sluice in your brain, and fry your hair!

Screenshot 2018-01-27 10.33.01
Saint shot by Cupid’s arrow

Carl Jung says Eros creates such exquisite desire, such psychic tension, that it can activate the transcendent function (I call it The Rub), and open up the fastest avenue to the collective unconscious where the divinities reside.   Ecstasy (I think not the drug) can be the vehicle that carries you directly to the archetypal Kingdom of God.  Sure, this is what the religious celibates know.

virginalmary
Did The Virgen feel Eros for God, Himself? How could you not, if it’s God making love to you?

So I’m talking to myself, now.  (Dialogue in journal.)

I want to ask you, why do you feel shame when you feel Eros?  Even if you’re married and the secret vector is towards someone other that your husband, why feel shame?  No, no, you should be nothing but grateful to experience Eros after 25 years of marriage.  You didn’t bring on lust, but a holy rendition of love was given to you.

For Eros is the God of Love, and you are in love with Love!

It’s culturally relevant-and culture clash is one way to ignite the transcendent function-to call Eros, Deseo.  So I do in The WASP and El Curandero. During my field research, in my mind, of course, I thanked Alberto for providing the hook for my Deseo, and thus, the locomotion driving my desirous approach to The Other World (turns out My Other World, at least, was, interestingly, the psyche).  Of course it drove my dedication to the research, too, but that’s a rather mundane topic for this context.

Reynaldo. He was a little famous. I'll tell you here, I fell in love with him. But that's later in another story.
Alberto Salinas, El Curandero 1951-2013

But for god’s sake, I never told Alberto I thought he, was divine.  Although that is exactly how I felt under the force of Eros.  Who wouldn’t feel favored by making love with a god?  That’s the point:  Individuation can be furthered by transferring, instead of concretizing,  the intense yearning for your human to craving the Divine.  It draws you into the realm of imagination where stories are created and transcendence can be experienced.  The imagination, not the material world, is where it all happens.  The sin would be in humanizing Eros before the transcendent function resolves itself; before the opposites–the conscious and the unconscious–unite as in the Greek myth, Eros and Psyche.

teresaecstacy
The ecstacy of St. Teresa of Avila, Bernini sculpture

But remember: if you are thinking to Individuate by holding the tension Eros creates, you can only proceed by restraining physical consummation.  In this way you feed the desire until you think you will explode.  It’s exquisitely excruciating to hold the tension.  It’s the mystics’ ecstacy.

And finally a warning:  don’t inflate your head by identifying with the deities.  You are not The Virgin.  Nor is he your God.  You are a human becoming more so.  There’s real integrity in that.  You can thank Eros for not knowing anything about orgasms.

Author: Katherine Brittain

Writer/Cultural Anthropologist

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