Through a Jungian Lens

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Eros and Kronos – Deadly Dancing

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Emerald Tree Skink - Ouroboros

I found these two emerald green tree skinks on the tree just a few metres from the balcony of the villa in the Philippines.  The chased each other and nipped at each other’s tail.  It immediately brought the image of Ouroboros to mind so I raced for my camera.  Of course, ouroboros (or uroboros) really is about a single lizard or snake biting/eating its own tail.  That said, this image of two circling lizards just begged to be taken and become part of the on-going story of images here.

But rather than see this as a classical ouroboros dynamic, I want to look at it in terms of dualities circling each other, in constant tension of attraction and repulsion, the dance of the masculine and the feminine, the balancing act of the conscious and the unconscious self.  One other duality that must be mentioned is that of Eros and Kronos – the dance between life and death – the urge to create and the urge to break down and destroy.

Like all other humans, I have a strong desire to live, to love, to create, to be in intimate relationship.  Yet like all people, there is an underlying pull to the grave and to annihilation.  It shows up in some of the smallest things, in the risks we take, the choices we make, and the fact that we are aging.  We rarely realise that we are contributing, unconsciously, to the process of self annihilation; and that is as it should be.

However, we sometimes consciously choose things that hasted our own destruction.  It really doesn’t matter why this happens, it only matters that it happens.  I know that in my battle with depression I defiantly attempt to erase markers of my passage through life.  During these periods of time I destroy photos of myself believing that when I am gone, I should really be gone and not hanging around in some photo album or on some computer.  During these times I am certain that the world would be much better off with out my darkness.  Little do I realise that in responding to depression in this manner, I am tilting the duality dance between Eros and Kronos in the favor of Kronos.

But as I grow more conscious of my self and my shadow, I hesitate long enough and avoid erasing more bits and pieces.  The parts of the past I have already erased in earlier decades are gone forever.  I erased without any thought of what others might need as evidence of my existence in their own lives.  I knew less then and only knew that the darkness was too powerful.  Today, the pull to Eros is stronger than the pull to Kronos.  Kronos will wait knowing that I will eventually get there.  But until then, I want to continue living, loving and creating.


8 Responses

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  1. may it be so, right up until the end.


    November 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm

  2. A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness. “Nassir Ghaemi, has concluded that being manic or depressed often makes for better leaders.”

    Ghaemi’s thesis is that leaders like Churchill and Kennedy could more accurately see the reality of international situations because they were not blinded by rose-coloured glasses all the time, but that bouts of depression made them more aware of “reality”.

    I have just finished reading the new biography about Steve Jobs the founder of Apple by Walter Isaacson. A great read, but one would have to conclude that Steve could have a footnote on just about every page of the DSM. Yet his accomplishments were truly remarkable.

    So like all these other dualities, a yin-yang of optimism and pessimism may be more useful in terms of evolutionary strategies than the perpetual optimist. We see all around us this bias toward optimism in the, “everything will eventually work out okay”, mantra that politicians adopt in a whole range of critical global issues, the most significant IMHO being climate change. This unrealistic optimism leads to inaction and a focus on the political rather than the real hard choices that have to be made, which, of course, further exacerbates the problems.

    So, my friend, if you can drag the more accurate perceptions of reality that are observed during those dark times into the daylight you are better equipped to formulate effective actions to deal with and resolve the particular issues that you are dealing with. Those around you, who have not spent time in those dark places, may not see thing as you do, because a sunny pollyanna disposition is highly regarded these days, and your perspective may be seen as party-poop!

    In the end, as with Churchill, Kennedy and Jobs, the only consolation may be “I told you so.”

    Syzygy Xanadu

    November 18, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    • I know that it is the conscious transformation of individuals that will effect the most lasting, most healing of change. I teach my students about the Lorentz Effect, but somehow fail to appreciate how as I change, so changes the world. Thank you.


      November 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm

  3. Somewhere I read recently about Hillman’s way. It goes something like figure out your story, accept it and then tell it. You’ve captured that so well here. This is beautiful work both inside and out. Thanks for sharing.


    November 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    • Thank you, Connie for your words. I appreciate your comments and hope that more are coming 🙂


      November 23, 2011 at 9:59 am

  4. What a wonderful synchronicity.

    I discovered this post today and its publication date is the last time when Kronos was really the strongest in my life.

    “The urge to break down and destroy.” Exactly. N There are no better word.

    My dreams speak to me of a girl who wants to get in touch with me.
    It is Eros?
    What work hard for the welcome.

    A thousand thank you for this blog
    Best wishes for 2012.


    December 29, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    • I am grateful that you have stumbled upon my blog and want to extend a warm welcome with hopes that you will return again and again and gift the site with your words in response. Happy New Year. I think I have so much to learn from people such as yourself. As for your dream, perhaps this is your soul, your anima wanting your attention. Of course no one will be able to answer this question of yours except yourself. Happy New Year.


      January 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

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