Through a Jungian Lens

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What is This God Called Eros?

with 4 comments

Eros - Greek God of Love

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.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

December 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Alas, I am too tired tonight to give a really good comment, but I want to say Eros was and is a very important component of the Jungian Pantheon; it is quite misunderstood but oh so important we understand it and get to know it better.


    December 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    • And in your opinion, does what I say as to what it means to me, resonate in what you understand about Eros?


      December 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

  2. Dear Robert,
    Thank you for this Post.
    Yes, there are many stories about Eros.
    One that touches me most and for me can be mirrored to my Self is the following :
    Eros was a small boy who would not grow. Aphrodite did not liked this and counseled the Goddess of Wisdom, Themis – who advised Aohrodite that Eros only could grow when he had a brother or sister whom could return love to Eros.
    So Anteros (mutual love) was born and after his birth Eros started to grow.
    It is also said that Anteros was punisher to people who received love, but did not return love.
    So, this story tells me that in order to grow, Mutual Love is to be used as an ongoing process between myself and Self – and I think that by doing so, from the darkness the Child of Light will be born IN us.

    Opa Bear

    December 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    • Thank you for your story. I treasure the stories that you and others bring here as they tell me that I am not engaging in a monologue with no one listening and hearing. Happy Solstice my dear friend. My best to you and Petra.


      December 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

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