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possibility would arise that nature, through synchronistic events, might take the side of their military group. That sounds almost superstitious or absurd, but if we reflect that it probably corresponds to an evolutionary tendency of nature that human beings, in comparison to other higher mammals, have developed a significantly higher level of consciousness, it might then also be inferred that this evolutionary tendency continues its thrust in us and that those human groups and single individuals who are situated along the line of evolution have the best chance of survival in the course of world history. That these four siblings who, according to the ancient Greek view, play the crucial role in the decisions of world history, are not only a culture-specific set of symbols is shown by the fact that we find a parallel to them in the Old Testament. The ancient Israelites, in accordance with ancient CanaaniteSemitic custom, possessed a war fetish, a portable sanctuary, which they took with them into battle in order to gain the victory. This was the Ark of the Covenant, a chest fastened to two carrying poles or placed on a wagon, in which four objects were kept: the tablets of Moses (or the seven-branched candelabra), a golden oil jar, a vessel containing manna, and Aaron’s staff. On the lid were two winged cherubim, the messengers of God.17 This Ark was supposed to represent the immediate presence of God in the battle; that is, it was thought that God took part invisibly in the battle, enthroned on the arms of the cherubim. It was said that the Shekhinah of God—that is, his presence in the world—rested on the Ark, and this was considered to be a feminine figure. The Shekhinah also signified the interest that God took in humanity. According to historically later notions, this figure was also present in every human act of love, so here too there was a connection with the god Eros! When God was separated from his Shekhinah or had withdrawn with her on high, things went badly for the nation, and it was the task of men to restore this connection.18 Here one can see a certain parallel to Nike: The Shekhinah mediates the will of God on earth just as Nike brings victory as a messenger of the gods. Nike is winged and the Shekhinah is enthroned on the arms of two winged beings. Particularly striking is the quaternity motif. Nike is one of four siblings who make crucial world decisions; in the Ark of the Covenant there are four sacred objects. These four things all recall events of the past in which God manifested immediately and miraculously in the realm of ordinary reality: the tablets of the Law, through which God made his will known; the oil signifying the living substance of the divine; the manna that rained from heaven when the people were starving in the desert; and the staff

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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