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just as much as if we go off too much on the intellectual or conscious end. To live like a swine or an ass is neurotic for a human being. So the real animals reject Lucius, for he is not in harmony with animal nature. The tragedy of Lucius-Apuleius is that within his donkey’s skin he still feels like a human being. He is treated like an animal, but inside, in his subjective inner world, he is not one. If taken symbolically, it shows that he lives below his own level, outwardly lower than his inner personality would allow him. Then begins the whole series of “near-redemptions,” which he always misses. In the stable he sees the statue of the goddess Epona. This Celtic goddess, protector of horses, had been imported by the slaves into the whole Roman Empire, and as the horses were generally looked after by slaves, this little statue was found in most stables. There is a wreath of roses around Epona’s statue, and Lucius stretches to get it, but the slave sees him and beats him back from getting his quick redemption here. This is a little incident which carries a much deeper meaning, for in the late antique syncretistic religion, Epona was identified with Isis. So Lucius nearly reaches the goddess who could redeem him. The Romans and Greeks had quite a different attitude toward religions other than the Judeo-Christian one. It was based on the instinctual realization that there were the same archetypal patterns in most religions. As described before, they simply, for instance, established a temple in the conquered country in which a mother goddess was prayed to, saying: “O Hera, Juno, Epona, Isis, or whoever else you are.” Historically we call this a syncretistic religion. By this means, naturally, the Romans got out of a lot of political trouble, for at least the conquered countries never revolted against the Roman Empire for religious reasons. Naturally, as the early apologists pointed out, it was a sloppy way of thinking, taking things not too seriously by skipping all the different nuances which a specific divine figure had. The historian Arnold Toynbee, who was rather attracted to Jungian psychology and read a lot of Jung, thought that some of our political and racial problems could be solved if we would establish a kind of syncretistic religion between East and West. He even published a kind of prayer beginning, “O Christ who is also Buddha; O Buddha, thou art . . .” and so on. His idea was to establish again the belief that there is a great spiritual savior god, whatever his name may be. Naturally, this is too intellectual. For Buddha, having grown out of Eastern civilization, implies certain emotional attitudes and other associations which one cannot simply skip over by saying, “Oh, that’s more or less the same thing as our Christ. Let’s just make a nice

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie Louise Von Franz - The Golden Ass of Alpulius  

Marie Louise Von Franz - The Golden Ass of Alpulius  

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