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of the universe, of the golden wings, dark being, you who veil reasonable thoughts and inspire with dark passion, you who live secretly in every soul, you create the invisible fire, touching every living being, the untiring torment of sorrowful pleasures and delights, since the universe has existed. You bring suffering in your presence, you who are sometimes reasonable and sometimes insane, you for whom men violate their duties with bold endeavors and that they call to help them, you the dark. You the last-born, the lawless, the merciless, the inexorable, the invisible generator without body of passions, archer, carrier of the torch, lord of all spiritual perception and of all things hidden, lord of the forgetting and father of silence, by whom shines all light, young child when you are born in the heart, old man when you are consummated. . . .7 Eros is very close to the alchemical Mercurius, who also has the arrow of passion and the torch, representing the torturing and painful aspect of love. At the entrance of the Aesculapian temple in Epidaurus, where the sick came to be healed of psychological or physical diseases, were the pictures of the two healing principles of Eros and Methē (drunkenness).8 Love and drunkenness are the great healing forces for soul and body. The drunkenness referred to here is not that obtained through alcohol, though this vulgar aspect is in it, for in drunkenness you are out of your narrow ego confines and are lifted ecstatically to another world beyond the worries of everyday life. This experience of elevation and of eternity links us again with the archetypal basis of the psyche and has a healing and transforming effect. Eros, one of the healing gods in ancient Greece, is also the “divine child� in some of its mystery cults. In the Eleusinian mysteries there took place the birth of a mystical divine child sometimes called Plutus, Iacchos, or Triptolemos and also sometimes called Eros. The central archetypal idea is that the divine earth mother gives birth to a divine boy, who is at the same time redeemer and god of fertility. He corresponds to the Mercurius in alchemy. All the later associations and ideas about love in medieval times absolutely coincide with what was said of Eros in earlier antiquity, and he is therefore a symbol of the Self. In the symbolism of alchemy there is always the divine couple: a god and a goddess, or a king and a queen, who represent the transcendental personalities, and a cock and a hen as the empirical personalities. Psyche would be the divine feminine partner of Eros, but in our fairy tale she is an ordinary human being, though in some other instances she

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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