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Psychology - Soul

OdipusAndSphinxYet again, it seems that we are heading towards an explosion of barbarity. The magnitude of this catastrophic explosion will be in proportion to the intensity with which we trigger the model of competition.  Our fixation with this archaic phobic model threatens the sustainability of civilisation and its meaning. Archetypal symbols of this fixation are Oedipus and Caesar.

And yet our life is not condemned to subjugation to barbarity. Liberation from this both at a psychological and at a social level is possible.

To follow this road of liberation from the archaic to the symbiotic and collective state of soul is more necessary today than it has ever been in the past. Contrary to the beliefs of the champions of the doctrine of competition, the nature of good is the strongest factor in sustainability. (Solon editorial team)

From the model of Oedipus to the model of Christ
The model of competitiveness is an archaic erroneous response to the fear which we experience when we look upon the progress of time's arrow. This model of life is symbolised by the archetype of Oedipus, or, otherwise, of Caesar. Opposed to this model stands the archetype of Christ or of Orpheus.

The fundamental differences in the symbolism of these two models are of interest:

1. In the myth of Oedipus we have even loss of sight as the consequence of parricide, a fact which confirmed the prophecy of the blind seer Tiresias.[i] After this, touch and hearing remains the horizon of guidance.

In the case of Christ, in the narrative of the Resurrection, the possibility of vision is stressed, and attention is called to its moral dimension in the mention of the singleness of the eye which brings about holiness and luminosity - the innocence of sight. In the narrative of the events of the Resurrection the acquisition of a sense of seeing the inner light in dependence upon the restricting of the sense of touch, which expresses a more instrumental expression of consciousness, is put forward. What is alluded to here is an archetypal process of evolution from the shadowy life of blindness towards sight, towards the potential for manifestation, and the revelation of the spirit.

2. Whereas Oedipus bears his tragic causation in terms of the tragic (a gripping fatefulness), Christ in the Beatitudes and in his last prophetic discourses, brings out the meta-tragic state as detachment from the field which is governed by the fear of death and by the idolisation of relations. The idolisation of relations is manifested as a blindness of which there is no awareness initially and then as an acknowledged Oedipodean blindness or willed undertaking of responsibility in the cycle of cause and effect.

3. Whereas Oedipus is a Caesar-like figure, Christ is a divine one. We encounter the same symbolism in the Zend-Avesta,[ii] where Gima is trapped by his Caesarean options which require the exercise of violence and power that are prisoners of a metabolic cycle of reproduction - of instrumentality, of territoriality, and of greed - in contrast with the call of Ahura Mazda to the repossession of inner spirituality and sanctity.

This is the fundamental problem of our everyday inconsistency: while we remain effectively and psychologically Oedipean prisoners of our tragic day-to-day cycle, the aspiration to act in a Christian way is reduced to the performance of a formal ritual.

This is the duality which Matthew alludes to - in the sense of the willingness (Matthew 26: 41) of the spirit and of bodily, material, and physical weakness - as that lack of accord which must be bridged over time through transformational evolution.

The interesting thing is that we can see all this dynamic unfolding initially in the case, of Christ in the narrative and symbolism of his life, with emphasis on dedication to the Father, which does not suggest a confusion of nature - as a Freudian inductive approach would perhaps see it. It suggests a totally different focusing of a field, an evolutionary shift, a definitive limit, an initiation into the spiritual, the sacred, and the divine. In this sense, the theatrical 'setting' redevelops into a setting of a Temple, as it also completes its descent from the quest for the divine and its institutionalisation.

This dynamic, apart from being symbolic, also indicates the actual change in human relations and of the field of human consciousness and of the manner. This is also definitively important in the logic of a spiritual recellurisation of life and nature, and of a decline of the old self also through the genesis of good which is expressed by spirit, fire, and water, and through an inner spiritual vision of the being.

From the tragic to the meta-tragic identity
The road from Oedipus to Christ is rendered by the parable of the return of the Prodigal Son. The new identity of the Prodigal Son who returned to his father is rendered and indicated as inwardness - now of birth and entity. This new identity does not have the characteristics of an extrovert instrumental alienated externality, but suggests the recovery of the consciousness by bringing it to the level of the sight of the ideal of life which is read by means of the Book of Life, which now unfolds with an understanding of concepts.

Man is now liberated from the binding force of the discerning consciousness which has been instrumentalised. This is expressed symbolically by the metabolistic entrapment of the consciousness of the tragic cycle of nature. Knowledge is now sought after not as knowledge for use, but as eudemonic knowledge as in Eden, as a light of blessedness, as a nature of a new non-ambitious identity.

The road, in the end, from Oedipus to Christ - in one sense - is the Socratic and Platonic philosophical life which the governor of the state must live. It is the road of unification or transformational, evolutionary synthesis of the spirit and of matter.

This road makes its appearance - in a more ennobled form - as the life of St Peter, the living rock, carved and guided as a foundation of Promise.

This road shows us the passage from what is in the end the tragic divisiveness of sensibility and competitive self-preservation to transformational liberation from the phobic instinct of self-preservation, to the spirit of ministering, in the spirit of the Last Supper as a spiritual communion, as spiritual comradeship.

In this sense, the tendency towards death and destruction and towards the Freudian death instinct is cancelled and spiritualised or redeemed spiritually. At the same time, by this restoration, libidinousness is brought back to the spiritual level, as well-being, as blessedness, and as love for life. The Gordian Knot of the person, of the mystery of the personality and of the soul, is cut, as a harmonious ending to the tragic, as a meta-tragic logos and a meta-tragic identity, as meta-tragic sociability. The fundamental evolutionary and aspirational dynamics are transubstantiated and transformed by the Holy Spirit.

The identity of social liberation
The transforming liberation from the phobic instinct of self-preservation in the spirit of service is:

● the point where psychology can be united with religion, with philosophy, with politics, and with the economy in a spiritual re-development of man and civilisation in the transforming dynamic of the spirit and the soul as regards nature;

● the profound liberation of human potential, a new anthropodynamic horizon with a determining unselfish team spirit and intuitive inwardness;

● the completion of the circle from individualisation to collectivity where freedom and brotherhood are intermingled by intellectualism in intuitiveness and spirituality;

● the completion, in the end, of civilising, of liberation from the Titanic heritage and its animal-grounded cycle into the life of the spirit and in the living logos;

● political order with divine indwelling in which familiarity, the evolutionary perspective of divinely-inspired equality, which means equality or holiness, through juridical discourse and poetic harmony promote us to being partakers of divinity, in which we unite life and matter as living rocks which arbitrate in the relation of opposites harmoniously, justly, and in a peacemaking spirit.

● the transition from troubled identities and their guile to non-ambitious, detached or liberated identities which profoundly partake of a spirit of peace and synthesis, with a spirit of freedom, solidarity, and justice.

Through the recognition of the inner abundance of the being, the kingdom of need comes to an end and the kingdom of freedom dawns. This is the insistent message of the teaching of Christ, and, as forerunners, of Buddhist and other teachings. Maslow draws attention to the same message when he speaks of the Buddhist and Taoist way.[iii]

Only in this way shall we stop both the process of guilt-ridden repression - which is a psychological impasse - and the process of suppression of the deeper entity or inwardness of the being or of ideals, and, finally, of our positive perspectives as these have been recognised and have operated as forces for transubstantiation and transformation acting on the physical, bringing out the psychological and the spiritual.

On this road we are liberated from the garment as repression, as a hypocritical concealment of the self, of ignorance, in the end, of the self.

On the revelation of the mysteries of the world
As the road of liberation is followed from the archaic psychological pattern of competition, the world is shown up as:

1. a field of spiritual reading and identification with it;

2. a society of affinity and spiritual proportionality, geometricity, or hierarchicity;

3. a non-local cohesiveness of the physical being with the logic of a coincidence of references and terms, and of a related linguistic range, bringing out a spiritual geography and prosopography - interior, and general or universal;

4. a boundless open field of divinity and divinisation. We must approach this field with transformational honesty and with truth of word and deed, so as not to trade in 'the holy things for those who are holy' as an idolised rhetoric of the museum, or as a fascination with words and illusion.

This is the real initiation into mysticism in contrast with its ritual imitation which can so easily be profaned. It is a borderline of harmlessness which secures the limits and the quality of the relation between existence and form, between the unknown and yet so familiar comradely God in inherence, in the fellow-travelling society of the metamorphosis of nature and matter which brings to light the providentiality of the Logos and the will of God in a field of the good, beautiful, and true. There all happenings recover a therapeutic and joyful or eucharistic character and give expression to the orchestrated transcendental cohesiveness of the will for good; there all things can be seen as beings in a love between the transcendentalism of the mind and the perceptible in all their dimensions, and experience in a redemptive and convincing way their inherence with their transcendentally evolutionary upward progress in the portion of the mansions of the Father's house and familiarity, of love, and of the will for good. This would indeed be a new heaven, freed from fascinations with mirrorings.

Water will be assimilated into life and into this redemptive savour of its salt. Then the waters of space will have been expressed as a discourse of sensibility in the philosopher’s stone or else in the living rock as consuming fire.

Ioannis Zisis, writer

This text forms part of the essay 'Fear in the face of Time or fear in the face of Creation and Evolution'.

[i] Oedipus - Wikipedia.

[ii] Avesta - Wikipedia.

[iii] Maslow, Abraham, Religions, Values and Peak-Experiences [Greek edition], publ. Diodos, p. 18, where he states that the best helpers are the most integrated humanists. What I would call the Path of Bodhisattva is a unity of self-realisation and social zeal; consequently, the best way to become a better helper is to be a better person. But a necessary factor in becoming a better person is the help one offers to other people.

Photo from Wikipedia

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