Sunday, July 10, 2011

Psyche and Eros: Love as a rite of initiation

Today Notes and Sundries introduces the myth of Psyche and Eros with Thomas Moore's words as editor of James Hillman's collection of writings, A Blue Fire:
"Rather than present a program of painless love, Hillman explores the betrayals and impossibilities of love as valuable initiatory moments of the soul. Initiation is a rite of soul-making. Innocence may have to be punctured. Idealized notions of self, other, and love may have to earn their ripening shadows. A third element may have to appear to keep the two in love from closing their world in on themselves. Primal, Eden-like trust may have to mature so that one doesn’t go about life with an innocence frequently shocked and undone by disappointment and betrayal.”
Part 1 of this post retells the myth using William Adlington's 16th century translation of The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius. Part 2 completes the story with quotations from Hillman's work.

Jean-Baptiste Regnault (1754 - 1829)

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