The attitude that says we must force meaning from myths and dreams is an attempt to place them into our own little logical Western box. It is reductionist in that we try to limit them to a particular interpretation. The same holds true for the interpretation of dreams. These images are so multifaceted and so complex that they cannot be circumscribed within our analytical minds. They comprise a vast, limitless landscape of imaginality where the rational mind cannot tread.
For example, a dream of being in a deep, dark forest doesn’t necessarily mean that the forest is the unconscious. It may be, but it also may have different meanings. One must take into account the context of the entire dream. So-called dream dictionaries are worthless because they attempt to reduce the image to a formulaic interpretation.
In this epoch, we are in the grip of the Hero archetype, fueled by ego and selfishness. The hero is best typified in mythology by the Greek god, Hercules. The hero craves victory at all cost. The drive for corporate profit is one of its manifestations. War is another of its pastimes. Sports, yet another. These are all exercises in futility. The ego must be pulled down from its lofty pinnacle. There are other gods who deserve recognition. The pendulum always swings. The Hero/Ego will diminish as we other archetypal figures to come to the fore.
Our heroes today, in the quest for victory at all cost, are totally opposed to death and the underworld. The hero of today is consumed with humanistic ego, as in those who think of nothing but money, power, and success. Most of all, they desire to conquer death, as in Christianity (The last enemy to be conquered is Death). They refuse to recognize the underside of things, much to their dismay.
Today, cut off from this psychic background, the heroic becomes the psychopathic; an exaltation of activity for its own sake (James Hillman).
This “psychic background” is nothing other than the gods, who we have forgotten and tried to kill. Cut off from that, mankind has become enamored with itself, thus leading us to the present rule of Ego.
What we are seeing today in our government, our places of worship, our universities, etc., is blatant egocentricity, or the cult of Ego. Our so-called cultural heroes have, for the most part, rejected Soul and its mundus imaginalis. This attitude has led to disastrous results, such as endless war and rampant corruption in government and business.
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