Sunday, November 04, 2012

A Therapist Serves the Gods

While reading Re-Visioning Psychology this morning it occured to me that one of the reasons Daniel Quinn's work had such a profound affect on me when I first read it was that it was therapeutic in the Greek sense of the word. It was speaking to other elements of my psyche besides the ego. He was and is serving the gods that are always present. And when not acknowledged they will drive us out of our minds. The excerpt below out of Re-Visioning, I think, explains what I'm getting at.

"Greek humanism always 'remained to some degree inhuman, not in the sense of barbarian, but in the sense of the Gods.' They provide the inhuman perspective, so that the acute insights of the Greeks derive from a psyche, and a psychology, in which divine inhumanity has its place. A study of man can never give a sufficient perspective, for man is fundamentally limited; he is a frail, brotos, thnetos, a poor mortal thing, not fully real. Gods are real. And these Gods are everywhere, in all aspects of existence, all aspects of human life. In this Greek view--and 'Greece,' as we have seen, refers to the polytheistic imagination--there is no place, no act, no moment where they are not. The Gods could not absent themselves from existence in a Protestant theological manner; they were existence. There could not be two worlds--one sacred, one profane; one Christ's, one Caesar's--for the mundane was precisely the scene for divine enactment.

"Today we can put this psychologically, saying we are always in one or another archetypal perspective, always governed by one or another psychic dominant. The profane also carries soul, since the profane too has its archetypal background.

"This perspective begins in a polythestic consciousness, whether that of Greek religion or of archetypal psychology. Our difficulty with grasping the Greek world view is that while we begin always with an ego, the Greeks always began with the Gods. When the Delphic oracle or Socrates or a modern analysis exhorts one to 'know thyself,' this knowledge is of human limits, a humanity limited by the powers is the call of the therapeutes.

"The term means originally 'one who serves the Gods. (It refers also to 'one who attends to anything' and to 'one who attends to the sick.') The therapist is the one who pays attention to and cares for 'the God in the disease,'...." [Pg.191-192]

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