Survival for the Soul


Survival for the Soul in Times of Adversity. The myth came alive at Acropolis in Cambridge on Nov 18. About 15 people came to hear about Psyche, The Greek Goddess of the Soul. “In Greek, psyche means both “soul” and “butterfly.” In Roman mythology, Psyche is also the lover of Cupid. Their story that of the Soul and Love is one of the most well-known myths in Roman mythology”.

Given into temptation, Psyche betrays Cupid by breaking her word. Cupid leaves. Sick at heart Psyche searches far and wide for her lover and embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

The moral of the story is that choices have consequences, nothing external will save your soul and you can truly love someone only when you know who you are. We don’t appreciate things that are just given to us. We value them when we learn their value (often when we lose them).

In the beginning Psyche experienced superficial love. She didn’t really know who Cupid was or what she was capable of. She was afraid of Cupid being the monster, who would not be worthy of her love. But this attitude is based on seeing forms not souls of beings.

Psyche was lost and looked for ways to get external help. There was no easy way to get Cupid back. Venus gave her difficult tasks to complete. And Psyche had to be internally ready for transformation. Every task had a special step for the soul:

  1. Sorting the seeds. Seeds are the possibilities of life. We sort through virtues and vices, true and false, essential needs and non-essential wants. We use the power of mind to do it: What are our true needs?
  2. Getting the Golden Fleece. Psyche had to discover her virtues. Before she didn’t realize she had them. In difficult times we all feel worthless and that we have no talents, skills or virtues but that is not true. Every soul has some virtues, it just needs to cultivate them to reveal its true identity.
  3. Getting water from a cleft. Water symbolizes change and that everything works in cycles (or has no beginning, no end). You have to change from within, in order to walk the path, you have to become the path. With our own initiative we can do anything, if we make our mind about it – quit drinking , lose weight, control anger, be the way we want to be. Eagle is the consciousness and our vision.
  4. Capturing a bit of Proserpina’s (the queen of the Underworld) beauty in a box. Underworld means the path itself and the dark night of the soul. We are on our own. We all make mistakes. We get lonely and experience suffering, but our intuitive mind will help us get through suffering, which is a test for our soul.

Psyche goes beyond survival to discovering the essential. She transmutes the difficulties of life into the fruits of the soul. Psyche finds her own meaning and appreciation for things in her life. She appreciates because she suffered and she loves what she appreciates. Finally she experiences true love as she is reunited with Cupid. They don’t have to hide anything, they love each other for what they really are.

Garret Avery finished the presentation with the following:

To survive is not to live,

To exist is not to be

To see is not to know,

To desire is not to love

To sleep is not to dream,

To die is not to lose one’s soul

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