The Logic of Psyche, i.e., psyche logic, is crazy, weird; not that it is devoid of logic, but that she has her own way of seeing the world, which makes sense, when you see where she is coming from….
Psyche is a character in Greek mythology, though every culture is going to have some representation of this character, because she, as the embodiment of Love, is so basic and fundamental to human love relationship situations. Psyche is, in the end of the myth, betrothed to her beloved, Eros, aka, Cupid. Cupid has his own archetype to play and, again, every culture will have a representation of ‘Desire.’ Love and Desire. Do those two experiences in our lives not greatly define us, both individually, and collectively?
Psyche is a Greek word. It translates into English as ‘breath.’ It is more commonly understand as soul, or mind. Breath is a more poignant understanding of Psyche. Who has not had their breath taken away by love, and desire? Who has not found their breathing difficult when love is taken away? Our desires, in particular the desire for the beloved, ride on the waves of breath. Without breath, there is no life, no pulsing desire, no romantic love. Because breathing is both an automatic deeply subconscious life process, and because it is a life process which can be consciously and intentionally regulated, intentional conscious breathing is one of the most basic and important methods of soothing and calming Psyche, especially when in the throws of carnal desire and emotional love.
Psyche, however, is inherently troubled, disturbed, irritated, because she is separated from her beloved. Our desire for love, and to be loved, drives us all. Her eventual union with her beloved is representational, symbolic, of the dissolution of separation. The experience of separation is psychological. The body does not experience separation. Like an animal in the wild that may have lost a limb, life goes on, without depression, anxiety, resentment, fear, trauma. Psyche gives meaning, valence, value to the experience of separation. Depending on the interpretation, separation can be agony, or ecstasy. Separation from our beloved is agony. Separation from our nemesis is ecstasy.
Although Psyche and her beloved do unite at the end of the myth, Psyche goes through a lot of tests, challenges, trials and tribulations, which are representative of the purification necessary for a genuine, authentic union with the beloved. Ultimately, the beloved is the same flame, the same essence, the same substance, the same animating energy, the same consciousness, as is she. When this is realized, the pangs of longing, the veils of separation, vanish.
And yet, our attachment to the yearning, the wanting, the desire, to love and be loved, is intensely powerful. This yearning of Psyche is well stated in a popular rock ‘n roll song, ‘Dream Lover.’
Every night I hope and pray
A dream lover will come my way
A girl to hold in my arms
And know the magic of her charms
Because all men are born of women, they too are impressed upon by the nature of Psyche; they too seek their beloved, above all else, just as does she. Psyche is, as the breath of Love, feminine. Eros is, as the arrow of Desire, masculine. Of course both men and women in the world are inhabited by both Psyche and Eros, Love and Desire. Any one person contains both love and desire, feminine and masculine, drives, needs and wants.
The logic behind our world view, as a psyche-social creature, has a lot to do with finding, holding, having, and keeping, our beloved. We have psyche-logical equations such that not being in a relationship, not being with somebody who represents our beloved, means we are defective. What is life worth, without our beloved? If I can’t be with my beloved, I might as well kill myself. If not that extreme, then deep depression. The beloved is not necessarily a person. Some are so absorbed in their ‘work’ it becomes the beloved, sometimes referred to as a mistress, some activity, or some other person, who takes most of the positive attention, energy, interest and engagement. People have, in fact, killed themselves over loss of money, their beloved, at the time. Most every single psyche-social disturbance, irritation, dysfunction can be tied to this fundamental pain of separation from our beloved. When united with our beloved, nothing can bother us, irritate us, disturb us.
The remedy to this experience of separation from our beloved is union with our beloved. What prevents that from happening? The term is ‘obscuration.’ That is, it is as if our beloved is hiding, not seen, though present, and available. The obscurations must be removed. The process is one of purification and represented by the trials and tribulations suffered through by Psyche. The process of purification, and healing, can be hellish, or like lost in a hall of mirrors, or alone at the top of a hill. The reward is portrayed, by those who have traversed the trails, as worth it. Union. Ecstasy. Given that our significant other is likely not our beloved in truth, they can be a representation and treated with as much love as if the real thing. When in love with that person who represents our beloved, we are at ease and in comfort with our existence. There can be a dissolving away of separation and two can feel as one; but then, those two, as a couple, are still separate from others, the neighbors, the colleagues, the passing strangers, and so the pangs of separation remain. Moreover, should there be some spat or argument, a conflict, or if that union is threatened, then that ease and comfort rapidly vanishes replaced with high anxieties and depression. Our true beloved is not of this world, beyond duality. Such a transcendental union is permanent, perpetual, without end, and we find ourselves dissolved into blissfulness.
For more information on this this approach of non-duality read a companion post about The Advaita Approach to Mental Health