Jung on the Realm of Eros

Regarding the realm of Eros –

In classical times, when such things were understood, Eros was considered a god whose divinity transcended our human limits, and who therefore could neither be comprehended nor represented in any way. I might as many before me have attempted to do, venture an approach to this daimon, whose range of activity extends from the endless spaces of the heavens to the dark abyss of hell; but I falter before the task of finding the language which might adequately express the incalculable paradoxes of love. Eros is a kosmogonos, a creator and father-mother of all higher consciousness. …. In my medical experience and my life I have again and again been faced with the mystery of love, and have never been able to explain what it is. … No matter, no worse expresses the whole. To speak of partial aspects is always too much or too little, for only the whole is meaningful.

Love “bears all things” and endures all things” (1 Cor. 13.7) These words say all there is to be said; nothing can be added to them. For we are in the deepest sense the victims and instruments of cosmogonic “love.” I put the word in quotations marks to indicate that I do not use it in its connotations of desiring, preferring, favoring wishing, and similar feelings, but as something superior to the individual, a unified and undivided whole. Being a part , man cannot grasp the whole. He is at its mercy. He may assent to it, or rebel against i; but he is always caught up by it and enclosed within it. He is dependent upon it and is sustained by it. Love is his light and his darkness, whose end he cannot see. “Love ceases not”-whether he speaks with the “tongues of angels,” or with scientific exactitude traces the life of a cell down to its uttermost source. Man can try to name love, showering upon it all the names at his command, and still he will involve himself in endless self-deceptions. If he posses a grain of wisdom, he will know, ignotum per ignotius-that is by the name of God.

That is a confession of his subjection, his imperfection, and his dependence; but at the same time a testimony to his freedom to choose between truth and error.

( Carl Jung – Memories, Dreams and Reflections p. 354 )

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