Samantabhadra: Syzygy in the form of divine union

Adi Buddha Samantabhadra, Unknown artist, unknown date, via Wikimedia Public Domain.
Adi Buddha Samantabhadra, Unknown artist, unknown date, via Wikimedia Public Domain.

As a basic principle, archetypes are not realized in static form but present in dynamic form, expressing transformations in consciousness. Archetypal images transform as awareness transforms. Or said another way, archetypes appear in various forms as consciousness shifts.

In terms of enlightenment, sacred images represent transformations in consciousness, expressing a movement from duality to integration and wholeness. Archetypes are therefore expressed in symbols of transformation: representing transformations in consciousness; transforming as consciousness transforms. [1].

The syzygy is a potent symbol of transformation, representing core transformations in the phenomenology of the Self [2]. The transformations in the syzygy archetype emerge along with transformations of the self, movements from duality to integration.

Continue reading “Samantabhadra: Syzygy in the form of divine union”

Durga: encountering the demon of ignorance

Durga Mahishasura-mardini, the slayer of the buffalo demon, Raja Ravi Varma- 1910 US public domain via Wikimedia
Durga Mahishasura-mardini, the slayer of the buffalo demon, Raja Ravi Varma- 1910 US public domain via Wikimedia

In the above image we see Durga Mahishasura-mardini, the slayer of the buffalo demon. The painting is by Raja Ravi Varma- 1910 (via Wikimedia, US public domain).

In becoming aware of the supreme Self, we are likely to behold the demons and shadows of the individual self. Carl Jung believed that an encounter with the demon or monster represented an archetypal stage in the process of individuation. He says, “the initial encounter with the Self casts a dark shadow ahead of time.” In mythic terms the shadow may present itself as a monster, a demon, a darkness or a drought. Here is the full quote from Jung’s Man and His Symbols:

Continue reading “Durga: encountering the demon of ignorance”

Serpents: image of the instinctive psyche

 

Painting of Konagamana Buddha by unknown painter. Photo taken by Hans A. Rosbach- 2011, Creative Commons via Wikimedia.
Painting of Konagamana Buddha by unknown painter. Photo taken by Hans A. Rosbach- 2011, Creative Commons via Wikimedia.

Carl Jung notes that the serpent is an image of the “instinctive psyche” (CW 9i, para. 282). In dreams and imagination, “dragons and serpents point to the danger of the newly acquired consciousness being swallowed up again by the instinctive psyche, the unconscious” (ibid).  The instincts (as snake image) is seen as a treat to “one’s inmost self” (ibid).

Continue reading “Serpents: image of the instinctive psyche”