Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Return of the Goddess
Edward C. Whitmont, MD
"A seminal work on the psychic event of our era: the recovery of the feminine aspects of the human person." Journal of Psychology and Christianity

1 "The integrity of an individual life, no less than of the collective life that is culture, depends upon the myths. Their archetypal themes give form and meaning. Falling out of meaning, out of touch with archetypal structuring, means disintegration."

2 "Just as physics has discovered that the slightest event affects the whole cosmos, so we begin to discover in our collective life that no man is an island, that life on this planet rests upon mutual interdependence, and that any event, any place – no matter how isolated – may have communal and internatonal reverberations."

3 "As an inner experience, individual soul reflects in its resonances the soul of the cosmos."

4 "Whatever problems, difficulties, pleasures or possibilities our destinies happen to bring us can be just as much in order to help us to a new realization as they are because of what happened before. They are different ways to grasp the evolution of the Self in expansion….through self- and I-Thou awareness."

5 "Jung spoke of the 'Unus mundus' and Neumann of 'Unitary Reality'. In such a biopsychic organismic system, the single personal unity is contained like a cell in an organism. It is viable functionally only by virtue of being contained in and sustained by the total system."

6 "In the depths of the unconscious psyche, the ancient Goddess is arising. She demands recognition and homage….If we grant the Goddess her due, she may compassionately guide us toward transformation."

7 "Through or behind the personal experience operates also a transpersonal guidance factor bent upon shaping a new significance and relation to self, other, and world. A new structuring of communality and consciousness is under way."

8 "We need to discover the larger pattern within which our awareness and our being is contained. We need to discover the prepersonal intents which our personal intents are meant to give expression to: our destiny or karma, the plan or patterns of our greater Self."

9 "The ancient magical and mythological levels of our being, although 'unconscious' to our current modus operandi, need to be recognised as vital capacities of ours. If we fail to integrate them with our rational world view, we are likely to regress into a new barbarism rather than take the next step of conscious evolution."

10 "The Self operates like a transpersonal or indeed suprapersonal entity, a destiny, or karma which demands to be actualized or incarnated as best we can in terms of given possibilities and limitations of family, social, and cultural environment…It is a prepersonal yet individual pattern of an intended wholeness….destiny is the unfolding of the Self-archetype in time and space."

11 "Myths could well be considered the ever-recurring collective dreams of mankind. To our rational outlook they are as unreal as dreams, and yet as uncannily effective when carefully considered as indicators and directors of psychic development."

12 "Life is to be lived and savored for its own sake, in sensitive interplay with earth and cosmos as living organisms."

13 "Holistic consciousness perceives human existence as an aspect of a unitary, cosmic organism."

14 "Culture is not an arbitrary invention but a precipitate of archetypal dynamics."

15 "Growth and decay, life and death, are both opposites and yet contained, even embraced, by a continuum."

16 "She may play and dance as Artemis, allure as Aphrodite, domesticate as Vesta, or be maternal as Demeter. She may function as Athena by furthering civilization and skills, or be concerned with comfort and the relief of misery as Mary. These are but a few of the many faces of the Great Goddess."

17 "In the mythopoetic fantasy, the soul experiences its own subjective reality. Myth is unashamed subjectivity. It depicts how the soul perceives existence. 'Once upon a time' implies forever and 'here' implies everywhere. This gives the fairy tale its moving impact. It evokes timeless truth."

18 "This wholeness of our being can never be grasped adequately at a single point of time, but needs to be perceived as it changes, moves, evolves, and involves from birth to death and death to birth."

19 "We are made questers by our primal hunger and needs, the wounds which inevitably everyone receives as a child in never receiving enough, in never having all yearning and needs satisfied. If we can see those hurts and yearnings as gifts of emptiness – if we can endure the frustration of pain and desires and follow them in their ultimate source, through pleasures and pains, trials and errors, without cutting ourselves off from need – then we can come closer to the source of life, the archetypal infinite vessel which gives to each person the specialness of honouring his or her own desire and connects us all in the great community of seekers after the transpersonal source."

20 "Freedom is not absence of restraint and limitation but a particular, imaginative way of responding to these limitations, or using them to discover and invent."

21 "Choice constitutes growth and differentiation of consciousness. Hence an old Jewish saying, 'Man was born for the sake of choice'. Ample evidence testifies that this dynamic is basic to life, even on the biological level."

22 "Individual ethics and collective morality are both part of the social and cultural web; they arise in the human psyche rather than being imposed upon it by an external culture."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite