Friday, 5 September 2014
Introducing three posts: the first one dealing with the (Syai) ;psyche in terms of symbol, archetype and myth
How does one describe a sound mind as differing from an unsound? It may not have so much to do with "higher" abilities nor with ethical notions of emotional sensitivity and empathy, as with connectedness.
There are many images of the four deities of the Minor Quaternary in the Syai world. The above cartoon-like representation of the gods, sketched from Teress's memory, show Sunchild, Moonbeast, Redbelly and Bluehead as if before their mythical incorporation into the Syai Psyche. In the background are the ghostly images of the "terrible" titans, the progenitors and opponents of the gods. At the heart-center is Sunchild, represented as benevolent and in revolt against the violent brutal self-interest of the individual (and groups-of) whose empathy does not extend outside itself. However, she is also - in a deeper sense - the archetype of the unconscious and rooted in raw nature, being the daughter of the titans. Moonbeast, with his extendible rope-snake and sack, represents our body's active interface with the physical world; the outer senses and muscles with which we manipulate the world. Moonbeast was not born but initially created, like a robot, to serve the titans.
The other two deities are the children of Sunchild. Redbelly represents our visceral nature and is sometimes represented (as here) with two stomachs. She is the goddess of our motivational urges and emotions but not so much our more complex inmost feelings. In her excited state she devours creatures and regurgitates them in an altered state, morphed into an appearance closer to their real natures (from the ethical point of view).. Bluehead, the last-born, represents the "higher" brain or intellectual functions of the body: inquiring, calculating and reasoning (Mr Spock type).
The well-balanced mind may be represented (according to Syai psychology) as a centred triangle, Sunchild at the centre and the sub-centres of the other three at the angle-points. As far as the h(r)uman individual is concerned, the inner strength of each center varies, but their workings in interaction with each other determine the degree of well-being and sound functioning, more so than whether that person is intellectually bright or a sensitive tendency to strong passions. In my postings 2 &3, I go from the gods themselves to the way they may help us understand the positive norm of our nature and what happens when that norm becomes abnormal or pathological, as in the case of fanaticism, which the Syai would see as a form of insanity.