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Psyche, the Soul, the Butterfly

Apr 07, 2007 10:56 AM
by danielhcaldwell

Dictionary defines psyche as:

1 a princess loved by Cupid [in Greek mythology]

In Greek thought the soul was sometimes
pictured as a butterfly.

See such a depiction at:

Wikepedia gives the following on the myth of Psyche:

...Psyche was to go to the Underworld and ask Persephone, the queen 
of the Underworld, for a bit of her beauty in a box that Aphrodite 
gave to Psyche. Psyche decided that the quickest way to the 
Underworld would be to throw herself off some high place and die and 
so she climbed to the top of a tower. But the tower itself spoke to 
her and told her the route through Tanaerum that would allow her to 
enter the Underworld alive and return again, as well as telling her 
how to get by Cerberus by throwing him a sop and Charon by paying him 
an obol, how to avoid other dangers on the way there and back, and 
most importantly to eat of no food whatsoever; for otherwise she 
would dwell forever in the Underworld. Psyche followed the orders 
explicitly and ate nothing while beneath the earth.

However when Psyche had got out of the Underworld, she decided to 
open the box and take a little bit of the beauty for herself. Inside, 
she could see no beauty; instead an infernal sleep arose from the box 
and overcame her. Eros, who had forgiven Psyche, flew to her, wiped 
the sleep from her face, put it back in the box, and sent her back on 
her way. Then Eros flew to Mount Olympus and begged Zeus to aid them. 
Zeus called a full and formal council of the gods, and declared it 
was his will that Eros might marry Psyche. Zeus then had Psyche 
fetched to Mount Olympus, and gave her a drink made from Ambrosia, 
granting her immortality. Although some say their daughter was named 
Bliss, and some say she was named Delight (in Roman mythology she was 
named Volupta, which can mean either), the meaning of the name was 
intended to be joyful....
Excerpt quoted from:

Compare what happens to Psyche in the above myth with what happens to 
the "soul" in Kamaloka and Devachan as described in the Mahatma 


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