#shamanism #CarlJung #archetypes
The Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a documentary film by Werner Herzog about the Chauvet Cave in southern France. The film is shot entirely in 3-D. The cave was discovered in 1994 with hundreds of cave paintings dating from the Paleolithic age, around 30,000 years ago.
In his review, Peter Bradshaw, writes:
“Human beings are relatively absent from the pictures, indicating, perhaps, a sublime lack of self-awareness in this prehistoric artistry, although there is a representation of the human female form in apparent sexual congress with an animal. Were these paintings made in a secular artistic spirit–or were they part of a religious ritual? Or are both these ‘artistic’ and ‘religious’ dimensions subservient to something else, some third aspect that has been faced by time is utterly beyond our wit to guess that?”
In my opinion the third aspect points to shamanistic rituals. In The Strong Eye of Shamanism, Robert E Ryan, PhD, thoroughly explores the archetypal patterns shamans have employed for well over 30,000 years. His book is largely based on the ideas of Carl Jung and depth psychology. He writes “the archetypal symbol is experienced by the psyche as vitally meaningful. It precipitates a transformation of consciousness that is ‘the natural analogue of religious initiation ceremonies,’ uniting man with the transpersonal aspect of his mind, which reaches back into the world of instinct and nature itself (17).”
Herzog says the pictures of animals in the cave represent the beginnings of the modern human soul.
I’m excited about the release of this movie and I cannot wait to see it for myself.
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Release date January 1, 1999.
To sleep, perchance to dream… -Shakespeare
Ah – but here’s the rub. How much sleep are you getting every night? And, how much time is spent dreaming? There are many theories about the average amount of light sleep, deep sleep and REM (rapid eye movement associated with the dream-state). But until recently those theories haven’t been useful to me about my sleep. Now there’s a device, Zeo, that measures your sleep and determines how much time is spent in each state:
Continue reading What do you know about your sleep?
“Myths are public dreams; dreams are private myths. By finding your own dream and following it through, it will lead you to the myth-world in which you live. But just as in dream, the subject and object, though they seem to be separate, are really the same.” ~Joseph Campbell
In discussing the role of dreams in a shamanic culture, religious historian Mircea Eliade suggests that dreams have a way of abolishing “historical time” and allowing one to gain access to “mythical time.” The myth that is unbound by time and space is experienced directly in the dream thus providing information and knowledge about the dreamer’s own living private mythology.
Continue reading Private Myth/Personal Religion
Ancient healers were in many ways like today’s psychotherapists in that they also treated the patient for psychological ailments. Ellenberger describes the ancient healer:
The healer may or may not be proficient in the treatment of fractures, in the knowledge of drugs, in massage, and other empirical treatments that are often left to lay healers. But his most important methods of healing are of a psychological nature, whether it be a matter of treating a physical or a mental illness. In primitive societies, the distinction between body and mind is not as clear-cut as in our society, and the medicine man may well be considered to be a psycho-somatician (Ellenberger 39).
Continue reading Healing Dreams – Part II
“I swear by Apollo the physician, by Æsculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath….”
–The Hippocratic Oath by Hippocrates
As is made clear by the opening line of the Hippocratic’ Oath, a healer would swear by Asclepius in order to heal others. In Greek mythology, Asclepius was a healer born of Apollo and Coronis. He was raised by the centaur Chiron who trained him in the science of medicine. Asclepius’ healing became so great that when he was finally able to bring the dead back to life Hades became outraged and complained to Zeus. Zeus acquiesced and struck Asclepius dead with one of his thunderbolts.
Continue reading Healing Dreams – Part I
“Myths are public dreams and dreams are private myths.” – Joseph Cambpell
As Campbell explains it, expounding upon the work of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, myth and dreams are connected in that mythology is the picture language of the psyche and dreams are the native tongue of this language (Flight 21-22). Dreams, visions, and myths spring forth from the same well of psychic awareness. Myths arise out of the collective level of awareness whereas dreams and visions arise out of the individual. Joseph Campbell defined four functions that served a living mythology:
- the mystical function
- the cosmological function
- the sociological function
- the pedagogical function
Continue reading The Function of Dreams in a Private Mythology