Logos and Sophia in Jungian Gnosticism

Discussion in 'Esoteric' started by Ella S., Nov 23, 2021.

  1. Ella S.

    Ella S. Gnostic Christian

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    The central myth to the Gnostics becomes the central myth in Jungian alchemy, too.

    This myth is the goal of the Gnostic portrayed through the reunion of Sophia with her syzygy, the Logos, liberating her from hylic reincarnation and elevating her into the Pleroma.

    In Jungian alchemy, this describes the central process of integration which leads to individuation. Reason/Logos brings Wisdom/Sophia out of the darkness and into the light.

    This is symbolic of allowing repressed emotions and thoughts to bubble up into the consciousness, where they can be analyzed and felt by the rational mind rather than remaining in the darkness of the unconscious.

    This is a similar process to what is described in Stoicism, as well as some of the mindfulness meditations found in religions like Buddhism. This discipline allows one to gain control over their emotions, while embracing the whole of their being.

    The mastery of this practice is divided into milestones or stages by Jung, primarily with the Four Phases of alchemy, but it can also be divided into the 7, 8, 12, or 14 operations of alchemy. These milestones have also been adapted into the "Monomyth" or "Hero's Journey."

    In many ways, the marriage of Sophia with Logos is the monomyth, or the prototype from which the monomyth is based on.
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Thanks, this is fascinating.

    Can you provide more detail on the four phases of alchemy?

    For the sake of argument, instead of the Hero Logos rescuing princess Sophia by bringing her into the light, what would it mean for Sophia to find her fairy prince and bring him back to her place? Would both end up in darkness (i.e. is it more about the light than tbe union)?
     
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  3. Ella S.

    Ella S. Gnostic Christian

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    The four phases differ a bit from author to author (and some alchemists only had three) but the standard Jungian approach is:
    1. Nigredo - The surrender of the identity so that one can open up to accepting their hidden qualities.
    2. Albedo - Integration with one's opposite characteristics, primarily expressed through gender; those who are raised with the social expectations of being masculine have to integrate with their feminine traits, whereas those who are raised with the social expectation to be feminine have to integrate with their masculine traits. The end of this process is also associated with humanizing the opposite gender, rather than seeing them as a distinct "other" or as mere objects.
    3. Citrinitas - This is the phase of maturation, where one begins to act primarily out of reason, being able to successfully integrate their emotions and choosing which ones to act on.
    4. Rubedo - In this phase, one reforms their identity around all of their traits, accepts themselves for who they are, and becomes self-transcendent; that is, they begin to see themselves as a part of a greater whole rather than the false identity they maintained through repression. This phase is sometimes related to the concept of self-transcendence.
    Technically, Logos and Sophia are just personifications of abstract concepts and they have no gender. However, in Gnostic Christianity, the Logos is associated with Christ, and so Sophia is portrayed as feminine for the sake of symbolic harmony. That said, in the Apocryphon of John, both the Logos and Sophia are female, with the former being referred to as "Mother Wisdom" and the latter being "Faithful Wisdom" or "Pistis Sophia." So you can portray it as a heroine rescuing a prince, too, if you wanted to; it's the liberation that's important, not so much the genders.

    However, symbolically, the Logos descends to Sophia in the first half of the journey and rises back up with her in the latter half, so if the hero/heroine was to just stick around with the prince/princess then that would represent stagnation.
     
  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Thank you. So the Hero's Journey and the Four Phases describe essentially the same process? How do you line them up?

    Also how do you personally line up Campbell's stages with the various Gnostic myths? I have read the initial parts of "Pistis Sophia", but they seem to be about cosmology rather than obvious Hero's Journey correlates. Which text exhibits these stages best, in your opinion? Would you be interested in working through such a text on this forum?

    The difference between Hero's and Heroine's journeys seems to be exemplified in the myth of Amor and Psyche - where Psyche's beauty is a cause of divine jealousy, and the challenge she faces in the quest for her lover Amor is to overcome the unfair obstacles placed in her path by an offended goddess. This is structurally different from heroes rescuing princesses, who in general can count on divine assistance from a goddess. (I read C.S. Lewis' "Till we have faces" way back when, and it was basically this story) Maybe this is not part of Gnostic Monomyth instances, however?
     
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  5. Ella S.

    Ella S. Gnostic Christian

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    In a sense. The Hero's Journey has since developed into its own separate concept, but originally the two were linked. They just describe the same general process by dividing it into different milestones, so it is sort of the difference between dividing a 100-mile race up into five 20-mile parts or ten 10-mile parts. The path is the same, but the measurement is slightly different; they both describe the gradual perfection of integration leading to individuation

    The cosmogony is the stages. This is the clearest with groups like the Ophites. If you read the myth, Christ descends the stages backwards as he comes down through the Archons to meet Sophia in the Kenoma, and their actual rituals were partially based around summoning these Archons as the gatekeepers to each outer Archon in sequence. You can read about these myths and rituals from Origen.

    This shouldn't be too much of a surprise. The 7 operations of alchemy are explicitly tied to the 7 classical planets, which the Archons themselves are very frequently associated with.

    We see the same general approach pop up a lot when describing the Archons. It isn't actually cosmogony. That's the outer myth, similar to how some alchemists hid their actual practices by using steganography that looked like chemical formulas.

    I have never heard of the Heroine's Journey, but gnosis is available to everyone.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    And what's the Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon today?

    51Pql8FZpfL._AC_SX184_.jpg

    Synchronicity ... ?
     
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