The Myth of Psyche

Stories and myths hold great power in that they show us universal themes of humanity and the workings of the unconscious. I am remembering the Greek myth of  Psyche who was forced by Aphrodite to face a mountain of assorted seeds and challenged to separate the seeds into individual piles in one day in order to win the love of Aphrodite's son, Eros. It was a seemingly impossible job. But it wasn't until she surrendered that she noticed an army of ants working their way through the mountain of seeds and sorting them into appropriate piles. In our lives, the ants as part of the natural world might symbolize instinct, or perhaps discernment, which may both be needed when wading through the internal and external quagmire of “ What is what?” and "Whose is whose?" And what role does surrender play in our attempts to live authentically? At first glance, we might see Psyche as giving up or giving in. But surrender is much larger than than our culture's small-minded way of viewing the word. Since we live in a warrior culture, when we think of surrender, we think of waving the white flag and giving up. We think surrender is for losers. But surrender is actually the grand yielding that makes room for what is. Psyche means “ soul" or “ butterfly" in Greek. As such, the story of Psyche reminds us that the qualities of discernment and surrender may be aspects of the soul’s journey toward transformation and awakening.