There’s a definite theme behind many of my posts. I am aware of it even if I don’t always make it obvious. The clue lies in this blog’s subheading – Psyche, Eros, Transgression.

I admire the work of Carl Jung. Yes, some of his work is dated, but I still think he has a lot to contribute. Not so much in terms of psychiatry, more in terms of hermeneutics. I think he has a lot to say about the way individuals and cultures construct narrative.

Let me restate that: philosophically I’m inclined towards hermeneutics. Without going into a dense discussion let me say that the mind ‘interprets’ reality and ‘constructs’ narratives to explain what it observes. These narratives don’t necessarily have to be accurate, they just have to be sufficiently useful. That is, adequate to ensure survival. In fact, many of these narratives (what we call culture) can be quite bizarre.

Note: having said that, I still believe in science and ‘knowledge’ (in the epistemological sense). Narrative must eventually give way to the facts, even though our psychological attachment to narrative is strong and resists ‘contrary evidence’. Which is why religions persist.

Persephone/Kore

Persephone/Kore

Where Jung is useful is in suggesting that there are certain ‘universal’ archetypes. And the one that is the subject (at the moment) of this blog is that of Kore.

In Greek kore means ‘girl’ or ‘maiden’ (kouros – boy). Sometimes the goddess Persephone is called Kore. In Jung, Kore is an archetype: an aspect of the feminine, or Anima. And as such, she is a symbol of a psychological process.

I understand everything that I have said on this website in regard to the sexualization of girls and the naked child in art in terms of Jungian hermeneutics. I regard these debates to be about narratives about children, not the reality of children. Indeed, I find the current debates frustrating for their lack of insight.


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