Mythology: 5 mythological themes in modern films

When I was a kid, my father used to tell me stories from Greek mythology. He would tell about Zeus, who was always chasing after beautiful girls, about Hera who was the mother Goddess and about Aphrodite being born from the foam of  the sea. I was always fascinated, amused but it had nothing to do with me. I bet that is what you think too.

Well over the years I have discovered that there is a lot of value in mythological stories and we often fail to recognize them. Re-reading the myths in the beautiful “Complete world of Greek mythology” brought me back in time. I love to read it, so if you would like to know more about greek mythology, or would like to refresh your memory: Richard Buxton’s book is one of the best. Being a lot older, it was easier to see how mythology writes about the human vices and gives advice.

For more information: this book of Richard Buxton is one of the best I have ever read

But mytholgy in the Western culture seems to have taken a backseat. Except in films and television series… Here is a list of 5 films that have a mythological theme. If you know more, I would like to hear from you.

1. The mythology of King Midas

On one of the best known stories of Greek mythology. King Midas of Phrygia is a great and wealthy king with a daughter. Midas loves gold. He loves counting his money.
One day Silenos, teacher of Dionysos, took a nap in the rose garden of King Midas.  The King, walking around, saw him, recognized him and invited him to stay for a few days. Then he brought him back to Dionysos. The god of celebration offered Midas to satisfy a wish….

In modern day life we know the story of “Jerry Mcguire”: show me te money. This 1996 film shows how easily one gets stuck on the dollar. The gold in this film does not mortify the loved one like in the myth but the message is clear: work hard for what you love, money will be a nice by-product.

2. The mythology of Narcissus

Echo falls in love with Narcissus, one of the most gorgeous guys on the planet . She lost her voice because she talked too much , and now she can only echo the last thing said to her. Unable to get into a meaningfull conversation because she can only echo the lasts words he speakes, he is not very interested in her affection. Broken hearted she fled into the woods, fading slowly untill nothing was left but her voice.
Narcissus was punished by the Goddess of love Aphrodite, She let him fall in love with someone who would not ever love him back: his own reflection.

In “House of Cards, Francis Underwood is looking out for Francis Underwood. Not only is he very pleased with his own actions, he adores himself. He can not stop looking at his own reflection, projecting his own heartlessness on the people who care about him. He thinks he is so important that it would be unjust to love anybody back. Like he is a god himself, people bow for him and his plans.

3. The mythology of Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus lost his wife and loved her so much that he dared to enter the realm of death to search for her. Penelope felt toched by so much love and he was to walk outside and not look back. Once in the human world he was able to look back- and if Eurydice had followed him they where able to live together again.

In “What dreams may come” Chris Nielsen and his wife Annie face the tragic loss of their children. Then Chris looses his life to. He gets comfortable in the afterlife, but one day finds out his wife has commited suicide. Now she is not able to join him in heaven. Chris decides to take action.

4. The Mythology of Apollo and Cassandra

Apollo falls in love with Cassandra, daughter king Priamos of Troy. He gives her the gift of prophecy. But when she rejects the love of Apollo the punishment is that nobody will believe what she says…  It will be the downfall of Troy.

In the series “Lie to me” Tim Roth is an expert in seeing detailed expressions, micro expressions that tell the truth. He has a remarkable accuracy in predications but is often not believed. Like Cassandra, he is very unhandy in his love affairs.

5.  The mythology of Pan

This Greek God of sensuality, guides girls and boys into connection with their bodies. The god of the shepherds, guiding the animals that give us food and shelter he is depicted with two horns. Later on he got known as the devil.

In the film “Pan’s Labyrinth” a little girl growing up during war time struggles with the changes in her body. Her mother is occupied in a new love affair with the cruel captain Vidal. The mother is pregnant with a child and does not have time to guide her daughter (still a modern day problem). The new husband of the mother is very unbalanced. Finally, his animus-outbursts shake the labyrinth down to its core.

Pan’s labyrinth

Want to explore Mythological themes in Film yourself? Check out Mindfunda Movies.

Red book jung, should you read it?

He sees the tree of life, whose roots reach into Hell and whose top touches Heaven. He does not longer know differences: who is right? What is holy? What is genuine? What is good? What is correct? He only knows one difference: the difference between below and above, and that it has its crown at the top, clearly differenciated by the roots. To him this is unquestionable. Hence he knows the way to salvation”
Carl Gustav Jung, The Red Book

A couple of years ago I stept into the Jungian Institute at Nijmegen. And there it was the Red book. A big, no I mean BIG red book, liber novus with gothic language handwritten by Jung. I was allowed to look inside (carefully tough because it was as expensive as it was tall), turned over the pages and enjoyed the artwork I saw. I was impressed. I was craving.

Red Book Carl Gustav Jung, reader’s edition

A couple of years later I saved enough to buy myself a copy of the Red book. Reading it over the years has helped me in my own religious wrestlings. Like Jung, I like science. But science despises magic. I need some magic to make my live more interesting.
Please do not take my curiousity badly. Recently I heard something about magic that awakened my interest in this bygone practice. And then I came to you because I heard that you understand the black art. If magic was 

Jung’s inner explorations are moving: “I suffer my agony between two madman. i enter the truth if I descend. Become accustomed to being alone with the dead.”,
they outrage you sometimes: “She moaned and whispered in a weak voice: “Give me blood, I need blood” . Jungs’ anima Salome, was based on his crush for Sarah Bernhardt:

Sarah_Bernhardt_by_Paul_Nadar
Sarah Bernhadt by Paul Nadar

 

and shaped by his sexual addiction to Sabina Spielrein.

So I can definitly advice you to buy the Red Book. The Red Book helps you dive into the brilliant mind of Carl Gustav Jung. What he has offered the world were the results of inner musings like he describes in the Red Book. Even tough it can be difficult to display the discipline to read it, even though sometimes you get a bit offended, even irritated at the text and you have to tell yourself it has to do with the zeitgeist, the era in which Jung lived. He can be irritating, he can move you, you can recognize your own doubts about the life you live in his writings.

Now the Red book is available on a smaller format. My Red book can be very user-unfriendly if I need it to quote or if I take it with me to give workshops. If I had to buy it again I would certainly go for the smaller version.

If you would like me to orginize an online course about the Red Book please let me know

 

 

 

 

Bob Marley, Get up stand up

I am in a different time frame. I am in the past.I see my husband with his former girlfriend on a party. The girlfriend is a very nice colored lady, I like her immediately. Because this lady has no clue who I am she starts to tell me how she and my husband met: at a party they started dancing at a Bob Marley record and then all of a sudden they where kissing. I wake up jealous…

Bob Marley
Bob Marley

Bob Marley as an archetype

Whenever I hear a dream about a celebrity I start to wonder what archetypical feature best defines this pop or fim star. Usually a pop star is a clear coat rack to “hang” the symbols of an archetype on.
What is an archetype? Carl Jung himself defined them in this way: archetypes are part of human inheritance.  They are extraordinarily stable and enduring structures that form the fundamental organization of the psyche, that arise anew in every human incarnation, and that are akin to the instincts. We all know archetypes: The Magician, the Wise Man, the Fool, the Empiror, the Goddess.

Bob Marley… The King of Rasta. Bob Marley is an archetype. The King, the Empiror takes care of order, of rules, of laws. The Empiror brings order in chaos. In the ’60s Bob converted to Rastafari. He grew dreadlocks, because of the rules: “All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow”. (Numbers 6: 5 KJV).

The heavenly mandate in China acknowledged an Empiror when he was able to bring heaven and earth together. If in this dream the husband symbolizes the heaven, and the dark lady symbolizes mother Earth, the the stage is set up for the sacred marriage. Marriages are blessed by God. Bob Marley oneself said once, in an interview: well God come black. True true (Davis, Steven, Bob Marley: the biography (1983) p. 115).

“Most people think great God will come from the sky
Take away ev’rything, and make ev’rybody feel high
But if you know what life is worth
You would look for yours on earth
And now you see the light
You stand up for your right, yeah!”
(Get Up, Stand up, Bob Marley)

This might be the song that the husband and the girlfriend started kissing on.
The dream does not specify it, and when I asked the dreamer about it, she could not tell which song it was. But the message from Get Up Stand Up is that one should look for god on earth, search for your inner spark.

The archetype and the collective unconscious
If you are interested in archetypes and want to buy it, please use the link on the page. Mindfunda will get a little kickback fee.

 

 

 

 

Proof for Atlantis?

…both wealth and concord decline as possessions become pursued and honored. And virtue perishes with them as well.” 

Plato, Timaeus/Critias

atlantis
Map of Atlantis T.A. Barron

In his dialogues Critias and Timaeus Plato was the first person to mention Atlantis. Atlantis, according to him, was more advanced then other societies at that moment in time. Around 9500 B.C. It destroyed by Zeus because the Kings did not appreciate their Gods and were only out for wealth. It disappeared, swallowed by the sea.
Oner of the things Plato writes about is the mystic material called orichalcum. According to Plato it was only mined in Atlantis.
Recently, divers at the coast of Sicily found 39 tablets in a shipwreck 1000 ft from the coast of Gela. It is a material made of copper, sink and a low percentage of lead nickel and iron.

Most of us see mythological stories as epic tales about all the challenges life has to offer and how to deal with them. But sometimes evidence is found for the reality of epic tales. Atlantis always has been a very creative mythology with great stories about how people escaped from Atlantis to Egypt, which led the Pharaohs to building their great temples and pyramids.
http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/atlantis-legendary-metal-found-in-shipwreck-150106.htm

The alchemical tension in a room with a view

The alchemical tension in a room with a view

This is the second Mindfunda Mythology about the relationship between mythology, films and dreams; for the first see this link: the Science of sleep

Like in alchemy, tension creates motion, in your life and in your dreams.

escher6
Heaven and hell by Escher

“As the polarized motion of magnetic fields can be used to generate electrical energy, polarity in a story seems to be an engine that generates tension and movement in the characters and a stirring of emotions in the audience”
Chris Vogler

When you look at the story of your dream, most stories can be divided into three simple parts: the beginning. the middle and the end. Most of our dream-books tell us that the turning points of stories involve a “violation” an “argument” or a dispute. Let’s look at a simple example. A bike dream of mine.

Being of Dutch origin I have had lots of bike dreams: my bike being broke, me riding a bike somewhere, or not being able to open my bike… In waking life I often ride a bike.  My brother, almost a generation older then I am, taught me how to ride. That is: he put me on a bike told me to paddle away and I asked him to please hold me. ‘Yes I will hold you” he promised, but he let go (do you see the tension in the story? Someone broke his promise to ensure my personal growth. By promising me to hold me I let go of the fear I was going to fall and hurt myself, and by beraking his promise my brother enabaled me to gain enough motion to go forwards). So when I shouted at him: Alright, you can let go now: He laughed and said: “you are already on your way”. I looked back, scared myself and.. you guessed right: I fell down. But let’s go back to the topic: tension creates motion, motion creates meaning.

Let’s look at an example where the motion was a psychological one instead of a literal one as in the example above…
In a dream I head years later, being a grown up woman getteing a second education about the connection between food and physical well being I had this dream:

“I am at a play about kings and queens dressed in costumes of the middle ages. I feel imoprtant to have been invited at this cultural heighpoint of the year. As always I admire the velvet robes of the men and woman, and the beautiful hooped skirts on the dresses of the ladies. But a lady I know, G, keeps getting in my site. She is so much bigger then I am and she is blocking my view. I get mad but I do not say a thing”.

Somebody is bigger then me. That was true. When G. was in my life, she was much more extraverted, much funier and much more in touch with people. This dream told me that I was looking at her in a way that got the fun out of the play in my life. We are all participants in our life  I felt immideatly triggered to watch the film “A room with a view” once again.

A Room with a view

This is such a beautiful film with an easy to grasp symbolic meaning. If you have not seen it before, I really encourage you to go out and see it. I would love to know if this blog resonates with you. Doe you see motion in your dreams when there is tension? And does this motion change your life for the better?

 

the Science of sleep (film with trailer)

The science of sleep

Stéphane (Gael Garcia Bernal) is a lucid dreamer. His lucid dreams started when he was a kid. He confuses dreams with waking reality. When he moves back to an apartment in Paris, the one he grew up in he meets a lovely lady Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and falls in love with her. Being introvert and struck into his own dreamworld, the films deals with him trying to connect with Stéphanie and get her involved in his vision of the world.

 

Science of Sleep is avalable on Amazon

Film is the modern way of making mythology.

I like the way this film handles our rational view on the sleeping mind versus the waking mind. The hero in our mythology is this very cute, clumsy boy in love with this gorgeous girl. Being an introvert who has been in love and also a lucid dreamer I could easily connect with the theme of the film. The title “The science of sleep” is a contradictio in terminis. In our current society dreams are seen as random fire patterns of the neurons and only geniuses like Carl Jung can capture their nightly visions in a scientific analysis.

In my recent article: What does my dream mean? Four ways of looking at a dream I mentioned the ways people have -from the last century until this day- looked at dreams. It can be rational: dry and scientific: dreams are but waves of your nervous system you brain knits a little story with once you are awake (and remember your dream. It can by physical: dreams respond to the inner and outer changes of the body and the last is displayed in this film too: the romantic notion that dreams are messages. From a higher being or your own higher self. This ilm seems to embrace the last view but then harshly shows that the real world and the dream world are hardlycompatible.

Will this couple be able to sustain as a twosome in this waking, rational cold word? The strangeness of Stéphane and Stéphanie, gets highlighted in the strange changes of languages in the film (French/English/Spanish). The couple has equal names written in the male and female version: Stéphane means the crowned one Stéphanie means “she knows”. And even thogh they are so much alike and make a good couple, in that little difference lays the plot. See the trailer here. Do yourself a favor and watch this film. I would love to hear your impression of it.

Please like and share the article, and let me know what other films you would like to share.

About Dwarves, Elves and Giants in the Well of Remembrance by Ralph Metzner

“Men forgot that all deities reside within the human breast”
William Blake

About Dwarves, Elves and Giants in the Well of Remembrance by Ralph Metzner. In his book Ralph writes: Mythology is very much alive in our psyche. We only have to look at our dreams to realize that. Mythology can connect us with an expansion of our -rather limited- rational reality. The capacities for visioning, divination, healing and problem solving that we have allowed to atrophy for many generations can be developed again says Ralph Metzner in “The Well of Remembrance”.

Ralph Metzner, The Well of Remembrance

 

“Dwarves are the subterranean spirits of stone and metal, the masters of matter and fire, who can fashion tools, weapons, and ornaments of inconceivable power and magic.”

When I visited Egypt, I touched the sacred stone scarab in the temple of Luxor and I felt the stone responding. Very respectful I gently touched the stone and asked it what it had experienced all those centuries, and it was like the stone was showing me. That is how I connected with the energy of the dwarves.

Ralph Metner goes on to say: “The spirit of technological invention that animates many of our scientists and technicians is the same amoral and asocial intelligence that characterized the ancient “dwarves”. This is why we have the technologies of nuclear annihilation, of ecological destruction, of genocidal experimentation”.

Ralph Metner goes on to say: “The spirit of technological invention that animates many of our scientists and technicians is the same amoral and asocial intelligence that characterized the ancient “dwarves”. This is why we have the technologies of nuclear annihilation, of ecological destruction, of genocidal experimentation”.

Giants are the vast planetary forces and energies that they have always been: the ocean, winds, hurricanes, mountain ranges, volcanoes, great forests, steppes and deserts. Functioning by their own laws, they are not under the control of humans. But in addition to these natural giants there are corporate giants run by human beings as stockholders, not humane individuals.

Once, in a dream I was at a funeral. The wind blew and I was shivering, unable to protect myself. The Giants were coming, in my dream and in my life. My family was confronted with numerous of unexpected bills from big cooperations. The Giants were coming, in my dream and in my life. My family was confronted with numerous of unexpected bills from big cooperations.

Ralph Metzner: “Elves are the creators and inspirers of beauty in form, They live in plants and trees, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and other places of great natural beauty. They are guiding spirits of musicians, poets, builders, sculptors, dancers, film makers: those whose works of beauty elevate our sentiments”.

I love music. When I was a young girl and I heard a record I really liked, i was not able to concentrate on what was said. i was dancing, literally or in my mind. There is some music that touches something very deep inside.

“Free at last that what you like they could not take your pride” (U2: Pride in the name of love). I can still shout it while jumping round to the music.

When were you touched by Elves?

 

The Matrix and the Goddess

I recently watched the Matrix trilogy again, here’s my Mythofunda approach on it:

Oracle: “Do you know what that means? (points at banner with Temet Nosce on it). It means know thyself. I want to tell you a little secret, being the One is just like being in love…”

In 1999 the Wachowskis, two siblings, directed The Matrix. It is a story about a hacker named Thomas Anderson. Thomas is the name of the disciple that did not believe Christ was resurrected. Doubting Thomas is an expression that is still being used when someone refuses to believes the miracle that happens. In the Gnostic Gospels Thomas knows Jesus and says he will believe it when he sees it. And it hits the most important nerve in the spine of the story: it explores the tension between ratio and magic. The Goddess holds the key to the solution. Thomas has a second identity: Neo (new, a computer hacker). Neo is an anagram for the One, the person we become when we have accepted our shadow.

goddess

The Goddess, as she appears in the trilogy of The Matrix (1999), Matrix reloaded (2003) and Matrix Revolutions (2003), has three faces. The fertile young sexy feisty Trinity, the black Penelope queen of the underworld and the all knowing Oracle.

The first scene of the film opens with the Goddess. Trinity’s voice talking to Cypher. Numbers run across the screen so we, the viewers are in on the secret: we live in a computer simulated reality.

Trinity is facing the wall, behind her laptop. A very accurate description of the society we live in. Computers being machines based to calculate, the Goddess can operate them but she is at the same time inviting Neo “to follow the white rabbit”. The rabbit, in many cultures is associated with the moon. The rabbit pours the elixir of life for Chang’e, the Chinese moon Goddess. In the poetry of Chu Chi, the rabbit on the moon pounds herbs for the immortals. And the legend was told in a conversation between Houston and Apollo 11 before the first moon landing. Houston said: “Among the headlines concerning Apollo this morning is one asking you to watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful girl called Chang-O was banished to the moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree”. (source Wikipedia).
And indeed Trinity invites Neo to look at the moon: they fall madly in love. When Neo and Trinity first meet she nails down that uneasy feeling we all recognize: what is reality?

The name Trinity refers to the triple Goddess: the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. We see Trinity as first lady in the film, and she plays the part of the Maiden. Persephone in the film, who is jealous of the love between Trinity and Neo, demands a kiss from Neo to help him free the key maker. The key maker in the movie can open doors to new computer realities.

So the mother – daughter roles are reversed. In Greek mythology Persephone always was the daughter, now she acts like the Mother Goddess, demanding love as the way out of a reality that is not fulfilling your needs.

The Crone in the movie is the Oracle: the old housewife, making cookies with a clairvoyant ability: “do not worry about the vase” she tells Neo before he accidentally throws down a vase that breaks. The vase holds water: a symbol for spirituality. The fact that it breaks is a referral to the death of Trinity in the third part of the trilogy. Once Trinity is dead it starts to rain. The water, symbolised by the rain refers to the water that makes life possible. One of the most ancient Goddesses are water goddesses. Nature goddesses that need to be balanced in order to bring propsperity to all living beings. Death brings new life, the circle is round…

 

The Matrix collection in Blue-ray

 

As the dark twin brother of Neo, agent Smith says: “Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure”. Now that is a very eloquent description on the shadow we human beings bare today. Every human being that is aware of its environment knows that we created our own paradise, but in ways that undermine our earth, our health and our mental well being. There is one thing that speaks for us as a species: our ability to dream.

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