“Those who don’t accept it and always seek an explanation for the magic and mysterious human relations will lose the best of what life has to offer.”
This quote is from the fabulous writer and mystic Paulo Coehlo, from a recent blog where he interpreted the Cupid & Psyche story (find it here). That is the archetypical Greek myth where the young maiden Psyche is so beautiful that she is adored by all around her.
The problem is she is also worshiped (which goes with adored) and thus incurs the wrath of the real goddesses (It’s not nice to worship false idols), particularly Venus.The goddess of love herself sets out to punish Psyche by asking her son Cupid (aka Eros, of the arrows of love) to make her fall for a horrible ogre. Instead, Cupid himself falls in love with Psyche and takes her away to a magic castle where they live in blissful sin (for a short while).
The only rule is that she can’t know who he is (what was your name again?). Of course, we all know what happens when you try to keep a relationship ‘in the dark’… (how’s that working for you, divorce rate?).
I have always been fascinated by this myth and, believe it or not, feel like I have spend much of my adult life in the Psyche drama.
How can this be?
Well, it’s not the too beautiful part, or having the god of love as my consort (if wishes were nickels…) or living in a castle (Jewish American Princess thing aside) that I relate to. No, it’s the next part of the deal.
Long story short, Psyche grows restless to see who her lover really is (who wouldn’t?).
So, when she lights a lamp, leans over, and looks in his face, a boiling drop of oil scalds him and wakes him up. Realizing her betrayal he flees her embrace. She is so heartbroken without him that she throws herself on the mercy of his mother (nice strategy). So Venus puts her to task. Three tasks, actually.
And here is where I come in…it’s those tasks she’s put to, especially the first one – sorting seeds – that I most relate to. I am forever sorting seeds.
What does this task mean to me and my life? Perhaps it is that I’m always trying, striving and then falling short. It seems no matter how much sorting you do, the minute you stop and get back to work, or let life go/flow by, then the seeds or beads or clutter or whatever falls quickly back into unsorted chaos. It is not a static thing. They, it, the world, the tasks…don’t stay still. Nothing stays still…
There is never an end to my story of Psyche – I’m always still sorting it out, just like the seeds. I’m always just asking the questions and listening for the answers:
What are the seeds? They are the kernels of creation.
What do they grow? Food, trees, flowers, life
Who was Psyche? Well, the word actually means soul AND butterfly, so…
What am I evolving into, transforming towards?
What about Eros? Where (the f*%k) did he go?
Perhaps this is what appeals to me about the Coehlo quote. There is no point in seeking a finite explanation. The answer itself is not static. It is living in the mystery and the magic that matters.