Easter: death and rebirth as archetype

We usually face a deeply felt experience of death before encountering the archetype of rebirth. Neither the death nor the rebirth or resurrection are things that happen quickly. There may be dreams, waking subjective experiences or a short period in ones life when death or rebirth are felt very strongly – but the process as a whole is a psychological one which may take years to unfold and stabilise. With many experiences of archetypal nature, such as entering puberty and meeting the process that unfolds manhood or womanhood, we are working out psychic growth which involves our entire nature. Puberty is an excellent example of how an archetypal human process works in us individually, yet is very unique for each of us. At the same time however, while puberty is a well worn path which virtually everyone travels, some aspects of human possibilities, like death and rebirth, are not universal. Only comparatively few people really manage these points of growth. — Tony Crisp

AND:

The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life,
and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.
All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. —Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

AND

easter-lily-wallpaper-7What has always been basic to resurrection, or Easter, is crucifixion. If you want to resurrect, you must have crucifixion. Too many interpretations of the Crucifixion have failed to emphasize that. They emphasize the calamity of the event. And if you emphasize calamity, then you look for someone to blame. That is why people have blamed the Jews for it. But it is not a calamity if it leads to new life. Through the Crucifixion we were unshelled, we were able to be born to resurrection. That is not a calamity. We must look freshly at this so that it’s symbolism can be sensed. — Joseph Campbell

AND

It is very much the longing to be born anew the way nature is. All these elements fit together. Easter is calculated as the Sunday that follows the first full moon after the vernal equinox. It is evidence of a concern centuries before Christ to coordinate the lunar and solar calendars. What we have to recognize is that these celestial bodies represented to the ancients two different modes of eternal life, one engaged in the field of time, like throwing off death, as the moon it’s shadow, to be born again; the other, disengaged and eternal. The dating of Easter according to both lunar and solar calendars suggests that life, like the life that is reborn in the moon and eternal in the sun, finally is one.

Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That, p. 113

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters