Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Psyche: mind, soul, spirit


Psyche, via Latin from Greek psukhē ‘mind, breath, life, spirit, or soul.’

The mind, soul, or spirit, as opposed to the body. In psychology, the psyche is the center of thought, feeling, and motivation, consciously and unconsciously directing the body's reactions to its social and physical environment.

Did You Know?

Psyche in the Underworld
by Paul Alfred Curzon
Sometime back in the 16th century, we borrowed the word psyche directly from Greek into English.

In Greek mythology, Psyche was a beautiful princess who fell in love with Eros (Cupid), god of love, and went through terrible trials before being allowed to marry him. The story is often understood to be about the soul redeeming itself through love. (To the Greeks, psyche also meant "butterfly", which suggests how they imagined the soul.) In English, psyche often sounds less spiritual than soul, less intellectual than mind, and more private than personality..

To the Greeks, psyche also meant "butterfly", which suggests how they imagined the soul.

The butterfly and its association with the soul spans across many cultures and beliefs. 

In the Christian culture, a butterfly is often found on ancient tombs, and Jesus Christ is seen holding a butterfly in Christian art. 

In Japan, white butterflies symbolize the souls of departed loved ones. 

According to a mexican legend, souls fly on the wings of butterflies. While the fall is the season for the Day of the Dead, it’s also when monarch butterflies arrive in Mexico. Legend has it that the butterflies are the souls of the deceased returning to earth. 

In dreams, a butterfly is considered to mean a turning point or transition in life.

“My friend...care for your psyche...know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves"  ― Socrates

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