Acrobats of the Gods: Dance and Transformation (Studies in by Joan Dexter Blackmer

By Joan Dexter Blackmer

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Extra info for Acrobats of the Gods: Dance and Transformation (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 39)

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Psychologically, this would point to a change of conscious attitude. An acrobat may stand on his head, suggesting an upside-down perspective, an opposite way of seeing things. In this way he joins the opposites with his physical agility. He is not a natural man, but one highly trained; discipline of the body, not denial of it, is his way. And with it he relates to others. He is a servant of the Great Mother. A medieval story tells of Barnabas, a poor itinerant juggler, who was invited by a Prior to become a monk and join his monastery.

Each class is a physical meditation. One ballet teacher crosses herself before starting each class, and everyone finishes with a reverence; first a bow to her own ballet master's photograph and then a bow to the crucifix in the opposite corner of the studio. These can be called "nothing but" gestures, yet often both student and teacher feel a numinous surge at the ritual. Another teacher I knew used to make a special point of sending her students out of the studio and then asking them to return, consciously, sensing the difference between the busy hallway outside and the quiet studio space.

Perhaps the feminine quaternity, which has been split apart, is to be rejoinedbody and soul reunited in conscious life. It would seem that Mary/Mona Lisa/Sophia has been kept in her father's apartment for quite some time. In The Grail Legend, Emma Jung and von Franz address at some length the origins of the arrested development of the feminine principle: In the medieval Minnedienst there was a tendency towards an individual realization of the anima on the one hand, and in the direction of a personal relation to the woman on the other.

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