Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Psychic objectivity and the Eye of God: Bearing witness to the myth of the apocalypse
by Briggs, Cece Woods, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2015, 250; 3746304
Abstract (Summary)

Exploring the symbolism of the eye alongside the ancient religious concept of the omniscient Eye of God, this dissertation engages in a depth psychological analysis of consciousness, the God-image, and postmodern notions of the apocalypse. By considering all aspects of the eye as represented throughout mythology and religious texts, this study addresses everything from blindness to the comprehensive sight of mystical union. The one-eyed Cyclops, the Eye of Horus, the figure of the many-eyed Argus, and the third eye of the Buddha are examples that elucidate the range of eye types addressed.

The penetrating image of the eye as it emerges within the unconscious in dreams and visions is given ample consideration through the work of Carl Jung and other prominent depth psychologists. Theories regarding the archetypal dimension of the eye are discussed including Jung’s contention that the eye acts as a regulating principle, or yantra within the psyche, restoring balance in times of psychological chaos, upheaval, and transition. As the nucleus of a psychic mandala, the eye serves as a centering force while simultaneously making its numinous presence clear and felt to the individual ego. Edward Edinger’s contention that the eye marks the ego’s encounter with an overwhelming other is given credence while the difference between a feeling-tone of judgment versus equanimity perceived by the observed is weighed.

Connecting eye symbolism to the God-image, this dissertation embarks upon an exegesis of the eye in religious texts and challenges the omniscient Eye of God in its traditional projected, sky-bound sense. Arguing for personal responsibility in relation to the God-image, this study advocates for a reengagement with anima mundi or the world soul through the advancement of consciousness on a personal level. The recognition of the immanence of divinity and the need for an earth-based religiosity is emphasized. This study points out that eye symbolism is cropping up with increasing regularity in our current, apocalyptically entranced culture in an effort to jolt us from an unconscious slumber and provide the necessary psychic objectivity required to survive a planetary transformation.

Keywords: Apocalypse, Consciousness, Depth Psychology, Eye, God-Image, Mythology, Objectivity, Postmodern, Self, Witness

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mahaffey, Patrick
Commitee: Morris, Randy, Smith, Evans Lansing
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Mythological Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Spirituality, Philosophy
Keywords: Apocalypse, Consciousness, Depth psychology, Eye of God, God, God-Image, Myth, Mythology, Objectivity, Post modern, Self, Witness
Publication Number: 3746304
ISBN: 978-1-339-39598-2
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