Monday, 17 June 2013

suicide: an archetype of human consciousness

Following up on my previous discussion re suicide I am posting a comment made by James Hillman that really sheds light on the root cause of suicide. Although it undermines my own view that suicide is largely a construct of the ego, it also goes a long way to justifying my intuition that it is an innate human behaviour and should therefore be less harshly judged by the living: 

'Human awareness fails in its comprehension not because of original sin or personal neurosis or because of the obstinancy of the objective world to which it is supposedly opposed. Human awareness fails, according to a psychology based on soul, because the soul's metaphorical nature has a suicidal underworld affiliation...., a "morbidism"...., a destiny - different from dayworld claims - which makes the psyche fundamentally unable to submit to the hubris of an egocentric notion of subjectivity as achievement....defined as cognition, conation, intention, perception, and so forth'. (Hillman, 2004: 33)

This means that suicide is archetypal in consciousness and therefore an inevitable part of human existence. I do still think though, that if the importance of soul and meaning in life were properly acknowledged, individuals would not need to act on an imperative that remains mostly hidden within each of us.

reference: James Hillman, Archetypal Psychology, 2004