The Perfect Man

“In the Gilgamesh myth, the idea of the Perfect Man, the Complete Man, is that two-thirds of man is divine and one-third human. He is the man of woe and joy, the one who makes the two movements, high above and deep below. Gilgamesh is shown in greatest joy and deepest despair, rising to the greatest heights and descending to the lowest depths. The idea of the complete life is the enormous swing from high to low, from low to high; from extraversion to introversion and vice versa. If life does not contain the pairs of opposites, it is just a straight line. It is just as if you did not breathe, it is just as though you did not live.”

(Carl Jung, Dream Analysis: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1928-1930. Princeton University Press [1984] pp. 100-101).

2 responses

  1. Sometimes I wonder about those highs and lows myself, but I read this and I feel rather relieved, comforted.

    The creative process for me really encompasses the highs of doing and the lows of finding my way to the next part of the painting process, in extreme sometimes. It took me many years to accept it and stop struggling with it. I think life has so many of those sorts of rhythms.

  2. I keep coming back to this, keep reading it. It’s true, breathing is in and out, the chest must rise and then fall, otherwise we die. Life is the same apparently. Smart man that Jung.

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