I would first like to define my terms, for the words "soul" and "self" are ambiguous in English, and receive different technical definitions in different religions, esoteric systems, and schools of psychology.
One of the most ancient uses of the words "soul" or "self" appears in the Indian scriptures called the Upanishads, most of which predated the Buddha. We find in these books the term atma, which has been translated as both "soul" and "self". It is interesting that my question will probably not be meaningful to a Vedantist, a philosopher of the Upanishads, for the atma is usually held to be one with the brahma, the Universal Soul. If this oneness is absolute there can be no question of individual types.
To the Buddhist also my question will be thought to be meaningless, for instead of the Vedantic atma the Buddha taught the doctrine of anatma or anatta---for, he said, there is no soul or self, but only a conglomeration of karmas that gives the appearance of a separate identity.
My question becomes meaningful in the context of Ascended Master Teachings or New Age Teachings, in which the place of the atma is held by the I AM Presence, and a soul or self that can have a gender and a unique type is called the Christ Self.
Pagan Space members might like to join me in an endeavor to take the "Christ" out of the term Christ Self. Or rather, to be more precise, to expand the possibilities of the Self to include not only the Christ type, but also the Krishna type, and---let us be daring---the Aphrodite type and the Odin type.
If you think about what we are doing you will see that this is not just a parlor game. For if you are thought to be a potential Christ, then as you become more and more yourself through the process of reincarnation it must be assumed that you will become more and more like Jesus. The feminine equivalent would be the Virgin Mary, or perhaps Mary Magdalene.
But if you are an Aphrodite type then you will not become more and more like the Virgin Mary as you evolve through the many lifetimes that might be necessary for you to become yourself. Aphrodite has her own process of evolution, which begins with Aphrodite Pandemos (of the common people) and culminates with Aphrodite Ourania (of heaven). But even the Aphrodite of heaven will retain an erotic quality, albeit sublimated into a aesthetic appreciation of existence.
In the Latin language we would, of course, call this same goddess Venus, either Venus Vulgaris or Venus Caelestis. Please note that the Latin word vulgaris does not have the unpleasant connotations of the English word "vulgar". It simply means "common", for the common people of that day experienced the erotic through physical sex. I suspect that the common people of today are no different. Caelestis, on the other hand, means "of heaven".
If you are a true Virgin Mary type you will not be sexual. You simply do not have a sexual soul. But if you are an Aphrodite type . . . do you see why my question is important? The knowledge that you are Aphrodite may, indeed, liberate you, for religion and even esoteric teaching throughout the centuries has not recognized the legitimacy of any type but the Christ, the Buddha, or the Krishna. Therefore your soul was illegitimate.
As the Aphrodite type of soul or self proceeds from the initial point of Pandemos to the culminating point of Ourania, the erotic will be experienced not so much in intercourse but in the Mazurkas of Frederick Chopin (to give an example).
Many kinds of souls or selves can be described and classified in the manner in which I have described the Aphrodite soul. But although humanity has worshiped thousands of gods throughout its history, I do not believe that there are thousands of types of souls or selves. The ancient Greeks and Romans used the method of syncetism in order to combine many similar deities into one. In our own day Depth Psychologists try to discover in the many different gods of ancient myths a limited number of archetypes. By the way, Carl Jung took the term "archetype" from the Greek archetypos, the Platonic Idea.
So, what type of "soul" or "self" are you? And has your type been vilified or misunderstood throughout history?
In the picture below: the Greeks who conquered Persia employed sycretism to identify Aphrodite with the Zoroastrian goddess Anahita. In this new guise she was often called Anaïtis. This is a bronze head of Anaïtis in the British Museum, found near Satala in Armenia. Armenia wants it back.
I was hoping this was going to be one of those fun, little on-line quizzes.
No; this is CTRL+C/CTRL+V paganism :)
Aphrodite has her own process of evolution, which begins with Aphrodite Pandemos (of the common people) and culminates with Aphrodite Ourania (of heaven).
My "self" is Aphrodite Despoena: "Aphrodite the Ruling Mistress." I will crack my whip and keep Spooky in line.
I may be overly sensitive, but the responses to this article that I have received so far remind me of the kind of response that I always received whenever I posted an article on Unexplained Mysteries. It seems that I could not say anything on that site without someone making a comment like "Read this only if your IQ is below 75". Finally I gave up, and decided to return to Pagan Space, where everyone had seemed friendly by comparison six months ago, and not sarcastic. I was just about to write another piece and post it as a blog . . . but why bother. The same sarcasm, the same ridicule. Since I abandoned all efforts to make friends on Unexplained Mysteries, if follows that on Pagan Space also . . . I will not complete my sentence. Maybe I have been so traumatized by my experiences on UM that I simply cannot handle any more.
Please don't be discouraged everyone is at a different level of understanding. Maybe, your question wasn't kindly received because of the way it was worded. Maybe some may feel vulnerable speaking about such things, or maybe the right people haven't read your post just yet.
What Magena said. Sorry if my earlier comment about online quizzes upset you.
And Spooky (alias "Covfefe") here just likes to do stoopid trolling.
Although we may not always be serious here, I want to say that I really did like your nod to the various epithets of the goddess Aphrodite, and (in my own way) I was giving you props for that by mentioning Aphrodite Despoena.
It's cool to see people putting up new topics here. I (or some others) may not quite understand what those topics are about, but there may be someone who will find the topic interesting, and possibly branch off from it into additional areas of interest that may bring in more participants to the discussion.
Stop your queefbarking :)
decided to return to Pagan Space, where everyone had seemed friendly by comparison
I will work harder to correct this ma'am :)
Very well, I will try to be positive. I acknowledge that I am responding to a feeling of pain and injury that I brought here from somewhere else. I would like to respond in an intelligent way to a comment by "Spooky" which was worded in a manner that upset me. The idea of CTRL. This is actually a very valid concern. It was the concern of existentialist philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre who maintained that there is no such thing as human nature. According to Sartre we constrict ourselves by defining ourselves, while the task of the philosopher is to free himself/herself from the definitions, expectations, and narratives that others have imposed. So my attempt to limit him (Covfefe) or anyone else to a definite type (an archetype) can be interpreted as an attempt to limit his freedom.
It is very difficult to determine what human nature is or is not, but I do believe that we have a human nature. My attempt to establish "types" or archetypes for the human soul or self should be seen in the context of New Age teachings, where only one model for the ascension (perfection) of humanity is allowed. In this model all mention of the erotic is prohibited---and is, in fact, regarded as Satanic. My concern with the narrowness of the New Age ideal is what prompted me to dwell upon Aphrodite in particular as another model for human spiritual evolution. Therefore I believed that my attempt to posit more than one type or archetype for the self was an expansion rather than a constriction of possibilities, an act of liberation and not CTRL or control.
Perhaps the members of Pagan Space are not concerned with New Age teachings. But I am concerned. I am concerned that after Helena Blavatsky gave us a key that seemed to promise us freedom, Elizabeth Clare Prophet locked us back in the jail cell of a repressive Christian morality. Madame Blavatsky was a Gnostic and published a magazine called "Lucifer". In Mrs. Prophet's "Teachings of the Ascended Masters" the light-bringer Lucifer once again becomes the evil Satan, the enemy of everything good. It is unfortunate that Mrs. Prophet has fixed the direction of the contemporary New Age movement, even when her influence is unacknowledged.
I would like to think that I have provided an intellectual defense or an intellectual weapon with which to contend with the likes of Elizabeth Clare Prophet and her followers.
The idea of CTRL. This is actually a very valid concern. It was the concern of existentialist philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre who maintained that there is no such thing as human nature.
I'm sorry, but you've lost me again. I got the impression that the "CTRL+C/CTRL+V" that Spooky posted was a reference to "cut & paste" type postings that some folks are noted for doing.
I thought that when he said CTRL he meant "control" and was concerned that I was trying to control him by limiting his identity to a fixed type, when Sartre said that human nature is not fixed and cannot be "typed".
I definitely did not cut and paste my article---after all, someone writes the original works that others cut and paste. You have met in me one of the originals.