Dionysus as God of Drama, Psychology, and Transdisciplinarity: Depth Psychology and the Arts

Sharing a summary article of a talk by Susan Rowland, Ph.D., at the "Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century":

In myth, the Greek god Dionysus, perhaps best known as the god of grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy, was dismembered and is re-membered through bringing his disparate parts together into relationship with one another.

Historically, we have seen the evolution of a subject/object “split” in western culture, an arrangement which limits our beliefs that knowledge is objective, or only gained through certain kinds of objective research and hierarchal processes. Experiential understanding has largely been dismissed in the realm of science, which is currently favored in western society.

Changing society requires changing our ideas about education, specifically about disciplines including science, the arts, psychology, and religion. The idea of transdisciplinarity enables us to make connections among ideas, and to honor other ways of knowing.

In today’s polarized climate, with the emphasis on science as the key way of knowing, we have lost trust for “truth” in our collective sphere. It’s more important than ever that we pay attention to the opposites and that we honor Dionysus by finding ways to bring different disciplines into new and valuable liaisons in order to access new consciousness.

Read the article on Pacifica Post HERE

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Comment by Bonnie Bright on July 22, 2017 at 7:16pm

Thanks for the comment, Klemens. I don't think it's what you're saying, but just for clarity, this article is not suggesting otherwise. As Rowland frames it, Dionysus is an interesting symbol for polytheism and the embrace of all the parts, each in their individual form. It truly is a re-membering that generates the kind of passion and fulfillment you mention.

Comment by klemens swib on July 21, 2017 at 11:47am

The twice mothered thrice born Dionysos' greatest gift to the Greeks was the the belief in immortality that his dismemberment/death and rebirth engendered. He provided the Greeks with the incontrovertible proof that there could be life after death. His orgiastic lust for life had nothing to do with the sexual licentiousness and orgies. It was the individual expression of the ecstatic lust for life of an archetype that had excruciatingly endured and survived its own murder and dismemberment. 


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