Eros and psyche: A reading of Neumann and Merleau-Ponty

David Michael Levin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the second century, Apuleius, Roman poet, turned the echoes of ancient Greek myth into the legendary story of Cupid and Psyche (Hamilton 1942: 100). This recollection of Eros and Psyche, this repetition of their story, successfully civilized the myth. Many centuries later, Erich Neumann (1973) repeats this charming story; but he also deepens it, in doing so, by reading into it an underlying story of archetypal significance. As a Jungian, Neumann sought to articulate love's transformation of the human psyche. According to Neumann, the human personality undergoes a transformation of the most fundamental significance when it remembers the wisdom and beauty of love. But, he argues, the nature of love itself is changed when the psyche meets it in a spirit of acceptance. Thus, when Psyche and Eros come together, the feminine character of Eros, its hitherto undeveloped aspect, is finally brought to realization. And Psyche, of course, is fulfilled through love, and made whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPathways into the Jungian World
Subtitle of host publicationPhenomenology and Analytical Psychology
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)0203360591, 9781134699902
ISBN (Print)0415169992, 9780415169998
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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