Neumann’s interpretation of the Eros [sic] and Psyche myth is influenced by his view of the development of human consciousness which he describes in his major work, The Origins and History of Consciousness. There he traces the stages of human consciousness beginning with the self-contained uroboros (the symbol of the primal dragon that bites its own tail), where there is not yet individual consciousness differentiated from the environment or from the original unconscious matrix.
Neumann sees the uroboric state expressed in creation myths, especially the myth of the Great Mother. Aphrodite (Venus) is one of the primary mythical figures representing the Great Mother and she is also at the starting point of the “Eros and Psyche” tale. Neumann sees Aphrodite as a symbol of the seductive inertia of nature and the collective unconscious. She is the original, conservative, maternal source of life and her beauty serves the purpose of ... (Click title for full article)