Ra: image of the vital force

Re-Horakhty by Jeff Dahl - (Budge 1904), based on New Kingdom tomb paintings. Licensed under GFDL via Commons.
Re-Horakhty by Jeff Dahl – (Budge 1904), based on New Kingdom tomb paintings. Licensed under GFDL via Commons.

Ra is an Egyptian deity (2494 to 2345 BC). His name is thought to mean ‘creative power’ and ‘creator’. If we examine the image of the Sun God Ra we can see archetypal images associated with the vital forces: the hawk, a snake coiled around a (sun) disk, and the scepter. Notice also the Anuk, a union of a female symbol (the oval, representing the vagina or uterus) with a male symbol (the phallic upright line).

Both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung speak of ‘libidinal’ forces arising from the depths of the psyche. Libidinal forces are the psychic and emotional energy associated with instinctual drives. Freud says, “the deepest strata of our mind [are] made up of instinctual impulses”(1914-1916). Sigmund Freud saw these impulses as are our desires, and most specifically our sexual desires.

Carl Jung noticed that the ‘vital forces’ are often associated with the God image, and are essential to the Self. Jung says: “If one honors God, the sun or the fire, then one honors one’s own vital force, the libido.” He adds: It is as Seneca says: ‘ God is near you, he is with you, in you.’ God is our own longing to which we pay divine honors.” (1916)

 

References:

1. Sigmund Freud SE XIV, Our Attitude Towards Death ((1914-1916)

2. Carl Jung (1916) Psychology of the Unconscious


2 thoughts on “Ra: image of the vital force

  1. good article,

    its also important to stress that jung’s conception of the core is the vast space of the collective, vs. freud’s instinctual drives, eros and thantatos.

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