Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Past and present beliefs or Index

Looking Inside Pandora's Box



by Jill Lowy

The myth of Pandora's Box is very fascinating. I think most people are familiar with this unique Greek myth. The name "Pandora" comes from the Greek and means "giver of all". She was said to be the first woman created by Zeus. She was given unique gifts by various Gods and Goddesses, i.e. Hermes gave her the gift of speech, Aphrodite gave her the gift of grace, Athena taught her to needlework, etc. The myth goes on that the reason Zeus created Pandora was to get even with Prometheus who stole the "sacred fire" from Zeus and gave it to benefit all mankind. Now, Prometheus's brother, Epimetheuss fell in love with Pandora and was warned by Prometheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus. But of course, Epimetheus did not listen to his brother and married Pandora anyway. Now as we all know, Pandora had been given a box by Zeus. It really was not actually a box, but an earthen jar. In the jar contained many various evils and illnesses. Pandora had been instructed by Zeus to never open the jar, but Hermes had also given Pandora the gift of curiosity, and she eventually opened the jar. When she did, all the evils, illnesses and diseases were released to plaque mankind. After Pandora saw all the evils being released from the jar, she tried to close it, but was too late. The only blessing to the entire incident was that at the bottom of the jar, layed the gift of hope.

The normal understanding of the myth of Pandora's Box is to provide an explanation as to why there are all the evils in the world. Of course, it is always the women's fault and one should note the similarity to the story of Adam and Eve. But there is a much deeper meaning, and esoteric understandings to this myth than most people are aware of.

From an esoteric point of view, Pandora is not a woman in the ordinary sense. She is the symbolic representation of the feminine principle of receptivity and the nature of the subconscious. Pandora is directly connected to the power of the subconscious mind. This is the esoteric key to the entire myth!

What is the subconscious mind? Analytical psychologists such as, Freud and Jung, occultists such as Paracelsus and Dion Fortune, spiritualists, hypnotherapists and many others have well known the nature of the subconscious mind. The subconscious or more popular term unconsciousness mind is that receptive part of our mind where our hopes, fears and dreams are stored. The Wikipedia defines the unconscious as:

that part of the mind which gives rise to a collection of mental phenomena that manifest in a person's mind but which the person is not aware of at the time of their occurrence. These phenomena include unconscious feelings, unconscious or automatic skills, unnoticed perceptions, unconscious thoughts, unconscious habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and concealed desires.

This is very interesting from an esoteric point of view. Pandora was given certain gifts, skills and abilities by the Gods and Goddesses. She was also given a jar that contained many ills, phobias, complexes and desires. These are all contained in our subconscious mind. Our subconscious is a reservoir where we store all of our memories, hidden thoughts, fears and desires. It is the feminine or receptive balance to our everyday active conscious mind. What is really fascinating is that the subconscious mind has the power to manifest our most precious dreams and wishes, but also our fears, phobias and hidden desires. Pandora is called the "giver of all" and she is the giver of all gifts. Our subconscious mind can help us to realize our dreams or our illnesses. That is why it is so important to use our subconscious mind positively to help make our lives more happy and fulfilling.

What is in your Pandora's Box? We all carry hurts and pain from childhood, relationships and our past lives. It is important to find out if you are carrying any unresolved pain, anger or negativity in your box. As it can fester and cause all kinds of psychological and physical damage. Freud and Jung knew that psychological complexes can be cured by helping the patient to become aware of their own subconscious material. By becoming aware of things we have buried in our subconscious, we can heal ourselves. Carl Jung even went a step further than Freud and said that by becoming more aware of our subconscious we make ourselves more whole.

One of the ways to get in touch with your own subconscious is through your dreams and feelings. These are the main keys to opening your Pandora's Box. It is very important to listen how you talk to yourself. If you call yourself names, i.e. I am so stupid or if you constantly have fears and worries, these will have a negative affect on your subconscious. And will bring negative manifestations into your life. If you catch yourself doing this, counteract it by saying something positive about yourself and balance your fears by courage and hope. Remember that the last thing in Pandora's Box was hope which stayed in the box after she opened it. This is a reminder that hope is a very real force that can change our lives for the better and the world around us.


For further information, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora's_box,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconscious_mind, http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/consciousuncon.htm, http://www.vitalaffirmations.com/,
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypnosis/SA00084,
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-primary-differences-between-freuds-and-jungs-theories.htm