Only through Metamorphosis can a Human Being grow and become complete
Dany Ghassan Charbel, Msc. and
Prof. Robert Gorter, MD, PhD.
Definition of the word “Metamorphosis” in Greek culture
In Greek, metamorphosis means “transformation,” from metamorphous “to transform, to be transfigured,” from meta: “change plus morphe: shape, form.” This change of form or shape occurs also within the psyche.
Metamorphosis and alchemy
In the practice of alchemy, the alchemist tried to transform matter, specifically by changing a base substance into a valuable substance, such as turning lead into gold.
Alchemists attempted to purify, mature, and perfect certain materials. Common aims were chrysopoeia, the transmutation of “base metals” (e.g., lead) into “noble metals” (particularly gold); the creation of an elixir of immortality; and the creation of panaceas able to cure any disease
Spiritual alchemy, then, is an ancient philosophy that uses the metaphor of transforming metals into gold for attaining spiritual enlightenment. It is used to achieve further development of contentment, harmony, and awareness by liberating one’s essence from one’s acquired personality. The personality contains the inauthentic part of the self, including one’s beliefs, concepts, opinions, wounds, fears, and phobias. In this way, the transmutation of lead into gold functions as a metaphor for the process of self-actualization and spiritual rebirth.
Metamorphosis in nature
All animals, including humans, go through changes, including biochemical, physiological, morphological, and anatomical changes. Changes continue throughout our lives as cells die and replicate, and as age morphs our bodies. But with most animals, changes are slight and often imperceptible. A lot of changes are hormonal and chemical shifts that affect development and growth.
Metamorphosis is a biological, physiological process that involves a seemingly abrupt change in an animal.
Metamorphosis occurs in animals such as amphibians, insects, and fish. The most common (and popular) examples of metamorphosis are the transformation of a tadpole to a frog and a caterpillar to a butterfly.
Metamorphosis in Analytical Psychology
During psychotherapy, there is an awareness and then integration of what was rejected and became unconscious parts of the personality, to reach a state of “Wholeness” by the transformation of self (psyche) psychotherapy
The work of the psychotherapist is no less than the work of the alchemist, who transforms ordinary metals into gold in the alchemical furnace, Athanor. Alchemy works on the spiritual level of a person to transform pain into wisdom and enlightenment. On the psychological level, the meeting of the therapist’s personality with the client’s personality is like the meeting of two chemical elements if they interact. Change happens, Young says.
What makes a human being different from any animal?
One can conclude that humans have physically much in common with animals but there is one huge difference: on earth, only humans are self-conscious.
One could conclude that when I describe the life of a lion, a camel or a dog or fish, I have described the specifics of that animal that are true for all members that that family: by writing the “biography” of a dog, I have described the specifics of all dogs.
And, animals are driven (determined) by their instincts. One can never say: “That lion was bad as he jumped and ate that poor little, defenseless lamb!”
In the case of humans, one can surely judge their behaviors on morality as we all experience ourselves and agree that a human being can say “NO!” to his impulses (instincts). One can only say “NO!” when one is self-conscious.
Man became Self-Consciousness approximately 2,500 years ago
In pre-Christian times, man inhabited the earth for tens of thousands of years. They would live in groups (families, tribes, etc.), and share things and values to survive and operate in groups. To live in groups and share common objects/tools and values, one could consider these developments as building the basis of a more complex society.
In pre-Christian times, one would experience strong family and tribal bonding: I belong to the House of David or Salomon, or I am from Gallia or this or this tribe or village.
We find in the Gospels, for instance, that on command of the Roman Emperor in Rome, Josef and his pregnant wife Maria had to go Bethlehem to become registered by name and descend and get that documented for the Imperial archives.
This story indicates that self-consciousness entered from now on in all of mankind.
Self-consciousness is necessary for developing a moral/ethical life.
Development of Self-Consciousness
When started to dawn self-consciousness in Mankind? It helps us to look into ancient Greek mythology to get some answers. Here is in archetypical form the dawn of self-consciousness described. In the Greek mythology, we can find the story of Prometheus.
The Dutch baroque painter Paul Rubens: As a punishment by Zeus for bringing “fire” (self-consciousness) to mankind, Prometheus was chained to a rock and every day, an eagle would come and pick very painfully pieces out of his liver (Philadelphia Museum of Art)
The Ego (self-consciousness) is confined between losing itself and egoism. The German philosopher Lessing demands that man strives for truth. A sense of truth leads to selflessness. The one-sided point of view does not lead to truth. Wolfgang von Goethe expressed that by showing that the most valuable thing on earth is the dialogue between people. Passions, desires, and instincts have to be overcome; to the same extent peace and harmony rules among man. There is the truth of reflective thought about outer observation, as well as truth which comes about by creative thought. Among the latter are the truths of spiritual science. Reflective thinking can lead to egoism; truths arrived at by creative thinking, which lead into the future, liberate us from our self. This is the contrast between Epimetheus and Prometheus. Both the Titan brothers must work together. Wisdom and the Word have to unite with the Deed.
Prometheus and the Christ–suffering Gods for the well-being and development of mankind (dpa/Wolfram Steinberg)
Psychotherapy in modern times
Metamorphosis refers to the process of transformation, whether it’s the changing of an immature insect into an adult insect, or the changes that occur in each of us throughout our life span.
The main goal of psychotherapy in modern times is to discover the rejected, dark, primitive, and rigid parts of the personality and help the patient to transform it and integrate it in a healthy and conscious way so that an internal reconciliation with one’s self occurs first, and a balance between the inward and the outward, this is what called the concept of individuation by the famous Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung it is when the unconscious part of the personality meets the conscious one, thus through psychotherapy, one can achieve wholeness of the personality.
The elders of the Rosicrucian Society who practiced alchemy and are still at its head today, Christian Rosenkreuz, based on an old publication under the title “Chemical Wedding”, considered that reaching human perfection occurs through the meeting of the feminine principle with the male principle, which is like the meeting of light, shadows, and awareness with the subconscious and achieves individuation. Then came Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung explained alchemy from the point of view of psychology. They considered psychotherapy to be a process of transformation that occurs when the rejected parts of the personality are worked through, integrated, and assimilated, which takes place during the therapeutic relationship. Thus, the transformation occurs at the level of the personality, such as the transformation that occurs in the primary elements when they meet and turn into gold (something extremely precious) according to the Ancient alchemists.
Today, the philosophy and views of Erich Fromm have returned to the focus of psychologists. As a basis of his worldview and treating patients as the psychoanalyst Erich Fromm would say:
“There is nothing in another person that is not also in me. This is the only basis for understanding between people. Compulsive work alone would drive people just as crazy as doing absolutely nothing.”
Also, to put it in a nutshell, Fromm considered that not Libido is the strongest thrive in humans but “existential fear – fear of death.”
That could explain the global developments since 2020. Existential fear dominates daily life for most citizens. We will focus on gaslighting soon.
In modern psychiatry, the fear of death is considered the most effective way to indoctrinate, enslave, and manipulate large populations. In psychiatry, this phenomenon is defined as “Gas Lighting.”
This picture wants to show how humans are metamorphosing from early childhood till old age with, as a fruit, the development of a more complete human being with additional qualities and characteristics (individualization) through what has been experienced in their biographies