To some people, true love is nothing but sacrifices. On the contrary to me, true love is nothing but self search in the world full of chaos; searching “beauty” in one’s own soul. It doesn’t always necessarily means sacrificing but a way to know who you are! True love is all about personal growth through learning or doing something productive, something that enlightens your ‘soul’. If you’d read my posts about the “The myth of true love”, you’d come across the term “Eros” and hence I thought of sharing a story of “Eros” and the women he loved and adored, the mortal “Psyche” who achieved immortality through “true love”.
“Psyche” was gifted with extreme beauty and grace. Psyche’s sacrifice and love towards her beloved “Eros” helped her attain immortality. Etymologically the term ‘psyche’ implies the ‘deity of the soul’ and find its roots in Greek mythology. In modern phraseology, ‘psyche’ symbolises self search, learning through personal improvements, and most importantly losing and saving your true love for the right one.
Psyche, in her mortal life received excessive amount of admiration as a consequence of her eternal beauty and grace. She was considered the most ‘gorgeous maiden’. Men desired her beauty as well as craved her affection. This extreme amount of admiration towards her beauty made “Aphrodite- the Greek goddess of Love” envious towards her. So she asked her son, the powerful master of love to poison the souls of men in order to eliminate the desire for Psyche’s beauty and grace. Ironically, Eros, the powerful master of love saw her and instantly fell in love with Psyche. This event further agitated “Aphrodite”.
Despite the extreme amount of admiration received by men, she stayed unmarried. Not because she considered these admirations worthless but because she wanted to find her “true love”. This commitment of Psyche made her parents quite worried. So, her mortal parents had no other option than to ask for an “oracle” hoping to solve the mystery and help her find “true love”.
This is where the powerful master of love, Eros played his game. He guided “Apollo” to provide the oracle to her parents. It implied that Psyche would marry an ugly beast who she’d never be able to see and he’d wait for her at the top of the mountain. It’s not the thing what her parents expected, completely unaware of the game of “Eros”. I’d not call it a game but was a test instead. The parents of Psyche was completely devastated by the oracle and felt pity on their daughter’s fate. It was definitely not what she deserved, but they decided to arrange the wedding anyway as the guidance of the oracle.
The first condition was she’d never be able to see her husband and she’d only be able to be with him at night. The Beast’s enormous love and tenderness provided a love beyond her expectations and dreams which made Psyche fall in love with the beast, she found her “true love” at last. Psyche explained the enormous amount of love she received to her sisters. She even portrayed the amount of sadness she experiences because she was unable to see the face of her husband. On the contrary, jealous of finding the true love of her life, her sisters convinced Psyche that one day the beast would kill her and it is important for her to kill the beast first to save herself. Under the influence of her sisters, she went on carrying a knife and the oil lamp to murder the beast that night.
When she was about to slay her Beast husband, she enlightened the face with the oil lamp and was surprised to find out it was none other than beautiful “Eros” laying by her side. Caught by surprise, she spilled oil on Eros’s face which woke him up. Eros was disappointed to find out the chain of events due to the persuasion. He told Psyche that she had betrayed him and ruined the relationship. He even told her it was impossible for them to be united again and flew away.
She was deeply saddened by this incident and went on to find the “true love” of her life, her beast-husband or the master of love, “Eros” himself. She was suggested to go beg to “Aphrodite” who was always envious of Psyche. It was known that “Aphrodite” had imprisoned “Eros” in the palace. She gave her three impossible tasks to accomplish in order to prove her “true love”.
The pursuit of Psyche to be united again to her “true love” made her fearless. On the final task, Psyche had to go to the god of the underworld “Hades” to bring the box with elixir of beauty to “Aphrodite”. “Aphrodite” even ordered her not to open the box. This was a conspiracy as the box never contained the ‘elixir of beauty’ but had “Morpheus- the god of sleep and dreams” hidden in it instead. Out of curiosity, Psyche opened the box (which is exactly what “Aphrodite” predicted) and instantly fell asleep.
“Eros” was devastated to know the chain of events and he ran away from the palace. He went on to “Zeus” and begged him to save his “Psyche”. “Zeus” was so overwhelmed by the excessive amount of love, he didn’t only save Psyche but also provided her immortality; so that the lovers could be together for eternity and beyond.