Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Apollonian" vs. "Dionysian"

Apollonian and Dionysian are the first sort of terms I heard of for this concept, but perhaps there are others. Basically it is the pull between logic/reason and passion/wildness. I studied this theme a lot in a literature course last semester, and I'm reading Steven Pressfield's Last of the Amazons now, which is *very* centered around this too. The more religious nature of the Pressfield's story has me thinking about it more in terms of spirituality.

I like to think I balance the Apollonian and Dionysian sides of myself in my life and religion. But in reality I find myself overwhelmingly Apollonian, to my dismay. In Last of the Amazons (I'm about halfway through), I really sympathize with the Amazons as they face the loss of their way of life to the democratic perspective of Athens. It's kind of the same thing with the Native Americans and the settlers (kind of). I identify with the Dionysian so much, but in actuality it frightens me. I fear the loss of control that comes along with that side of life, so I shirk from it. It's quite hard for me to actually let loose and let my hair down. I'm hyper self-conscious a lot of the time.

What side do you more lean towards, in your everyday life and then in your religion? Is it ever a struggle? Do you think this is an important or useful concept?

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