On a human level, the Prometheus myth may be envisaged as the narration of a hero's passage from the state of psychological dependence to that of independence, or from the ouroboric phase of existence to ego-consciousness to Self-consciousness. For the creative individual, Prometheus' fashioning of the human race, stealing of fire, being punished for his crime and reintegrated with dignity into the society he had rejected may be considered as stages in the artistic process: the birth of the idea, the struggle to realize it in form, and its impact in the collective sphere.

To break away from unity with divinity, as Prometheus accomplished, entailed deep suffering and fierce battle. The same ordeal is required of the individual seeking independence from his world parents and his environment. Equally arduous is the battle that faces the artist passionately interested in bringing his creation to fruition. The break required of the individual developing his own potential indicates a rejection of the prevailing order on a social and esthetic level. To overthrow existing patterns and fight for one's beliefs necessitates a trial. If such goals are to be accomplished, heroism and courage must ensue. Prometheus and those who identify with him must break away from the known and relatively secure personal fold to pass into the forbidden, strange, and dangerous areas of the collective sphere. The acceptance of "fear and trembling," which such a drive necessitates, entails excoriating anguish for the sensitive human being. Prometheus accomplished his rite de passage and fulfillment resulted.

Prometheus represents the archetype of the defiant, re


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The Prometheus Syndrome


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