The Kassandra complex, reason vs. intuition

The Kassandra complex, reason vs. intuition

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Kassandra Complex


  • 1 The myth of Kassandra
  • 2 Origin of the myth of Kassandra
  • 3 The Kassandra complex

Kassandra's myth

In Greek mythology, Kassandra was one of the princesses of Troy, daughter of Priam and Hecuba. According to the myth, Kassandra was amazingly beautiful and was blessed with the gift of anticipating the future. His curse was that no one believed her.

So this "gift" actually became a heavy burden for Kassandra. He predicted the result of many disastrous events. A memorable example happened when Kassandra announced the serious consequences of the Trojans if they accepted the famous wooden horse of their Greek rivals. Her family thought she was crazy, and, according to some versions, they kept her locked up for this reason. We all know the end of the history of the Trojan War.

In the versions where she is imprisoned, she is shown staging her madness for this fact, but in the versions in which she is not imprisoned, she is usually represented simply as a woman not understood.

Origin of the myth of Kassandra

There are several different versions that explain the gift and curse of Kassandra, the most popular is that God Apollo fell in love with her and granted her the gift of prophecy. When Kassandra despised God and her insinuations, she put a curse on her, so that no one would believe her words or her predictions. He gave it like this a gift that would bring frustration and despair.

Kassandra is not only the object of divine punishment by Apollo but also by Artemis, her sister and lunar goddess par excellence. Artemis was a virgin goddess par excellence and was devoted to virginity and purity. However, in some places of ancient Greece it was revered as a mother goddess. She was also guardian of young girls and parturients. The punishment inflicted by Artemis to Kassandra consists in being taken as a concubine by Agamemnon, destroyer not only of Troy but of all his lineage. Perhaps it was the punishment for not having timely responded to the wishes of his brother Apollo, who granted Kassandra the precious gift of remaining intact forever.

Another alternative version of the story of the prophetic visions of Kassandra explains that, as a child, she spent a night in the temple of Apollo with his twin brother Héleno and the temple snakes sucked and cleaned their ears, so that both would be able to hear the future from then on. This is a recurring theme in Greek mythology. This version suggests that Kassandra gained the ability to understand the language of animals, rather than knowing the future.

Kassandra complex

Based on the myth of Kassandra and the metaphor of the prophecies, it was coined the Kassandra complex, which is applied to people who often do predictions, often catastrophic, that are not believed by others. This syndrome is applied mainly in psychology and politics or science, and was named by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard in 1949.

This famous Greek story brings us closer to two very different forms of knowledge: The rational intellect versus an intuitive vision, the left hemisphere compared to the right, head against instinct, conscious awareness versus unconscious detection, ego personality versus soul orientation.

It may interest you: Complex Dictionary


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