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A. M. P.
SEMINARI 2000 - 2001

Kritikou M., Menoutis V.
(Hellenic Association Of Groupanalysis And Group Psychotherapy)

Good and bad siblings archetypes in greek mythology

The Great Mother and the Great Father Archetypes are of great importance in Median Groups. R. Pisani, 2000, following P. de Maré’s theory for Median and Large Groups writes: “At the primordial level the archetypes of the collective unconscious appear. Speaking of the Tran generational transmission the archetypes can not be ignored”.
Our paper is concerned with the siblings archetypes in Greek Mythology, their relations with the Great Father and the Great Mother and furthermore with their influence in the dynamics of Median and Large Groups.
Good and bad sibling archetypes. The circularity of their creative power and their destructive power can not be ignored in Median and Large Groups, where dialogue stands versus group dissolution, subgrouping phenomena or scapegoating.

There are 4 myths concerning the creation and the origin of the universe.

1. According to the Pelagic (Open Sea) myth of creation, at the begging there was Chaos from which, naked, Eurynome (Great Mother) emerged. Ophion (snake) (Great Father) danced with Eurynome until he was overcome with lewdness and joined with her. Afterwards, Eurynome took the figure of a female pigeon and gave birth to the Egg of the Universe. With her order Ophion coiled the Egg up seven times, until it was divided into two parts. From the inside of it was born the sun, the moon, the planets, the stars and the earth with its living beings.

2. Homeric and Orphic myths of the Creation
a. Homeric myth
In two rhapsodies (passages) of the Iliad (XIV, 201-246), it is said that the Gods were born from Oceanus (Great Father), whose wife was Tythia (Great Mother), the fertile mother who gives birth and nourishes.
b. Orphic myth
The Orphics’ say that Anemos (wind) (Great father) wheedled Night (Great mother). Then Night gave birth, in the Darkness, to a silver egg and out of it came Eros, who is also called Fany by some. Eros set in motion the Universe and Night appeared as a Trinity: Night, Order and Justice.

3. The Olympic myth of Creation
At the begging Mother Earth emerged out of Chaos and gave birth to Ouranos (sky), who threw rain and fertilized Gaia (earth). The first children of Ge were the hundred-handed gigantes: Vriareos, Giges, and Kottos.

4. Philosophical myths of the Creation
Hesiods cosmogony is the most complicated and wisest one. Hesiod writes: "Before anything there was Chaos, then there was the open breasted Gaia, the eternal and unshaken support of all things; and Eros the most handsome of the immortals, who conquers the hearts of gods and humans and wins the wise advises".
Chaos, Gaia, and Eros are the three primordial elements from which the first one precedes the rest.
Aristotle explains Chaos as the interval that gapes open to contain everything and preceded everything.
After Chaos came Gaia, not earth but the earthly substance towards the course of formation.
Eros is not the magnificent winged god of Praxiteles. He cannot be the god of love, since neither humans nor gods were yet born.
This primitive Eros, of the cosmogony, is a mythological image that folds around an abstract idea. It is "the force of attraction that makes the primordial particles come together and be combined between them." (Maury, "Relig. de la Grece", I p.350). He does not create anything by himself, but with his energy all elements and all of the beings tend to unite, and from this union ensues life.
Out of Chaos comes Erevus and Night. Erevus spreads underneath earth and shows the intermittent darkness. Here Erevus and Night personify the primary darkness and its two elements: the male and the female one. These two elements joined and gave birth to Aither and Day: meaning the light at the upper regions of the atmosphere and the light at earths’ atmosphere. This is the first result of love: with it darkness gives birth to light.
Gaia does not take long to give birth to Ouranos, the starry sky, whose canopy covers her entirely and will be used for the residence of the "blessed immortals". Then she gives birth to the great mountains and the deep seas.
From now on Gaia will be uniting with Ouranos to give birth to more elements. Their marriage will be the source of universal Life. It is the primary couple, the immortal couple. At the begging of their union Oceanus (ocean) is born, the river of all rivers.
Then many divinities are born: "Kios, Krios (ram), Iapetos, Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tythis, and finally the young born Kronos with his skilful advices." ("Theogeny", p. 34-37). “Then Gaia gave birth to the tough Cyclopes: Vrondis, Steropis, Argos, who gave Zeus the lighting and hammered the thunder.” (p. 148-153). Afterwards, are born from Ouranos and Gaia giant and monstrous beings, whose huge body has fifty heads and a hundred arms: they are Kottos (the passionate), Vriareos (the strong), Gies (with the huge parts); dreadful children that their father detest from the time of their birth and they also feel an inexorable hatred for Ouranos.
From all that we see that Ouranos came out of the vitals of earth and returned to them. Earth was the Matter and Ouranos the Spirit, who penetrated in her substance destroying it (by giving birth to monsters) and at the same time he fertilizes her (by giving birth to creative siblings).
Before her union with Ouranos, Gaia was thirsty and infertile, thus she let herself go to Eros, the irresistible Force. So Matter (Gaia) felt the greatness of Creation and then destructive earthquakes and cyclones shock her. Hesiodos presented them as Cyclopes, Titans and Gigantes / brothers with destructive forces, who conflict, rebel, and destroy. They are the newborn powers of Nature that brought into them the evolutionary force (good brothers) and destructiveness (bad brothers): Union together with Antithesis, Birth together with Decay, the Good that coexists with the Bad.
Gaia carries in her Dihonia (dissension). It is Matter and she wants her children to be deeply attached on Earth.
However Ouranos, who took such a great part in the creation work, wants to stop the course of destruction.
As soon as the children are born he sunk them in the entrails of Gaia. Gaia rebelling to her husbands’ cruelty armed against him Kronos, the most skillful and the most obedient of her sons. Kronos startled his father, mutilated him and threw away the dead remains of his manliness. These divine remains fell into the sea, floated on the surface: white foam gathered around them and Aphrodite is born from it.
Ouranos conviction to inability and the coming of his son Kronos on rule, mark a new phase of the evolution of Creation. Ouranos had tried to stop this evolution by destroying his own children; so he was punished for his insulting efforts.
The work of birth, which stopped for a moment, took again its way under the direction of Kronos that is Chronos (time), who from now on regulates the necessary course of things.
Afterwards Kronos joins with Rhea, who is not his sister, a divinity of the earth. The cosmogenic Rhea (the one that flows) is the goddess of movement, of succession, and of duration. The eternal nature, winner against the first obstacles of progression will continue her evolution.
The Titans, the primeval forces, who were captives by Ouranos, find their freedom and new generations of divinities appear.
Night gives birth to Thanato (death), Ipno (sleep) and Oneero (dream), also gives birth to Fates, Nemesis, Dolo (fraud), Akolasia (vice), the awful Geratia (old age) and the fiery Dihonia (enmity). Dihonia gave birth to Pono (pain), Mohto (hard work), Mahes (combat) and Horko (oath).
The universe yet is far away from its completion and before it gets to its final form a new revolution will come.
The second master of the world Kronos will have the same luck with the first one, as he will also try to put obstacles to the progress of creation, by swallowing up all of Rheas newborn children. Only one manages to get away from him, thanks to a trick of his mother: Zeus, who got away from his fathers voraciousness and will manage to chain him up forcing him to bring back to life the gods (his brothers) that Kronos had swallowed. Therefore, Chronos (time) vainly swallows up everything; Natures life and fertility will not be interrupted.
Through the myths it clearly appears that the world did not suddenly nor easily get at a state of balance and harmony; it got at this state with many revolutions and with a series of progress, that nothing could stop its course. Order will really prevail when Zeus will win all of the hostile forces (the battle of Titans).
The Titans are twelve (six male and six female) and they are the children of Gaia and Ouranos.
The battle of Titans is the struggle of Gaias and Ouranos children against the (good) children of Kronos, whose leader is Zeus. We have to note hear that not all of the Titans fight against the Olympians. Among other female Titans, Themis and Mnemosyne will later be on Zeus side and they will become his wives.
Themis will give birth to Dike (trial) the idea of order and law.
Mnemosyne is the remembrance, the recollection; it is the action of the past that perpetuates in the course of time.
At the battle of Titans Zeus did not destroy all the Titans with no exception; he limits himself in disciplining anything monstrous and without rhythm that they have.
For six years the Titans and the sons of Kronos were tortured at a mad fight, with the one side positioned on mount Orthy and the other side on mount Olympous. Zeus then thought to free the three Gigantes (Kotto, Vriareo, and Gie) from Tartaros, where their father had closed them up. Their interference will benefit Zeus by bringing at his advantage the victory. So Zeus was able to win the Titans with the help of other Titans, allies of his; he managed to win the numerous and stormy forces of nature by juxtaposing to them equally powerful forces. The struggle begins between the two parts being armed with huge cliffs. The noise of the fight shocks the sky, the earth and the sea, penetrating deep down to Tartaros. Suddenly, Zeus himself takes part in the battle making his thunder reverberate, his lightings to flash; throwing non-stopping the thunder. Finally, the victory is wan by three gigantes, allies of Zeus, who throw on the Titans three hundred cliffs. They knock over the Titans and sink them in Tartaro. With the defeat of the Titans it seemed that the universe would be peaceful and submissive to the Olympian Gods, but this did not happen.
More battles followed, with the greatest one being the battle of Gigantes. The Giants were not immortals. Their mother Gaia full of sorrow from the elimination of the Titans, prompts the Gigantes to engage new battles against Zeus and the Olympians. The battle took place along way from Olympus, at the Palliny region in Chalkidiky. Zeus and Athena are in the first line, at the encampment of the gods. Other divinities (siblings) also intervene: Hera, Apollo, Hephaistos, Artemis, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hekate and Fates.
Zeus at this battle invites for help his mortal son Hercules.
The pediments of Athena’s old temples were decorated with representations of the battle of Giants and with their murder by Egelado (Earth Shaker). Athena in order to defeat him; she buried him under the island of Sicily. Nowadays we consider the awakening of the Egelado, the cause of earthquakes.
At these two battles we see the sibling group support, of the two warring groups, regardless of personal rivalries.
Nature in a last attempt of the monstrous fertility gives birth to a new Titan: Tiphoeus, son of Gaia and Tartaros, who also fought Zeus. Again a dreadful strife took place that shook the universe. Once again the victory was Zeus.
This fight was the last act of resistance from the violent and troubled forces towards the Creation law.
Zeus becomes the supreme spirit who directs the universe, holds the balance, and watches over the maintenance of ethics and physical order. Hera became pan-Hellenic; she is the only lawful wife of Zeus (although she was his sister, daughter of Kronos and Rhea). Hera is the last of the divinities of which Zeus joint with. At first he married Meti (Metis=Wisdom) and he assimilated her by closing her up in his vitals. Later he joined with Themis and Evrynome (order and beauty), mother of the Charites. So the successive wives of Zeus are from a theogony point of view, the characteristics that are attributed to his divine essence. In addition, the children that are born by them - as the Alexandrians would say - are the "existences” of this ruling force and supreme wisdom. We notice thus the incorporation of the creative elements of the Mother Archetype to a final Father Archetype with many creative maternal elements.

Zeus and Metis. The birth of Athena
According to Hesiodo, Metis was the personification of wisdom. Zeus in order to avoid a prophesy which said that Metis son would dethrone him, he swallowed her, while being pregnant, and incorporated wisdom. When the time of delivery came Zeus ordered Hephaisto to cut open his head, from which Athena popped out "throbbing a pointed spear".

Zeus and Maia (daughter of the Titan Atlas and Pleaonidus): Birth of Hermes, resourceful god, guide, messenger, inventive.

Zeus and Leto (daughter of the Titan Kios and Phoebis): She gave birth at Delos to Apollo (god of light) and to Artemis (goddess of hunting).

Zeus and Demeter: Birth of Persephone.

Zeus and Mortals (Niobe, Io, Kallisto, Europa etc).

Zeus and Danae (conception after Zeus became golden rain). She gave birth to Perseus.

Zeus and Hera: Birth of Ivy and Ares.

Zeus and Semele: Birth of Dionysus. A plot of Hera led Semele to burn while pregnant. Zeus hid the child at his thigh for nine months and then he withdrew it, so Dionysus was born, god of wine and joy.

Zeus and Alcmene: She was the last mortal that Zeus loved. She was married to Amphitryon. Zeus took the characteristics of Amphitryon and nine months later Alcmene gave birth to the most glorious Hero, Hercules.

Zeus and Leda (married with Tyndareo): Leda and Tyndareo gave birth to Klytemnistra.
Leda became pregnant the same night with Tyndareo (gave birth to Castor) and with Zeus (gave birth to Polydeuces and Helen).

The traits of the divinity of Zeus are very important as far as the ethical symbolisms of the value of life and society are concerned and their transference through dialogue in median and large groups.
In the human society Zeus is the god of Justice, who enacts the rules and makes others respect them.
He has besides him Themida and his daughter Diki (personified justice) the holy virgin, who is honored by the gods.
Zeus is the revenging god, the revenger, who sleepless watches over the moral order and when this order is disturbed there is always expiation. His justice is inevitable and unexpected, taking action when it wants with a divine anger, with sudden outbursts and strikes with lightning’s and thunders and if the guilty ones get away their descendants will pay. So we can see that the idea of ethical heredity exists. This false idea that makes us rebel is a superstitious grandeur for the Greek family. The Greek spirit here fights with one of the most difficult problems of the human existence and it resolves it with a higher emotion of divine justice.
Furthermore Zeus is a merciful god who does not only have power and justice but also goodness.

Meilichios Zeus is the god, who is full of sweetness and love moreover he forgives sin whenever he is asked. Zeus not only protects the individuals, he also watches over the different human groups, from family to nation.
Herkeios Zeus: is the protector of the household.
Hepheskos Zeus: is the god of the family home.
Ktesios Zeus: is the god who offers love.
Gamilios Zeus: is the protector of marriage. Also regulates the kinder bonds.
Zeus Phillios: is the god of friendship.

The effects of his traits spread out to the entire political life of Athens. His representations were at the Parliament hall and its meetings took place under his protection, as the perpetrator of all good advice and inspirer of eloquence. His protective action went over the cycle of the city and it spread out to other cities.
From these traits of Zeus we can see the value of the socio-culture in relation with the bio-culture of the social groups.
Heras figure owes its origin to the same physiocratic perception from which Zeus was born. She is the grand female divinity of the sky. The origin of the word Hera comes either from the ancient word era (which means earth), or from the Greek word hero, with the Latin hera, the female word of heros (hero), or from the same sanscritic suar which means sky.
Zeus and Hera have similar traits both divinities are bond together with a deep union. They met and fell in love long before they became masters of Olympus, since the period Kronos was ruling they had a secret affair, although their parents were against it. This tradition, that has a theogonic origin, tends to assimilate the union of Zeus and Hera with that of Kronos and Rhea; Ouranos and Gaia: it shows us though the two divinities, the immortal couple of the ancient mythology, whose fertile union preserves the life of the entire nature. This union combines in the mythological phantasy the oppositions of the marital relationship of the two gods
Either of the sensual pleasures of their marriage
Or of the arguments of marital life.

Ares: The most characteristic example of bad archetypic sibling relations among the gods is Ares. Max Muller connects the name of the Greek god Ares (Arephs), as well as the name of the Latin god Mars, with the sanscritic root mar, from which came in the Vedic mythology the name Maruts, gods of the storms. Marut, the storm, is literary the “Triveas or shiver” who matches the character of the Greek god Ares.
Ares is the god who creates terrible disturbances in the sky (his immortal siblings) and in earth (the mortals). He is the son of Zeus and Hera and has the traits of his violent and with a difficult character mother. When Diomedes wounded him, he bellowed out as loud as nine or ten thousand warriors in battle, this scream froze up from fear both Greeks and Trojans.
The gods who darken the sky are considered enemies of the gods of the shinny sky. Such a god is Ares, yet he did not join up with the Titans and thus is a member of the Olympian society. Still though his violent character makes him an object of detest to the immortals. Zeus tells him “From all the Gods who hold Olympus you are the most hateful, because you feel pleasure with dissension and wars”.
His main enemy is Athena, the goddess of Wisdom and Lightening. In the Iliad she either arms the hand of Diomedes against Ares or she attacks him herself and wounds him by throwing him down.
Ares was never killed (being an immortal) he is always defeated in the battles against his bright divine siblings. Here we clearly see that the good kinships exceed in the number of relationships and power against the bad ones. There is also mentioned a great battle between Ares and Hercules (demigod, brother of his) which ends with Ares defeat, who wounded returns to Olympus.
Though, the other divinities intervene in the battles of the humans to defend people or heroes, who they protect, Ares does not have friends or enemies, he is fickle, hits everywhere, likes the battle for its strife, for the slaughters and for the dead.
One of Ares companions is Heris, the bloodthirsty Dissension. His loyal servants are Deimos (deos - awe) and Phobos (fear), who harness his chariot and follow him everywhere. Ares affair with Aphrodite gives a calm dimension of the Storm God, who lays bare from his wickedness and his power to charm the beautiful Nature and falls to the irresistible fascination, the powerful goddess of love. Ares and Aphrodite had four children: Phobos (fear), Deimos (deos - awe), Erotas (Eros - Plove), Armonia (Harmony).


Among the legends of Laconia and Messenia distinguishes the myth of the Dioskouroi, as an example of the power of the good sibling love.
The genealogies that concern the bonds among the various gods or heroes of Messenia and Laconia have an immediate connection with the names of cities, rivers and mountains.
In charge of theses genealogies is the indigenous Lelex who joins with Naeada and becomes the father of Evrota (river). Evrotas daughter is Sparta (city) who marries Lacedemon (son of Zeus and nymph Taegetis). From this marriage is born Amyklai (old city).
Amyklai has many children, with the most famous ones being: Hyakinthos (name of flower, the favorite of Apollo) and Kynortas. Periyros is Kynortas son, who also had many children (with one of the daughters of the hero Perseus). His most famous sons are Tyndareos, Aphareus and Leukippos.
Tyndareos wife was the beautiful Leda, daughter of king Thespios of Aitolia. Zeus (with the figure of a swan) joined with Leda and they had two children: Helen (known for her beauty) and Polydeuces (powerful hero). Leda with Tyndareos had two more children: a daughter Klytemnistra and a son Castor. Polydeuces inherited immortality from his father, Zeus, but his brother Castor was mortal. Both of them became great heroes: Castor broke in wild horses and Polydeuces was unbeaten in boxing.
Aphareus (Tyndareus brother) had two children, Lynkeus and Idas. Lynkeus (whose penetrating look is known to the Greeks) and Idas (the one who sees’ or knows’), make up a brotherly couple that probably has the same origin with the Dioskouroi (their fathers are brothers). Their relationship with the Dioskouroi is that of enmity, which can be explained by the old enmities of Laconia and Messenia.
One day the Dioskouroi brought from Arcadia a pack of oxen, escorted by their cousins. Idas was given the responsibility to share them. He cut an ox into four parts announcing that who ever eats first his share will get half of the entire prey and that the one who comes second will get the other half. Idas himself immediately swallowed up his share and his brothers share, becoming thus master of the whole pack and took it to Messene. The Dioskouroi indignant rushed to Messene and took the oxen. Before returning to their land they ambushed their cousins in order to punish them, but Lynkeus saw them from the high mountains of Taygetos (with his penetrating look), and run off with his brother. Polydeuces chased them and killed Lynkea, while Castor was wounded by Idas spear. Zeus threw them his lightning, echoed his thunder and annihilates the two opponents. Polydeuces reaches near to his dying brother; in the pain of brotherly love he begs Zeus to kill him as well. Zeus responds to him that he cannot totally die, because his origin comes from a divine generation, while Castor is the son of a mortal. Afterwords Zeus offers Polydeuces the chance to choose his destiny: if he alone would escape old age and death and live for eternity on Olympus (beside the other gods) or if he wished to share in everything the luck of his brother, meaning to spend half of his life under the earth and the other half “at the golden rooms of the sky”. This half-immortality was accepted by Polydeuces and will also belong to Castor as a result of this one of them lives during the day and the other during the night.
This brotherly loyalty of Polydeuces, which is famous, is an image borrowed from Nature. If Polydeuces and Castor are the Sun and the Moon, that are meant to be twins, it is explained how they successively die and live: The Sun, the powerful and immortal being, that every night disappears in the horizon and goes under the earth as if it wants to give space to its brotherly star, the Moon, that comes to life every night: it is Polydeuces who sacrifices for Castor, his weak brother, to whom he owes his immortality. Theophrastos used to say that the moon is another sun, a weaker one.
The names of the two national heroes of Laconia, the Dioskouroi, are also in the memories of the ancient enmities of Sparta and Athens: Their sister Helen had been kidnapped in the past from Theseus, who joined with her and left her at Aphidna under his mothers, Ethras, supervision. When the Dioskouroi heard of their sisters kidnapping they marched against Athens and conquered her with a numerous army. Afterwards, they freed their sister and brought her back to Sparta, together with Theseus mother and prisoned her.
In this myth we meet powerful sibling bonds with love, self-sacrifice, faith, and loyalty.
Never the less myths also exist that show great hate, envy and enmity between siblings whether they are gods or mortals.

Atreas and Thyestis

The hero Pelopas had two sons: Atreas and Thyestis. A strong curse that had been thrown to their father Pelopas was transmitted to the two brothers who had done many crimes.
With their mother’s suggestion (Ipodamia), they killed Chrysipos, a son of their father Pelopas with another woman (a nymph) Axioni. After this murder, they left their father’s house being afraid of his rage and they hid in Mykines in the house of Stenelos (the King’s son).
When Stenelos died, Atreas became the King. But his brother Thyestis was envious to him. He stole the gold billy-goat, and asked for the throne (with the help of Aeropis, his brother’s wife). Then Zeus felt angry with Thyestis and gave messages to the people of Mykines that he tried to stole the power, so they refused to recognize his authority. Then Thyestis left Mykines, but took with him Polysthenis, the son of his brother Atreas.
He raised the young Polysthenis putting envy in his heart for Atreas. When Polysthenis became a man, he went to Mykines to kill his father, but instead Atreas killed him, without knowing that he was his own son. When Atreas found out what he had done, he felt horror and sworn to take revenge against his brother Thyestis. He pretended that he wanted to have better relationships with him and called him to Mykines. When Thyestis arrived, he once more started to conspire with Aeropi against Atreas. Atreas found out and without any hesitation commanded to kidnap Thyestis’ sons (Plysteus and Tantalos) and murder them. And furthermore with their flesh prepared a hideous dinner for his brother!!
Zeus from the sky sent rains and the sun called the flying horses back to the sunshine, to avoid seeing how the father would eat the flesh of his own children. However Thyestis sat on the table and had his dinner after which he had a terrible feeling. Then Atreas commanded to show to his brother his sons’ heads. When Thyestis ascertained the death of his children, asked for their bodies in order to bury them, but Atreas told him that they had already been buried in his stomach!
This terrible action brought out Gods rage and they punished very hard Atreas and his city. They send a very long and terrible dry-spell, soil did not bear fruit anymore and starvation spread all around the country. People died in thousands.

P. de Maré writes: “Group bonding and koinonia could be interpreted as a transformation of the frustration of sibling incest and competition. The blood relatedness of siblings is total as distinct from the partial blood relatedness of parent-child and is accordingly the more strongly frustrated by the social structure: biologically natural incest versus an artificial socio-cultural exchange. The ability to symbolize rather than reify, to transform hate and fratricide into the koinonia of fellowship, into impersonal friendship and tenderness that is not erotic since Eros is libidinal, arises from antilibidinal social forces. If this relationship is successfully transformed, it constitutes the powerful tie binding people together in groups; if it is not successfully transformed, it can result in the psychotically cruel manifestations of unstable political situations” (de Maré p. 27).

Metastructure - is called the environment of a group’s structure. It is an equivalent of the structuralistic notion of superstructure and it interferes with matters of culture. Maré (1984, 1989, 1990, 1996) and H. Campos (1986) distinguish culture in three types:

Bioculture - Unconscious mind creates a subculture, the one of inner world, related to oral demands, sphincter morality, parental and family super-ego, dreams, infantile sexuality etc. It is considered as the material reality and expressed non-verbally. It aims to the ascendancy of libidinal instincts (Eros) upon the aggressive ones (Thanatos). It is equivalent to Id and governed by the pleasure principle.

Socioculture - A macro-culture is created, which relates to hierarchy, Ego-ideal, and social aspects of super-ego, e.g. tribalism, myths. It is considered as the objective and often countable social reality. Social unconscious, in which myths are the equivalent of social dreams and also social consciousness, which establishes appropriate or ‘false’ ideologies, coexist in this culture, usually regressing to the small group-family subculture. Its language of communication is one with no significance and meanings. It aims to the socialization of human, of the instinctual. It is governed by the reality principle and is equivalent to Superego.

Koinonic - Ethico - Idio - Culture - A micro-culture is created, and characterizes the median group, where dialogue symbolization and leveling take place and transform frustration and hate, arising from the clash between bioculture and socioculture, into psychic energy and enthusiasm. It is of such microcultures, that impersonal fellowship, Koinonia, and legitimate ethical cultures emerge out. Koinonia is a source of mind, of demythologizing thought, misinterpreted by the tribal and the family subculture as exile. Dialogue modifies the superego structure into ego-syntonic ego-ideal, a culture cultivation. Idioculture is considered as the symbolic reality, the subjective one, with analogic, discursive symbolization by words. Dialogue is characterized as affiliative, leveling, lateralizing, multipolar, multipersonal, and therefore multidimensional. It aims to the humanization of social, cosmic. It is governed by the meaning principle and is equivalent to Ego.

Hellenism - Western thought - Group Analysis: A Comparison

Hellenism (Hellenic Paideia) is the ancient Greek culture, which was based on the philosophy of human existence, paideia and democracy (Koinonia), giving them special value as social and political processes. The most essential feature of paideia is the paideutic situation, that is the communication between people when they foster arêtes (excellences). The main of them are: prudence, wisdom, justice (internal and not imposed by the state), bravery-courage, love of beauty, love of good, and search for truth (Kritikou & Menoutis, 1999).
Nowadays, people speaking about the ‘dignity of labour’ often discover, to their surprise that it does not come along with another one, the ‘dignity of man’. The usual language of Westerners focuses on mastery, power, barriers, punishment, rewards, discipline, unspoken fear and envy, etc. following the principles of discipline, piety, labor, and ratio towards dignity (recognition from others) and methodocracy (Drakopoulos, 1983).
According to Foulkes (1975) a group analyst is characterized by ethical integrity, good intelligence, honesty, love of truth, humility and modesty. He should also be receptive to the current problems of the community, active and open minded, mentally and emotionally balanced, open to new experiences and liberal enough in a deep sense to treat all his group members as equal. For all these reasons the future group analyst should be analyzed both in dyadic and group context.
While studying and comparing the above systems of thought, one may find out that many arêtes and qualities are common in Hellenic Paideia and Group Analysis. Consequently, a new common language (Hellenism), enriched with culture, may become more beneficial for ego-strength, inspiration and expression (idioprosopia) of feelings and thoughts as well (Kritikou, 2000).
P. Pisani has referred the importance of the Great Mother (1993, 1995, 1999) and the Great Father (1999). P. Pisani (1993) writes: ‘We wonder whether and how many archaic archetypal behavioural patterns there can be at the basis of trangenerational conflicts, prompted by particular historical environmental circumstances’. We emphasize on the archaic archetypal sibling behavioural patterns that are prompted by mythology. According to our experience during the running of large cross cultural groups or small, median and large groups in the same organization namely:

1. Hellenic Association of Group Analysis and Psychotherapy.
2. Office of Preventive Mental Health, Hellenic Navy.
3. Therapeutic Community, Salamina Naval Hospital.
4. Department of Psychology, University of Crete.

Many resistances may arise for the convenor to cope with.
These resistances are related to the siblings relations, as well.

Large Group Resistances

These are the following:
1. Eye-to-eye contact is reduced, tending to paranoiogenesis.
2. Large group is treated as purely experiential or experimental.
3. Dialogue is impeded because of cattle-market-semi-organized forms, where ‘anything goes’
4. Group situations is confined as far as possible to one-to-one psychoanalytic interpretations.
Over-interpretation, ‘scientism’, and infantilization impede members’ serious contributions.
Large group microculture is restricted to a limited number of basic assumptions.
The group phenomenon is dismissed as illusory.
Dialogue is treated as play, in order to be trivial.
The emerging matrix, which takes on different forms or cultures, doubted.
Group situation is treated as if it were a massive group, consisting of leader - led relationships.
Sex differentiation phenomena rise out as the male and female members rate increases.
Large group does not run as a whole due to ‘monitors’ subgroup (present to interpret).
Silent observers subgroup tends to split off the communication (non verbal vs. verbal).
Large group is treated as if it were a family constellation.
Large group runs only if supplemented by a small group.
Meetings are limited to as few as possible.
The tendency to be present in a high degree gets lower.
The whole program’s membership gets less and less, as the time passes.
Each group’s membership gradually decreases (drop outs).
Absenteeism increases causing group dysfunction.

The mythological archetypes of the collective unconscious become part of the social unconscious of the socio-culture, through transgenaration and transmission. It is only through dialogue that they arrive at the impersonal fellowship of koinonia. It is only through dialogue that myths can become symbolic reality, non-hierarchical flexible communication. Thus creative and unique elements of the idioculture and the idioprosopia of each person’s free and demythologizing thought.


The term (idioprosopia) derives from the Greek words (idios) and (prosopon). Idios means special, particular, private. Prosopon comes from the synthetic words ‘pros’ that means towards and ‘ops’ that mainly means eye and look. So, prosopon (neither prosopeion, mask or persona, nor person) is the human hyupostasis on the way of being, who sees and expresses himself, especially with the ‘toward the eyes’ part of head, that is the face. Therefore, idioprosopia is the way that a particular prosopon puts himself in relation to position, attitude and behaviour of anybody else and a group as a whole. It is neither the possible or predetermined attitude of him in relation to his environment, nor is it his peculiar shape, the mental characteristics, the elements of his mind as human being; all of them are stable, known or expected.
Prosopon does not give priority to his nature but to the expression of his nature. Idioprosopia includes the possibilities of being
1. free and independent, unified and unique
2. unexpected but transitional, non-repetitive but concrete
on a basis of love for the group, …through these modalities, his way of being without predetermined attitudes in relation to his surroundings. It is the most creative, almost necessary, way of being in the T-Situation that is its dynamic process. His attitude with all the above elements balances out each other, in relation to their extremities and consequently to their destructive tendencies. So the fear of destruction (death or Thanatos) decreases letting the group run to the direction of desire (Eros) (Kritikou, 2000, Menoutis 1989, 1997, 2000, Menoutis & Kritikou,1999).


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de Maré, P.- Pipper, R.- Thomson, S. (1991) Koinonia: From Hate through Dialogue, to Culture in the Large Group. London: Karnac Books.
de Maré, P. (1996) "Kith, Kin and Koinonia", Introductory Course on Group Psychotherapy, Hellenic Association of Group Analysis and Psychotherapy. Athens, Greece.
Deharme, P. Greek Mythology. Translation: Zarouchas, C. Athens: Mermigas.
Foulkes, S.H. (1990) Selected Papers: Psychoanalysis and Group Analysis. El. Foulkes (ed.) London: Karnac Books.
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Hesiodos, _Ļ____. Reprinted Athens: Kaktos, 1993.
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Ker_nyi, K. _________ ___ _______. Translation: Athens: Estia.
Koun, N.A. _____ ___ ______ ___ _______ _______. Athens: Nikitopoulos.
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Menoutis, V., Angelopoulos, A. & Kritikou, M. (2000) "Very Large (Vast) Groups as Balkan Cross-Cultural Bridge", 5th Congress of Balkan Military Medical Committee. Ankara.
Paphsanias (1981) _________ _______ _________. Athens: Athens Publishing.
Pisani, R.A. (1993) "Neuroses and Group Culture in Southern Italy: The Matrix of a Real Large Group", Group Analysis 26(3): 239-249.
Pisani, R.A. (2000) "The Great Mother and the Great Father Archetype in the Median Group", Introductory Course on Group Psychotherapy, Hellenic Association of Group Analysis and Psychotherapy. Athens, Greece.
Rispeu, J. (1953) Greek Mythology. Translation: Marinatos, S. & Tetenes, N. Athens: Vivlos.
Sophokles, Trahinies. London: Oxford Classical Texts.

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