If we consider that human existence is constituted as a tension of longing or striving toward conscious participation in reality and that this striving proceeds through reflective mediation in consciousness, we might diagram the total pattern in the following way: The line with the arrowhead in this picture represents the tension of existence both as experienced on the level of immediacy and as articulated in consciousness through the medium of symbolization. “R” stands for reality, in which the inquirer is immediately involved through his participation in existence and which he also comes to know reflectively. As such it is intended to embrace all that is, including the entire process represented in the diagram. The figure in the middle marked with “S” is in the shape of a lens. “S” stands for symbol; this may take the specific form of visual symbols, myths, ideas, philosophical propositions, and so on. It could even take the form of dance or liturgy. Whatever its form, it functions to represent some aspect of the reality attended to through it and to direct inquiry toward that. This is why it is represented in the diagram as a lens; it is not, when it is functioning properly, an object of attention in its own right, but serves as a focusing device to direct attention beyond itself toward the object of interest. It is only through that lens or medium that human existence can attain consciousness and reflective knowledge of the real, even when what is inquired into is human existence.
It is the diagram as a whole that depicts psyche. The symbol psyche refers to the entire process of participation in reality, its symbolization, and the tension that moves and guides the process.
The other aspect of this diagram is the “lens” of symbolism or representation. Beyond the most basic level of the senses, consciousness only seems to function via symbolism (including language, rational thinking, story, art and myth). If the symbols become mere doxa, superficial appearances or representations that no longer represent, signs that point to nothing beyond themselves, to no greater aspect of reality, if the map becomes more important than the road or the journey’s destination, then we have a kind of anti-Mary (not unlike antichrist). As Mary is the lens whose soul “magnifies the Lord”, she represents how living and loving symbols and beings can show us God. The antimary would be any symbol or being that becomes opaque, allocating God’s glory to itself and blocking the light beyond.