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Month: September 2010

Meaning Of Life Part IX

Meaning Of Life Part IX

The kind of in-ness that is longed for, if it were indeed realized, would be intolerable for the modern subject. It would collide with our inalienable insistence on emancipated individuality and rationality. It would necessarily be felt as imprisonment, as a nightmare, of which the 20th-century experience in totalitarian states and with fundamentalist sects has given us a taste (Giegerich, The End Of Meaning). We have established that modern humans have an intense longing for meaning, and that it’s not…

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Pathologizing

Pathologizing

Golgotha, by Vilmos Aba-Novák (1894–1941) “In order to approach the psychology of pathology afresh, I am introducing the term, pathologizing to mean the psyche’s autonomous ability to create illness, morbidity, disorder, abnormality, and suffering in any aspect of its behavior and to experience and imagine life through this deformed and afflicted perspective” (Hillman 57). I would like to delve into the matter of how we can “experience and imagine life through this deformed and afflicted perspective.” When one is afflicted…

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Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law

Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law

A famous quote from Aleister Crowley’s Book Of The Law states, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Some people, mostly those who don’t think beyond their church pew, say it means Crowley was saying to follow one’s egocentric, hedonistic desires. What he actually meant was something like discovering one’s innate Nature or personal Destiny or true purpose in this world. It seems to me that True Will can be likened to what James Hillman wrote…

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The Collective Unconscious

The Collective Unconscious

Photo by Uray1130  Carl Gustav Jung did very original work in his field. One thing that seems to be largely ignored is that he was also an ingenious philosopher. Some of his theories deal with important philosophical questions rather than strictly psychological issues. One such theory has to do with what he called the collective unconscious. When Jung entered the field of psychology around the turn of the twentieth century, there were notions of an unconscious region prevalent among those…

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Deceit, Mendacity, And Manipulation

Deceit, Mendacity, And Manipulation

Each religion has got their own way of making you feel like a victim. The Christians say ‘you are a sinner’, and you better just zip up your trousers and give the money to the pope and we’ll give you a room up in the hotel in the sky. —Timothy Leary, Timothy Leary’s Last Trip Guilt is one of the primary tools used in our culture to manipulate us, whether it be by so-called religious leaders, politicians, managers, or family…

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Jung’s Ideas On Alchemy

Jung’s Ideas On Alchemy

Alchemy, in our day, is an aspect of our European heritage which many of us view as being silly. The general consensus is that alchemy was a product of a more primitive worldview. It is somewhat puzzling as to why a twentieth-century psychologist like C.G. Jung would have such a passionate interest in the subject. In this article, I will attempt to explicate Jung’s ideas concerning alchemy. Following a short critique of his views, I will add a few of…

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Follow Your Star

Follow Your Star

Whoever . . . scrutinizes his mind . . . will find his own natural work, and will find likewise his own star and daemon, and following their beginnings he will thrive and live happily. Otherwise, he will find fortune to be adverse, and he will feel that heaven hates him (Ficino 169). The daimon is a sort of inner mentor, dissuading us from taking certain paths in life. Heraclitus adds that our ethos is our daimon. In this work,…

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We are Soul

We are Soul

The Japanese Footbridge, by Claude Monet Ficino writes, “Man is the soul itself. . .” (Ficino 74). In his Commentary On Plato’s Symposium, Marsilio Ficino makes a statement that is totally antithetical to the teachings of modern psychology. For the most part, psychology today refuses to accept any idea of Soul. The predominant view of our day is Behaviorism, which is totally materialistic and scientistic. Man is a material entity. There is no metaphysical element, such as Soul, mind, or…

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Vico’s Ideas On Imagination

Vico’s Ideas On Imagination

One of the most ignored and underestimated thinkers in Western history is Giambattista Vico (1668-1744). Here is a brief biography from the Wisdom Supreme: Giambattista Vico (or Giovanni Battista Vico) was a Neapolitan philosopher, historian, and jurist. Vico is famous for his concept of truth as an act, verum factum. His major work is the New Science (Scienza Nuova), published in 1725 and, as a completely rewritten work, in 1730. His major idea — that truth is an act, is…

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Birth Pangs

Birth Pangs

Occasionally, when things look dark and dismal in the world, as they very much do now, the voice inside my head reminds me that such times are simply birth-pangs. A new society is struggling to be born. From the ashes of the twentieth-century totalitarian paradigm, a great Phoenix is rising. No, it will not be a Third Awakening of religious devotion; rather, it will be an awakening of humans devoting themselves to one another, to care for one another, to…

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Dark Myth

Dark Myth

Mythology can be an ugly business. Mythical stories contain some of the most macabre, violent, and psychotic images known to humanity. But, think about it, what would a good story be without these pathological elements? Take the best movies ever made, for instance. The Godfather films contain what most people would consider deviant behavior. Pulp Fiction is another example. My favorite genre, film-noir, deals with very dark subject-matter, but has produced some of the most memorable tales in the history…

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More On Ficino’s Ideas of Soul

More On Ficino’s Ideas of Soul

As I delve further into Marsilio Ficino’s writings on soul, I am beginning to see that it is not a small task. To understand him properly, I think, one must have a firm grasp of Plato’s idea of soul, since Ficino borrows so heavily from him. Plato states in the Phaedrus, “Of the nature of the soul, though her true form be ever a theme of large and more than mortal discourse, let me speak briefly, and in a figure”…

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Mother

Mother

One evening, I sat on the beach here at Palmetto Dunes and gazed into the vast expanse of water we call the Atlantic Ocean. It was twilight and the moon was on the rise. The waves crashed gently, creating chaotic foam-swirls at my feet. The sound of the ocean was hypnotic, inducing a trance-like state of consciousness. On the eastern horizon, I could just make out several lights, probably from shrimp boats. The scene was quite magical and picturesque. I…

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Zarathustra’s Three Metamorphoses

Zarathustra’s Three Metamorphoses

In his greatest work, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche proclaims that “God is dead” (Nietzsche 41). For Nietzsche, this means that the philosophical abstraction known as “God” to institutional religion, especially Christianity, has died in the hearts and souls of Western man. It also means that the dualistic metaphysics of Plato is no longer viable. With one fell blow from his philosophical hammer, Nietzsche strikes down the two-world theories that have dominated Western thought since Plato. But even though God’s…

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