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Month: February 2013

Monadic Soul

Monadic Soul

Cyclops, by Odilon Redon   As early as the Presocratic philosophers, the idea of non-reducible, indivisible units had been expressed as monads. For Pythagoras, it was the “all-including ONE” (Manly P. Hall). The universe is also a monad, but all the individual parts are as well. For Plato, the monads were likened to the Ideas. So, it is directly in line with this tradition to suggest that monads are indeed archetypal images, and therefore irreducible, and that everything derives from…

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A Tripartite Anthropology

A Tripartite Anthropology

Har and Heva bathing, Mnetha looking on, by William Blake Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that call’d Body is a portion of Soul discern’d by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age (William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell). Human being is tripartite in nature, but it is just an illusion of our language, a convenience of Western thought and communication that has evolved in the Western psyche, having become archetypal….

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Animatter Is Equilibrium

Animatter Is Equilibrium

Public Domain painting for NASA, by Donald David   This post is dedicated to Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake on February 17, 1600 for telling the truth. If we were conscious of the spirit of the age, we should know why we are so inclined to account for everything on physical grounds; we should know that it is because, up till now, too much was accounted for in terms of spirit. This realization would at once make…

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Images Are Prior To Experience

Images Are Prior To Experience

Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis, by Johann Heinrich Füssli In the beginning is the image; first imagination then perception; first fantasy then reality…Man is primarily an imagemaker and our psychic substance consists of images; our being is imaginal being, an existence in imagination. We are indeed such stuff as dreams are made on (James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology, p. 23). Prior to our perceiving anything in this world, there are images that create our reality. Jung said, “The psyche…

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The Aphroditic Soul

The Aphroditic Soul

Geburt der Venus, by Odilon Redon …beauty is an ontological necessity, grounding the sensate particularity of the world. Without Aphrodite, the world of particulars becomes atomic particles. Life’s detailed variety is called chaos, multiplicity, amorphous matter, statistical data. Such is the world of sense without Aphrodite. Then sense must be made of appearance by abstract philosophical means – which distorts philosophy itself from its true base (The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World, by James Hillman,…

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The Beauty Of Soul

The Beauty Of Soul

Geburt der Venus, by Lovis Corinth Some may wonder why I spend so much time writing about Soul. I decided many years ago that Soul was the most beautiful, the most fascinating, and the most perplexing of pursuits among all human endeavors. As little free time as most people have, including myself, I want to spend it, for these reasons, thinking and writing of Soul. What better path to travel than the vortical highway that is the Soul, for along…

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Musings On Metaphor And Allegory

Musings On Metaphor And Allegory

Corbin’s distinction between the imaginal and the imaginary, discussed in the last article, runs parallel to the distinction between metaphor and allegory. Corbin claims that …the general tendency is to juxtapose the real and the imaginary as if the latter were unreal, utopian, just as it is customary to confuse the symbol with allegory, or the exegesis of spiritual meaning with allegorical interpretation. Allegory, being harmless, is a cover, or rather a travesty of something that is already known or…

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Imagination Takes Us Beyond The Mountain Of Qaf

Imagination Takes Us Beyond The Mountain Of Qaf

  In his classic essay, Mundus Imaginalis, Henry Corbin attempts to articulate the distinction between the imaginal and the imaginary. This distinction has been necessary for discussion since Western scholars took a turn towards Averroism in the twelfth century. At this fork in the Western philosophical road, the acceptance of aspects of Averroes’ philosophy, particularly his cosmology, over that of Avicenna, led to the disparagement of imagination even down to our day and age. There is a confusion in the…

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