Soul Spelunker

Exploring the caverns and grottoes of Soul.

Monthly Archives : July 20, 2014

The Mandala and the Maelstrom

archetypal / July 20, 2014 / No Comments

In an article I wrote called “The Involution of Consciousness,” I was led to a very important symbol that has greatly influenced my thinking, i.e. the Maelstrom. I wrote these words: We are swirling within Soul’s Maelstrom. Round and round we go in this world, and ever downward. But, as we move deeper into the Vortex of Life, we move, simultaneously, inward and closer together. The lower we go into the Maelstrom, the quicker consciousness increases.  Let this image burn within your mind. I have just realized, or maybe re-realized, that, if you look straight down into the whirling vortex, the Maelstrom is a mandala. So, the interpretation I wrote …..

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Mandalas

archetypal / July 19, 2014 / No Comments

In my last article, I brought up the example of the mandala as a strictly pictorial symbol, the kind the archetypal powers use to initiate one into imaginal thinking, and to train the imaginal ego. I said this was a first step into the imaginal world, but that one should eventually move on to deeper archetypal experiences. There is no doubt that the mandala is a ubiquitous symbol. It appears in dreams and is quite prevalent in Nature. It can be found in all cultures, both ancient and modern. At least from the viewpoint of archetypal psychology, the attempt to integrate the soul’s many powers into one central Self profanes …..

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A Deeper View of the Archetypes

archetypal / July 18, 2014 / No Comments

While perusing James Hillman’s book, The Myth of Analysis, I came across an idea that had never really crossed my mind before:…we have become…obsessed with symbolic images, confusing archetypal reality with visual imagery (Hillman 188).This floored me! Had my love for visual symbolic imagery deceived me into ignoring deeper archetypal reality? Apparently, when there is no imaginal connection to the soul, the archetypes initially present themselves as “pictorial configurations,” symbolic images. This is fine, but one should not stop there and rest on their laurels. There are deeper ways in which the archetypes reveal themselves to us. Hillman says, “We overvalue the study of symbols believing that we will find …..

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Treasure of the Unfathomable

archetypal / July 11, 2014 / No Comments

Using the terms of today, we might translate this art as a method of presenting the organization of the collective unconscious too–according to archetypal dominants. The archetypes would correspond to divine imaginal forms used as Aristotelian or Kantian conceptual categories. Rather than logical or scientific laws, mythical figures would provide the a priori structures within the caverns and dens of the immeasurable imagination. All psychic events might be placed in meaningful coherence by means of these mythical structures. In fact, the categories of logic and numbers, of science and theology, could themselves be reduced (i.e., led back) to more basic metaphors of myth. No concepts, no matter how general and …..

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Archetypal Psychology and Reversion

archetypal / July 5, 2014 / No Comments

Archetypal psychology holds that, when dealing with a psychological breakdown, one must “see through” the symptoms, and examine the mythological material that underlies the event. Assuming the “psychological sickness is an enactment of a pathologizing fantasy, archetypal psychology proceeds to search for the archai, the governing principles or root metaphors of the fantasy” (Hillman, Re-visioning 99). Hillman borrows, here, from Plotinus’ idea of epistrophe, or reversion. Archetypal psychology would attempt to lead the pathologizing into meaning through resemblance with an archetypal background following the principle stated by Plotinus, “All knowing comes by likeness,”…the idea that all things desire to return to the archetypal originals from which they are copies and …..

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Polytheism in Archetypal Psychology

archetypal / July 3, 2014 / 2 Comments

Archetypal psychology is not interested in the integration of the multiple psychic persons to a unified Self, as in Jungian theory. The soul is polytheistic, according to this view. To allow each autonomous Being to have its own place, no attempt should be made to gather them into a central self. The Anima Mundi is diffused throughout Nature, where all animatter is specked with fiery sparks of divinity. As fiery, orange scintillae spark upward from a campfire into a night sky, so do the light-filled blazings of Soul permeate throughout the psyche, symbolized by the innumerable stars that dot the heavens. These are the Archetypal Powers worshiped by ancient civilizations. …..

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Impediments to Soul-Making

archetypal / July 1, 2014 / 5 Comments

The soul’s tendency to pathologize, to fall apart, is absolutely crucial to soul-making. In our culture, with its positive thinking, extreme fitness advocates, diet fads, and pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstrap philosophy, you would think we were the healthiest and most blessed people in the world. But it’s just the opposite. We fall apart just like every other human being. Our culture views pathology as evil in some sense, to be shunned. Let’s be truthful, however. Pathologizing is as much a part of our lives as waking and sleeping. We see ourselves as failures if we fall into calamity of some sort, be it ill health, financial ruin, or a bout of depression. In …..

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