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Month: July 2014

The Mandala and the Maelstrom

The Mandala and the Maelstrom

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…

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Mandalas

Mandalas

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…

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A Deeper View of the Archetypes

A Deeper View of the Archetypes

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…

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Treasure of the Unfathomable

Treasure of the Unfathomable

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,…

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Archetypal Psychology and Reversion

Archetypal Psychology and Reversion

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…

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Polytheism in Archetypal Psychology

Polytheism in Archetypal Psychology

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…

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Impediments to Soul-Making

Impediments to Soul-Making

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…

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