Soul Spelunker

Exploring the caverns and grottoes of Soul.

Category Posts : archetypal

Time and the Soul

archetypal / August 19, 2015 / No Comments

In some ways, there isn’t really much difference between what we call “psyche” and what we call “history”, since history is better understood as our autobiography. This is, in part, what St. Augustine intends by his statement that “time is of the soul” and what historian Jean Gebser means by “the ever-present origin”. Self-overcoming and transcending history are one and the same (Scott Preston, Faking It at the End of History II).These few words from Scott Preston’s amazing blog, The Chrysalis, are chock-full of astounding truths. If you haven’t perused Mr. Preston’s powerful posts, you’re in for a treat. In the above passage, Preston is musing on what time means …..

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A Time of Transformation

archetypal / August 5, 2015 / 2 Comments

Has the epoch of soul already begun? Has the so-called Age of Aquarius commenced? Are we living in an era sort of like the idea of messianic secrecy where, what Scott Preston calls The Planetary Era, has already come into existence, but the fact is still hidden from the consciousness of the masses? Since the beginning of The Great War in 1914, events pointing to the birth of a new age have accelerated quickly. Since that time, we have seen the dreams of Modern Era (Age of Enlightenment) thinkers annihilated. No longer do we assert that extreme rationality and scientific progress can solve all of our problems. This view involved …..

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The Inner Striving of the World Soul

archetypal / July 30, 2015 / No Comments

Alas! Two souls within my breast abide,And each from the other strives to separate;The one in love and healthy lust,The world with clutching tentacles holds fast;The other soars with power above this dustInto the domain of our ancestral past (From Goethe’s Faust).I realize this classic verse from Faust speaks to the terrible inner conflict of one who, on one hand is attached to the cares of the mundane, everyday world; on the other hand is a person seeking truth, self-realization, or, as Nietzsche called it, self-overcoming. The former is interested only in self-aggrandizement and material things. The world and nature are to be subservient to and distinct. The latter person …..

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Origin and Beginning

archetypal / July 28, 2015 / 3 Comments

Origin is ever-present. It is not a beginning, since all beginning is linked with time. And the present is not just the “now”, today, the moment or unit of time. It is ever-originating, an achievement of full integration and continuous renewal. Anyone able to ‘concretize,’ i.e., to realize and effect the reality of origin and the present in their entirety, supersedes ‘beginning’ and ‘end’ and the mere here and now (Gebser xxvii).I’m surprised I haven’t previously encountered the distinction between origin and beginning. If I have, it apparently didn’t make a great impression on me until this past week. This article will deal with the discoveries I’ve made.I first became …..

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The Epoch of Soul Revisited

archetypal / July 23, 2015 / 2 Comments

Three years ago on this blog, I wrote these words:It must be the World Soul that transforms the Earth. By this, I mean the actual personality that is the collective Soul of the human race. The same self-organizing force that maintains our natural world is the same power that has begun to bring this about in the psyches of all of us, whether we consciously recognize it or not. The Epoch of Soul has arrived.I was beginning to become aware of a movement in the collective psyche that would bring about what I called the Epoch of Soul, but I was still seeing imperfectly. The vision is still not entirely …..

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The Apex of Mental-Rational Consciousness

archetypal / July 19, 2015 / No Comments

In his famous letter to Francesco Dionisio da Borgo San Sepolcro, dated April 26, 1336, Petrarch writes of his ascent of Mount Ventoux, the first such climb we know of in Western literature accomplished solely for aesthetic reasons. The man who began the ascent was not the same man who returned to Malaucene that evening, at the foot of the mountain. The Petrarch who ascended that day was a man whose consciousness was changed in a way that would effect Western culture for centuries to come. After reaching the summit, Petrarch began to muse on the sights before him. As if suddenly wakened from sleep, I turned about and gazed …..

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The Ever-Present Origin: Initial Thoughts

archetypal / July 17, 2015 / No Comments

Recently, I voraciously devoured Gary Lachman’s book, The Secret History of Consciousness, where I learned quite a lot about Jean Gebser. I had seen the name bandied about in philosophy and psychology books, but never took the time to investigate him for myself. I was surprised that such an important thinker was not covered in my undergraduate degree work in philosophy, but I suppose Gebser is more popular in graduate school. Lachman certainly did a great job of introducing Gebser because, immediately, I became very, very intrigued and ordered Gebser’s major work, The Ever-Present Origin, straightaway. This evening, I cracked it and began reading. These words are my initial reactions.From …..

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A Pangaeaic Idea of Emerging Consciousness

archetypal / July 15, 2015 / 3 Comments

There is always a concurrence between phenomena on different strata of existence. Other planes are sometimes unknown to us; by this principle we can at least glean some knowledge of what we would otherwise be totally ignorant of. As above, so below is a universal axiom. It applies to all strata of reality. We live on the cusp of a new day. Just as the earth’s surface has formed over eons of time, so have the structures of human consciousness shifted and mutated from an original form.  Mountains have arisen from massive tectonic shifts below the surface, entire continents have drifted to their current locations. So also the topography of …..

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Emissaries of the Soul

archetypal / April 11, 2015 / 6 Comments

  Words, like angels, are powers that have invisible power over us. 1 Hidden deep in the mists of time is a truth we have almost completely forgotten. The words that make up human languages possess real power, especially what James Hillman called “big words.” These kinds of words have inherent substance, being powers unto themselves. Some examples are words like “Being,” “Spirit,” “Justice,” “Truth,” and God.”  We once capitalized these words to imbue them with power. Our Western scientific and philosophic traditions have hammered away at the innate power of such words, via nominalism, until now they are merely viewed as labels for things, devoid of any substance of …..

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Hermes, God of the Winged Caduceus

archetypal / February 15, 2015 / No Comments

  The story is told by Roman writer, Hyginus, that, one day, while Hermes was traveling through Arcadia, he witnessed two serpents engaged in a fierce battle. When Hermes placed his caduceus between them, they wrapped themselves around it and were at peace with one another. Thus, Hermes’ caduceus, to this day, has been associated with healing and a state of peace. In the cosmology of the mundus imaginalis, Hermes has been given the task of bringing about peace and healing to all of us. One way he does this is by breaking down barriers that conceal from us the faces of the Others, as Tom Cheetham calls them: When …..

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The Death of Orpheus

archetypal / January 21, 2015 / No Comments

Following the heartbreaking second loss of his bride, Eurydice, to the darkness of the Underworld, Orpheus attempted to cross the Styx yet once again, to plead for his beloved, but Charon refused to ferry him across a second time. The gods of the Underworld had given orders that Orpheus not be allowed entrance again until his death. Deeply distraught, he sat on the shore of the great river for seven days, taking no sustenance. His tears and troubled thoughts were his only companions. From this moment on, he rejected female companionship. He returned to his music, but it became threnodial, mournful, and deeply distressing. Orpheus was inconsolable. Wandering through the …..

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The Psychoid Archetype

archetypal / January 9, 2015 / No Comments

 The archetypal representations (images and ideas) mediated to us by the unconscious should not be confused with the archetype as such. They are very varied struc­tures which all point back to one essentially “irrepresentable” basic form. The latter is characterized by certain formal ele­ments and by certain fundamental meanings, although these can be grasped only approximately. The archetype as such is a psychoid factor that belongs, as it were, to the invisible, ultra­violet end of the psychic spectrum. It does not appear, in itself, to be capable of reaching consciousness. 1Late in his career, Carl Jung expanded his thinking on the nature of the archetypes. In the passage above, he …..

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Musings on the Myth of Orpheus

archetypal / January 4, 2015 / 3 Comments

  The story of Orpheus provides clues from the collective unconscious as to how the human soul, guided by the daimones, moves through life toward death. The myth gives us a tragic picture of one who, through implementing his innate abilities to the fullest, erects a strong and mighty soul-house during his sojourn through the world, only to have it demolished before his eyes. The story reveals the pathologization of soul that ensues, the mournful lament at the loss of soul, and then its reconstruction. Orpheus was a shaman. Using his abilities, and being guided by his daimon, he was able to bring harmony to the world around him. As …..

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The Tragedy of Orpheus

archetypal / December 31, 2014 / 1 Comment

The story of Orpheus is very deep. As all archetypal symbols are, one can never exhaust their meanings. This tragic saga is one of the primary myths of depth psychology. According to Robert Romanyshyn, “Orpheus is…the poet of the gap, the poet of the border realms.” 1 Soul is the mediatrix between spirit and matter. This is the realm of the mundus imaginalis, Corbin’s world of the imaginal. Orpheus is its poet. This realm is also the territory where one is haunted by knowing and unknowing, where one discovers something only to realize that one has lost it again. I will deal more with this in my next article.According to …..

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Animaterialism and the Unus Mundus

archetypal / December 20, 2014 / No Comments

  Gerhard Dorn was a Belgian alchemist who lived in the sixteenth century. Detailed facts concerning his life have been lost. We know he lived in Mechelen, in the province of Antwerp, from about 1530 until the 1580’s. He began publishing books around 1565 when he wrote his Chymisticum artificium. He was instrumental in the recovery, translation into Latin, and publishing of Paracelsus’ writings. Carl Jung was very interested in Dorn, not only for his alchemical theories, but also for his speculative philosophy. Actually, the two go hand-in-hand. Dorn believed that God, not humanity, was in need of redemption. The alchemical work was the means by which humans could assist …..

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A Daimonic Revival

archetypal / November 29, 2014 / 2 Comments

The great quest of thinkers for over two thousand years has been to fulfill the maxim made popular by Plato through the words of Socrates, “Gnothi seauton,” or “Know Thyself.” It was inscribed in the portico at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It has inspired many philosophers, seers, mystics, and various other thinkers ever since. But what does it really mean? Better yet, what does it mean for us in the twenty-first century? With his method of “active imagination,” I believe Carl Jung gave us an excellent and very practical way to follow the admonition of Socrates. If you are not familiar with active imagination, you may read my article …..

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Soul and the Scientific Method

archetypal / November 5, 2014 / No Comments

The scientific method is worthless without something to quantify. Since soul is not a “something,” it is reasonable to conclude that soul is not quantifiable. Furthermore, soul, according to Heraclitus, is without limit, immeasurable. Therefore, the scientific method, as we know it, cannot fully comprehend soul. This does not make soul supernatural. There is nothing supernatural about it. If we really understood matter, we would understand the ways of soul. Perhaps we are beginning to. On the other hand, soul encompasses matter; they are not distinct, as in Cartesian dualism. As I have written elsewhere, what I call animatter is the “substance” (for want of a better word) that composes …..

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Heraclitus and the Deep Soul

archetypal / October 4, 2014 / No Comments

Heraclitus said, “One would never discover the limits of psyche, should one traverse every road–so deep a logos does it possess.” In this passage, Heraclitus gives birth to a new idea of Soul as limitless depth. He also has some other things to say about Soul which are different than his predecessors. I may explore these in later essays. For now, I will deal with this idea of depth, which is, as far as I can tell, quite a new development in early Greek thought. Prior to Heraclitus, the Greeks understood Soul as “the life-breath or animating ‘spirit’ which departs as a ghost” at the point of death (Kahn, 126). …..

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Learning to Think Anew

archetypal / September 30, 2014 / No Comments

If we are interested in redefining our world, we must change the manner in which we think. We must learn to think anew. In essence, we must unlearn thinking. Calculative thinking is fine, in the proper context, but it is not the only kind of thinking we humans need to utilize. When we read a poem for instance, we most certainly do not use calculative thinking. As Martin Heidegger said, “…we can learn thinking only if we radically unlearn what thinking has been traditionally” (What Calls For Thinking?). Our thoughts and ideas come in the form of images. Is the brain the source of these? Yes, but there is more …..

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Thoughts on a Gnoseology of Metaphorics

archetypal / September 26, 2014 / No Comments

We have grown weary of the man that thinks. He thinks and it is not true. The man below Imagines and it is true, as if he thought By imagining, anti-logician, quick, With a logic of transforming certitudes. -Wallace Stevens, Sombre Figuration I have come to realize, after all my years of studying philosophy and psychology, that my own personal gnoseology must be one I am calling “metaphorics.” I name it this to accentuate the primary use of metaphorical thinking in the acquisition of knowledge, or, rather, gnosis. What is metaphorical thinking, or metaphorics? Metaphorics is the type of thinking that occurs in art, mysticism, poetry, and mythologizing. Unlike its …..

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Bifröst: Rainbow Bridge

archetypal / September 19, 2014 / No Comments

If you’re familiar with Norse mythology at all, you’ve probably heard of the Rainbow Bridge. The Norse called it Bifröst. The etymology of the word is not fully known, but it translates roughly as, “the vibrating or trembling rainbow.” Another possibility is “shimmering rainbow.” This supposedly speaks to the fleeting and fragile nature of a rainbow. Bifröst is the bridge that links Asgard, the home of the gods, with Midgard, the world of humans. The gods traverse Bifröst on horseback, moving between earth and heaven. The Rainbow Bridge stretches from this world to Himinbjörg, “heaven mountain,” home of Heimdallr, the watcher of the bridge. Heimdallr is a god who is …..

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The Brunian Revolution, Part 5: A New Ethics

archetypal / September 8, 2014 / No Comments

Bruno desired to place truth into the hands of the human race. He may not have completely seen the ramifications of an acentric universe, that this would lead humanity to question its own self-worth in the face of nihilism. Humanity believed it dwelt in the center of God’s universe. After Bruno, this delusion was banished. Humanity lived on a planet that was just another speck in a vast, infinite ocean of other specks. Eventually, this truth, among others, would lead many to discouragement, anxiety, and despair. But now that the lies had been dispelled, mankind could focus on its true nature, to become conscious of its affinity with the cosmic …..

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The Brunian Revolution, Part 4: Epistemology

archetypal / September 7, 2014 / No Comments

Bruno was one who fully utilized the imagination in his work. It took him a mere ten years of traversing the imaginal world to reach a more accurate picture of the universe than Galileo’s, who spent several decades calculating and experimenting. Even after those many years, when Galileo was ready to die, he still believed the Sun to be the center of the universe. Bruno accurately saw the universe to be without a center almost sixty years prior to this. Galileo had much better technology, some he invented himself. Bruno used, primarily, his imagination, along with astute observation, to reach these revolutionary conclusions. This brings to mind Albert Einstein’s success, …..

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The Brunian Revolution, Part 3: Atomic Theory of Matter

archetypal / September 7, 2014 / No Comments

We hear much about Bruno’s contributions to cosmology, especially in the first episode of the new Cosmos series, starring host, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Indeed, his cosmological ideas were revolutionary and amazingly prescient, but his primary contributions to humanity were philosophical and ontological, as we will see. I believe his theory of matter is most important. It influences all his other accomplishments.Bruno formulated the most impressive theory of matter of any post-medieval European philosopher, perhaps to this day. Using only his powers of speculation and imagination, Bruno devised an amazingly powerful ontological theory that rejected Platonic dualism in favor of a strict monistic view of the universe. Of course, as any good …..

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The Brunian Revolution, Part 2: Cosmology

archetypal / September 5, 2014 / No Comments

Giordano Bruno had his eyes steadfastly fixed on the future of mankind. He desired more than anything that humanity be led out of the despotic morass of the Christian religion, with its chains of hierarchy, intolerance, dogmatism, and downright tyranny. Not only that, but he wanted to provide all peoples of all nations and religions an intellectual and spiritual infrastructure that they could wholeheartedly accept without reservation. The overthrow of Ptolemaic geocentrism was paramount in order to seriously weaken the dogmatic edifice that had been constructed by the Church over the previous fifteen centuries. Copernicus, to his credit, began the assault, albeit timidly. In 1543, he published his life’s work, …..

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