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The Anima Mundi in Matter

The Anima Mundi in Matter

In my last post, I quoted a paragraph from Jung commenting on Gerhard Dorn’s alchemical philosophy. In it, he uses a very curious phrase. Here is the relevant section: …the caelum also signifies man’s likeness to God (imago Dei), the anima mundi in matter, and the truth itself (Jung 539). According to Jung, the caelum is the Philosopher’s Stone, but it is also the anima mundi in matter. Caelum is the blue sky above us, the vault of heaven, and also…

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The Emergent Awareness of Soul

The Emergent Awareness of Soul

…the essential characteristic of the mythical structure is the emergent awareness of soul (Gebser 61). In the schema of Jean Gebser, the mythical structure is the mode of awareness that appears prior to the mental-rational structure of consciousness. It is characterized by a two-dimensional, unperspectival level of awareness. There is no real awareness of space, and only a natural awareness of time. This means an awareness of the movements of time through natural events, such as the changing of seasons,…

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Borders

Borders

We have been hearing much in the news recently concerning thousands of refugees fleeing   from their homes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan only to be met with closed borders. The Hungarian borders have even been lined with razor wire, along with many police and military personnel. They attempt to deter the refugees with teargas, pepper spray, and water cannons. This is the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War. What we are seeing everyday in…

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The Concept of the Unconscious Revisited

The Concept of the Unconscious Revisited

There is a deceptive idea that many followers of depth psychology seem to adhere to. It is the perception that what depth psychologists call “the unconscious” is some sort of objective reality, or compartment of the mind that stores the thoughts, ideas, images we repress, things we forget, etc. Basically, anything we are not consciously aware of is supposedly “stored” in the unconscious. This is inaccurate. The word simply means, “not aware.” We treat “the unconscious,” as a place or…

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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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Proteus and the Soul

Proteus and the Soul

The myth of Proteus powerfully  displays the nature of Soul, exhibiting various archetypal faces. Drawn from the earliest Greek legends, Proteus appears as an old sea-god, Poseidon’s right-hand man, so to speak. He was said to be Poseidon’s shepherd of sea-beasts. According to Homer, he could see through all the depths of the sea. If one were to ensnare him, and, without releasing him, endure his shape-shifting tricks to the end, Proteus would reveal great knowledge of the present and…

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Petrarch’s Epiphany

Petrarch’s Epiphany

The man who most likely was responsible for initiating the European Renaissance, Francesco Petrarca (20 July 1304 – 19 July 1374), better known as Petrarch, fell in love with Soul on April 6, 1327, when his eyes fell upon a beautiful young girl named Laura: It was on that day when the sun’s ray was darkened in pity for its Maker, that I was captured, and did not defend myself, because your lovely eyes had bound me, Lady (The Canzoniere) Petrarch…

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Hermetic Intelligence

Hermetic Intelligence

…the great advantage of Mercurial intelligence is its power to keep the soul in motion, spiraling down toward a vortex of significance. Mercury keeps the carousel of interpretation moving, feeding wonder and curiosity instead of granting the stupor of final conquest (Moore 153). The primary way the soul is deepened is through imagination. When we have new ideas about something we’re thinking about metaphorically, such as how a spiral exemplifies the movement of the soul, or how snowflakes are perfect…

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The Changing Face of the Daimon

The Changing Face of the Daimon

Guardian Spirit of the Waters, 1878, by Odilon Redon For this article,  I am assuming James Hillman’s thesis to be true, that everyone has a personal daimon that accompanies one throughout one’s life. Hillman’s book, Soul’s Code concerns this issue. I also take the words of Marsilio Ficino to be true when he said, Whoever . . . scrutinizes his mind . . . will find his own natural work, and will find likewise his own star and daemon, and…

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Alchemy: Nigredo

Alchemy: Nigredo

Only in a physically reduced worldview, a worldview reduced to and by physics, can black be called a non-color, an absence of color, a deprivation of light (Hillman 1553). What is it in the human psyche that views the color black as somehow evil? We associate black with evil, with death, with the morbid and the macabre. Think of how many examples there are in our culture, our language, our phrases, and our art of black representing the negative, the…

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