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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 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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Portents of Doom

Portents of Doom

Strange irruptions from the depths of unconsciousness began to burst forth in the late nineteenth century, up to the beginning of World War I. It was evident that a disintegration was occurring, one that would ultimately lead to two world wars, the invention and detonation of several nuclear weapons, the rise of fascism, and the death of nearly one hundred million people. Several important events occurred in 1912. C.G. Jung published Psychology of the Unconscious (Wandlugen und Symbole der Libido)….

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The Inner Striving of the World Soul

The Inner Striving of the World Soul

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 dust Into 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…

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The Epoch of Soul Revisited

The Epoch of Soul Revisited

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…

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Learning to Think Anew

Learning to Think Anew

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…

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Cauldron of Knowledge

Cauldron of Knowledge

There is a Celtic legend called the Cauldron of Changes that you can read on the website, Chalice Centre. I would like to discuss one aspect of this story that pertains to the knowledge of Soul and its transformative effects on human beings. In the story, a peasant boy named Gwion is hired by Ceridwen to stir and keep watch over the cauldron, which she has prepared for her ugly and hapless son, Avagddu. Because of her great love for…

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Worlds of Being and Meaning

Worlds of Being and Meaning

This article is dedicated to my brother, Jeffrey, who died July 27, 2014, of complications resulting from congestive heart failure. Jeff was only 49. He was a life-long student of history, religion, and the esoteric. He bequeathed to me his library, which I will cherish as long as I am upon this earth. …the Gods and Goddesses are worlds of being and meaning in which my personal life participates (Miller 61). Our ego-centered culture has not yet grasped the fact…

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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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Thoughts on Jungian Individuation

Thoughts on Jungian Individuation

Since it has been many years now since I have delved into Jung’s idea of individuation, I thought it might be nice to spend an evening allowing Jung’s words to refresh my memory. In the early nineties, Jung’s ideas became the seeds within me that would burgeon into what I now consider to be an ever-spiraling soul-house. The concept of individuation plays a large role in our psychology. In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed…

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On the Nature of the Archetype

On the Nature of the Archetype

In his work, On the Nature of the Psyche, Carl Jung differentiates between the modus operandi of the archetype, and the archetype as such: 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….

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Danger Lurks Below

Danger Lurks Below

  The supreme danger which threatens individuals as well as whole nations is a psychic danger (Jung 590 ). We usually think of the unconscious mind as being the source of creativity and blessing for our lives. We have been taught that if we could only become more conscious of what lies in the depths below, we would become more balanced and whole. This is true to a certain extent, but there is a ferociousness in the dark abyss of…

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Alchemy: In the Service of Nature

Alchemy: In the Service of Nature

    The Promethean archetype, the desire to steal that which was meant to serve Nature and use it exclusively for human purposes, should not be the blueprint for the practitioner of alchemy. Even individual soul-making, if focused solely on the human, does not assist the Anima Mundi in her transmutation. The primary task of the alchemist, his passion, is to further the improvement of the World Soul. The alchemical practice is not to carry out the Promethean aim of…

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Henry Corbin and the Archetypal Realm

Henry Corbin and the Archetypal Realm

Nicholas Roerich “Song of Shambhala” The active Imagination is the preeminent mirror, the epiphanic place of the Images of the archetypal world; that is why the theory of the mundus imaginalis is bound up with a theory of imaginative knowledge and imaginative function–a function truly central and mediatory, because of the median and mediatory position of the mundus imaginalis. It is a function that permits all the universes to symbolize with one another (or exist in symbolic relationship with one…

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Jung’s Coniunctio: The Chymical Wedding and Heraclitus

Jung’s Coniunctio: The Chymical Wedding and Heraclitus

                    In the workings of alchemy, the reconciliation of Sol and Luna is often referred to as The Chymical Wedding. Carl Jung’s theory of the conjunction of polarities in the psyche borrows heavily from this teaching. The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, tells us that “the way up and the way down are one and the same” (qtd. in Wheelwright 78). The idea that opposites complement each other and are actually the…

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