The Archaic Renaissance

The Archaic Renaissance

Most of us dream of a better world. Maybe not a utopia, but a better world than what we see today. It is possible because Imagination is without limit. The corollary example is our infinite universe. Propel your thoughts into space; imagine your are traveling at a very high rate of speed through the galaxies, past innumerable stars and planets. You travel on for several weeks, months, even years. Is there a limit to your trip, or would it take you on forever? Such is the journey of Imagination.

There is a war being waged against Imagination. The advent of The Enlightenment in the eighteenth century brought a tide of rationalism that sought to totally stamp it out. Anything having to do with Imagination it deemed “superstition” or “witchcraft,” borrowing tactics from the Church of earlier centuries. Propaganda became an important tool in the twentieth century against anything promoting imaginal areas of Reality. Even the word “myth” came to mean something false and illusory.

I’m not claiming that a secret cabal is carrying out a conspiracy to belittle Imagination. I see it as being more of an unconscious phenomenon, being accomplished, perhaps, by a sort of Dark World-Soul. Think of this mythically, not literally. Just as a Shadow archetype exists in the human Soul, so also is there an infernal archetype in the World-Soul.

That being said, the World-Soul is a creator, just as we are creators. The wanderings of Soul meander through all sorts of difficulties, just as a river is sometimes impeded by various protuberances in the flow. The water always finds a way through or around the obstruction, or, in the case of this threat to Imagination, the World-Soul is finding its way through or around the obfuscation.

What we have witnessed in our culture for the past one hundred years has been the World-Soul meandering around and through the obfuscations and obstructions formulated during The Enlightenment and carried on by the disciples of scientism and rationalism. We have a more sophisticated view today of the subject of myth, for example. No longer do we think of falsity when we hear this word used. Thanks to thinkers who indefatigably promoted the ideas of Soul, we can now enter into intelligent conversation about such topics without fear of reprisal.

We are living in the midst of an archaic renaissance. At no time in the history of humanity did we have as great a flow of information as we do now. No longer must we worry about being burned at the stake because of our ideas. We still have problems, but things are much better than they were in the days of Giordano Bruno or Michael Servetus. I call it an “archaic” renaissance because we have discovered that ancient knowledge of myth and Soul is much more advanced than what the Catholic and Protestant churches have inculcated us with, along with a good seasoning of Platonic and Cartesian dualism. The consciousness of humanity has been transformed in the past one hundred years to respect and honor the ways of the ancients.

Anytime in history that humanity has honored matters of Soul, there is a tremendous flowering of creation. The Renaissance period is the obvious example. The fires of creativity were quickly extinguished, however, by The Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation. We have already seen many examples of creativity due to humans who dare trek the route to the mundus imaginalis. Some who come to mind are Albert Einstein, who valiantly trod the path of Imagination; C.G. Jung, to whom we owe much thanks; James Hillman; and many others. I believe we are on the cusp of the greatest effusion of Imagination this planet has ever witnessed.

So, you see, there is great hope for our future. There will always be the Dark World-Soul who will attempt to tear things down. We saw a perfect example of this in 2007-2008 with the housing collapse. The minions of greed tried their best to wreck the system. We will never see Utopia, but the fires of Imagination burn white-hot in us. We are creators!

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