Just as a hammer “hammers” or a shovel “shovels,” a Soul “souls.” In other words, Psyche psychologizes. Soul is inextricably linked to its ideas, or its ideation. There is no separation between the action and the ideation of Soul. We have been conditioned to think that action and ideation are two distinct phenomena, but this is just a product of our old nemesis, Descartes, and his mind/body dualism.
Soul has its own distinct kind of ideas, i.e. the kind that enhance and further Soul’s self-reflection, thus enabling its own edification. Examples of these would be the unconscious, archetypes, mythopoesis, projection, repression, etc. This kind of ideation has been occurring a long time. I am thinking of the Presocratics and their various theories of the arche. Even before that, the Egyptians and Mesopotamians conceived very complex ideas concerning Soul, its structure, function, and purpose. By these psychological ideas, Soul can examine itself, as in a mirror.
James Hillman writes,
…soul-making takes places as much through ideation as in personal relationships or meditation (Re-Visioning Psychology, p. 115).
The word, idea, comes from the Greek word, eidos, which means “that which one sees–an appearance or shape in a concrete sense–and that by means of which one sees” (ibid.). These are not like ideas in the mind, such as the tautological statement, “A is not non-A,” or the mathematical statement, “1 + 1 = 2.” Ideas of Soul have to do with images, which are the true irreducible elements. We see these images via the eye of Soul, imagination. These images enable us to possess better knowledge of Soul.
As the scriptures tell us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). If we are barren of the ideas of Soul, we become a sick, anemic culture composed of sick, anemic individuals. We have seen this occur the past four hundred years with the advent of Cartesian dualism and scientific positivism. Thankfully, the ideas of Soul we have been exposed to the past one hundred years or so have reinvigorated our culture and brought new vision to our imagination. As I have said many times before, we are living in The Epoch of Soul. This is because ideation of Soul has become very powerful since Dr. Freud formulated his “talking cure” and Dr. Jung rediscovered the collective unconscious and its archetypes.
A habit I have become accustomed to, to generate such ideas, is to examine something psychologically in Nature, say a mountain or a tree, and begin to think of it mythopoetically. If I think imaginally of a large tree with roots sinking deep down into the earth, and I allow this image to speak to me in a mythological manner, I can gain knowledge of the benefits of sinking my roots into the depths of Soul so that I may be nourished. I learn that, not only am I a vertical phenomenon, I am also a horizontal one, as well; my shady boughs provide a cool place for my neighbors to sit and enjoy a gentle breeze. The imagery and value of ideas is endless!
Having said that, the ideas/images of Soul are not always growth-oriented, and not always pleasurable. Many times, Soul will pathologize. Then, the images will be dark and foreboding. Just as in Nature, there is both light and dark, good and evil. Soul is always the metaxical Agent, however, where it is ontologically perched between humanity and the gods. In this way, matter is spiritualized and spirit is materialized. There is no dichotomy because Soul is a Bridge; the polarities are transcended.
Writers, write! Painters, paint! Sculptors, sculpt! Whatever idea/image you have, manifest it! Our ideas, moving together and interconnecting into one powerful flux will change the world. The Epoch of Soul has commenced. Be part of it.
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