The Entelechy Of Animatter

The Entelechy Of Animatter


Without Title, by Hugo Ohne (1854)


We might think of the daimon as the ego of one’s entelechy, the personification within one’s psyche of the higher presence (Jean Houston, A Mythic Life, page 130). . .

We know that matter is not dead and inactive. There is a power innate to matter that we call Soul. There is no distinction between these two ideas. Soul acts as the entelechy (Greek word entelecheia) of matter, the telos inside matter that compels it to become what it truly is, to strive and emerge into its own manner of Being. We have named all such entities (which, of course, includes all things) animatter. The entelechy of all animatter is Soul.

Joe Sachs, translator of Aristotle (the inventor of the word), says this concerning entelechy:

Entelecheia, as can be seen by its derivation, is a kind of completeness, whereas “the end and completion of any genuine being is its being-at-work” (energeia). The entelecheia is a continuous being-at-work (energeia) when something is doing its complete “work”. For this reason, the meanings of the two words converge, and they both depend upon the idea that every thing’s “thinghood” is a kind of work, or in other words a specific way of being in motion. All things which exist now, and not just potentially, are beings-at-work, and all of them have a tendency towards being-at-work in a particular way which would be their proper and “complete” way (Sachs, Joe (1995), Aristotle’s physics: a guided study).

The telos of an entelechy is not to be understood as a static endpoint. The notion here is that the entelechy is a “continuous being-at-work.” An animaterial entity does not suddenly arrive at full completion and then remains static. The process is endless.

Soul in-forms an animaterial entity, thus transforming it into that which it was destined to become. This does not just occur in humans. All animaterial entities have Soul as their entelechy. They are in continuous and endless motion.

Christian de Quincey, in his essay Stories Matter, Matter Stories, writes

In this new (and very ancient) view, mind is neither outside nor inside matter, but is part of the very essence of matter—interior to its being. Mind, consciousness, or soul is that which is responsible for matter’s ability to become what it is—what Aristotle called entelechy.

We know that Soul is image. The unconscious images we know as archetypes form the Soul and give us a glimpse of the driving force of the entelechy. We cannot perceive how the process of the entelechy compels other animaterial entities to evolve and emerge, but we can experience it within ourselves. By knowing ourselves, we can know the processes behind all things, for we are all interconnected. As above, so below.

This is very similar to the acorn theory, presented by James Hillman in his book, Soul’s Code. Hillman is speaking primarily of human beings, but I am of the opinion that all animaterial entities possess such a power of actualization that compels them to fruition.

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