2020 Vision The Art of Inquiry NATURAL PHILOSOPHY - MYTHOLOGICAL STUDIES - POST-JUNGIAN COMMENTARY - FRONTIER SCIENCE - ARCHETYPAL PSYCHOLOGY - AESTHETIC APPROACH
Soul Searching Finding Light in the Darkness Making the Unconscious Conscious in Respect to the Cosmos
NATURAL PHILOSOPHY The consistent practice of self-inquiry, self-study, and intention-setting can help you deconstruct negative habits and limiting beliefs. If we cultivate more inner wisdom, our self-compassion grows while relationships with others shift. Life is informed with a quality of knowing that comes from deep with within—the soul-guide (psychopomp) or inner teacher that guides toward ultimate destiny.
This is not developmental psychology of a manic or heroic, over-achieving ego but more akin to Romantic aesthetics, an artform of soul-making and imagination. We avoid the pitfalls of one-sidedness, fundamentalism, concreteness, and literalism in favor of a metaphorical perspective. If we have no beliefs, we can embrace all narratives as they are, as mythologies and phenomenological images, not dogmas.
A strategic model retains usefulness for comprehending our own nature in the environment, beyond yet integrated with the models of science. Transgressing the fortified boundary between natural science and the humanities, the hidden language of the archetypes of nature helps us translate the dynamics of our Being and Becoming. Events are only probabilistic until they occur. The Corpus Hermeticum suggests that fate and necessity compel our destinies.
A multidisciplinary approach can present and explore a variety of theories without advocating them, ideally leading toward best practice. Complexity demonstrates a science of surprise that supersedes the boundaries of nature and culture, transcendental theorizing or unreflexive presumption. How can we understand the various cooperative effects of systems, whether they belong to physics, physiology, psychology, biology, etc.?
Up to today, most experiments have tested entanglement over spatial gaps. Has our rush for time contracted our perception of a much vaster domain of time our ancestors knew? The assumption is that the ‘nonlocal’ part of quantum nonlocality refers to the entanglement of properties across space. But what if entanglement also occurs across time? Is there such a thing as temporal nonlocality? Yes, through entangled photons that never coexisted.
Previous experiments involving a technique called ‘entanglement." Like synchronicity, the key to avoiding strange causal behavior (steering the future or rewriting the past) in instances of temporal separation is to accept that calling events ‘simultaneous’ carries little metaphysical weight. It is only a frame-specific property. In this approach everywhere becomes sacred, a temenos.
In contrast to analytic reductionism, systems philosophy integrates theory and philosophy to foster reorganization of thinking and knowing perceived reality. Systemics sees things together, rather than separately. Rather than explaining what things are, we explore and describe how things work. Meta-narratives bind society and cultures together, integrating events and actions into meaningful patterns. The world of experience remains one of perceived reality and worldview. We can improve the quality of our critical and imaginal thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it.
Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. Self-inquiry is the art of asking a spiritually powerful question. And a question that is spiritually powerful always points us back to ourselves. It is more than the technique of investigating our inner self so that we can advance in our personal growth and self-development to embrace authenticity.
"The light we actually see in the mind are the photon/axions of the higher frequency order hyperspace fields whose high energy density particles are located in the Planck volume close to the Zero-Point of pure unconditioned awareness. For our visual consciousness, this point is at the exact center of the brain's EM field and its higher frequency phase order harmonic mind-memory fields in hyperspace."-L Maurer
MYTHOLOGICAL STUDIES Mythological Studies explores the understanding of human experience revealed in mythology and in the manifold links between myth and ritual, literature, art, culture, and religious experience. Special attention is given to depth psychology and archetypal approaches to the study of myth. Myth is not fiction: it consists of facts that are continually repeated and can be observed over and over ... The strength of our soul is our own mythological being, animating our own inner voice and transcendent potential. The mythical world of the old gods is not the product of poetry; mankind is the product of the gods, as shown in our lines of descent.
POST-JUNGIAN COMMENTARY - Commentaries explore our undeniable needs for order, pattern, search for meaning, creative source, and a presiding myth, using Jung's Analytical Psychology, symbolism, and theory of archetypes, as well as following generations, applying, criticizing, and evolving Jungian thought and Jung's map of the internal terrain of the collective unconscious, archetypal process, individuation, complexes, and numinous Self. Applications of Jung's classical model and developmental method based in dream and myth interpretation, the meaning and metaphor of alchemy, including Creation, the Hero, and Transcendence. Dreamwork, divination, and synchronicity.
ARCHETYPAL PSYCHOLOGY - Emphasizes soul and Anima Mundi, with a mythopoetic approach that prioritizing imagery and soul-making. Meaning is inherent so interpretation is not require. Self is not the main archetype of the collective unconscious as Jung thought; each polysemous archetype is of equal value, even if the Self contains or is suffused by all other archetypes, each giving life to the other. Process work stresses awareness of the "unconscious" as an ongoing flow of experience. This approach expands Jung's work beyond verbal individual therapy to include body experience, altered states as well as multicultural approaches.
AESTHETIC APPROACH - Art is a liminal space of self-transformation. Works with a trans- quality go beyond mundane time, space, logic and personal taste or aesthetic preference. They connect with our essential Being at the core, reflected in nature and art, piercing time to find eternity. Transcending content, they open a new dimension...an invisible initiatory dimension. From here the artist gives birth to the secret space of the image itself which comes alive by giving shape to that secret. Mythopoetics, self exploration, Know Thyself, relies more on recognizing the way in which ideas have to fit together to reveal hidden or divine patterns. An art-centered paradigm that is all about what is happening. All these threads together may not produce a coherent and true narrative. This ideal eternal history is one in which truth is attained by imaginatively linking different elements together to reveal the hidden order, the metaphysical truth to history. Rather than adding art to the environment, it creates its own environment. The ethic is one of engagement, participation, and co-creation. moving deeper into love. There may be a missing dimension in our worldview. We need to uncover collaborations with new spaces and the healing power of narrative history. All reality has rhythmic, musical, and artistic correspondences. Perceived through the heart, the beauty and ugliness of the world resets our moral compass. Images with coherent resonance can be dynamically structured with drama, narrative, compensation, contextuality, and self-organization. Process philosophy is characterized by an attempt to reconcile the diverse intuitions found in human experience (such as religious, scientific, and aesthetic) into a coherent holistic scheme. Process philosophy seeks a return to a neo-classical realism that avoids subjectivism. This mystery is rooted in a synthesis of philosophy and aesthetics in spoken and unspoken languages. It is the self-organizing creation and participatory engagement of a new myth -- a mythical domain, sharing symbolic meaning, fantasy, and rituals. Things are never literally what they seem in a world of wonders. This challenges our mundane positions, habits, and defenses. The archaic mind mirrors the modern, exposing the subtext if life. There is no artificial distinction between the pursuit of knowledge and self-knowledge and aesthetics. Beauty is beyond aesthetic because it is more than skin deep and touches something in us. Beauty is an affair of the heart but speaks to our whole being. The epic journey is a search for soul, a search for self, a challenge or mission to find what cannot be found in the ordinary world. When the soul becomes our central trope, we find our opus, the hidden agenda of being. Life itself is initiating us. It seeks and sometimes embodies a new way of being, an ethic and aesthetic that is open and psychophysically transformational -- morphogenic. The art of survival equals the survival of art. Ideally, it is the harmonization of cognitive awareness with empathic and compassionate emotional sensitivity to the zeitgeist of the day. It implies a global conscious awareness, "getting” the Big Picture, and perhaps doing something about it.
The Labyrinth You have reached a passageway between the past and the future. You are not lost, but what you are looking for has not yet been found. You may have to dig deeper. The way out is in.
The motto V.I.T.R.I.O.L. suggests we mine our own depths. Visita Interiorem Terrae Rectificandoque / Invenies Occultum Lapidem is a code that urges us to "Visit the interior of the earth and through rectification you will find the secret stone." There is a treasure to be discovered as we mine our own depths.Mining the soul, we disassemble ourselves to reorganize in more refined form. Jung suggested, "Dig deep mines and throw in sacrificial gifts, so that they reach the dead." (Liber Novus, Page 244). Our genealogy is a psychic treasure house of latent wisdom.
Imaging itself is a mode of mining psychical facts and essences, sometimes by speculation, resonance and artful listening. When we reflect in our hearts, our “Chamber of Reflection,” the motto VITRIOL refers to a process of internal, spiritual purification -- the lead of the base human state transforms into the gold of spiritual awakening. "May Your Lead Turn to Gold."
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” --Rainer Maria Rilke
He said, "Be afraid of the world, for it is big and strong; and fear the demons within, for they are many and brutal; but do not fear yourself, for that is your Self." ~E. Harding, Conversations with Jung, Page 8
"Go as far as your desire goes, and you will presently find that you have gone as far as your own laws allow: If you feel afraid, be brave enough to run away." ~Carl Jung, Conversations with Jung, Page 8
Self-discovery: theory & practice creative Experiences: Non-Fiction writing, publishing; Multimedia Art, Frontier Science, Esoterics, SYMBOLISM
“As a constellation, theoretical thought circles the concept it would like to unseal, hoping that it will fly open like the lock of a well-guarded safe-deposit box: in response, not to a single key or a single number, but to a combination of numbers.” --Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics
"We find . . . in everyday life, where dilemmas are sometimes solved by the most surprising new propositions; many artists, philosophers, and even scientists owe some of their best ideas to inspirations . . . from the unconscious." --Carl Jung; Man & His symbols; Page 25
"Science comes to a stop at the frontiers of logic, but nature does not: she thrives on ground as yet untrodden by theory." ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 524.
"Perhaps the path or method of soul search is merely recognition that all our acts of knowledge are attempts to remember what we once knew, but we have forgotten. Perhaps all of our attempts are sacred actions whose profound motive Is salvation or redemption. Perhaps all of our research is trying to recover the Gnostic mythology of the fall of the soul over time and its desire to go home." --Robert Romanyshyn, The Wounded Researcher: Research with Soul in Mind, New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal Books, 2007, pg. 268
"I can only gaze with wonder and awe at the depths and heights of our psychic nature." ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 784
"Beside this picture I would like to place the spectacle of the starry heavens at night, for the only equivalent of the universe within is the universe without; and just as I reach this world through the medium of the body, so I reach that world through the medium of the psyche." ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 784
ARCANE CINEMA Image, Film, & the Soulful Arts Post-Jungian Video Collaborations of Iona Miller & Nate Drendel Cryptoporticus Productions by Iona Miller, (c)2019 ----------- We are making our video series on the 'Major Arcana: Paths of Awareness & Soul-Making,' available [below] for educational purposes. We invite participation in this theater of human nature. You'd better watch yourself. Hesse cautioned that the Magic Theatre is "for madmen only." Songs appear in the darkness without knowing. We present a distilled visual alchemy of the The Fool's Journey in each encrypted card, each a retinal poem. A continuous narrative emerges through a discontinuous montage of film, documentary, and music video imagery and iconography.
We are not struggling to overcome, develop, or ascend through metaphysical ego fantasies, tropes, and concepts. When we stop struggling with ways to become superhuman (heroic journey), we can find ways to become more fully human in a deeply connected more-than-human world.
This Journey is represented by the Major Arcana sequence of the Tarot, beginning with The Fool. The journey of life is not always about growth. Rather than a Hero’s Journey, it is also The Seeker or the Fool’s Journey: the pilgrim soul making its rather more humble way through life. The human journey itself--collectively as well as individually--is unknown, difficult, and improbable.
We step between the worlds and fall into the magic, mystery and wisdom of the unconscious. There are many kinds of archetypal journeys, soulful innerworld journeys, visionary journeys. We can enter the inner drama as a participant. Freedom needs to be internalized as an inner freedom from “demand” itself… that comes when you’re free from those compulsions to have and to own and to be someone.
"There is a deep, complementary relationship between the writer and the reader. Both are united by the same fate, they are written and read by themselves, meanwhile. At the same time there is a solitude of the reader and a solitude of the writer, different and similar at the same time. Words that take shape and images that return words, mutually. But it is the Soul that allows those words to recognize the place, the way, and the world in which they are welcomed, collected, whispered, testified. This happens in the solitude of their mirroring, overlapping and speculative autonomy. In this we understand that reality of the soul as a transposition of psychic events into experiences. Soul is a relationship."--Eldo Stellucci, Italy
“It makes no difference whether the poet knows that his work is begotten, grows and matures with him, or whether he supposes that by taking thought he produces it out of the void. His opinion of the matter does not change the fact that his own work outgrows him as a child its mother.
The creative process has feminine quality, and the creative work arises from unconscious depths–we might say, from the realm of the mothers. Whenever the creative force predominates, human life is ruled and molded by the unconscious as against the active will, and the conscious ego is swept along on a subterranean current, being nothing more than a helpless observer of events.
The work in process becomes the poet’s fate and determines his psychic development. It is not Goethe who creates Faust, but Faust which creates Goethe…. The archetypal image of the wise man, the saviour or redeemer, lies buried and dormant in man’s unconscious since the dawn of culture; it is awakened whenever the times are out of joint and a human society is committed to a serious error.
When people go astray they feel the need of a guide or teacher or even of the physician. These primordial images are numerous, but do not appear in the dreams of individuals or in works of art until they are called into being by the waywardness of the general outlook. When conscious life is characterized by one-sidedness and by a false attitude, then they are activated–one might say, ‘instinctively’–and come to light in the dreams of individuals and the visions of artists and seers, thus restoring the psychic equilibrium of the epoch.” ~Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
The Word and the Angel We need a new angelology of words... We need to remember the angelic aspect of the word, To recognize words as self-bearers of a soul between one person and another. We need to remember that words are not just something That we invent or learn at school... The words, like angels, are powers Who wield an unseen power over us... Because words are people. --James Hillman, Blue Fire
I inquire, I do not assert; I do not here determine anything with final assurance; I conjecture, try, compare, attempt, ask...
"I would not be confident in everything I say about the argument: but one thing I would fight for to the end, both in word and in deed if I were able—that if we believe we should try to find out what is not known, we should be better and braver and less idle than if we believed that what we do not know is impossible to find out and that we need not even try." --Socrates, The Meno
Iona Miller is a nonfiction writer for the academic and popular press, clinical hypnotherapist, and multimedia artist. The relationship of psyche and matter is her primary interest. Writing itself is a developmental process that creates self-discovery, image, and meaning while integrating learning, memory, and experience.
As Carl Jung says," . . . poets . . . create from the very depths of the collective unconscious, voicing aloud what others only dream." (CW 6, Page 323).
The secret of the possible is not as a spiritual fad, but beyond the conflation and confabulation of romantic and spiritual quests. Psyche and its unity in multiplicity is the umbilical cord that connects our thoughts and feeling to life, nature, science, art, and cosmos.
The contents of your unconscious are manifesting themselves when you encounter the unknown. To cope, we project our fantasies onto what we don't understand. We re-discover the great archetypes that guide human beings by investigating the structure of our imaginations. Life is transformation and without it we cannot be creative. It makes demands on us. "And when you observe the stream of images within, you observe an aspect of the world, of the world within, because the psyche, if you understand it as a phenomenon that takes place in so-called living bodies, is a quality of matter, as our bodies consist of matter." ~Jung, Evans Conversations, Pg 22
In his "Oxford Seminar" (1985), Hillman describes consciousness resting "upon a self-sustaining and imagining substrate or inner place, there when all other aspects go into eclipse." He sees the family as a living myth, a fantasy about ourselves that shapes our ability to experience and explore. Exploration may be less about self-improvement and more a quiet act of daring.
Symbol & Sacrament Hermetic philosophy crosses all those boundaries. Our exploration is one of Nature and our own deep nature -- our origins, being, and relationships withe self, others, and cosmos. We use analogy to discuss the 'ground', as even logic only works sometimes for 'figures'. The ultimate ground is the substrate of the cosmos, analogous to the collective unconscious.
This substrate of our consciousness is the 'god of the gaps' present in each moment in the gaps between breaths and the space between thoughts, where all the wisdom in the world is located. The quiescent mind relaxes unforced into the ground of ordinary mind -- substrate consciousness. A quiet mind abides in the realization of substrate consciousness, more fundamental than the archetypal representation of all phenomena.
How the world works is analogous to how we work, classically expressed in the axiom, "as above, so below." The unconscious contains great wisdom and great folly expressed in uncanny extensions of ordinary consciousness, from dissociation and trance to at-One-ment. Yet the unknowable numinous moves as it will and moves our own egoic will with its effects, initiating and transforming us on the deepest levels. Psychologically, a virtual death precedes 'rebirth.'
The Nature of Embodiment is Light Everything that manifests is supported by this continuous creation from the plenum/void, the pre-spacetime negentropic source field. It fills the majority of the space in our being between its particulate matter. Thus, the soul and spirit of the world are trans-psychic, unrepresentable except as image.
Our groundstate or creative Source, is directly discoverable in the immediacy of the emergent embodied moment. We are each a temple of living light, whose substrate is the plenum/void. Jung expressed this conjunction as, "Nothing is the same as fullness. In the endless state fullness is the same as emptiness. The Nothing is both empty and full. One may just as well state some other thing about the Nothing, namely that it is white or that it is black or that is exists or that it exists not. That which is endless and eternal has no qualities, because it has all qualities."
This immense energy of Transpsychic Reality can sometimes, though rarely, come into play as a sort of grace -- the power of None, of flow, of Tao. Thus zero-point energy, self-organizing flux, is our ultimate ground of psyche and matter -- the flow of creativity and unconditioned consciousness.
The qabalistic Genesis begins with the emanation of Ain Soph, "supreme wisdom," the Godhead as pure light-filled creative intelligence, source of all manifestation. The energetically Limitless Light flows from the veils of negative manifestation or cosmic potential into the 10 Spheres of the Tree of Life down through the Four Worlds of Creation: Archetypal (divine), Causal (mental), Astral (emotional), and Physical.
Emanation means that the Originless Origin sent forth a pure potential or quintessence of matter into the manifestation, rather than creating a separate reality. This cosmic pattern or design reflects the divine order, the pervasive design of the world -- a mind/womb/cosmos parallel.
As Professor Wolfgang Pauli noted, "We should now proceed to find a neutral, or unitarian, language in which every concept we use is applicable as well to the unconscious as to matter, in order to overcome this wrong view that the unconscious psyche and matter are two things."
Carl Jung agreed, "Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendental factors, it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing." (CW 8, Para 420.)
Nowhere are we closer to the sublime secret of all origination than in the recognition of our own selves, whom we always think we know already. Yet we know the immensities of space better than we know our own depths, where -- even though we do not understand it -- we can listen directly to the throb of creation itself. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Page 737
Multidisciplinary studies herald the return of the natural philosopher. For example, Jungian and post-Jungian psychology with its alchemical metaphors and dynamics provides comprehensive models for uniting psyche and physics, psyche and matter, and demonstrating the indissoluble weld that binds them. It radically revisions the mind/body split, healing that which should never have been torn asunder. Hippocrates knew, "in every part of the body there is a certain measure of consciousness."
Science-Art "I do not regard the pursuit of science as a bickering about who is right, but as an endeavor to augment and deepen human knowledge." ~Carl Jung, CW 5, Para 685
In our inquiries when we go beyond a certain depth in psychology or physics, we enter the realm of the ultimate mysteries of life. The mystic veil of the starry firmament parts revealing the underlying matrix of creation, the luminous ground of the virtual vacuum. The void is created by the zero point radiative fluctuation of matter and antimatter, the superluminal void that gives birth to all images and form.
In our pursuit of Ultimate Reality, we can only move from the known to the metaphorical or literal unknown. We search for more effective ways of communicating ideas and new dimensions of participation, creative work, sacred influences, and self-awareness practices. All bear on cultural evolutionary theories and interaction with genetic evolution. The origins and destiny of life in the universe will likely continue to elude us. Still, we each search for our own meaningful view of the world.
"Naturally a new meaning does not come ready-made out of the unconscious, like Pallas Athene springing fully-armed from the head of Zeus; a living effect is achieved only when the products of the unconscious are brought into serious relationship with the conscious mind." ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 760
In Seven Sermons to the Dead, Jung says, "I began with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness. In infinity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty and full. ...This nothingness or fullness we name the PLEROMA. Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and infinite possess no qualities. In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct from the pleroma."
In the Big Picture of human existence there is no Ur-text for a deep history that keeps getting scientifically pushed back further and further into the mists of pre-historic times. For the first time, we know the laws and history of our universe. We forget our cosmic and cataclysmic disasters of the last 10,000 years at our own peril, yet such comprehension is 'burdonsome information.'
Never has a group of generations had so much knowledge, including deep time, to which they must adjust. Many people dissociate, throw their consciousness back, and seem to be living in by-gone centuries, an escape, more than a Path of Return. They escape into their archaic belief systems like a virtual game system with different levels of immersion.
Our era is one of gene-culture co-evolution -- the extension of biology through culture and our interaction with one another and the environment, like it or not. We are simply trying to understand what 'digital' technology has already done to us, at a higher-level than typical academics. As humans, we are still tasked with dissolving our ego-mask, the immediacy of anomalous and religious experience, and facing death with heightened awareness. The Mystery confronts us all.
External triggers include: sacred places, favorite pastimes, mind altering substances, awesome or destructive nature, cognitive dissonance, interrupting habitual action, shock, trauma, thrill, fright, severe or chronic illness, injury, health problems, encounter with death or supernatural event, mental or emotional instability, superstitions, love, religious or mystical experience.
The Theater of the Real Perhaps our single most pressing question is 'what sort of humans will we have in 10-20 years?' Our technologies have already made us into cyborgs, with enhanced memory and communications for which even our collective unconscious has no precedent. Kurzweil predicts "we will all be hybrids by 2030."
This enormous rapid change brings new meaning to the axiom "Know Thyself" through self-awareness or traditional means. The paradox of our time remains progress or fall, and only some choices are ours to make, whereas cosmos imposes its own.
But the Cosmic Memory Field, the underlying fundamental substrate of manifestation, now competes with Google at least in this little corner of the galaxy we call our awareness, our connection to wider reality.
We are heading toward a technological 'hive mind' of collective consciousness, if we last that long. And yet, we still have no idea what 'consciousness' is. Some say the body is to space what consciousness is to time -- our universality. The larger and deeper reality is transcendent and immanent.
We only have 'beliefs' about non-ordinary or marginal states: Neuro-Bio-Info-Cogno -- ordinary words, symbols, and constructs. We adapt or withdraw into denial, depression and defenses from the overwhelming stress of unmanageable situations.
The standard view, ordinary perception of our essential nature is a lower resolution view of our existence. Most individuals aren't seeking ultimate states but wider perspectives and better coping tools. The phenomena of exceptional states challenge us with 'virtual realities' which range from self-delusion and misguided or misapplied inner authority to universal truth. Open mindsets provide support for personal transformative experiences, including non-dual or integrative ones.
Our challenge remains reconciling our subjective and objective experiences which fuse at the threshold of the mind-matter interface, sometimes expressing as synchronicity, acausal coincidence. Cognitive reductive views of physical science are all brain and neurology. Materialists consider exceptional experiences aberrations, filtering our authenticity with faulty narratives and object-oriented psychological models.
Shamanic views are overly-dramatized and controversial. We still try to reconcile ordinary and transpersonal experiences, and sometimes need words or help to digest these, after the fact. Different views embrace different models.
Transpersonal psychologies try to balance both. Jung contended,"Psychology is a preparation for death.We have an urge to leave life at a higher level than the one at which we entered. (Conversations with C.G. Jung, Page 16.) We are all capable of understanding these deep things conceptually at some level. Most of our ordinary 3D operations are carried out unconsciously or preconsciously.
All models for navigating and adapting to life today have limited practicality, such as assumed truths, the supernatural, miraculous, superstitious, and self-delusional. There are vertical and horizontal dimensions to life and stabilization is a key concept. We can enrich ourselves with psychological language and deliberately leave collective traditional conditioning for individual values. The bottom line is that when we change our attitudes we change our physiology.
But, as ever, we must focus on the present, exploring territory beyond the conventional descriptions of what is available. This is the open frame of our pursuit, scientific or spiritual -- the "pathless path" of individuation or The Tao, as described by Jung, Krishnamurti and eminent physicists.
Sudden awakening to our pure nature is activation of our awareness potential. But we cannot will non-dual consciousness since the mind cannot transcend itself through the sheer power of its own self-understanding. Personal integration unfolds over a lifetime.
But we can learn to be more articulate about our extraordinary experiences and aspirations to practice and service, whether spiritual or humanistic. Whether we call it the boundless reality of God, or the pre-spacetime vacuum that gives rise to matter, this Mystery is the quintessence of impenetrable darkness that contains the spark of life.
Ervin Laszlo proposed that the quantum vacuum, the field from which the universe is born, is conscious with all the information from the Big Bang to now. Laszlo says the universe is conscious life emerges from the quantum vacuum. If we linked to all people who have ever lived, we can access them through the primordial field if the past has never gone away, and informs the present. We can access extraordinary abilities that are completely natural.
We can find inspiration in culture-heroes, but ultimately must make our own way through the 'dark forest', like the Grail Knights. Krishnamurti said, "I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect." (The Dissolution of the Order of the Star, 1929). As Einstein remarked,"I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me."
AsBaudelairesuggests, symbolism and 'correspondences' help us "Extract the eternal from the ephemeral." Generic symbolic languages such as esoterics, alchemy, and Qabalah articulate the phenomenology of inner experience. They help us wake up and grow up.
Ourdeeply human experience of awe spans from “awful” to the “awesome” and all ambiguous spaces between. including technology, storytelling, the narrative arc, and the evolutionary, even empathetic value of having our minds blown by direct experience of expansive knowledge. We can all get such concepts conceptually, but experience makes them real.
They include general experiences, lasting effects, enduring benefits, prior influences, self-observation, stabilization and resistant factors. Our work includes debunking preconceptions and theories about consciousness by digging deeper, suspending belief, and philosophy of science.
Symbols represent transcendental and timeless values and stories. They help us describe our kinesthetic, aesthetic, cognitive, emotional, moral, and spiritual awareness, engagement, and intelligence.
Jung said, "Childlikeness or lack of prior assumptions is of the very essence of the symbol and its function. The symbol is the middle way along which the opposites flow together in a new movement, like a watercourse bringing fertility after a long drought." (CW 6, Para 442-443.) "It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them." (CW 8, Para 794)
"Psychic development cannot be accomplished by intention and will alone; it needs the attraction of the symbol, whose value quantum exceeds that of the cause. But the formation of a symbol cannot take place until the mind has dwelt long enough on the elementary facts, that is to say until the inner or outer necessities of the life-process have brought about a transformation of energy." --Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 47.
This is how we think about and experience that reality -- our relationship with the world, people, and things. We pattern ourselves after heaven and earth as organizing principles. But are we getting the cosmology right to form a credible, coherent, functional view so our myths can develop in today's context and new sky? Is it a unifying art of creative connectivity?
We are connected to the cosmos through the inner psychic realm, inner and outer forms of patterns including aesthetics, our innate sense of beauty -- the 'polished mirror' of visionary receptivity. Mystical imagination is more about experience than understanding.
“Artist, you are a priest: Art is the great mystery and, when your effort leads to a masterpiece, a ray of the divine shines down as on an altar… Artist, you are a magus. Art is the great miracle and proves our own immortality.” --Joséphin Péladan
The humanities, how we process the human experience, are more important than ever. Philosophy isn't pursuing wisdom as the way of personal glory… In the love of wisdom, the term “love” meant giving one’s affectionate attention and unself-conscious care in the pursuit of wisdom, insight into the nature of things, a fundamental acquaintance with Reality.
Insight provides “lovers of wisdom” access to that treasure which is our birthright. For example, the poetry of Rumi encourages us to escape manic consumerism and material possessions to focus on balance and humane values.
The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. --Rumi
Symbolism has always been a hermetic art, art for spiritual regeneration and healing. It promotes the spiritual and moral ideals of esoteric teachings. It preserves traditional esoteric teachings about art and music, with artist-initiates. It supports works of art and forms of idealist theatre with hieratic and Initiatory potential.
"Faith from a Gnostics’ point of view has nothing to do with merely believing, but knowing through experience. Genuine faith is living knowledge, exact cognition, direct experience. For many centuries faith and belief have been confused, and now it takes great effort and exertion to make people understand that faith is true knowledge and not futile beliefs,” according to Samael Aun Weor.
All art that originates in or is informed by gnosis conveys themes and values consistent with the hermetic tradition. Orpheus introduced the doctrine of the immortal soul once he received it through initiation from Hermes Trismegistus of Egypt, then founded the Eleusinian Mysteries. The Orphic initiate Pythagoras established music as a physical manifestation of universal spiritual principles.
In the Middle Ages Troubadour songs inspired mankind with a spirit of chivalry and love. In the Renaissance, the Medicis restored the hermetic tradition. The arts again inspired humanity to reason and self-awareness. Marsilio Ficino (“the second Orpheus”) restored the doctrine of immortality of the soul. Art still playsan important role in spiritual regeneration and healing, witnesses the existence of God, and the immortality of the soul.
Exaltation, the movement of something invisible within confirms the existence of the immortal soul. Celebrants of the Mysteries experienced a direct, personal, spiritual insight, or gnosis via the combination of music, poetry, and drama used in the reenactment of sacred myths. It is so aesthetically powerful that it produced in the celebrants all of the internal emotions.
We have an innate capacity to create Beauty born of our higher aspiration, inseparable from the world’s oldest rituals, spiritual traditions, and sacred writings. Yeats, in his 1901 essay on “Magic” describes how our minds and memories continually flow into each other as part of ‘the great memory of Nature herself’ (Anima Mundi). He suggested that artists and poets can access this memory through the use of symbols, plumbing the Mysteries of Nature, spirit, and consciousness.
On the other hand, perhaps we can remember what we have forgotten about our essential nature:
"When the soul is born it drinks lethe so that it forgets its prenatal life. For the ancient Greek, truth was aletheia, meaning the absence of forgetfulness or the presence of memory. Plato uses this term aletheia to distinguish the eternal world of forms from the phenomenal world of appearance; aletheia refers to the world of forms. The world of appearances is only a copy or an imitation of that eternal world; aletheia is the original. Thus Plato could say in Timaeus: “As being is to becoming, so is truth [aletheia] to belief.” Belief is a kind of copy of truth, not the real thing." --Edward F. Edinger, Aion Lectures, Pg. 128.
By engaging with imagination and intrinsic spiritual processes, symbols are also a means of healing spirit, soul, and body with a sort of aesthetics of trauma. James Hillman teaches, "To heal the symptom, we must heal the person, and to heal the person we must first heal the story in which the person has imagined himself."
We need bigger stories to inform our personal narrative and interrelationships: "And instead of imagining that I am dysfunctional, my family is dysfunctional, you realize what R. D. Laing said long ago and Freud, of course, too: it is the civilization which is dysfunctional. The society is dysfunctional. The political process is dysfunctional. And we have to work on cures that are beyond my cure. That's revolution." (Hillman, We've Had a Hundred Years.., pp. 218-219)
Community, cultural, and ecological work is also psychological. 'Noticing' is the ground of all such work, bridging conscious and unconscious with dialogue, listening to the message within our symptoms, continually "seeing through" to new acts of insight. These concepts help us move beyond over-zealous, power-driven, ethnocentric, and egocentric ways. The ethic is one of engagement, participation, and co-creation. moving deeper into love.
Rather than paying faddish self-styled experts, we need to pay attention to the depth of narrative space, dreams and physical feelings, the spaces that connect our stories, the relationship field, and our psycho-genealogical lines.
Beyond state nomenclature, we can develop internal maps or taxonomies of consciousness that expand our ability to conceptualize, building a vocabulary to discuss such states and experiences. Some models include those by John C. Gowan, Stan Grof, and Ken Wilber.
This expanded awareness includes ecstatic states of attention which become operational as more lucid dreams and early-life recall, observations of synchronicities, and spontaneous events. Marcus Aurelius says, "Know the joy of life by piling good deed on good deed until no rift or cranny appears between them."
There may be a missing dimension in our worldview. All reality has rhythmic, musical, and artistic correspondences. Perceived through the heart, the beauty and ugliness of the world resets our moral compass. Jung tells us, "Morality is not imposed from outside; we have it in ourselves from the start—not the law, but our moral nature without which the collective life of human society would be impossible." (CW 7, Page 27).
Art, including the healing arts, bridges the great moral harmony of the universe with our own souls.Actions flow from compassionate witnessing, rather than turning away from suffering. We need to uncover collaborations with new spaces and the healing power of narrative history. http://ionamiller.weebly.com/healing-narratives.html
"Buddhist contemplatives assert that the first moment of mental consciousness of a human fetus arises not from the brain but from the preceding moment of substrate consciousness of the conscious being that has been conceived. The practice of shamatha may provide an experiential means for putting this hypothesis to the test." --B. Alan Wallace: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice (2012, p 189)
Our mind doesn't store memories; it is memory. Our wounds are necessary to fulfill our calling. The marks of memory are the signs of destiny. Penetration of the mystic veil often comes through one's wounds. They allow us to see through to an immaterial sense of being.
"There is a memory of Nature that reveals events and symbols of distant ages. The mystics of different countries have spoken of this Memory in several centuries ... [...] William Blake calls his images" the sculptures of the Sala de Los "And states that all events," all love stories, "draw on their renewal." --William Butler Yeats, AnimaMundi
We are wounded simply by our relation to the world, the world's body. The world and body are the same stuff and share vision. The mind can also obscure the body, as lived experience -- the core, the limbs, the scars, the head, the back. It changes like a landscape.
Miracles of the body are triumph or transcendence over decay. We don't forget the knowledge of death until we experience it. Body is material (animal imagination), sensual, metaphorical, and spiritual. Its parts have personal, mythic, and cultural (aesthetic, social, political, and medicalized, mutilated, etc.) significance in a wide range of cultures.
Evidence suggests spirituality emerged from female body mythology as the matrix of birth. It led to a recognition of time and heavenly cycles linking earth and sky. The body's sacred geography is the primary genesis and root of mythic imagination, physiology, and psychology. It is the body that tries to find place, identity, origin, home. Soul thinks with reference to the body and body image.
"Being that has soul is living being. Soul is the living thing in man, that which lives of itself and causes life. Therefore God breathed into Adam a living breath, that he might live." ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 56
Jung says "To this day 'God' is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions, and change the course of my life for better or worse."
Meaning is a non-material imaginal dimension. Imagination is a vital spiritual function, inseparable from the World Soul. Psyche is soul. Symbols are the currency of consciousness and the connective tissue of the mind-body correlation. . . . "the spirit is the life of the body seen from within, and the body the outward manifestation of the life of the spirit - the two being really one." (Jung, CW 10, Page 195).
Art draws the viewer into its participatory space. Images and symbols are visible in the psychic aspect of symptoms and behavior. The reader can be involved in a self-disclosing collaborative process mapping the conceptual terrain, including our response to the spiritual uncertainties of our times. Our invisible ground is now simultaneous information that travels at the speed of light, centered everywhere and nowhere.
Innate Image Iona is a Symbolist and visionary, perhaps more pragmatic and less literal than most with similar interests. Her writing is informed by Jungian, Post-Jungian, Archetypal, Personality, and Transpersonal psychologies, as well as philosophy and meditation.
Jungian psychology strongly connects with the arts, culture and history of society, which also derive from the imagination. Writing is ordinary magic, natural magic. It can transport the reader to new territory, to 'foreign lands.'
"Science comes to a stop at the frontiers of logic, but nature does not: she thrives on ground as yet untrodden by theory." ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 524.
Dreams remain the royal road to the unconscious, reflecting our mind-body dialogue with nature. "Nature is often obscure or impenetrable, but she is not, like man, deceitful. We must therefore take it that the dream is just what it pretends to be, neither more nor less. If it shows something in a negative light, there is no reason for assuming that it is meant positively." (Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 162)
To Go Up or Down is the Same Opposites -- actually a unified system of balanced exchanges -- are necessary for life to flow, much like current in electricity. In his natural philosophy, Jung agreed with the physicists that there is no energy without duality.
Heraclitus declared, "The road up and down is one and the same," but unity is not identity. Consciousness arises from the interplay of primal opposites, but ego resists being overwhelmed by that and tries to suppress that fear of chaos through one-sided polarization. Evola, the alchemist describes the danger of chaos as "the power of the undifferentiated, at whose touch all differentiation can be destroyed."
The psychological path is a middle way. Spiritual paths tend to encourage the glorification of the spirit (ascent) over the body and instincts (descent) we need to keep us grounded. We cannot merely drop the body and soar infinitely skyward, even metaphorically. Nor can we ever comprehend the entire meaning of all ideas, symbols, and myths.
Physicist David Bohm claimed that all matter contains all information, but didn't explain how that nonlocal information, or which specific information, could be accessed. Some of this nonlocal information (Akasha) can be construed as memory. We may all glimpse it through moments of insight and self-realization.
But why do we only access the information related to our specific experience? Can the non-conceptual 'empty mind' observe without distortion? The problem of accessing universal memory is that it appears simultaneously and at low resolution, rather than moment by moment.
Ancient philosophy suggests such gnosis may or may not be truth despite our belief in the validity of our persona internal experience. Can gnosis mine ontological or metaphysical data fields? After all, subjective experience is far from infallible, as is the perceived content of the unconscious as wisdom and folly or irrationality, like flat earth theory.
However, quantum nonlocality, the fundamental consciousness of the whole reality, may differ from Platonic information accessible to our conceptual gaze like a distorting rear-view mirror. Can unfolding information create coherent neural reflexes or correlates in individuals? Perhaps, but active information” suffers when transduced into inductive reasoning. Unfolding a potential infolds an experience.
Despite spiritual movements of fullness or emptiness (plenum or void), transcendence or immanence, we are neither solely 'ascenders' or 'descenders.' If our perceptions are flooded with the sacred, eventually we are overcome with silence. This switch is a product of our paradoxical neurological wiring (Fischer). Soul connects the two movements if we pay attention and engage with it. When we look deeply, the self that we love so much may turn out to be everything else.
Meaning is about connectivity and interdependence with everything else out there: self, others, and cosmos. As Hillman notes in Re-Visioning Psychology, "The soul loses its psychological vision in the abstract literalisms of the spirit as well as in the concrete literalisms of the body." Much the same holds true for the sacredness and spiritual values of the Earth, which is synonymous with body and matter, in general.
We cannot deny the body's role in our complete being as we confront the autonomous aspects of our transpersonal nature. Our wounds and blocks are expressed as psychic or somatic symptoms. The body also contains our natural innocence. We are an extraordinary phenomenon of nature. Our notions are conditioned by our experience of space and time.
So, to come 'full circle' we need to find balance. Both upward and downward spiraling movements are expressed in imagery and embedded in our innate physical nature. The deeper self releases the higher self; 'deeper' and 'higher' consciousness aren't really so different. The ultimate paradox is to get higher we have to go deeper.
The psyche of the visionary artist or seer follows unconscious intuitions about the present and the past, and unconscious impulses from both the past and the future. What we call visions are vast, nebulous intuitions. Meanings not consciously intended may emerge. In the absence of radically polarized notions secure beliefs and critical thinking are compliments to psychological perception. Inner vision opens the whole self to consciousness.
Thus, we circulate among the aspects of our unfolding sacred and natural being as a single systemic reality. In Taoism, seeing and knowing are turned inward by reactivating the more primordial, pre-verbal, or intuitive, or tacit modes of knowledge. Empty knowing and doing resonate freely with the cosmic pulse of life and nature.
Our journey is one into the heart of primal myths, and that path is more art than theology, beyond paths of affirmation or negation. We can simply surrender into the heart of that being. Path-less, content-free, non-conceptual awareness, the ultimate ground state fosters new understandings of reality. Individuated Wholeness is Mature Freedom.
MytholoGEMS "Great innovations never come from above; they come invariably from below, just as trees never grow from the sky downward, but upward from the earth." (Jung, CW 10, Para 177)
Our co-creative task is to bring to light the mythologems, the basic core elements, motifs or themes of myth,behind our individual and collective fate. Basic themes include recurrent patterns: survival, relationships, love and war, chaos and order, revenge, self-sacrifice, or betrayal, death and grief, rejuvenation and rebirth. Jung considered rebirth "an affirmation that must be counted among the primordial affirmations of mankind." (CW 9i, Para 207)
Our myths play out in internal and external history. The paradox of myth is that they are cultural creations that declare that the cultural order can never fully contain the meaning of creation in human life. Myths transcend linear time.
Mythologems form the core of our personal myths and the whole gamut of the repertoire of humanity.They are ways to see the whole picture, without losing the relative specificity of the image as it is given, without interpretation or distortion that stops the imaginal process.We follow the thread of that tale and among tales, connections of meanings and potentialities.
If we stay with the images evoked, that immersion takes us to places where solutions appear. We don't go to the images for answers, but to have a deeper relationship with that part of ourselves. It isn't striving and it isn't ego-heroic. Our goal is self-realization. The process is one of spiritualizing the material and noticing how it is informed.
If certain conditions foster the self, then others, such as rejection, misunderstanding, incongruence or instability, can thwart it. Thwarting of self by the environment can create alienation, negativity, suppression, anxiety, insecurity, distrust, defensiveness, even violence.
Jung pointed out that God is reality itself, and therefore includes the divinity in mankind. The stars are still there in the daytime. The central meaning begins to shine through at every point of contact. The image isn't necessarily what is on the page but what can be provoked, elicited or emerges from the reader's encounter. The participant can enter or engage the dialogue.
"At the root of our compulsion to create art is the need to establish some calm point within life's turbulent flow." --Camille Paglia, "Sexual Personae" (Vintage).
Early knowledge of these processes shaped her relationship to the world. She is interested in creativity, experiential therapy, extraordinary human experiences, using interpretive and non-interpretive strategies. Many of today's trends in self-exploration came from the therapeutic communities of the 1960s and perennial wisdom traditions. She is also interested in effects at the global level, unintended consequences, rather than intentions.
Experiential therapies were developed and popularized in later decades, and now are mainstream, thanks to social media. This psychology without walls transcends the consulting room, explores the soul of the world -- the global agora. Itdeliberately connects with personal history, the arts, culture and history of society, which are also derived from the imagination.Its lessons can be applied by individuals to themselves, adding new depth to Self-help.
Her work is an omni-sensory fusion of depth psychology, personal mythology, meditation, dreamwork, science-art, frontier science, symbolism, philosophy, source mysticism, futuring, digital life, emergent healing, poetics, and paradigm shift. Her framework is semiotic (image-as-sign) and phenomenological (image-in-consciousness).
Panpsychism is the philosophical view that consciousness, mind or soul (psyche) is a universal and primordial feature of all things.Primordial consciousness gives rise to potentialities, patterns and cycles which are realized as instances -- conscious experience.
Mystics seek the Formless God or Inner Light. While the mystic seeks the frameless, non-conceptual, thoughtless experience of primordial awareness, the artist seeks every way to navigate mind, and explore its domains by reframing consciousness.
In some languages the verb for 'paint' and 'write' is the same word. Both hand gestures initiate a flow state: When hand and eye play, awareness of self and object fuse in a new entity on the paper or screen. The inner organizing “urge to pattern and wholeness” differs from willed planning and is free to embody in the product of the process.
Once we reconnect with that core we feel that all is in alignment, including our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual domains. Bathing ourselves in Pure Awareness, communing with the groundstate of our being opens us to new possibilities. Amplifying the inaudible is a way of revealing the radiant essence of life.
Pathos We feel like ourselves, in our own rhythm, and aligned with Cosmos. This opens us to the synergetic effects of the flow state and synchronicity; doing better than we know; Being In the Zone. This is the authentic life, also known as self-actualization. Potential becomes lived Reality. We can never achieve 100% knowledge and accuracy - this is the psychological Uncertainty Principle.
A struggle of opposites makes the image. When we make art our conscious mind intentionally cooperates with the unconscious depths, and something alive arises from the dead medium. A sort of being that takes on a life of its own, a significance of its own, suffused with essence. We can embrace a diffused emergent reality, suspending any inclination to know or plan an outcome.
Here we explore relationships of psyche and matter, extraordinary human potential, genres of ritual healing, mythic potentials, hypnotic realities, and therapeutic processes. Cultural phenomenology explores existential significance and cultural meaning of phenomena, and mind-body-spirit modes of attention. The effects of ancient and modern doctrines of religion, science, psychology, media, and the arts hold special interest.
The Tree in the Psyche & Psyche in the Tree The essence of psyche is myth and ritual, enactment of the stories of the soul, by which we differentiate the unconscious. Myth itself is the human search for what is true, significant, and meaningful -- the rapture of being alive and full of life experiences.
There is more to genealogy than the search for the historical ancestors. We continue to search for the creative principle in the psyche. What spirit creates psyche and moves soul? Myth can provide psychological insight, just as it can seize and influence psychic life.
James Hillman suggests without paternal descent we have no genealogy to provide structure and content for mythology. This is literally shown in ancient lines of descent from gods and goddesses. It is not literal, but self-revelatory.
Couple after couple are thrown into an existential situation where each searches for their basis of being and continuance. Loss of myth creates existential anxiety. Genealogy is a mythology itself, not just family problems and the soul's spiritual crisis.
The wisdom of Sophia is the feminine contribution providing wider context in the relational union of love and necessity that reconciles us with our fate, necessity, and events -- reconciliation with the silent labyrinth of creation.
Love stays connected to the soul and seeks a way through a sort of personal and universal teleology beyond metaphysics. Such love shows in the spirit in which we approach psyche's phenomena and how faithfully we stick to the image with resourcefulness, inventiveness, and creative intelligence that seeks psychological connection. Creative insight is linked to involvement, engagement, imaginative complexity, aesthetic energy, and psychic beauty.
Approach This "know thyself" approach is through novel means of presentation, conservation, and curation in a holistic, participative, contextual and relational way. Inclusion is a strategic move out of reductive frames of reference. “'Know thyself,' means also 'know thy peculiar images.'”
The intention is to promote directions of 'sensibility,' where each viewer can deploy their own narrative and approach to the material presented, blurring the logic of inside and outside, a tension between the universal and the particular, collective and individual.
She articulates the curatorial as critical thought that does not rush to embody itself, but instead raises questions that are to be unraveled over time. There are lots of great stories out there, but not always history. Things tend to look different from inside than outside. Self-realization is a solitary journey, described by Plotinus: "The way to truth was the journey of a lonely person to that which is eternally alone."
Her labyrinth of works is a free-floating conceptual framework. It is a spiritual, philosophical, and psychological practice. In therapy we work with particular models. But an artist or philosopher can work purely symbolically. The creative impulse is brought to fruition in the world. Such secret forms grow into our life's work and purpose. By communing deeply with the outside world we find the familiar in the unfamiliar.
Works with a trans- quality go beyond mundane time, space, logic and personal taste or aesthetic preference. They connect with our essential Being at the core, reflected in nature and art, piercing time to find eternity. Transcending content, they open a new dimension...an invisible initiatory dimension. From here the artist gives birth to the secret space of the image itself which comes alive by giving shape to that secret.
In Iona's work, there is an underlying thread of digging in deep, connectivity and personal spirituality, based on contact with the numinous. Novel, transpersonal, uncanny, and highly personal appearances create a specific quality of sacredness that grips the soul with particular states (awe, dread, stupor, wonder, healing, reverence, astonishment, etc.).
This contact is the essence of the guiding process -- an act of grace and profound symbolic experience. A certain brightness in the soul transcends our own personal suffering. When we rediscover it, it turns suffering into meaning.A temporary loss of personal identity is natural when consciousness expands into transpersonal Reality, into non-conceptual Mystery.
“The main interest of my work,” writes Jung, “is not concerned with the treatment of neurosis but rather with the approach to the numinous. But the fact is that the approach to the numinous is the real therapy and inasmuch as you attain to the numinous experiences, you are released from the curse of pathology." (VonFranz, Marie-Louise, Psychotherapy, Shambahla Publications, 1990, p.177.)
Interactive Field The reader is welcomed into their own journey of self-discovery -- sometimes lost, sometimes validated, sometimes illuminated. But, always once again picking up the connective thread. Ideally, there is a co-creation with readers, listeners, and viewers. More books and information don't change your soul, but active participation and engagement with psyche open new vistas. The psychic material weaves together into patterns with seasons of agony and grace.
That participatory process, a soul-making practice, creates a unique message, meaning, and body with poetic expression. We remember our soul's journey and calling, related to our soul's stories and moved by our struggles. We participate in this sacred act by correlating our experiences in the world with archetypal dynamics -- ancient and traditional patterns only fleshed out in conscious content.
Iona Miller serves on the Advisory Boards of Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, DNA Decipher Journal, and Scientific God Journal, as well as the Board of Directors of Medigrace, Inc. & Calm Birth; a Miami-based Integral Medicine institute; and the Editorial Board of CRAFT (Community Resilience through Action for Future Transitions). One current project is correlation of brainwaves and Schumann Resonance. Another concerns invisible histories in the digital era. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, Miller's documented work anticipated and pioneered the following trends, and more:
Holographic Concept of Reality, Bioholography, anticipating Holographic Paradigm
Biophotonics, anticipating Subtle Body Fields and Nonlocal Cellular Communications
Bioelectronics and Healing, anticipating Energy Medicine and Distance Healing
Deterministic Chaos Theory in Integrative Psychotherapy, anticipating Complexity Science
Sub-quantal Physics, Vacuum Potential and Structure of the Vacuum, anticipating Source Field fad
Pre-geometric Structure of Absolute Space, anticipating Zero Point, Sacred Geometry & Merkabah Mysticism fad
Nonlocal Mind Paradigm, anticipating Nonlocality and Entanglement in Psi Models
Quantum Cosmology, Systems Theory & Transdisciplinarity Knowledge & Modelling
Today, we define our own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.Naturally, we tend to combine innovation with tradition for a more adaptable, fluid, and dynamic view, incorporating current perspectives.
In a materialist culture, while guarding against our delusions, how can we confront the problems of living an ethical life in a society plagued by dissension, vice, and corruption? We tend to forge our own approach to well-being, even if consulting wisdom traditions and modern research, rather than forcing a singular point of view. Perhaps our answers are in the riddles of life, the gaps, not a singular belief.
Archaic influences remain within us -- the preliterate culture of poetry, song, and myth; unconscious, lived in a magical integral world patterned by myth and ritual. Each time our vision scans over the inner landscape we experience new impressions, flowing from one experience to the next. Awareness is self-arising waves of potential from which different potential outcomes of reality and perceived outcomes emerge.
Jung spoke of the two-million year old human within us, the ancestral soul – the primal soul. The instinctive self, rooted in nature, speaks the forgotten symbolic language of the unconscious. Our unconscious still functions like it did four million years ago as complementary facets of a deeper reality emerging in amplified symbols.
The first achievement of the transformation of instinctual energy by our primal ancestors is magic. Psychization transforms an instinctual or sensory perception, rather than energy, into an experience. But notions of attainment remain elusively ahead of us. If, as Jung says, all we can know is the god-image, what does it mean to be the image of God? More: https://ionamiller2017.weebly.com/theurgy.html
"If feeling is a physical force and the expression of this feeling is a physical reality whose meaning motivates organisms to act, then we might understand living beings better if we imagine what is happening in the biosphere as, in a way, resembling artistic expression. This has another interesting consequence. Art then is no longer what separates humans from nature, but rather it is life’s voice fully in us. Its message is that beauty has no function. It is rather the essence of reality." --Weber, Andreas. 2016 Biology of Wonder: Aliveness, Feeling and the Metamorphosis of Science (p. 196). New Society Publishers.
Images have healing properties. They speak to us in our sleeping and waking dreams, forging shared stories relevant to everyone in the process as well as the Cosmos itself. We cannot separate our psychophysical symptoms from the collective environment. There is a missing dimension in our worldview and mindscapes. We sense it, even though the market and media have attempted to drain all depth from our experience. Emergent events are not merely responses to economic and climatic conditions or social engineering, but eruptions of the collective unconscious.
Mobilized, the archetypal dynamics and creative forces of the collective psyche perturb psychosocial trends, creating new possibilities. Archetypes are the psychic skeleton fleshed out in borderline phenomena by events that matter. We can't keep our collective skeletons in the closet anymore. We can no longer charge the future to pay for our past. The marks have wised up and no longer trust the control systems.
What doesn't effect the Collective Psyche? Perhaps humanity has never faced more multi-dimensional challenges. We need to retrieve and upgrade our human survival technologies for our metamorphosis. Healing emerges from pathology. Edge artists are the shamans, priests, and 'kings' of the new millennium. Maybe we are still addicted to the Hermetic myth of futurism when we need to live in the here and now. Like Hermes, the future is a perennial Trickster: this is what you want, this is what you get -- lowered expectations.
Why do we hurry to live in the future? Futurism speculates about the unknown, robbing us of the present and its opportunities. Pop culture has trivialized and infantilized the work of individuation with "branded" shortcuts.There is no quick cure for collective ills but we can find new metaphors, deeper meaning and more relevant stories. There is no therapy but moving forward creatively into the future, experimenting with solutions. Inspiration can emerge from infinite potential in any instant.
Reconfiguring Social & Cultural Realities Anthropology has adopted the notion of an 'Ontological Turn,' a form of relativism for truths that transcend us. It is an opening to other kinds of realities or 'worlds' and their 'potential inhabitants' beyond us. We are confronted with the Nature of Nature and the Nature of Culture.
Semiotics treats the dynamic and interactive basis of culture as a system of signs, symbols, and concepts. Any perspective on meaning arises from a web of interactions. Properly understanding meaning requires entry and immersion in this web -- fully entering a worldview or belief system "as if" it were real.
Also, for synchronicity to be more than chance or mere coincidence there must be a mirroring or equivalence of internal and external, subjective and objectiveaspects of the event.If psychophysical reality touches the heart, reveals clarity or numinosity, even better.
It shows the unity of existence, a Unus Mundus,an experience of timeless and temporal order. In a double wheel or mandala two paradoxical orders of existence are brought together in one figure. Psyche and matter merge in a sublime instant.
Different cultures have different relative notions, social and cultural constructs of how things are, should be, and could be and how we can connect with transformative potential. We 'know' them and consider them 'real' by the way their properties work their ways through us in ways that remake us.Our way of saying how this is opens our human way of being to that which lies beyond it.
August 13, 2017 Louisenlund Appeal for sponsorship for the rebuilding of a Masonic/alchemical monument in Germany
Introduction by David Sheihan Hunter Lindez Dr. Christopher McIntosh travelled to America to speak at the Rose Circle Research Foundation's symposium in Manhattan. While in town that same week, he was the guest of a distinguished and private lodge of gentlemen Freemasons where he delivered his lecture entitled “Louisenlund: A Masonic, Rosicrucian, Alchemical, ‘Theme Park’ in Germany.” He explored German Masonic and esoteric activity in the late 18th and early 19th century, focusing on the milieu of Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel (1744-1836), an Aristocratic Patron and protectorate of Freemasonry involved in the institution of the Templar Rite of the Strict Observance, the Gold- und Rosenkreuz, Knight Masons Elus Coen of the Universe and the Scottish Rectified Regime. His seat was at Louisenlund in Schleswig-Holstein; with a ‘Freemasons Tower’, consisting of both a lodge space and an alchemical laboratory, used for a time by the legendary alchemist, the Comte de Saint Germain.
"A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection - not an invitation for hypnosis." --Umberto Eco
"...every beginning contains magic Protecting us and living helps us..." --Herman Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
"There was a passionate craving among all ... [intelligentsia] ... for a means to express their new concepts. They longed for philosophy, for synthesis. The erstwhile happiness of pure withdrawal each into his own discipline was now felt to be inadequate. Here and there a scholar broke through the barriers of his specialty and tried to advance into the terrain of universality. Some dreamed of a new alphabet, a new language of symbols through which they could formulate and exchange their new intellectual experiences." --Hesse, The Glass Bead Game
"Here is the ancient tension. To be. To know. Well, the magician has a spell to weave here, too. The intellect divorced from old-fashioned neurosis, freed from egocentricity, from semantic reification. The mind illuminated by meditation ready to play with the lawful rhythm of concepts. The Bead Game." ~Leary, Metzner
Bead Game Hermann Hesse not only wrote the classic introspective novels Siddhartha and Steppenwolf, but won the Nobel prize in Literature (1946) for his final masterwork published under two titles in English: The Glass Bead Game or Magister Ludi. This work (set in the 23rd Century) describes a cadre of individuals and their headmaster -- the Magister Ludi -- engrossed in interdisciplinary play engineering cultural values from behind the scenes.
The Glass Bead Game or Magister Ludi (set in the 23rd Century) describes a cadre of individuals and their headmaster -- the Magister Ludi -- engrossed in interdisciplinary play engineering cultural values from behind the scenes. Hesse never forthrightly explained just how the game is played, but gave many hints to its structure for future aspirants seeking solutions to the critical predicament of mankind through Global Architectronics.
Critical Reality The Glass Bead Game requires that its players synthesize aesthetics and philosophy. The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture. It plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colors on his palette. The Game's synthetic, non-linear information play is a forerunner of postmodernism, virtual reality, and now Critical Reality.
After each symbol conjured up by the director of a Game, each player was required to perform silent, formal meditation on the content, origin, and meaning of this symbol, to call to mind intensively and organically its full purport. The members of the Order and of the Game associations brought the technique and practice of contemplation with them from their elite schools, where the art of contemplation and meditation was nurtured with the greatest care.
The variety of the phenomenal world reached perfection and ultimate cognition only in the divine Unity. Thus, "realizing" was a favorite expression among the players. They considered their Games a path from Becoming to Being, from potentiality to reality...We would scarcely be exaggerating if we ventured to say that for the small circle of genuine Glass Bead Game players the Game was virtually equivalent to worship.
The Glass Bead Game is a commentary of how we construct our realities. It requires that its players synthesize aesthetics and philosophy, making deep connections from seemingly unrelated topics. Mystic game players use interdisciplinary symbols to manipulate multi-level metaphors. In the end, the Magister Ludi realizes the futility of the game, and leaves it. He deprograms himself from his former goal.
It illustrates the ways that people position not just themselves but how they construct, deconstruct, signify, encode and program their entire perception of reality. One needs to understand reality before one can deliberately allocate it. It takes years of study to acquire the comprehensive backgrounds in the arts and sciences.
The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture; it plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colors on his palette. The Game's synthetic, non-linear information play is a forerunner of virtual reality.
“Theoretically,” writes the Narrator Archivist, “this instrument is capable of producing in the Game the entire intellectual content of the universe. The manuals, pedal, and stops are now fixed. Changes in their number and order and attempts at perfecting them, are actually no longer feasible except in theory.” And with this statement, he reveals the limitations of the game: its elitism, its hubris, its stagnation, and its sterility. In its infancy, the Game was played with delicate glass beads, which have since been discarded as too . . . real?
They connected the Game with the spiritual beads played by religious believers worldwide, as the robes, and secret language, and ceremonial trappings of the game form a mock religious experience in the time of the Narrator Archivist. Without them, the game flies into the ether without a tether to reality. In our world, prayer beads and the repetition of simple phrases serve as keys to transcendence. In Castalia, they are discarded and the key is lost. The Narrator Archivist makes no reference to the ecstatic states that might be achieved by Glass Bead Game players. The games as he describes them in Knecht’s time (the twenty-second century) and his own (the twenty-fourth century) apparently fall short of what seems the obvious goal."
The name Castaglia, the place of knowledge, is the Italian form of the Latin Castalia, which was the Roman name for the spring on Mount Parnassus where dwelt the mythical Muses. Castalia was also the name for the abstract realm of the intelligentsia. Under the shifting hegemony of now this, now that science or art, the Game of games had developed into a kind of universal language through which the players could express values and set these in relation to one another. Let the game begin?
Freestyle The drive comes from a committed perspective on the fundamental nature of reality and our nature. It seeks and sometimes embodies a new way of being, an ethic and aesthetic that is open and psychophysically transformational -- morphogenic. The art of survival equals the survival of art.
Ideally, it is the harmonization of cognitive awareness with empathic and compassionate emotional sensitivity to the zeitgeist of the day. It implies a global conscious awareness – “getting” the Big Picture – and perhaps doing something about it.
Creativity is a local embodiment, an essentially holistic process of a spontaneous non-local field of influence that can permeate the globe. The creative process, like a hologram encapsultes the entire gestalt at several levels of observation; each part reflects the whole if at lower resolution. In this way we find meaning in an idea, a piece of art, a performance, or a culturally revolutionary invention.
The thrust and dynamics of the creative process are such that intentionality encompasses multiple threads of creation simultaneously – rhapsodies of multi-tasking without drudgery. Therefore, there can be no “failure”, for a lost project is easily replaced by another project or process – another thread to weave, another melody to play.
“Free-styling” is a spontaneous eruption of the ever-renewing geyser of creativity – it means embodying the process of inspirational flow in each moment – artful living. This form of creativity can originate in the sciences/technology or the arts or any combination thereof (i.e., Hypermedia; Science-Art; Poetry Science; Nonlocal Healing; Global Architectronics). It describes the mutual interpenetration of life and art, a recurrent theme in contemporary art.
This negentropic energy leads to the embodiment of something intrinsically valuable and emotionally meaningful from essentially nothing. Therefore, free style is always breaking news; it cannot be anything but fresh.
Characterized mainly by deep feelings and heartfelt authenticity and intensity, freestyling creates a hyper-real random movement that nevertheless has its own tempo and internal cohesion, even when it moves in quantum leaps. A good example is an incredibly stimulating and cross-pollinating conversation or interview, where real rapport is established with context and depth allowed to emerge. It springs from an open-minded perspective based in authentic emergence rather than contrived product.
The medium may be people, behind-the-scenes influence, mentoring, cross-pollination, dreaming out loud, brainstorming, contributing to global dialogue on topical issues, technological shift, process-oriented therapies, Socratic method, or immersive experiences that transform those who experience them. There are many more.
The often unrecognized modalities are virtually infinite and range from formal to informal, academic and highly technical to “street”. All are means of influencing people and environments, through revealing meaning with little or no commercial or corporate interests. Freestyling tells it like it is. It is art that reveals Truth.
The significance or meaning of life is a central topic in philosophy, art, religion, medicine and psychology though any definitive answer remains elusive. Ethics or morals (personal accountability) should help us cooperate with one another. But there is no moral super-principle that undergirds us all besides humankind’s survival. It is clear, however, if humanity should cease to exist, it all becomes moot. We may be throwing away the entire arc of evolution through poor choices.
If we have values, we have to stand up and be counted and speak out for them. Moral agency and status are relative. Meta-ethics examines our notions about what constitutes ethics or morality relative to the position of others. Related issues are lifestyle choices, decisions, respect, impartiality, responsibility, identity, duty, principles, empathy, compassion, and conscience or consciousness.
The flattening of affect or emotional neutrality is the enemy – the aspect that conditions poor choices and ethical erosion as the acceleration or speed of cognition increases in our mindnumbing modern lives and we become dulled to the field of perception (Damasio 2004). Its been called information overload and future shock.
Ethics is Aesthetic
How can we rectify our guilt and shame for living so heavily on the planet? We are born and die consuming non-renewable resources, at least under current technological conditions. If there is any ‘original sin’, arguably the necessary evil of consumption is it. This fact of life has led our world into ecolo-nomic crisis, which has spawned multidimensional sociopolitical crisis where no one problem can be solved in isolation and change can wreak havoc in other domains.
Ethics relates to intentionality which means more than self-serving, so-called “good intentions,” individually and collectively. It means living deliberately, with global intentionality, which is an artform in itself – living with awareness and acting from that center. It is an aesthetic choice for ‘artful living’, living life in an artful manner in harmony with flow and creativity, choosing enriching experiences over consumerism. Art, which has its roots in primal shamanic culture, has traditionally been associated with the optimistic ‘Bohemian’ ethos rooted in Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love.
The question of what makes for a human life that is good for the person living it has been at the heart of ethics since the Greek philosophers inquired into eudaimonia (‘happiness’) (see Aristotle; Eudaimonia; Happiness; Life, meaning of; Plato; Socrates). Once again, a philosopher’s theory of the good will almost always be closely bound up with their views on other central matters.
Some claim the good consists entirely in a particular kind of experience, pleasure (see Empiricism; Pleasure). Others have claimed that there is more to life than mere pleasure, and that the good life consists in fulfilling our complex human nature (see Perfectionism; Self-realization). Nor have philosophers forgotten ‘the bad’ (see Evil; Suffering; Suffering, Buddhist views of origination of). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Our philosophical ethics are tied to our aesthetic sense and metaphysics, to our worldview – especially for artists and scientists. The mechanistic view is one of greed-creating scarcity, a sense of there not being enough of whatever resources to go around (Fuller). The worldview provides the ground for our beliefs, ideas and lifestyle choices about what is right and what is wrong.
This paradigm is tied to our health, both logistically and biologically. Healing is the biological form of creativity, and it is both a science and an art, which is why it is practiced. In a mechanistic view our bodies are machines which get worked upon by experts, rather than holistically healed by compassionate providers who cooperate with us in our healing process. For much of the planet, none of this is even an option.
We are making our video series on the Major Arcana, Paths of Individuation, available in our efforts to advance understanding of common themes in the collective art, heart, and soul of humanity.
Introduction Neither here nor there, The Fool is everyone who knows just enough to be wise but never enough to be a god.Gods are archetypes, the hidden movers behind each instinctive behavioral response.Tarot, like cinema, can present disjointed images, requiring us to provide the embodied connective tissues that keeps a narrative coherent, even if non-linear.
When we put the cards together, they create a story of encounters, of engagement and relationship and variations on age-old themes. Each has their own divinatory significance that show us how to live authentically, with integrity in our humanity.
Tarot weaves a tapestry of entangled ideas through complex symbolic language, as one card morphs into the next and we move into the domain of myth leading us deeper into the mysteries.
In the God game, the Fool is the innocent, unaware or in denial floundering through the masque with or without therapeutic intentions. The Fool is also a guinea pig of the impersonal psychic process, the autonomous force of the unconscious. Engaging the masque allows us to drop the inauthentic social masks of our role-bound personality. Fate comes to re-establish our lack of real identity.
The wandering Fool encounters the Magus. T.S. Elliot wrote, "We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time (Fowles, The Magus 1991, 226). The mystery of the journey is a quest in the outer world to come back within ourselves with understanding.
The Magician is a Hermetic adept, trickster or a juggler, a maker of magic or deception, the One who knows what they want and puts every ounce of energy into its realization.
Like every archetype, the Magus has a dark figure shadow mountebank who also shuffles the deck; he loads the dice. There are hidden influences in the constructive and destructive types of shadow.An individual ego as the sum of the superficial and abyssal egos of the individual can be caught in the trap of a perpetual perilous journey through their own unconscious.
"Joy and sadness are the two priestesses who meet us at the door of the rich inner city called "me". The Priestess named joy welcomes us with these words: " I am joy. I defend the eternal principle of love, no matter what happens, because if love dies, I too would die, and humans would not survive that catastrophe ". joy stands side by side with its inevitable twin, the priestess of name sadness , which has to say, " I also defend love, which cannot exist without me. I am the sadness that creates the need for love ". When I entered their territory, they said, "take everything, or leave everything". --Ginette Paris, Broken Hearts
Trauma, Art, Transcendence When Fate Becomes Inspiration by Iona Miller, (c)2018 https://ionamiller2017.weebly.com/art--trauma.html Iona Miller explores the trifecta of trauma, puberty and genius through the work of Leonardo da Vinci and Hieronymus Bosch.
Master painters, Leonardo and Bosch, had in common devastating experiences at the onset of puberty as well as their own personal issues and circumstances. Exposure to such elemental catastrophes, to such collective devastation at the adolescent passage, permanently impressed both masters lives and works.
Subjective exploration of felt sense is experienced as art therapy.Art as healing gets what is inside outside in a creative form of expression that relieves anxiety with the concentration or focus of the flow state and the escape or dissociation from problematic internal images and sensations through embodiment and transcendence.
Summary: Salvator Mundi conjoins with Anima Mundi in a self-revelatory act. We hypothesize that Leonardo created his Salvator Mundi in a heightened state of magical possession, daimonic inspiration and passionate fervor in bright moonlight, with a candle, and a magical or skrying mirror that might explain the quality of light, close cropping, and other anomalies in the painting.
Whether he consciously or unconsciously employed magical technique, a tangible numinous quality emanates from the iconic work. Beyond all the intracosmic forces and conflicts we are normally vulnerable to, we can encounter that force.
This essay is a deep dive into the Dark Waters of the human unconscious embodied in the dual nature of Sobek. The self-generated sacred crocodile deity of primal originating force is both celestial and chthonic forces of nature. The archetype is an ideational as well as celestial constellation. This dark journey into a dangerous place of unfathomable infinity is a necessary process. It provides a journey of descent and renewal.
So, like the ancients we appeal to the soul and to myth for coherence, for order, for assurance the terrors of suffering and history are not blind, arbitrary or meaningless. The depths of soul become a void. While still felt deeply, we are stripped of our capacity to truly know and differentiate the other. Reactions are experienced only subjectively.
Mythologies perform their functions through symbols. The focal point provided by image and symbol holds the mind to truth. The ultimate is, of course, unknowable. Therefore, the images themselves are not "the truth." For us, a journey into the unconscious provides the vital meanings and relatedness to the cosmic order that myths once gave us. It is a return to the source. Meaning is inherent in conscious experience of archetypal processes.
"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." --Carl Jung
We extend deep into matter, then into energy, and primordial ground, the primordial mind. The psyche plays a role as primordial as that of matter, energy, and space-time. It is the state of reality in which we become nobody and we remain as we are, which is deathless awareness. Yet, today our blossom clings to the vine. This is who we are.
Depth is our internal infinity. We are present now, with the stars in our face and expanding universe at our back. This is actually our primordial face. This primordial ground is the foundation not only of the universal forms and the purpose of the world, but also of distinct being and the source of all these psychic manifestations -- the infinite impulse of the unconscious.
The time before we become somebody is called “primordial time” in the Buddhist tantras. Nothingness or openness or emptiness or voidness or spaciousness is the ground of primordial awareness, a ground that is no ground at all. The nothingness or openness is light, luminous radiance, is the primordial ground of all that is. Consciousness-at-rest and conscious-energy are the two primary manifestations of the one ultimate, self-contained consciousness.
Taoists symbolize the Primordial chi field as Tai Yi, the Great Oneness. Tai Yi is not a deity or Supreme God, but rather signifies a chi field of Primordial Love that holds the ground for the unfolding of harmony and balance in manifest creation.
The depth dimension is human interiority, the unconscious dimension of the psyche. From the infinitely large to the infinitesimally small, the universe is the primordial depth dimension of ourselves, of human interiority. Depth includes not only the downward and the inward, but the depth of "the between."
This should not be surprising, because we each internalize our subjective life. Interioroty activates this powerful internal archetypal dimension. Each aspect has its own unique features that give the human psyche an immeasurable degree of depth. The form of our actually lived life is seen from the perspective of psychological interiority, a more inclusive systemic viewpoint. We must value vitally important images that emerge from the unconscious, evoke such images, and engage them decisively.
Interiorization is the process of forming structures of the human psyche through the acquisition of life experience. The concept comes from the French "intériorization", which suggests a transition from the outside to the inside, and from the Latin "interior", which means the inner. Through interiorization the seer is transformed into an imaginal person--one who is living inside the creative imagination. And that's the void from which all arises. Because that seer is consciousness the faculty of attention is interiorized and turned back upon itself.
This interiorization of the person means many things. We locate our most essential being—soul, spirit, consciousness, self, mind—“inside”, and abstract time, space, and psyche. It is the interiorization and containment of the soul. Psyche as an internal orienting activity retains structural similarity with practical activities. Psyche's own language is image, not idea. Psyche needs images to nurture its own growth, for images provide a knowledge that we can interiorize.
Imagination and memory or remembrance are interiorizations. What gets interiorized are our strong affects which are mirrored back to us symbolically, metaphorically, and imagistically. Involuntary memory implies a deeper, interiorizing memory that lies forgotten and must be called to mind. Calling the material of the involuntary memory to mind alters its original form, however. Involuntary memory remains immaterial, fleeting, or at best distorted. Hegel likens the involuntary memory to the mine and the well.
Interiorizing a given phenomenon into its psychological objective meaning reaches its inner symbolic depth, its ‘soul,' the unconscious – below reflexiveness. Subjective vision helps us discover objective reality. Beyond all conceptual construction, we understand through stories of manifestation and interiorization.
FELLOWSHIP OF ISIS FEATURE ARTICLE: GEN-ISIS The Goddess in the Roots of Your Family Tree Iona Miller, July 2017 Prepared for Summer 2017 Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal
"At ubi materia, ibi Geometria. Where there is matter, there is geometry." — Johannes Kepler, Concerning the More Certain Fundamentals of Astrology (1601, 2003).
Ares and Mars. Though the two Gods are often conflated in popular culture, they manifest to their devotees today as distinct entities. Similar, yes, but not the same — usually. In their respective pantheons, they are Gods of war, violence, virility, and raw passion, but also duty, loyalty, devotion, and fatherhood.
They are numinous, yes, but also physical, earthy, tangibly here Deities. They are Gods of the body, who revel in and celebrate all that our physical selves can do. Labor, forcing ourselves to move (martial arts, exercise, the tilling of a field, the planting of crops, the carrying of weapons and shedding of blood in defense of another), is an offering perhaps best suited to these Gods more than any other.
“The world of gods and spirits is truly 'nothing but' the collective unconscious inside me.” ~Carl Jung, On 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead, CW 11; Page 857.
Summary: It is not easy to make an honest attempt to find words for the ineffable. Like unashamed Aphrodite, this essay hopes to titillate, to provoke, to promise even more than it may deliver. The naked mysteries and hidden charms of existence are concealed and revealed.
We will flirt with ideas, but won't cover all of her aspects, exploits, or relationships. We may even mix metaphors, or skip promiscuously from subject to subject like a restless dreamer. We all have a keen grasp of the obvious when it comes to love goddess myths and basic psychology. Culture is part of our nature.
Hopefully, each reader -- anyone who has had or lost a love, or is a devotee of the goddess – will find their own revelations arising within from the unconscious. A psychological approach to Aphrodite as image-making capacity attends and tends passionately to both psyche and logos. Image and words are the interplay of sensation, intuition, thinking, and feeling. Born into Chronos, our 2 million year old soul longs for Kairos, spirit's time -- the opportune or crucial moment for significant change. Every moment is an opportunity if we tend and attend to it.
Aphrodite, the divine Beloved, is the unseen third being that informs every relationship, every devotion. We suggest an archetypal sense of her in the world at large, beyond our libidinous cravings. Tending the heart is minding the soul. Imaginal figures invite us to share the wisdom of our own inner landscapes, dreams, intuitive callings, visions, feelings, and events.
Ritual action expresses that relationship with wisdom greater than our conscious mind leading to a larger view of self and world. But technique is not soul. Aphrodite’s mystique is her sacred presence in the ordinary, inherent beauty apprehended as soul.
But the creative and poetic power of language is also a natural feature of reality. Imagination and language transform the soul through Mystery. All the functions of the psyche converge in fantasy, in imagination. We are all equally prone to the seductions of our own inner images, thoughts, emotions, and sensations.
Anthology Article: Harnessing the Fire, New Alexandria Hephaestus, 2013
http://holographicarchetypes.weebly.com/hephaistos.html Iona's Jungian essay on Hephaistos offers a transpersonal view of this holographic godform in daily life: "Holographic godforms" define our roles and ways of being, our aspirations and our deepest frustrations. In this application, hologram may be more than a metaphor for the emergence and expression of manifestation. They are vessels that inspire and contain our awe and dictate our emotions.
The concept of a God, archetype or god-form is not necessarily an absolute but appears to be more than metaphorical. Such energy in its channelling is ontological - it informs us how we know what we know. Multidimensional perception of deep natural processes informs our unconscious being and behavior. Hephaestos, God of the Forge, is the personification of subterranean and terrestrial fire, including human lustiness. The instinctive, libidinous "fire down below" is echoed by the Tarot attribution of the spermatazoic letter Yod, which means "hand" but represents the 'point' of the phallus, particularly the sperm which projects from it. It represents the longing for soul completion, or union through the sexual act.
Harnessing Fire: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Hephaestus, Bibliotheca Alexandrina Bibliotheca Alexandrina is the publishing arm of Neos Alexandria, a syncretic Greco-Egyptian religious group modeled after the ancient city of Alexandria in Egypt. BA publishes single author and anthology titles dedicated to the Gods and Goddesses of Greece, Egypt, and Rome. Each title contains a variety of poems, short fiction, essays, meditations, rituals, and artwork. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of each title are donated to a worthy charity in the name of the Gods.http://neosalexandria.org/bibliotheca-alexandrina/current-titles/harnessing-fire-a-devotional-anthology-in-honor-of-hephaestus/
Abstract:The author notes a recurrent phenomenon: others inform her that she appears in their ‘anomalous’ dreams, sometimes on repeated occasions. Spontaneous appearances in the dreams of known and unknown others is analyzed within the shared reality of the psyche. A numinous charge from the dreamer's interpretation and beliefs, not the dream’s inherent qualities, suggests reality-distorting projection. To fill a psychological need, the unconscious forms an idealized personified template, personalized by a real person. Initiation dreams introduce a new metaphor, worldview or mission in life. Visitations or epiphanies provide messages, guidance, or healing from ancestors, spirits, or deities. Like the ‘psi hypothesis,’ depth psychology models benefit from differentiation of (genuine) spontaneous psychic phenomena and (potential) ostensible psychic experiences.
There is possibly no older tradition than that of honoring our ancestors. Genealogy is both a traditional and modern way to see how the gods fit into our personal existence. We don't have to take the ancient ancestral lines literally to appreciate how they directly connect us to the gods and goddesses as our ancestors. Genealogy mediates their voices.
Tracing our family tree back to descent from antiquity is a way to actively tap the mythic dimension and the archetypal field of the ancestors. Genealogy is a mythic journey through the intergenerational labyrinth, and there are many ways to make it experiential and interactive. As we turn and 'face' ourselves and our forebears, we move back naturally in time to the timeless root of our inception, our origins.
In this regard, Isis is one of the most ancient goddesses who still bestows her gifts to humanity in a wide variety of cultural forms. One of the best documented connections are the ancient lines of royal descent, branches of which can be found from the ancient King Lists to many modern families. We want to connect with the goddess, to be related in deeply meaningful and tangible ways -- to rise with her on the Phoenix wings. We find her in our own family by reversing our lines of descent as we ascend the Tree.
What is this invisible ground whose image we carry in our souls where spiritual ideals merge with worldly realities? Isn’t it always right here, right now everywhere always forever? We embody all the laws and principles of the universe.
The contextual background, the invisible environment, is the fundamental ground from which both mind and matter emerge, the luminous absolute space of reality beyond the mere absence of energy/matter. Is our worldview rooted in the ground or groundless speculation?
Our cosmology is our map of the soul and the symbolic structure of meaning. The ancients translated the Bowl of the Heavens into an earthy draught memorialized in Grail legends, preceding Christianity. It wasn't only the sacred cup but more importantly what it contained that fired visions and devotion through direct spiritual experience. This is the secret or hidden environment of our ancestors that modern archaeology has revealed without doubt.
There is ample evidence of psychotropic brews, including cannabis, opium, ephedra, and acacia, as well as magic mushrooms and 'washed' ergot, an ancient analog for LSD. These visionary states led to numerous heavenly flights which led to philosophies and rites pregnant with meaning. The chemical philosophy is the lost core of such traditions.
Such tales are confounded with royal bloodlines as the main practitioners of such rites on behalf of their client states. Such practice also lie at the root of alchemy and the descriptors of the "philosopher's stone."
One labors in vain to decode them without such knowledge. Even without such substances there are powerful means of transformation and rebirth which were not lost, but made relevant to each culture that encountered them throughout the centuries. History and the history of religion cannot be understood without acknowledging such practices.
Earth, Humanity, Heavens Inner and outer Cosmos presents the image of a myriad of perspectives, multiple centers and vortices within a connecting principle. Kaleidoscopic images are an endless cascade of repeating detail. Iteration represents the complicated behavior of simple functions, rational or irrational.
Human achievement is a group effort as no individual has the knowledge or competence to reproduce what society has accomplished. Full lives are lived somewhere between trauma and transcendence on the uncertain road of life. The transformative process continually folds in on itself, stretching and kneading psychic space, bringing in that which is needed, and disposing of irrelevant informational content. Forgetting is useful.
Neuroscientists suggest that forgetfulness is how the brain prioritizes crucial survival information. Some things go unconscious and that is OK, even necessary to survival. Keeping memories that are irrelevant to everyday existence isn’t necessary for our evolution and survival. They can be detrimental unless they help us make adaptive decisions.
Patterns produce complicated networks as a result of the propagation of signals through them. Networks can be thrown into chaotic behavior in response to the propagation of complex input. Human beings are systems with many functions, modes, and feedback/feedforward paths. Thus transformation can involve several, nonlinear phase changes and the emotional power of inner content.
Our perceptions of ourselves and cosmos come through the interplay of figure (ourselves), ground (cosmos) and patterning instinct -- souls hungry for meaning. But what do we really know about this canvas of our consciousness, this Ground Zero of our experience, this transcendental mystery? Wisdom has an emotional content.
If we look deep enough into nature we find the cosmos and its sidereal myths within ourselves. Sacred physics is a natural theology imperative to our study and understanding of a sacred psychology of lived experience.
Cosmogonies describe the primordial phase of differentiation between light and matter, mirroring mind and matter. Perhaps the very fabric of our consciousness is not only analogous but identical with the multiverse -- literal as well as figurative.
We live in a matrix of consciousness and life. The molecular basis of creativity and psychological transformation is the mind-brain-gene interaction. It creates novelty. Neuroplasticity synthesizes new mindbody proteins that are structural, functional, and informational. New neurons create new pathways to higher consciousness.
The unconscious permeates consciousness like the virtual vacuum permeates matter at all scales. The root relegere, ‘go through again’ suggests fractal reiterations of transforming experience with focused attention and critical thinking. Thus, our imperfect being realizes its preformed potentiality.
Dialogue with the genes takes place in sleep and dreams, when we are unconscious, the implicite or implicate level of innate processing. The hippocampus distributes new information throughout the cortex, consolidating memory, neurogenesis and gene expression.
Albert Popp has shown that DNA spontaneously emits biophotons during the opening and closing operations of DNA sections that allow genetic expression. Popp suggests that DNA information organizes a coherent network of interactive biophotonic correlates, including mitochondria, morphogenesis, growth and differentiation, and cell regeneration. DNA and biophotons direct the remote control set of the main activities of all vital processes as an antenna or transceiver of biophysical knowledge.
Can the amount of light released and absorbed by nuclear DNA communicate at distances to inform biophysical programming associated with specific genetic information? Pribram's work suggested the biophotonic field of the brain is an interface with psyche.
There is strong evidence that shows we dream in all sleep states, as well as waking life to incorporate our experiences. The psyche or soul is this on-going dreamlife of the middle between conscious and unconscious worlds of phenomena that cannot be understood with reason alone. Parts of the psyche remain inaccessible through imaginal faculties while others, long buried, can be raised to awareness.
Environments can be notoriously invisible, below our perceptual threshold, and they have their own “ground rules”. Where is our “common ground” connecting spiritual and instinctual aspects, transpersonal and pre-conscious knowledge of the unconscious? Genealogy combined with experiential therapies is one such psychophysical Way of realizing the imaginal body; that body isn't purely somatic but includes the psychological and mystical.
Among other factors we have to consider what a Digital "environment" and technological paradigm of enhanced memory does to human psychology and social epistemology, and how it promotes institutional production of unconsciousness. Psychological independence from any liaison to institutions may be a necessary precondition for individuation, Jung's process of finding one’s own inner truth and fate. http://ionamiller2017.weebly.com/individuation.html
I Am the Threshold In the beginning, when we start our genealogical exploration, we necessarily start with ourselves as Ground Zero of the ancestral field. This is our first step across the Threshold of the genealogical journey. As we recite our ancestors' names, our soul recites a new poetic image.
The Ultimate Family Reunion Your own BOOK OF THE DEAD is written in your DNA. Deciphering its inherent meaning is a Quest for the Grail and the journey of psychological transformation. We instinctively engage in semi-conscious conversations with these ephemeral figures from our past and find, perhaps to our surprise, that they inform us with a hitherto unknown wisdom or perplex us with unsolvable riddles. Genealogy is the never-ending story our emerging humanity.
After the deconstruction of the postmodern era, we need a reconstruction from the ground up -- a post-postmodern coagulatio to match that solutio. The metadata hidden in our genealogy can supply such information hidden in the cognitive and emotional unconscious as structure, embodied memory, lineage, and collective wisdom. Significant knowledge can enlighten our whole being. We can participate with it or remain unconscious of it. Jung noted that we are losing contact with our instincts, with the age-old forgotten wisdom stored up in us. Few forces are as strong in the psyche as genetics, sex and death.
What distinguishes Transgenerational Genealogy from conventional or Jungian modes is plunging deeper into the Medieval, legendary, and mythic layers of one's pedigree, rather than just the first few generations. There is essentially no difference between doing genealogy or psychogenealogy, except perhaps the addition of a few evocative techniques. Information is naturally excited in the process in the form of intuitions, synchronicities, insights, and more.
The entire family tree is both a trauma archive and a resource for healing. Much of what is unconscious to us is revealed in our lines. We still have to amplify, work with, interpret, and integrate that information. This is part of the Genealogical Journey. In this way we follow Nature and our nature back to our Origin. Realizations and self-actualization arise naturally in the process of compiling such a genealogy, as we recall exactly who we are, thereby approaching our wholeness...for a 21st century Renaissance.
Obviously, all genealogy is transgenerational. So long as our ancestry remains unconscious, we are marginalizing Nature and our nature. Yet, nature encompasses us. Jung notes that dreams are pure nature. He was concerned for our culture if we lost our roots. The same holds true at the personal level.
Genealogy can be approached as a clinical science but remains more of an art -- in many cases a shamanic art or self-initiation, as well as the art of relationship. We thread our way through a labyrinth of of light and dark characters. Our charts are catacombs of our forebears. Our noble lineage becomes a royal road to ancient ancestors. But such a labyrinth of projections in the charts of a fantasist can produce self-delusion. In the chart of a realist it may remain dry facts. Fabulists embellish, while pragmatists may be stale. A middle way might be both enlivened and informed.
Nexus Events We can identify nexus events in the family lineage which became turning points for the whole family. We can take symbolic refuge among our rightful progenitors. Traversing back through the history of mankind, we reclaim and integrate much of what belongs to us -- "self-completion," not "perfection." We learn to drink from our own well of ancestral wisdom. This helps us 'cook' our raw personality in the alchemical sense, so our ascents and descents of the soul are not premature transcendental escapes, that mimic geographical escapes.
Many of us seek stories for healing. Images remain the central reality in the telling of a lifestory. And we can work with these images like our own imaginal material, in a provisional, nonliteral way. At the same time, genealogy demystifies and ignites the family field. The unconscious or even the ancestors themselves seem to call us to such work. We need them to feel complete. Then the healing forces of the unconscious come into play. We find that the gods and goddesses themselves lie at the root of some of our oldest traceable lines.
The New Age looks a lot like the old age; mostly warmed over Theosophy, rudimentary Psych 101, a hodge-podge of contradictory philosophical and pseudo-scientific ideas, and perennial wisdom.
An offspring of the Human Potential Movement, the counterculture manifesto was outlined early on by Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy. It evolved with the self-help market and its migrations of groupies from one faddish presenter to the next, dreaming of a quick fix for what ails them. They embrace various fantasies that overlap and feed one another as subsets of the subculture.
Mistaking the metaphorical and symbolic for the literal, and lack of critical thinking is exchanged for fantasies and self-aggrandizement -- not to mention the spiritual materialism of branded personality cults and self-styled groups that identify with the collective psyche. The populist fad twists gnosis, art, and science. Too much fantastical thinking and revisionism is bad, as is fictionalizing ourselves.
New age thought appropriates and bastardizes Jung. Though often thought so, the new age isn't 'Jungian' at all because Jung prioritized individuation which resists collective forces with a well-considered critical response and values.
Jungian thought is a convergence of parallel disciplines, multiple areas of knowledge, not ungrounded metaphysical speculation. The roots of the soul are models of psychic operation, how we see ourselves and the world, and the theories we embrace.
The new age harks back to the old when primordial humans huddled together for warmth and safety and the tall-tales of the community campfire. Stages of identification and projection with our own psychological complexes lie between unconsciousness and self-confrontation.
One of them is the dissociation of utopian or Romantic metasubjective unconscious. For example, to self-identify with a fad of Gnosticism does not mean one actually knows what that was in its original form. And the internet notions are branded fabrication -- a haze of their own speculations.
So, no matter what such 'gnostics' think it is unlikely they are creatively nurturing an ancient and perennial Gnosis into a new time as much as concocting a confabulated myth. Gnosis is a psychological fact, but gnosis is not Gnosticism, as Jung said. In fact, it is self-selected cluster of often-erroneous beliefs about Gnosticism. There is a myth of Gnosticism.
Parroting memes, buzzwords, disinformation and the misguided thoughts of others is as sterile as self-absorption, especially during spiritual crises. It can promote ego inflation. It can reflect rather than combat our culture's passivity, narcissism, and cynicism, making us vulnerable to hypnotic trance and groupthink. The value of niche products is in the niche. At the edge. For the ideal.
Self-absorption in individual or collective idiosyncratic fantasy, rehashing half-baked notions that already failed historically, is not self-actualization but a regressive kind of culturally proscribed self-indulgence with an addiction to peak experiences. Its empty promise is hope as dope. Yet in myth, hope is the last evil in Pandora's box, a meme for cultural desire, a defense against fear and pain. “(Hope) alone is still found among the people, promising that she will bestow on each of us the good things that have gone away." (Aesop, Fables 526, trans. Gibbs)
Some myths have been reframed or watered down from their ancient meanings to reflect today's idiosyncratic revisions and retrival of gnosis -- gnostalgia -- bent to support pet theories. One trend is distinctly different than the prevailing tone in the therapeutic community. Gnosticism never had a paranoid edge in depth psychology which doesn't take the stories literally. Some gnostic narratives have taken on a distinctly paranoid tone and anti-intellectualism that is a sign of the times and media trends. We all reflect the personal and cultural imagination.
Much of what passes for the well-meaning new age vacillates between the compensations of manically positive Pollyannas and those who marinate in the negative, the suspicious and apocalyptic. Fear-porn is a 'black swan' of programmed despair and unforeseen consequences. It is an analogy to the retrospectively predictable fragility of any system of thought once its fundamental postulates and conclusions are disproved. More often the realization is staved off with denial, self-delusion, "oceanic feelings," rubber-stamp validation, and pseudo-scientific devices we 'should' believe in.
The culture is stuck in egocentric entertainment, with a dark, often sexual shadow that compulsively desires darkness and transgression, and surrender to the group or personality cult leader. New age culture seeks to gain our sympathy by promising to fill in our gaps with the next podcast, amateur 'expert', hyped product or airbag treatment. What it offers are dependencies, dysfunction, and propaganda for unconscious 'meat-puppets'.
Enmeshment, ethical ambivalence, and entitlement is not uplifting, even while giving lip-service to the feminine. Rather than supporting you tube talking heads, we should pay more attention to our core issues and consider the source. When we look for what is meaningful, we have to get down into the soul of a person.
The new alchemical maxim isn't 'as above, so below' but 'garbage in, garbage out.' So, other than cottage industries, where are the spiritual fruits beyond 'secondary gains' of this movement and community that exploit the naive? Why is critique met with narcissistic rage? With few exceptions, where are its adepts free of the "cultural capital" of commercialism, the bait of branded methodology, and shameless self-promotion? --Iona Miller, 2017
SOUL IS THE ARCHETYPE OF LIFE ITSELF Archetypes are the source of soul images. Soul life itself is the activity of those images. We are in the psyche, Anima Mundi, The presence of psychic body reveals who we are. Psyche is the totality of conscious and unconscious psychic processes.
"Individuation is a philosophical, spiritual and mystical experience." --Jung, Psychology and Religion, Page 294.
"In the last analysis every life is the realization of a whole, that is, of a self, for which reason this realization can also be called "individuation." --Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 222.
"For Jung, the call to individuate arises from the deepest sources of life and is supported inwardly and outwardly by the compensatory activities of nature. It is a call, therefore, that is not to be taken lightly. Both inwardly and outwardly nature strives unceasingly to bring about the realization, in the life of the individual, of a unique pattern of meaning." --Robert Aziz, Jung’s Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity
The goal of spiritual, psychological, and biological development is self-realization or individuation. The process of individuation is a refinement from the many to the one, from undifferentiated unconsciousness to individual consciousness. Individuation is the quest for wholeness, the journey to become more and more conscious of our unique self.
Transformative symbols are unconscious carriers of both the conscious and unconscious worlds. The effect of this transmutation is the process of individuation, which Jung described as, "a conscious realization of everything the existence of an individual implies: his needs, his tasks, his duties, his responsibilities, etc." (Letters Vol. 1, Pg 503-505)
Meaning is a non-material imaginal dimension. Imagination is a vital spiritual function, inseparable from the World Soul. Psyche is soul. Symbols are the currency of consciousness and the connective tissue of the mind-body correlation. They are visible in the psychic aspect of symptoms and behavior, involving the reader in a collaborative process mapping the conceptual terrain. Our invisible ground is now simultaneous information, a field that travels at the speed of light, centered everywhere and nowhere.
Universally Present Origin On the archaic level, the numinous experience of the individuation process is the prerogative of shamans and medicine men. Later this searing intensity and transformative power is embodied in the artist, healer, therapist, physician, oracle, prophet, and priest, as metaphysics, philosophy and religion. Reframing consciousness, the artist seeks every way to navigate mind, and explore its domains.
Mystery Landscape In Understanding Media (1964), Marshall McLuhan suggested that, "the artist is always engaged in a writing detailed history of the future because [s]he is the only person aware of the nature of the present..." He thought the artist in any field, scientific or humanistic, grasps the implications of their actions and of new knowledge in their own time, thus expressing integral awareness.
In this liminal, undefined habitat, creative non-fiction creates its own rules and explanations with narrative drive and structure. Connective chains of ideas and events hopefully culminate in the reader's self-discovery. More than a license to meander, it is a circulatio, a ritual passage, among all potential and underground aspects of the self, balancing the rational and intuitive mind with a principled conscience.
McLuhan said, the Western world is living through its past and the past of many forgotten cultures. But collective cultures demand individuals repress and subordinate themselves, their individuality, and even their creativity.
Choices are usually limited or contextual. So, post-conventional models encourage unique creative approaches, beyond authority, punishment and reward, material power, approval, social contracts or obligations, or even enlightened self-interest. We must learn to accept individual responsibility for collective evil.
Yet, our archaic origin remains ever present, the flowing movement of reality and our underlying source, a spaceless and timeless zero-dimensional realm. This enfolded dimension supports the manifest world of material structure. Archaic man was pre-conscious, fused with world and universe. Even at the most primitive stage we have to discern right from wrong actions. The Shadow always presents a divergent, oblique view and problematic interactions.
Psyche's embedded structures are 'mutations' with their own characteristics and anatomy which we metabolize and absorb as the simultaneity of association. The body symbolically turns itself inside out and discovers its more-than-metaphorical reversible relation with the world and cosmos -- Being, the whole itself.
De-structuring, or destratification by immersion in the flow of psychic imagery through identification with more and more primal forms or patterns leads toward creative emergence of an expanded state. Moral dilemmas and cognitive dissonance challenge our value system. Wholeness demands the lower as well as the higher concepts.This creativity can become a stabilized trait of a self-actualizing individual.
We are all familiar with religious images of ascent and descent to various heavens and hells. But the psychological process of descent is more than a 'dark night of the soul.' It is a withdrawl of the ego from worldly involvement and a dark and dangerous descent to the archaic dynamic ground (Washburn).
In Anatomy of the Psyche, Edward Edinger summarizes seven major aspects of this dynamic symbolism: (1) return to the womb or primal state; (2) dissolution, dispersal, dismemberment; (3) containment of a lesser thing by a greater; (4) rebirth, rejuvenation, immersion in the creative energy flow; (5) purification ordeal; (6) solution of problems; and (7) melting or softening process.
These different aspects overlap. Several or all of them may make up different facets of a single experience. Basically it is the ego's confrontation with the unconscious that brings it about. Ego submits in the service of transcendence to more primitive modes of functioning to recollect what has been repressed, forgotten, and denied. We 'die to the world' to experience a pivotal event under the influence of numinous power: the long and difficult opening of the prepersonal unconscious.
Symptoms include bizarre and morbid states, dread, estrangement, alienation, anxiety, disturbed thoughts, eruption of instincts, dysregulation, fragmentation, conflict and ego death. But, rather than degenerative, such symptoms eventually lead to coherence of the whole being and a new relationship between psyche, mythos and logos.
Solar myths arose with civilization and agriculture. Before that the Moon governed our rhythms for aeons. Solar myths heralded the appearance of the light of consciousness and mental structure and ethical separation of good and evil -- and tension of dualistic opposites.
Myth brings objective meaning to psychic events, beyond the history of an individual. Hillman claimed it 'silvers' the psychic mirror, allowing reflection. Stace (1960) identifies the results of such transformation: 1) unity of all things; 2) transformation of space and time; 3) deeply felt positive mood; 4) sacredness; 5) objectivity and reality; 6) paradoxicality; 7) alleged ineffability; 8) transiency, and 9) persisting positive changes in subsequent behavior.
Archetypal Matrix Both psyche and cosmos come from the 'cosmic womb,' or source field and continue unfolding from each and every moment. Archaic or primeval non-dimensional root structure (like deep dreamless sleep) orients us with modalities of experience in space and time.
Transcendent energies are in inherent in this ground of universe itself. This is a primordial, not a simulated reality; symbols enrich not impoverish human experience. It is the real reality beneath the socially constructed veneer; not a perversion of reality, but its core.
Magical structure first appeared in hunting rituals, fused with nature, animism, and rudimentary self-image -- a highly-emotional one-dimensional dream-like state, an immediacy where nothing is 'accidental.'
Mythic structure is highly-imaginative archetypal vision reflecting soul infused meaning, two-dimensional polarities, long and short cycles, and separation from nature. It is imagistic, re-enactive, and reflective with corresponding meaning and significance. Myth is poetic, symbolic and metaphorical. But mythic literalism can be rigid, dogmatic and intolerant.
The Enlightenment repudiated myth, but not those of religion. When the gods were rationalized out of consciousness, Jung said they had become diseases. They were rediscovered in the interior depths of the unconscious as psychic facts. Their capacity to re-enchant the world was revived.
An integral approach doesn't pit them against one another. Mental structures include reason, questioning, analysis, perspective, rights, even madness. Integral structure includes embodiment with authentic dwelling as insight and recognition of the whole -- transparent to transcendence (Gebser).
Rational & Irrational Experiences All structures are emergent and remain existent today, even if unconscious. Thus, we have vital, psychological, and conceptual selves. Creative interpretations dive deeper into the historical undercurrents of consciousness and our perceptual styles and latent potentials and insight.
To experience an integral life, we must bring awareness to our lived participation at all levels. The integral structure transcends rational formulations with multiple perspectives, and direct, transrational realizations. Lost and repressed potentials re-emerge in higher integrative unity.
Our Invisible History This existential 'disappearing act' is recapitulated in matter, as well as consciousness. In the quantum and sub-quantum domains there are no physical properties, just effects of virtual particle flux. Nonlocality mirrors integral consciousness. There is no solid matter, just potentialities, possibilities, superpositions.
The underlying psychic process remains hidden from view and is dramatized in "mysteries" and "sacraments.” They are reinforced by religious teachings, exercises, meditations, and acts of sacrifice. The celebrant plunges so deeply into the sphere of the mystery that s/he becomes conscious of intimate connections with mythic happenings. The real nature of psychic processes transcends consciousness, as much as the mysteries of life or matter. Jung's view of psyche and 'psychic' alludes to the densest darkness imaginable.
Much of what Jung describes as “individuation” is actually “self-transcendence.” Self-transcendence is the dissolution of the self-actualized individual into the “whole.” “Whole” in the collective consciousness includes Divine Consciousness - God. It is the “Awakening” or “Enlightenment” process, primordial awareness. This process is not realizing we exist within the whole, but the individual dissolving “self” and becoming one with the “whole.”
"The deeper layers of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as they retreat farther and farther into darkness. Lower down; that is to say as they approach the autonomous functional systems, they become increasingly collective until they are universalized and extinguished in the body's materiality, i.e., in chemical substances. The body's carbon is simply carbon. Hence *at bottom' the psyche is simply “world.” ~Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections.
A perennial theme of humankind, transformation as a basic change in character, cognition, and direction has been explored in religion, psychology and art. There is individual and collective transformation. Dependence on the later erodes individuality.
Classical metaphors of dynamic transformations of lifestyle, soul and spirit include: 1. dream sleep to awakening; 2. illusion to realization; 3. darkness (or blindness) to enlightenment; 4. imprisonment to liberation; 5. fragmentation to wholeness (unifying); 6. separation to oneness (unifying); 7. journey to destination (arriving); 8. being in exile to coming home (returning); 9. from seed to flowering or fruiting plant or tree (unfolding); 10. from death to rebirth (renewal, resurrection, eternal return).
Rites of passage, as a summons to wisdom, can include a psychological and sacred dimension. It addresses the question of how a person finds a personal path worthy of the soul. We're taught to strive for this mythic "thing" at the physical, mental, and spiritual level. Transformation is thorough, radical and dramatic power that can be deployed for good or ill.
Classically, 'transformation' describes the path from initiation to liberation from social conformity. It helps us let go of the worn out to find deep dialogue with psyche, adventure and renewed life. The process is mediated by symbols and imagery. If they arise organically ego is transformed; if they are imposed ego is hijacked.
Solitude is the furnace of authentic transformation. Personal growth is an individual process of self-determination. In this sense, it is incompatible with group programming. But the real self as divergent perceptions and dynamic understanding of interrelationships is dangerous to tradition, the church, the state, and the crowd.
In psychology, transformation has been curiously defined as "the procedure used when unconscious desires or urges are costumed in order to emerge in consciousness." Psychobiological transformation is a key theme in depth psychologies.
It begins at the point where there is no hope and leads through overwhelming challenges, fraught with depression, fragmentation, dissociation, resistance, symptoms, pain and anxiety. We are at our most vulnerable at the threshold of transformation, including technological trauma. New technologies create new environments.
Awareness, Feeling & Intuition The key to personal transformation is story transformation. But more than just a different "narrative," or figure, it is about is the 'ground' that hasn't been recognized. This includes the relationship between technology and art. In integral awareness, consciousness is not fragmented by repression. All is one and that oneness is ourselves. What is invisible now needs to be remembered at the cultural not just individual level, inspiring self-awareness, healing, and discovery.
"Its [the Unconscious] answer does not necessarily refer to that piece of reality you have in mind, it is reacting to the whole man and brings into sight what the whole man should know, in other words, it compensates for an insight lacking in consciousness." ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 360-361.
"Whenever and wherever you turn to some extent towards the unconscious it seldom or never answers as one would expect; it is rather as if nature itself were answering." ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 360-361.
Behind, Beneath & Between the Surface The detailed history of the future includes awareness of the unused possibilities of the present. But rather than forecasting from Big Data, we simply notice what's going on in the present, aware as we can be of what we're missing, consciously and unconsciously with a sort of spiral thinking.
Spirals are symbolic metaphors for a never-ending journey of discovery and rediscovery. Spiral structure involves feedback and feedforward, advancing and retreating along several dimensions and reversals of figure and ground. The spiral is a frame for observation of current situational reality and multiple perspectives on the natural world, not a theory in itself.
The spiral structure of purely physical and biological phenomena is primarily played out in physical space, whereas the spiral structures of philosophy, culture, human thought, scholarship and artistic expression involve the time dimension. The movement back and forth in these domains entails the transitions from the present back to the past or forward into the future and vice-versa from the past and the future to the present. The spiral structure unites the past, the present, and the future. According to McLuhan, “We live in post-history in the sense that all pasts that ever were are now present to our consciousness and that all the futures that will be are here now.” He also suggested that, “the future of the future is the present.” (Oldenhof, Logan) http://www.mdpi.com/2409-9287/2/2/9/htm
We attempt to expose the "hidden ground" behind important areas of our lives. We dig down to what is "not seen," rather than just another way of seeing. In The Mechanical Bride, McLuhan defines 'art' as both a 'storehouse of achieved values' and 'the antennae of new awareness and discovery', enabling 'a unified and an inclusive consciousness in which there is easy commerce between old and new' (MB 87).
McLuhan noted that every work of art, in its repeated use, becomes a technology. He didn't distinguish between art and science 'in any field, scientific or humanistic.' The science-artists becomes one who 'grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time' (UM 65). He suggests 'probing' the unconscious environment, which McLuhan tells us, has utility across all fields of the arts and sciences. http://www.lightthroughmcluhan.org/art.html
Transformation is symbolic, life-changing -- a massive reorganization of attitudes, behaviors, and meaning. Metamorphosis is the classic metaphor of major life passages and restructuring. Latent potentials emerge and outworn characteristics decline. Some qualities are hidden until our true nature is revealed as a new form of life and self-identity.
Archetypal and Imaginal psychology urge us to move beyond the monotheistic myth of self-domination by the abstract concepts of a rational heroic ego, self, or god. James Hillman noted the ego too is an image. It makes problems to solve them with will and intentionality, but that is an illusory perspective.
Consciousness is not based on concepts of ego or self, though it has been identified as such. Archetypes generate the transformational images and the universal material of myth and drama, but they bear the mark of personal and cultural conditioning. They provide archaic and timeless meaning. Jung said, "Archetypes are living powers; they are the "thoughts of God." (Conversations with C.G. Jung, Page 59.)
Hillman dubs ego a "myth of inflation", not the secret key to the development of consciousness, but a source of fallacies, defining its literal fantasies as reality. In A Blue Fire (pg. 34), he suggests, "placing in abeyance such metaphors as: choice and light, problem solving and reality testing, strengthening, developing, controlling, progressing." He condemns new age insistence on transformation - sloughing off the old self and interpretive schemes for an idealization that is essentially another self-delusion, or premature transcendental escapism.
Self-Actualization: Realizing Our Potential Jung (CW 12, par. 32) cautioned that we must be alone to find out what it is that supports us when we can no longer support ourselves. Only this experience, he said, gives us an indestructible foundation. "Individuation and collectivity are a pair of opposites, two divergent destinies. They are related to one another by guilt."
He concludes, "we must be able to stand alone vis a vis the unconscious for better or worse." (Letters, Vol 1, p. 458-459) Jung also notes, "Individuation is just ordinary life and what you are made conscious of." (Letters, Vol. 1, pg. 442) We may draw our energy froma quiet, inner life or a noisy outer life. It isn't rare, but it is a move toward self-actualization or self-realization. There are many names for the inward journey of the soul and formless state. The unspeakable ultimate realm is contained within the inner mirror.
The path from the oblivious to self-aware life is beset with obstacles. How do we know what a genuine transformative experience is? We transform ourselves by every act of self-knowing. Jung felt that self-realization was a natural process of transformation, orchestrated by the unconscious. The infinite depth of dynamic reality informs our worldview and personal sovereignty. Such is the journey of meaningful solitude into silence, ratified by the perennial wisdom.
Krishnamurti said, "To stand alone is to be uncorrupted, innocent, free of all tradition, of dogma, of opinion, of what another says, and so on. . . .What matters is to understand for oneself, not through the direction of others, the total content of consciousness, which is not conditioned, which is the result of society, of religion, of various impacts, impressions, memories -- to understand all of that conditioning and be free of it. But there is no "how" to be free. If you ask 'how' to be free, you are not listening."
Kahlil Gibran claimed, "Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms."
Yogananda suggests that self-realization is "to know truth through yourself, and not through others." Ramana Maharshi says, "your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world."
The Dalai Lama notess, "With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world." Rumi was poetic: "I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul."
Hermann Hesse and others, such as Thoreau, Emerson and Whitman, echo this approach in their own writings.
Hesse felt that, "We must become so alone, so absolutely alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone and we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for in our innermost soul, we know ourselves to be one with all beings."
“Transformation connotes a more-or-less dramatic shift in the context of an individual's meaning system, beyond any attempts to re-brand or commercialize the field. Real transformation takes place in the furnace of the heart. However, institutional transformation can mean an imposed or enforced social change.
In McLuhan's vernacular, the "invisible" environment of new technologies creates an "erosion", not enhancement, of the conscious and unconscious -- by means of "audience as workforce." We unconsciously conform to such environments. The subconscious works on emotion. Business strategy is transformed into emotion.
Transformation is a model of a process. In this theory, personal and social transformation promotes self-actualization and compassionate service. Radical change involves new habits, range of emotions, and worldview -- concerns, interests, goals, ambitions, practices, and behaviors. A reordering of values can change the basis of self-identity.
Significant transformation can mean a radical reorganization of one’s identity, meaning, and purpose in life -- a turning point -- transformations of earlier worldviews. Embodied transformation sustains over time. Wisdom to know the difference between one’s ego and one’s Self is embodied in your individuality.
“What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one. Before this metaphysical reality we are all of us provincial....It's this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier-country between the tangible world and the intangible one—which is really the realm of the artist." —Federico Fellini; quoted by John Berger in Keeping a Rendezvous
"Art as an anti-environment is an indispensable means of perception, for environments, as such, are imperceptible. Their power to impose their ground rules on our perceptual life is so complete that there is no scope for dialogue or interface. Hence the need for art or anti-environments." --McLuhan, (UB 20, pp.3-4)
“Non-objective art draws its contents essentially from “inside.” This “inside” cannot correspond to consciousness, since consciousness contains images of objects as they are generally seen, and whose appearance must therefore necessarily conform to general expectations…. Behind consciousness there lies not the absolute void but the unconscious psyche, which affects consciousness from behind and from inside, just as much as the outer world affects it from in front and from outside.” ~Carl Jung, CW 15, P. 206
Soul (anima) is an active intelligence that forms or plots our fates. Being-in-Anima (esse in anima) is to be ensouled. Soma Sophia, the Body of Wisdom is inherent dwelling within the body of Anima Mundi. Psyche is immersed in imagination, metaphor, poetry and myth, including scientific and spiritual technologies.
Fantasy deliteralizes the illusory concreteness of matter. Images and fantasy are the carriers of meaning. The language of alchemy provides archetypes for the world as it is phenomenologically constructed. Inspiration replenishes the world, the wasteland of the nigredo.
Aesthetic Arrest Clarity is artistic discovery of the universal. There is enchantment in the quality of wholeness. There is beauty in the rhythms of nature and our nature. Aesthetic response is an essential emotional aspect of alchemy that lends flow and harmony to the process of balance, rhythm and synthesis of immediate perception. That flow is lyrical, epic and dramatic. Aesthetic signification is one thing, but the deep emotional impact of aesthetic arrest -- being suspended for a thrilling radiant moment in the eternal -- stops us in our tracks in a moment of realization.
We dissolve in the mysterious ground of being, the sublime wellspring of creativity. The mind goes still as primal awareness expands into wholeness. Something without physical form shines forth from the hidden world in that very moment. These luminous experiences, true works of art, drive us onward in the Quest. We are struck with divine inspiration and the passion to see it through to completion. Sensuous cogniton of beauty is a revelation, an astonishment.
Aesthetic arrest blows apart the illusory differences between the sacred and the profane. We are inspired in the A-ha moment, utterly dissolved in the momentary ego-death of its solutio that blows apart illusory nature. This aesthetic experience is an act of surrender that is an epiphany. It makes us gasp for air and sparks a cascade of pleasure. We are connected to beauty and wholeness. We know what it means to exist rooted in the mysterious creative ground of being.
Soul is made by narrating events in terms of myth, the metaphoric and symbolic dimensions of our experience. Poetics brings the archetypal into participation with the mundane by tending the currents of life. The alchemist in us is an imaginative variation of our mundane character through which some of us come to recognize our life story. Our enlivened art speaks to our depths. Alchemy is a direct way of knowing -- experience-based knowledge.
BEYOND BELIEF NEW WORKS BY IONA MILLER, 2017
COSMIC LABYRINTH A visual and poetic journey for relaxation. Video and text by Iona Miller
"… in the psyche there is nothing that is just a dead relic. Everything is alive, and our upper story, consciousness, is continually influenced by its living and active foundations. " -- Jung, CW 10 Par. 55
"I wanted to create a labyrinth which would somehow help to prevent a compositional idea from establishing itself all too quickly. I had the idea of working on all the walls pretty well at the same time,as if they were one large painting completely surrounding me. By constantly wandering in the labyrinth I sought to realize a form of “de-composition” --Günter Brus, in Nervous Stillness on the Horizon (2006)
The labyrinth embodies our struggle with darkness. The labyrinth is a cultural and geometrical symbol, whether we speak of labyrinthine structures, the labyrinth of deep thought or the imaginal penetration of the depths of our being. Kerenyi introduced three interrelated aspects: 1) labyrinth as a mythical construction; 2) as a spiral path dancers followed in ritual; and 3) as a structure that was represented by a spiral line. In this symbolic journey, the map becomes the world.
Rock womb-tombs were memorialized as megalithic monuments from the 11,000 year old labyrinth of the stars, Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, to the neolithic subterreanean Hypogeum of Malta, and later the world navel Delphi, whose root is δελφύς delphys, "womb". Vagina-shaped ritual caves are found globally. Kashmir has a sanctuary called Garbhagriha, the house of the womb, where regeneration is effected and the higher self of the devotee is reborn. At Mycenæ, so-called “beehive” tombs were constructed as wombs of stone to receive the dead. The Sumerian word sal, means “vulva,” “womb,” and “woman.” Also, the Latin matrix carries the meanings “female cavity,” “womb,” “matron,” and “mother.”
Nenkovo, a vagina-shaped ritual cave in Bulgaria illustrates the central Mystery. At noon the sun penetrates into the cave through an opening in the ceiling creating a phallus of light on the floor. It progressively grows longer, reaching toward the womb altar. In Winter, with the sun low on the horizon, the phallus elongates to reach the altar and symbolically fertilizes the womb. The Hawara labyrinth in Egypt was decorated with reliefs of the Dragon god Sobek. The womb temple is a place for rebirth.
It is a mystery to live and die. Self is grounded in embodiment. Embodiment and experience is the root of culture and self, the intersection of culture and nature. It provides orientation and engagement in terms of interwoven threads of psychocultural themes and the cultural constitution of the sacred self. Mind and body, psyche and soma, are indistinguishable at the level of perception. Our attentional habits create our experience.
In primordial experience we are present and living. Undifferentiated unconscious process is an indeterminate capacity that precedes cognitive and evaluative structures, compulsions, and revulsions. Obviously, the body is in the world from the beginning. The process is specified in the cultural context as our orientation and situation in a pre-reflective bodily experience.
The cultural self is grounded in embodied phenomenology, modulating the relationships with self, others, and cosmos, linking behavior to the objective world. We have perceptual senses, but also a sense of necessity, a sense of reality, meaning, balance, beauty, the sacred, responsibility, humor, absurdity, morality, practicality, etc. They are synchronized and attuned through the body. Body image, identity, and claims of identity have broader parameters than the skin boundary.
Self processes include perception, imagination, memory, language, and emotion -- narratives of alienation and reconciliation centering on the quality and content of experience. The self encompasses symptoms, disorders, symbolic meaning, social relationships, and orientation to the world. Traditionally, healing is evoked through therapeutic trance, imagery processes, catharsis, placebo effect, insight and suggestion. Such acts, existential encounters with self, Other and the limits of our coherence, establish long-standing moods and motivations.
What is being healed in the imaginal dimension? That depends on the manner in which we define its goals. The healing paradigm and structural hypothesis depend on the inherent power of correspondences. There are analogies or homologues between metaphors, symbolic acts, and cosmological structure with behavior, emotions, thoughts, and diseases.
Embodied experiences are transformable. The body is more, genealogically and ethnographically, than what it has come to mean. We embody deep history. Existence is taken up and transforms situations. Transformative meaning is taken up in the healing experience.
We can capture our existential beginnings through healing in moments of unconditioned being. Transcendence is where perception, objectification, and conceptualization begin. Integrative transformation is not mystical but is grounded in the world. The same universal and personal symbols are brought into different relations.
Experiential commentary reveals the emotional self. When the healing impulse becomes interpretive, it becomes reflexive, giving voice to "the other." The imaginal performance of healing processes is related to trauma, revelatory experience, and internal object relations with spontaneity, intimacy, and control.
Biology, psychology, and culture interact to help make sense of human capacities. Bodily experience is the root of therapeutic efficacy. The self is the product of dialogue with concrete phenomena, instantiating the empirical phenomena at hand. Even our problems are symbols or revelatory imagery. Bodily experience is the existential ground of culture and the sacred. The earth is the symbol of physical humanity. Its ground is our existential ground. Another dimension beneath the ground is the cosmos because the Earth is suspended in the cosmos.
As we become conscious of this inner world, attention is directed inwards, and a whole new world opens, including embodied imagery and experiential specificity. We make ourselves more human through creativity, healing systems, and the sacred self. In alchemy, the entrance into the unconscious is represented by the entrance into caves, by reports of shamanic or initiatory travels to the underworld or strange parts of the world.
Caves were the primordial labyrinths. Cave, labyrinth and cosmic tree are primordial images. Tunnels are liminal. Ritual caves, rock womb-tombs were memorialized as megalithic monuments from the 11,000 year old labyrinth of the stars at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, to the neolithic subterranean Hypogeum of Malta, and later the world navel Delphi, whose root is δελφύς delphys, "womb".
The labyrinth is the feminine face of the divine, the more dimly lit world of the divine. Linked to our inner world, they were considered homes of the ancestor spirits. The cosmic labyrinth is home of our mythic and archetypal ancestors. The oldest known mythic ancestors are those of the Natufian culture, the first pre-historical farmers (pre-Gobekli Tepe).
Dating between the mid-7th millennium BC and the mid-8th millennium BC, the statues are among the earliest large-scale representations of the human form, and are regarded as one of the most remarkable specimens of prehistoric art. These are the first artifacts of ancestry worship, from Ain Ghazal, Jordan. As such, they are mythic ancestors to us all, expressing the power of myth as a way of recognizing, knowing, and experiencing.
The labyrinth is initiatory, and temporarily disturbs rational conscious, opening us to chaos. The inner mind is aware of a new cosmic dimension, a pilgrimage through the flow of cosmic manifestation and absorption in the Absolute. The labyrinth is an opened form of the circle where knowledge (gnosis) resonates at a deep and often unconscious level. It metaphorically captures the mysteries of life and serves as a cosmic symbol. Entering the cave is entering holy ground.
You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking how you'll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. --John Green, in Looking for Alaska (2005)
The very scientist who, in the service of the sinful king, was the brain behind the horror of the labyrinth, quite as readily can serve the purposes of freedom. But the hero-heart must be at hand. … Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of alltime have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world. --Joseph Campbell,