To be immortal is commonplace; except for man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death; what is divine, terrible, incomprehensible, is to know that one is immortal. --Jorge Luis Borges
The Esoteric Imagination in Theurgy & Self-Initiation by Iona Miller, (c)2018
Magic has to be restated in the language of its time. The ontological discourse of reality is no longer occupied solely by religious doctrine and appeals to supernatural forces. We have to confront our own ontological assumptions.
Belief systems are technologies of symbolism. Predictive coding of perception sheds new light on the concentration and visualization practices central to much of modern occultism. Esoteric understanding does not rely on fixed writings of the past.
These are the Mysteries, from the root word for 'silence.' They are secret because they must be experienced to known, not just grasped conceptually or intellectually. Spiritual imagination is the catalyst for transcendence. We learn to recognize that a certain unfolding of images is a “vision” and not a “daydream,” or that an internal voice is that of a spirit and not just our own thoughts.
Esoterics and the esoteric imagination are rooted in the natural fusion of philosophy and religion. Esoteric practices provide techniques of cultivating mental imagery. Imagination, a word derived from and relying on image, is central to esoteric practices which produce powerfully subjective experiences. Psyche and soul are traditional terms for our multisensory imaginal capacity.
But what does it really mean to say that esoteric practices rely on the imagination? Theurgy is an image-based practice. Special knowledge is often sought through intimate experiences with mediators. Practices focus on sensing, visualizing, amplifying and feeling the divine directly, deification and rebirth in theurgical practices.
Theurgy, a Hermetic way of immortality, unites theurgists with gods through rituals specifically coordinated with their conditions and capacities. Iamblichus contends, “contact with the divine is not knowledge (oude gnôsis).” The mortal perspective is replacedby the universal perspective of a god.
Eliade (82) reports, "Ecstatic experiences strengthened the conviction that the soul is not only autonomous but that it is capable of unio mysticawith the divinity."
Henri Corbin said, "The often-abused word 'esoterism' refers to the inevitable need to express the reintegration of the human being into symbols." Likewise, the word 'occult' is misunderstood, when it merely means 'hidden' and implies the lure of secrecy. It reinstates our humanity. It includes ecstatic experience in the Neoplatonic tradition and quest for wisdom.
Magic Without Problematic Assumptions & Conceptual Trouble
Esotericism is full of psychologically rich sources from visions and trances to ritual, initiation, astral travel, hidden correspondences and esoteric hermeneutic techniques. Thematic issues include the textual-interpretive, practical and conceptual dimensions of Western esotericism, which has an initiatory role. Late Antiquity emphasized ecstatic experience, reflected in aspects of the ‘Platonic underworld’ of Hermetism, Gnosticism, Magic and Theurgy.
The Platonic framework includes: Platonic mania; ritual and contemplative inductions of ecstatic experience; ancient terminologies for altered states of consciousness; Neoplatonic epiphanies; philosophical vision and ecstatic vision; the fate and legacy of the ‘shamanism’ concept in classical studies; initiatic and oracular experience in Platonism; and modern psychological perspectives on ancient ecstatic experience.
In Ficino’s Florence, mania was central to the praxis of the Platonic world view in Natural Magic. There are strong similiarities between narratives of “soul flight” in ancient Mediterranean cultures, spanning diverging theological/philosophical traditions over at least a millennium of history. Modern revivals and experimentation continue.
Plato suggested to perceive desire, is to bring the soul into that state where it is close to its greatest light, to its becoming, to its true destiny. Individuation mirrors the soul's journey. The soul travels along the journey as it “sticks to the realm of experience and to reflections within experience” (Hillman, 1975, p. 69).
Psyche mirrors Cosmos. Events can be grouped by meaning as well as cause.Nature is our mirror. Psyche is both a mirror of the subjective ego and a reflection of the whole psyche, a combination of the intentional and phenomenal. Dreams mirror and reflect psyche, whether we are seeker, aspirant, mystic, or mage.
Images mirror another mirror, (perception), a filter through which and a mirror in which we see ourselves. We can't privilege the conceptual over the imaginal. Images are not signs, representations, symbols or allegories but direct experience of "the individuation of images," avoiding the reduction to mere concepts of theseimages that 'arise' of themselves, independent of ego.
Imageis not what we see but how we see. The image is a consequence of an imaginative look connected to a poetic usage, to an image of fantasy.. We see ourselves made visible in metaphors. Biogenesis mirrors the cosmic process of creation. Images organize themselves into fantasies through archetypal pattern. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face with Cosmos.
Is it possible that regaining our own interiority correlates with rediscovering infolded dimensions of nature and time? Interiority and exteriority are basic components in philosophy. Reflection is a metaphor for the continuum of the subject-object in the mirror-of-the-mind and the interiority of perception and its illusion of projected exteriority.
Interior domains include naturalism's aesthetics, intersubjectivity, and consciousness (Zimmerman). Psychology is the discipline of interiority. Identity includes both psychological interiority and physical expression.
The mirror would reflect all of the souls and powers in the universe and when the souls of shamans went to the world of souls it would show them the way. What we can extract from it is a mirror of our own soul and its treasures. We learn to see ourselves 'depersonalized in the mirror of the human spirit.'
The evolution of art mirrors our liberation from time, space and personality. Artists work in imagistic space with no beginning, middle, or end -- what comes through the permeable consciousness, including trains of images. “The Gnostic artist is also a magician for he materializes thought forms in all that he does. These materializations are not always conscious, hence he is also a type of medium.” (Michael Bertiaux, Voudon-Gnostic Workbook)
Rainer Maria Rilke depended on an inspirational wind or angel sweeping through the poet. In a 1921 letter, he wrote, "I believe that as soon as an artist has found the living center of his activity, nothing is so important for him as to remain in it and never go further away from it (for it is also the center of his personality, his world) than up to the inside wall of what he is quietly and steadily giving forth; his place is never, not even for an instant, alongside the observer and judge."
“It is the psyche of the artist that is the product, it sprung from your own well, it’s your own water”, says Sweden’s great painter Karin Mamma Andersson. “The moment you dig into something, it becomes a sort of self-image.”
Jung believed individuation can lead us out of the hall of mirrors and return us to our Self,calling of the soul back into the heart of being.Self is both a mirror of the subjective ego and a reflection of the whole psyche. Grounded intuition of a centered sphere of soul opens a microcosm that mirrors the Cosmic macrocosm: "As Above, So Below.”
The night sky is the soul's mirror, showing light in the darkness, the luminous darkness that steers the course of individuation. We belong to a world—and a self—that is ever in a state of becoming. The night sky is the soul’s mirror, a reminder that light is embedded even in the deepest darkening, a “seed plot of a world to come.” (Costello)
For centuries, "black mirrors" used in a practice called “scrying," (“to perceive”) were employed to assist the conscious mind to perceive and appropriate Unconscious contents. Elizabethan magician John Dee used an Aztec obsidian magical mirror. Michel Nostradamus in the 16th century used black mirrors for divination.
One technique is to allow archetypal images to arise into awareness from the depths of the Unconscious. Using candles, pierced stones, black mirrors and the like in extraverted ways have no objective value; they’re simply one means to the same end. Televisions and computers are modern 'black mirrors.'
Jung held a mirror up to processes inside us. Jung mirrored the realization of the macrocosm within the microcosm. This movement has the effect of creating a mirror of consciousness. The place of the soul is the wellspring of mythological guidance.
The individual self is identified as soul in each system, and it is placed in what both Jung and Plato call the “third,” a level of being located in-between the divine Self or One, and the ego complex or sense based self. The Self radiates through archetypal awareness.
"Practicing the work of individuation in Jung or philosophy in Plato, which are similar paths, we can unite the opposites in the lower self. "The capacity to mirror divine life is an experience that is also a form of knowledge. Such knowledge is mystical rather than rational."
"Individuation and philosophy provide a path for realized being and real knowledge through the soul's capacity to mirror the divine. Jung 1970a, 336 referred to the experience of the absolute as 'objective facts', transmitted through psychic events." (Weldon, Platonic Jung)
The Great Work through philosophy or individuation involves a unity of the psyche. That creates an inner state where the individual soul is simultaneously aware of the ego or sensory world below and the divine One or Self above. Plato describes it as the realization of the macrocosm within the microcosm and Jung mirrors this idea of wholeness.
Philosophy arose from the image of the mirror of nature, adjusted and repackaged as worldviews and existential situations changed. The Renaissance humanists used the metaphors of the soul as 'mirror image.' The ancient Etruscan word for soul, hinthial, also meant an image reflected in a mirror.
Soul rests in the divine image withwhich we are utterly akin. It embodies us and makes us One and inseparable. A mirror can represent the divine Sun., symbol of the Self. The Soul is like a mirror which reflects the vast interiority of the Divine Infinity, Soul brightly reflecting God’s image in our Inner mirror.
Instead of watching with biological eyes, we visit this Inner mirror through spiritual contemplation. Human nature mirrored in the cosmos is a theater designed by and for the soul. Plato uses the metaphor mirror analogy, the cosmic soul reflected in the heavens, in Book X of Plato’s Republic (596c–e).
Ficino in Platonic Theology, Book III, Chapter I, states that the Anima Mundi is the mirror of divine realities, the life of those mortals and the nexus of both. And in the De vita says: " The Soul mundi ... according to the Platonic oldest, by means of his reasons, he has built in the sky, beyond the stars, the astral figures and parts of figures, such that they themselves become figures, and impressed in all these figures certain properties."
The visible body of the universe mirrors as closely as possible the form of the invisible Cosmic Soul. The zodiacal light rises from the horizon, envelops planets along the ecliptic, and intersects the Milky Way, revealing Plato‘s visible god, the celestial X that mirrors the World Soul.
Logical and mystical tendencies co-mingle within us. Each of us is on a spectrum somewhere between the poles of rational and irrational. We all have hunches we can’t prove and superstitions that make no sense. Some are very religious, and others believe in dubious conspiracy theories. Going overboard—letting the subjective entirely override the objective--is problematic; thinking and acting as if opinions and feelings are just as true as facts.
We desire a more meaningful relationship with self, others, and cosmos -- a world suspended between thought and poetry. Beyond our roles and dramas is the place where only energy, frequency, and vibration matter...that space where we remember who we really are. Soul contains our history, mystery, and our future. We are only immortal to the extent that consciousness is immortal.
Hillman suggests, "With the return of the soul [to the world], the literal can lose its dominion.The imaginal has become real, for many it is the real. [...] It remains an alternative [to the crisis of our western consciousness], that is, the way of the South, encouraging images [...] and developing "temples and statues" for "portions and phases" and pathologization of the soul: the elaboration of "recepticles acconci" for the psyche in the psyche Then we can put the tumult of our fantasies into the broadest deposit of myths, and by giving them the myth as a center we can take them off the streets, where they merely tumble following the impulses of the moment.I speak of an uninterrupted attention to the imagination, from first story told to a child up to the last conversations of old age.We talk about the recovery of the lost psychic space to contain and the lost mirrors to reflect."
"Our field needs to build rich and fantasy psychologies again such as classical mythology, the arts of memory and alchemy; like the psychology of Jung, like Neoplatonism, which gave order and culture to the madness of the Renaissance and the Romantics. Because what happens to our culture is what happens to - OUR - culture, our fantasies and individual images, they are moralized and repressed by us, or diagnosed and imprisoned, or exploited and betrayed, or drugged and derided. The soul of our civilization depends on the civilization of our soul. The imagination of our culture requires a culture of imagination." (Re-Visioning Psychology)
The quest for the transpersonal and hyperrational spiritual essence is more than what impels us to the moral life; it is unity, light, and completion. If religion provides magic for the masses, magic is a 'religion' of individuation and self-transformation.
Psyche or soul, the subjective center, merges with the primordial universe in an idealized gnostic apotheosis. Mystics tell us the divine is formless.For Plato, the virtues paled in comparison with the highest capacity of the soul, which is the mystical beholding of the eternal.
"We must begin by overcoming our virtuousness, with the justifiable fear of falling into vice on the other side. This danger certainly exists, for the greatest virtuousness is always compensated inwardly by a strong tendency to vice, and how many vicious characters treasure inside themselves sugary virtues and a moral megalomania." C. G. Jung.
"The body is a most doubtful friend because it produces things we do not like; there are too many things about the body which cannot be mentioned. The body is very often the personification of this shadow of the ego. Sometimes it forms the skeleton in the cupboard, and everybody naturally wants to get rid of such a thing." Jung. Vol. 18.
Archetypal psychology emphasizes the unconscious defined as imagination with an emphasis on images and soul, preoccupation with Greek and Roman mythology, and insistence on treating the dream only in its own terms.
As a technology, magic is not tethered to its real or imaginal history in by-gone eras, but is recreated by each individual for their own path. We've used couriers, telegraph, and telephones to communicate, and now we have contemporary versions of even more efficient devices and ways to use them.
We now have the capacity to use cutting edge as well as ancient technology for altering consciousness. New mythologies are linked to new media. Highly adaptive, magic readily reinvents its technologies in accordance with progress. There are other methods, from yoga and Sufi dancing to drugs and meditation.
Our rituals have always taken place in the realm of the imagination. We aren't bound by medieval or even Renaissance means of connecting with an experiencing psyche, nor is our magical practice, though it may reference the history of such notions. We might describe it as a coherent resonance locking with the circuitry of the universe, but in an organic, not mechanical way. Magic makes a great metaphor for exploring the human condition.
Magic is a valuable tool for examining and reflecting the experience of living in the simultaneously glorious and terrible present -- more big data analytics than situational analysis. But 'magical thinking' or the appropriation of magic for serving personality deficits means 'standing too close to the mirror' to see them.
Do we abandon traditional practice when we use apps to hone in on magical timing, or use online sigil generators? Will we have to choose between nature and the new technology? In Magick in Theory and Practice, Crowley explains: “Magick is the Science of understanding one’s self and one’s own situation. It is the art of applying this knowledge in action.”
Authenticity, living out of and clarifying our essence, requires we cultivate a capacity for nuance and duality and master the art of living with opposing truths. The true philosophical artisolates them as they form and re-form in the flowing stream of deeper reality. We contemplate them to assimilate them as they pass.
Our long personal pilgrimage begins with the formulation of our own philosophy, a deliberate and habitual orientation toward wisdom -- a more spiritual, self-contained magic.
A cultured person has some kind of original philosophy,the practice of individuality and self-knowledge,a reflective and considered tapestry of understandingfocused on the mystery of life. We live by it secretly and profoundly for many long years as means of protecting itfrom disintegrating elements.
Gnosis makes us an authenticated user. Our user value-added creations are generated in the content-creating imaginal landscape. We don't need to 'literalize' the magical aspects, even while employing them. Self-arising transformation or individuation works on us whether we dogmatically 'believe' and practice it or not. Real magic transcends the technology of regular rules. What we find is often surprising and subtle, too aglow with silent radiance to fit into our intellectual templates of understanding.
What is truly magical concerns the ultimate comprehensibility of the process. We don't necessarily understand exactly what's going on to make psyche do what it does, but it's a matter of convenience. Magic is the art of self-culture through deeper awareness and heightened livliness. Culture becomes wisdom when it is diffused into the fiber and root of life informing our character, compassion, and ethics.
The ultimate explanation of the "magical" effect would be mundane physics -- a field of superimposed probability waves. The uncertainty principle implies the existence of an undiscovered means of transferring information nonlocally between the aspirant's consciousness and the entangled quantum realm.
We know as much as we need to know to make the technology work and don't care so much beyond that. We could learn what's really going on, probably, at least according to psychology and neurology. But we have to consider unforeseen consequences, the effects of our actions beyond our conscious intent. User as content generator and diffuser gives us an important role in the information process.
In the case of something truly magic, though, we don't have that confidence. Something that runs on truly supernatural principles, not bound by ordinary mathematical laws of physics, would ultimately be ineffable. There might be a few comprehensible layers, but deep down, the ultimate operating principle remains fundamentally unknowable.
That sets even the most advanced technology apart from magic. For something to be technology, it needs to be based in rules that are fundamentally knowable, given enough time and effort. Magic is not. No level of super-science goes so far beyond human understanding to truly be indistinguishable from magic. Yet we can experience it subjectively when we venture past the limits of the possible a little way into the impossible.
Magic is simply a system we treat like magic, a key distinction to get the desired effect without the nonsense of idiosyncratic thinking or overblown ego -- using the operating principles from the user's perspective. As in media, it is a case of "user as content", with the unconscious as content creator...Self as content author. The magical quest itself remains a journey of self-knowledge and transcendence. Aspirants will continue to find their sense of sacred meaning in their own way.
The Physical Basis & Cosmology of Love The Breath of the Soul by Iona Miller, (c)2016
Magic is a Way of Living. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Pages 314-315
Why do we think love is a magician? Because the whole power of magic consists in love. The work of magic is the attraction of one thing by another because of a certain affinity of nature. --Marsilio Ficino
"Mythology opens the world so that it becomes transparent to something that is beyond speech, beyond words––in short, what we call transcendence. Without that you don't have a mythology. Any system of thinking, ideologies of one kind or another, that does not open to transcendence cannot be understood or classified mythologically." --Joseph Campbell, "The Hero’s Journey"
Mythical figures are eternal metaphors of the imagination, the dynamics of psychic reality. Jung suggested myth is a revelation of the divine life in humanity, our unconscious grasp of the history of the world, the wild energies of creation, and our sense of embodiment.Mind is not separate from bodily experience, but is naturally more than our conceptual experience.
For the ancients, the divine did not reside in an unfathomable Paradise of faith but in primordial knowing. Nature was the awesome, all-powerful and the ever-present countenance of divine reality. This is the direct relationship of minds to worlds or environments -- a philosophy of the flesh.
Awe is rooted in people and nature. We see someone die, we see a child being born, we see somebody saving their life or helping them out. It's not just religious concepts, or scientific ideas and beautiful or elegant theories, or poetry or art.
Given or chosen, this is the resource at our disposal in reality.We come into being as observers only through our attention and complex metaphorical-conceptual systems.Consciousness of archetypes extends the limitations of our observations and knowledge base.This is the looking-glass of the soul, our imaginal interface with the divine and the laws of form.
How do we conceive the world? That is our generative question. This dynamic representation reflects our worldview and conditions the appearance of the whole. We design our world to foster a certain sort of mind or consciousness and try to meet its archetypal and existential challenges.The transformation of mental states is the emergence of the symbol from the primary distinctions.
Archetypes represent potential adaptations from the collective wisdom of humanity.Highly general, such certain kinds of intelligence are roughly equivalent in a wide variety of circumstances.
We cannot realize it all, all of the time, so certain autonomous and selected pathways emerge to help us solve existential problems.Archetypes are bounded resource systems upon which we can call just as the ancients did for support.
We can only approach our authentic life of personality through dialogue in a process-oriented perspective -- a relationship between mind and body, grounded in flesh and our unique environment.
In mutual opening we develop living relationships with archetypes.We still remain blind to the iceberg that stays out of sight. Even such sight or insight is a conceptual metaphor, but that is the goddess or god, who conceals and reveals.Our vision is their vision.The carnal body develops in a cultural context.
Our nature is conditioned by archetypes, with their own autonomy and domains.We can develop the capacity to observe these universal forces interacting with our personality. 'I' is a construct of self-image we rarely match because we remain unconscious of those roots.Likewise, categories of experience are constructed but can be observed phenomenologically.
Archetypes relate our observed system to the divine system and/or environment. We do it unconsciously, or consciously. To remain unconscious is soul death.To become conscious through our attention is a rebirth and solution of problems.Operational meaning is more important than semantic meaning.They populate our minds, but are also the roots of being.It can come as a stab of grace in the heart.
For us, divine nature expresses as a mind-world correspondence system or principle.We work toward certain goals in certain worlds with the relevant means. Subject to real-world space and time constraints, we mythologize our lives to help us adapt. Symbols reside in and naturally transform our declarative, procedural and episodic memory systems.
We experience the muse, daemon, or 'angels' of creativity in their divine autonomy.How often works of creative genius arrive in consciousness almost fully formed. The face of the beloved angel is our divinity -- our light that draws breath, our embodied nakedness.
Aphrodite animates and quickens matter with imagination. All experiences act as symbols. Like Aphrodite, the feminine Archangel, Spenta Armaiti (Isfandarmuz in Persian) represents both the mystery of the Earth (earth angel as body-spirit) and the woman of Light.
Spenta Armaiti is closely related to Sophia and wisdom as the daughter of “Lord Wisdom,” “mistress of his house,” the “mother of his creatures,” and the "Dwelling place."She is a personal not a spatial relationship that substantiates and vivifies us with consummation in the imaginal.She is perfect thought, primordial awareness, or concept-free meditation -- the throb of absolute reality, universal consciousness, the depths of human spiritual potential.
Soul and the divine are united by the symbolic image in the imagination where the spiritual world has an objective reality.Imagination is a divine body that lives within us all in primordial images and the visionary events of the soul.It creates a sympathetic life, open to beauty, ecstasy, and transcendence.
Engaging in mythic tasks challenges us to discover and deepen self-understanding and reclaim the imaginal, not virtues but virtualities. Integration of oppositional tendencies, in ambiguity and paradox, includes co-existence with others, the world, and the archetypal world of metaphorical, rather than sensible or literal, reality. We don't believe anything we haven't acquainted ourselves with, be it love of light or darkness.
We only understand divine matters by assimilating ourselves to that order of being, through the spiritual body or celestial earth -- the old link between soil, soul, and society. Corbin says, "soul tends to give a form to the celestial Earth and to actualize it, thus making possible the epiphany of the beings of light."
"Probably in absolute reality there is no such thing as body and mind, but body and mind or soul are the same, the same life, subject to the same laws, and what the body does is happening in the mind." ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis, Page 20
Ancestral order dwells in the deep subconscious, and Aphrodite is still listed as a primordial ancestor in standard genealogy. 'Immortality' is a part of a mighty, spiritual process of divine inspiration. We are immortalized in memory and in our own 'body of light,' which Aphrodite represents in potential.
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.
Love can be a path for a consciously realized life. Service is a big component of love. Aphrodite's nature links us to all living beings with a bond of love and a heart-centered myth, rooted in embodied love, compassion, and passion. Heavenly and common Aphrodite share the goal of union. She unites the immanent and transcendent in a sacred marriage.
"Imaginal love” can only be realized within us as an actual singular being. Paradoxically, such intensively lived singularity, an invitation to vision. It gives rise to unlimited multiplicity and visionary openness, union with the archetypes.
This poetic vision of alchemical intensity, 'mad-love.' can only occur within the deepening process of life itself in a path of self-knowledge. Poetic language is embodied nakedness. Material and spiritual aspects remain hidden under symbolism and images that precede all perception.
Words, the inherent poeticizing of the word, accompany the structure of pictorial imagery as it appears in nature, the intimate anatomy of the imaginal realm. Our life provides the texts to be lived out as the key to mysteries revealed in us not to us -- a transfiguration of the literal.
Creative imagination lives within the heart, transforming the visible into the invisible. Artistic sensibility is symbolic. We can immerse ourselves in the living arts. Art even deepens spiritual traditions.
Meaning emanates from the real world as well as works of art if we listen to our calling, or vocation. Artistic sensibility reconciles us with love of the arts, supplying us with what we love. The arts feed us. It is a pleasure to create beauty and knowledge.
Artistic or symbolic sensitivity is the ability to feel empathy, the meanings emanating from the works of art and the real world. We can connect with it by listening, vision, attention, imagination, or 'soul making' -- trusting the transformative power of images.
Artistic sensibility is a deeply therapeutic process for artists and for the environment. Soul welcomes the mysterious if we immerse ourselves in the dark mystery. Images are apprehended by a deep intuitive sense of transcendent principles governing and emanating throughout creation.
Midlife is a symbolic death before rebirth -- a universal life passage and initiation. We experience the paradox of the dual identity of tomb and womb -- reintegration of meaning and fate. Love and its loss are a rite of passage. Our wounds become openings to a deeper reality of true intimacy -- soulful connection. Healing is an epiphany.
The life of the soul cannot emerge in merely finite relationships. Alchemical lovers have the same transforming powers as the phosphorescent fire that warms the alchemical athanor.
Dreams are a way to moisten the soul in the pools of images and feeling, dissolving problems, and changing moods. Spirits of the water and instinctive feminine magic can appear as daemonic archetypal energy, denizens of darkness: mermaids, melusines, woody nymphs, succubus or harlots.
Ritual, fusing desire and action for effective change, helps us connect with and transform inner polarities.The task of generativity after midlife is opening liminal space for personal and collective evolution and cosmic consciousness.Whatever soul touches becomes numinous.
The numinosum is either a quality belonging to a visible object or the influence of an invisible presence that causes a peculiar alteration of consciousness. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 6
Jung famously stated that the gods have become diseases and Hillman reiterated, "There is disease in the archetype." We recognize the Godsby our symptoms. They gods themselves can be quarrelsome, envious, deceive, and have sexual obsessions. They are vindictive, isolated, and vulnerable at the bottom. But we suffer the consequences.
The wounding and suffering itself is eternal and archetypal. The wound directs our existential development.Therefore, symptoms like dreams, are a road to the unconscious.Jung also noted it's death to the soul to become unconscious and that soul death can occur long before physical death.
Archetypes, as liminal entities are numinous or“spiritual,” if “magical” is too strong a word. Magic is inherent in our instinctual roots. The 'supernatural' is the truly chaotic world of collective unconscious. In that "in between" place we can access who we are at the heart of it all.Symbols are grasped by the power of the heart.
Mythical figures, themes and images orient us as we learn to balance masculine strength and inner authority with feminine wisdom and inner power transforming identity and consciousness and patterned forms of attachment to the personal in the transpersonal.
Anima/animus is a bridge to the sacred, the imaginal field of he depths of the body, encounters with others, self, and eternity.The sensible transmutes into symbols.
Through active imagination the image is imprinted on the psychic essence of personality with the purpose of transformation. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 3rd Nov 1939
As in this world, we can expect positive, negative, and mundane experiences in the imaginal field. As well as happiness or intimacy there is also negative empathic identification, suffering, loss, anger, despair, tragedy, etc. Shame, vulnerability, and sexual objectification.
Ordinary experiences include focused concentration, meaningful memories, dreams, continuing inner dialogues, social/relational interactions, reflexive and reflective thought.
Strong religious or spiritual qualities (arousing, awe-inspiring, mysterious, dreadful) suggest the presence of a divinity which appeals to the higher emotions or aesthetic sense, the poetic basis of the soul, thereby altering ego-based consciousness.Experiencing awe can lower stress levels, expand our perception of time, and improve social well-being.
Uniting the opposites, resonant aesthetic structures of the numinal and phenomenal realms are held in tension, converging in “flowering light.” The angel allows us see and to know, and encounter our spiritual essence. The demon lover results from failure to differentiate our anima or animus from the darkness of our shadow, of incarnation.
Archetypes are part of our common biological, cultural and personal heritage, rooted in matter and spirit. We grow from a magical, to mythic, to rational, and transcendent perspective over our lifetimes.
Probably in absolute reality there is no such thing as body and mind, but body and mind or soul are the same, the same life, subject to the same laws, and what the body does is happening in the mind. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis, Page 20
The archetypal aspect of anima means everything she touches becomes numinous, unconditional, dangerous, taboo, magical. Anima desires both good and bad in life. We wrestle our demon at the hot edge of our transforming interior reality with active embodied participation, not religious sentimentality or spiritual grandiosity.
"The world of the Gods is made manifest in spirituality and in sexuality. The celestial ones appear in spirituality, the earthly in sexuality." (Jung, Liber Novus, Page 352.)
They are channels of energy and material, psychic and spiritual potential arising spontaneously from within. Our primary lesson may be 'belonging': that we live to learn to love and love to learn to live. We assimilate the other through innate sympathy, devout emotion.
The exalted power of the soul emerges from the numinous sea -- emerging consciousness. The universal source from which we all spring and in which we all meet comes from deep within our human organism.
“My speech is imperfect. Not because I want to shine with words, but out of the impossibility of finding those words, I speak in images. With nothing else can I express the words from the depths.” ―Jung, The Red Book: A Reader's Edition
The intriguing lover and the magician use the same techniques to manipulate images, concealed and revealed in symbols. Likewise the artist, who creates from unconscious memories, autonomous complexes, and participation mystique.
We tend to see ourselves in one another. We can unconsciously assimilate a model or role another provides. Both are a loss of self. This psychological connection is identification (empathy, rapport, relationship) with objects or people, seen as imaginal extensions of oneself. Internal qualities are required for real love.
Identification is an unconscious fantasy where split off aspects of self are attributed to an external object, or, we identify with the impulses being projected ontous.We subsume it. The need to withdraw projections is generally signaled by frustrated expectations in relationships, accompanied by strong affect.
The autonomous creative complex arises from the collective unconscious.Imagination is the main gateway of all magical processes.Only embodied consciousness can align personal deeds with the divine.
Divine Beauty is an ideal that does not lie in things. Form and content originated from unconscious drives. Art is a tireless obsession. A synchronistic phenomena, the autonomy of the creative drive, sparks the impulse of the creative spirit. Art is an essentially meditative process -- meaningful making.
It expresses our innermost thoughts and desires and transports us into new realities and electrifying emotions. It evokes and transmits the primordial -- more than the merely personal. When we follow the archetypal impulse, the work imposes itself or emerges seemingly spontaneously. Imagistic dialogue renders relationship more fluid, even that of conscious and unconscious.
Aphrodite is the hot, moist breath of the soul, the deep breath of life. Awareness rests in the sensations of breath. In love, she is every breath we take (inhalation and exhalation and the gap between), every heartbeat, and the polarities of psyche.
Earthy and idealized love form a dichotomy. Jung envisioned energy flowing ceaselessly between the opposites, manifesting libido in every activity, including sexual activity. Fantasy draws attention to significant inner realities.
"[T]here is a knowledge of the heart that gives deeper insight. The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth.” ― C.G. Jung, The Red Book: Liber Novus
We can invoke Aphrodite privately, with friends, or a lover. We can be voyeurs or active participants. Love is a substantive soul to soul connection, passions, hopes, wishes, and dreams. Sex (animal urges), love, and romance are one of our main ways of mythologizing practical, emotional, mental, and spiritual life.
Love makes an average man feel beautiful and intelligent. We can understand our lives and instincts more deeply through archetypes and their phenomenology, including the love and suffering of eros and pathos -- "lovesickness."
Jung defined intuition as "perception via the unconscious": using sense-perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.In the divine act of reconnection, imagination conveys divine thoughts through images, penetrating deeper levels of insight with trans-sensory perception.
Jung said, “the daemonic is the not yet realized creative.” Perceptual diversity helps us access a variety of non-rational altered states of consciousness, including dreams, trance, imagination, and meditation -- presentational illumination.