Prior to Heraclitus, the Greeks understood Soul as “the life-breath or animating ‘spirit’ which departs as a ghost” at the point of death (Kahn, 126). According to my sources, they didn’t really elaborate on this early idea. Heraclitus brings the strikingly new and unusual thought of the logos of Soul as being so immeasurably deep we will never find its bounds, no matter how far we dig down. In my thinking, this statement is comparable to the idea that the ways of God are past finding out (Romans 11:33). Many religious people say they have an understanding of God, but they have not even scratched the surface. Similarly, we do not understand our own cavernous inner recesses. Our rationality can no more understand Soul than we can understand God.
“A man’s character is his fate.” Heraclitus (540 BC – 480 BC), On the Universe “If the final purpose of aging is character, then character finishes life, polishes it into a more lasting image.” James Hillman If I have felt compelled towards living...
Intellect can only perceive and respond to the surface dimension of the world that surrounds us. But because we’re possessed of other faculties, our race has always been aware of other realms of experience.
By coincidence, an article by Brian Logan appeared this morning in The Guardian newspaper that very much illustrates what I wrote about yesterday in “The Outlaw Spirit” in connection with Francis Bacon’s fateful question whether science or magic (that is, Natural Philosophy or Hermetic Philosophy) were best for the mind’s mastery of its circumstances. The end result, after four centuries, has been that “scientia” is now equated with “rationalism” (therefore “realist” and truthful) and “magic” trivialised as illusionism and trickery.
It seems to me that, if we are interested in redefining our world, we must change the manner in which we think. We must learn to think anew. In essence, we must unlearn thinking. Calculative thinking is fine, in the proper context, but it is not the only kind of thinking we humans need to utilize. When we read a poem for instance, we most certainly do not use calculative thinking. As Martin Heidegger said, “…we can learn thinking only if we radically unlearn what thinking has been traditionally” (What Calls For Thinking?).
In the latter part of my recent post, Primordial Necessity, I offered some reflections on Ananke and the idea of Necessity as a compelling force, which are based on James Hillman’s Eranos Conference speech titled, Athene, Ananke, and the Necessity...
I have come to realize, after all my years of studying philosophy and psychology, that my own personal gnoseology must be one I am calling “metaphorics.” I name it this to accentuate the primary use of metaphorical thinking in the acquisition of knowledge, or, rather, gnosis. What is metaphorical thinking, or metaphorics? Metaphorics is the type of thinking that occurs in art, mysticism, poetry, and mythologizing. Unlike its cousin, logical analysis, metaphorics does not need to set up a dichotomy between subject and object. Even though this type of thinking has its usefulness, this is a reductionist practice that transforms beings into objects to be analyzed by a subject.
In most premodern cultures, there were two recognized ways of thinking, speaking, and acquiring knowledge. The Greeks called them mythos and logos. Both were essential and neither was considered superior to the other; they were not in conflict but complementary. Each had its own sphere of competence, and it was considered unwise to mix the two.
Alan Moore is waiting when I get off the train in Northampton, a majestically bearded figure in a hoodie, scanning the crowd that pushes through the turnstiles with a look of fearsome intent. When I wave, the glare becomes a beaming smile.
With help from scholar Leslie S. Klinger, who edited "The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft," and graphic novel creator Alan Moore, Speakeasy put together a guide to why the legendary writer of the strange and horrific matters more than ever.
“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story…” Homer, “The Odyssey” Gustave Moreau, “l’Inspiration” I am still making my way through a very beautifully written book by Darrin M. McMahon called Divine Fury: A History of Genius.
In 1932, Carl Gustav Jung wrote a perceptive analysis of Picasso’s psychology after seeing an exhibition of his paintings at the Zürich Kunsthaus. The analysis was published in the Neue Züricher Zeitung. The article offended many of Picasso’s admirers in the artworld. In it Jung referred to Picasso as a Schizophrene; which caused such a vociferous reaction that he later felt it necessary to publish an explanation. If his artworld critics had spent a more time appraising the article they would have seen that Jung’s observations were made on the basis of clinical research. He believed that Picasso’s paintings were interpretable from a psychological perspective in the same way that his patients pictures were. Picasso’s use of disturbed and fantastic imagery indicated that such imagery was arising from his subconscious.
One night I dreamed that I was in a room in my grandmother’s house, someplace that I’d actually spent many nights when I was young. It belonged to an uncle of mine who, being only eight years older than me, had still been living at home at that time.
Seth, I too read Lord Foul's Bane, and experienced similar feelings and insights into our inner landscape. Great article!
The science that we know as astronomy today first began as astrology -the study of the logic of the stars. Mainly this was a field that connected positions of the planets and celestial cycles with events that happened here on Earth.