54 Chapters
Medium 9781782200062

Chapter Six: Archetypal Psychology's Contributions

Daniels, Aaron B. Karnac Books ePub

So far, in this current text, archetypal psychology's authors have contributed some insights to the preceding discussions of active imagination and countertransference. Yet the authors discussed in the next few pages, with their formulation of the idea of the image, offer to this dialectic an important third thing that simultaneously subsumes and surpasses the two previous ideas. In this way, image as defined in archetypal psychology provides the transcendent function to the prior presentation of more traditional Jungian ideas of countertransference and active imagination. Once this sense of image is clear, it can serve as the anchor for creating a type of imaginal work that can speak far more directly to the practice of crime scene analysis. Therefore, this chapter presents a précis of the central tenets of archetypal psychology's sense of image.

With a shift in definition but a firm grounding in Jung's writings, the authors of the archetypalist tradition produce works that are often considered radical, sometimes iconoclastic if not irreverent, thought-provoking, and fresh. Whereas many contemporary Jungians are moving to integrate object-relations and neo-Freudian ideas into their theories and practice, archetypalists are more apt to examine ancient myth, cultural phenomena, Sufi esotericism, and Renaissance ideologies.

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Medium 9781904658566

34. Freedom and Responsibility: The Seventh Void

Daniels, Aaron B. Aeon Books ePub

In each unfolding moment, we define existence by the choices we make in relationship to our lived world. Again, various prepackaged ‘causalities’ may attempt to protect us from the terror of complete responsibility for our lives. Of course, a narrow sense of ‘consequences’ might emerge from our choices. Moreover, other people react to our decisions and we often do not achieve our imagined ends. Nevertheless, claiming our freedom and ferreting out the specters of ‘inevitability,’ ‘restriction,’ and the myriad ways we hand to others responsibility for our feelings, actions, thoughts, or choices is an ongoing struggle. Nonetheless, whether we simply claim our freedom or exercise it to its fullest, we are still accountable to the reality of each moment.

Responsibility is not about ‘culpability.’ Responsibility centers on the process of acknowledging the world in which we fnd ourselves. Etymologically, the word, in this sense, is about responding to life as it is, rather than the various limited perspectives that entrapping fictions may offer us. Only with some apprehension of life-as-lived can we actually be free to act, rather than react. Only through properly calibrated responsiveness can we be our own most unfolding selves, rather than playing prescribed roles. Thus, freedom and responsibility inexorably form the foundation of all authentic choice and action.

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21. Magic

Daniels, Aaron B. Aeon Books ePub

Now we come to it: the crux of the matter; actually, the Crossroads — with all the attendant gods and goddesses from around the world who oversee this limi-nal space of in-between. The Crossroads always mean a choice, whether or not we call upon the Old Stranger to strike a pact. This chapter is no diferent, it poses us with the fundamental questions about how we will henceforth choose to live our lives.

We have the ideas. We see the cosmology. We understand how images constitute us, how they constitute our world, and how we see things in return. Now, what do we do about it? How do we go about the business of leading a life — of actually living? Not so much living-with-really-cool-ideas-floating-about-our-heads, which is a grand way to stay stuck in a life you don’t really want. But living in accord with how we realize life actually works.

Given the radically contingent and contextual nature of the imaginal reality we’ve described so far, simple ‘action’ is, actually, not so simple. The unconsid-ered images of life can so easily fool, mislead, program, or entrance us, to such an extent that we have no idea of what we are doing. We can be doing something quite diferent from what we think or say we are up to. Ideas such as ‘intention,’ ‘action,’ and ‘consequence’ are often epiphenomena — a surface froth above leviathan constitutive images.

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Medium 9781904658498

Appendix The Prophets of Imaginal Reality: Creators of Imaginative Fictions

Daniels, Aaron B. Aeon Books ePub

As much as we may want to believe in a time when the ‘gods walked among us,’ the very conception of this idyll concedes our world to a hopelessly gray banality. The struggle, as it ever has been, is to bring the mythic to our lives as we live them. Heroes of old, as perhaps they still do today, sought the glory of epic battles and hard-fought triumphs leading to the immortality of enshrinement in legend. The real struggle is not a return to a mythic time, but the re-mythologizing of our own times — or perhaps the mere acknowledgement of the myths we live. It is a work of bridging, of journeying, and, fundamentally, of imagination.

Below is a painfully capricious and incomplete list of creators who have freed themselves from the limiting conventions of labels to produce works of Imaginal Realism. Confining boxes such as ‘Science Fiction’ and ‘Fantasy’ or even ‘Speculative Fiction’ do not speak to the spirit of wonder these artists evoke. Tat’s not to say I don’t appreciate works that fall firmly into those genres, but this text has been speaking to a tension and pull — toward blurring the segregation enforced by such terms.

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6: Te Structure of the Moment: A Sidelong Glance at the Voids

Daniels, Aaron B. Aeon Books ePub

Now we finally come to the eight voids. This brief chapter ofers a first glimpse of the fundamental, unalterable foundation of life as lived. One of the key misunderstandings about existentialism is that, given its name, people assume that these Galois-smoking philosophers actually defined ‘being.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. Existentialism aims to unblinkingly describe the human condition — a condition rife with unanswerable questions. Heidegger in particular notes that humans are those posed with these questions and that this very questioning — and all too often inappropriately answering — defines our existence. Thus, the voids listed below are the canvases upon which we create our lives. These voids remind us, for instance, that indeed we almost always function with something like an ‘identity,’ but these various confgurations of self-defnition are transitory and contingent. Trough an open and sincere reverence for their primacy, these voids can free us to let go of our strangle hold on false-certainties through the mystical process of liberation; but they also provide us with the means by which we may change and engineer our lives, our realities. To say it more clearly, these open-ended questions enable us to weave the magic of our lives rather than bludgeon infexible rules of material reality into submission. These voids define the imaginal space in which magic happens.

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