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Imaginative projects and fictional images

In a recent post, I presented an imaginary scenario and used it to illustrate the difference between “image” and “frame”. I also claimed that an image such as the one I presented might appear not only in an episode of deliberate imagination, but also in dreams or works of fiction — such as a novel or movie. Let’s follow up on this claim a little. 1. The way I introduced my example of an image was...

Having and being had: what are the perspectives?

Hillman points out that, “at night the dream has me, but in the morning I say, I had a dream” (DU 98), and I have suggested that this is more than just a rhetorical figure. It is a thought-move both Jung and Hillman frequently make, and which I have traced through various of their writings under the heading of “perspective reversal”. Let’s get a little clearer on what exactly those “perspectives”...

Having and being had, and the relationship between theory and practice

Jung and Hillman both frequently make a move I have called “perspective reversal”: they make us aware that, while we believe that we “have” our dreams, actually the dreams “have” us. (And what goes for dreams goes for psychic items in general.) But in some respects Hillman is even more radical than Jung (or at least he presents himself that way). He is more radical, first, in what purpose he...

Depth: where is it hidden?

Suppose the following: You are sitting at a table outside a street café on a busy afternoon. For a little while you have noticed a couple, standing a few steps away in the middle of the crowd, talking to each other. Suddenly one of the two raises their voice. They start arguing, and gradually get louder. People around them stop and start looking, some laugh, some shake their heads with a frown;...

Dream people, projections, and perspective reversals

Under the Jungian assumption that even in waking life we frequently do not interact with the real people in front of us but rather with something we project into them, we might treat the figures we encounter in dreams in just the same way — we might take the stance that “that they are fundamentally fantasy-images cloaked in after-images”, as Patricia Berry puts it (Echo’s Subtle Body, 46)...

Dream images and projections

If someone I know appears in a dream, what is going on? This is a large question, of course, and any answer will depend on what dream theory in general we subscribe to. In the tradition we’re looking at, which basically starts with Freud and Jung and has been continued and developed since (most notably perhaps in Hillman’s early work around The Dream and the Underworld), one thing is clear: if...

Having and being had, and the question of “when”

Before we got sidetracked by the inhuman reaches of the soul, we looked at the curious reversal of perspectives that often happens in Jung and Hillman when they consider the relation between human beings and psyche (or soul). The entry point was a frequent observation of Hillman’s about dreams. I quoted one instance, here is another: The psychic world is experienced empirically as inside us and...

Having and being had, and the inhuman reaches of the soul

When he writes about dreams, Hillman virtually never refrains from reminding us of the curious fact that we talk about them as if we were having them, but that we experience them as if they were having us. In sleep, I am thoroughly immersed in the dream. Only on waking do I reverse this fact and believe the dream is in me. At night the dream has me, but in the morning I say, I had a dream. (DU...

A theory of ghosts: initiated by someone’s action 

In the theory I am exploring, the term ‘ghost’ does not denote a quasi-personal, supernatural entity; certainly, by this theory, a ghost is also not something that can be observed, immediately or mediatedly, by the senses (seen, heard, …, photographed). It is, however, something that can be created (better: initiated) by people, influenced (and even to some degree controlled) by them, and also...

A sidenote on belief in the supernatural

I want to dwell a little longer on the belief in a “supernatural” kind of necessity. My guiding example throughout this series of postings has been Vertigo; and Vertigo shares this characteristic — which I have called an intimation of an inevitability — with other narratives of a certain design, including the “appointment in Samarra” and ancient tragedies such as that of Oedipus, where “[t]hings...

Leif Frenzel is a writer and independent researcher. He has a background in philosophy, literature, music, and information technology. His recent interest is Jungian psychology, especially synchronicities and the relationship between consciousness and the unconscious.

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