AuthorLeif Frenzel

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.

A theory of ghosts: hauntings

When I was in my late teens, I became hauted by a ghost. The experience was sudden and hit me unexpectedly. After a while, it faded away. But then it popped up again irregularly over the course of several years: whenever that happened, it was suddenly entirely present in bright, nuanced images and invariably gave me shudders of a peculiar and very intense quality. To this day, I’m not entirely...

Visions, dreams, and false dichochotomies

A little while ago, I dug into a question Hillman poses about dream characters: “why don’t the shades and Gods come in their own shapes; why do they bother with the dream incarnations, my family and friends and odd strangers?” (DU 99); and I don’t think I got really clear about what the answer to that question is supposed to be (according to Hillman). Hillman thinks that, if the “shades and Gods”...

More on synchronicities and the world-person direction

In my previous post, I have contrasted interactions that run in the person-world direction (actions and behavior) with those that run in the world-person direction (perceptions); and I have noted that interactions of both kinds can be taken over by unconscious forces: behavior can be disrupted or hijacked, and similarly (though perhaps more rarely) so can perceptions. Synchronicities can be seen...

Synchronicities and the world-person direction 

In a given synchronistic experience, the subject perceives a coincidence in the external world; attached to this experience is an impression of meaningfulness, even a “numinous” feeling. To undergo an experience like that is not deliberate: the subject has not consciously chosen to be aware of the coincidental events, nor of the accompanying feeling of meaningfulness. Such an episode is then an...

Sense perception and sensous language

In various places, Hillman traces a development through Jung’s work away from “conceptal rationalism” towards an imagistic and metaphorical style of thinking; the former is associated with Psychological Types, the latter with Jung’s later writings on alchemy. Hillman, of course, thinks that this development is for the better.

Anima confusions and obscure language

I have started to sketch one of Hillman’s most original lines of thought: that archetypal psychology, as he views it, is akin to ancient eudaimonistic philosophy — an approach to how we should live our lives —, and that the role of the telos — that which we aim at in living our lives this way — is played by the production of soul. Generating more soul is what we are here for: it’s what gives...

The production of soul as a kind of telos

What is the purpose of our lives? What are we here for? Following Hillman, here’s one way of looking at it: We are here to generate psyche. Our task is thus a creative one: we are meant to produce more soul; and we perform this creative job by getting into the activity of loving anima. This makes the generation of soul into something like the telos of ancient eudaimonistic philosophy: an idea...

Projections, patterns, and depth

In our lived experience we navigate both an external world of objects and a subjective stream of psychological states. This is how the surface of reality presents itself to us. But both the external world of objects and the subjective stream of psychological states have a certain depth to them: they exhibit recurring patterns.

Enigmatic playfulness and its depths

Salvador Dalí famously rejected symbolic interpretations of the dream-like imagery in his paintings. Surely there is a good measure of funny insolence (and self-mystification) about this attitude, but it also has a serious and important point behind it.

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.

alchemy allegorical style archetypes causality dark side death depth dreams eros erotetic arch film frame analysis ghost-story style ghosts horror-story style intertextuality Jung philology liminality literature magic methodology mirrors mystery mysticism myth adaptation style narrative analysis pathologizing persona personal note personification prefiguration projection psychoid romantic love self-knowledge shadow soul spirit subjectivity surrealism symbols synchronicities technology three-episodes style time