Tagsoul

Soul-making

I have traced interconnections, dependencies between archetypal ideas, e.g. between Spirit and Anima. These interrelations are what is behind the progression Ego-Shadow-Anima-Spirit in Jung’s typical layout. And I have said that these connections must be built into the archetypal ideas themselves. We mustn’t make the mistake of thinking that this “must” is a prescriptive constraint on idea...

The structural characteristics of archetypal ideas

How can it be that the dynamic (and the interdependencies) are built into the ideas of Spirit and Anima? For this to be the case, the very formulation of the ideas must entail (or at least strongly imply) them. What’s more, it cannot simply be the abstract terminology, the conceptual definitions which differentiate the ideas: the dynamic and interdependencies must be woven into their symbolic...

The idea of spirit (and its class of peers)

Life may seem chaotic on the surface, but there is a hidden meaning in it. This idea is not something we can find empirically — by intersubjectively verifiable observation of stable, repeatable phenomena —, nor can we deduct it inferentially from axiomatic principles or the totality of facts. It’s an idea that we arrive at psychologically: by experiencing it in a metaphorical way. The idea of a...

How compatible is the soul’s knowledge with accounts of the “why” of the journey?

If, as Hillman thinks, there is a particular kind of mystical “knowledge in the soul” which stems from recollections of underworld journeys, then we might ask whether this helps us to further clarify the “why”: namely, why a gradual removal from life and the world (which is what an underworld journey amounts to) is so important for the psyche. I have already traced three theoretical approaches to...

Connecting a few dots

We are now in a position to make some connections. At the end of a much earlier post, I have posed the question whether there is a reason behind the fact that the archetype of a hidden meaning (the archetype of spirit) appears sometimes personified (as Wise Old Man etc.) and sometimes as synchronicity (whether that means as Jung’s supposed “principle” or simply as de facto appearances of...

The longed-for source of the soul’s knowing

The journey to the underworld is a metaphor for an individual’s turn inwards, and their corresponding withdrawal from the external world with its social and interpersonal relationships; the point of making that journey is to learn something spiritual: for spirit can appear personified in the realm of pure soul (i.e., in Hades) as Wise Old Man — so that the individual can learn from him. But what...

The underworld connections of spirit

Spirit, according to Jung, is the archetype of a hidden meaning in the chaos of life. When it appears personified, it will typically be the Wise Old Man (but it might be a helpful animal, a child, and so on); when it gets projected (and is not personified), it shows up as synchronistic effects in the external world. This is more than a trivial observation. As we have learned from Hillman...

A puzzle for the three theories of the “why”

I have started exploring the question of “why”: the question, that is, why gaining more soul has to proceed by a gradual distancing from the external world, from social relations and daytime consciousness. I have pointed out three theoretical approaches that can be found in the (broadly) Jungian tradition, each of which answers the question in a different way. 3. But there is a certain difficulty...

The “why” of the journey

I have written that talk about the underworld (and underworld journeys) in authors such as Jung and Hillman is metaphorical and refers, in its figurative meaning, to something we might as well describe psychologically — keeping in mind, however, that such “translation” between mythical metaphor and psychological description itself depends on more specific theoretical views, which can vary from...

Hillman on the return from the underworld (contd.)

Having tracked how Jung amalgamates the nekyia and the Nachtmeerfahrt, we are now in a better position to continue and understand the distinctions Hillman wants to make. The descent to the underworld can be distinguished from the night sea-journey of the hero in many ways. […] the main distinction: the hero returns from the night sea-journey in better shape for the tasks of life, whereas the...

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 ego eros erotetic arch film frame analysis ghost-story style ghosts horror-story style Jung philology liminality literature magic methodology mirrors mystery mysticism myth adaptation style narrative analysis nekyia pathologizing persona personal note personification projection psychoid romantic love self-knowledge shadow soul spirit subjectivity surrealism symbols synchronicities technology three-episodes style time