Tagspirit

On not confusing stages with the whole, or stages with the goal

In my last post I have outlined an interpretation of Hillman’s central idea of soul-making, and connected it with the notion of projection (in analytical psychology), the relationship between individual souls and the collective psyche, and the theoretical move of treating both individual human beings and ideas as souls which can be perceived as personalized. In the background of this line of...

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...

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...

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...

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”...

Projection, spirit, and self-knowledge

The problem with projections is two-fold: partly, they falsify the object; and partly, they contain pieces of the subject’s own personality which should be recognized as such and integrated. Or, to put it differently: projections complicate both knowledge of the outer world and the inner world — knowledge of the soul, or self-knowledge.

The spiritual mirror, eros, and Narcissus

When I wrote about projection and the mirror of Narcissus last week, I realized there is a hidden connection between some of the topics I recently discussed: the neo-Platonic mirror theory of eros, and Jung's notion of spirit.

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 archetypes causality dark side death depth dreams ego eros erotetic arch film frame analysis ghost-story style ghosts individuals intertextuality Jung philology liminality literature magic methodology mirrors mystery mysticism narrative analysis nekyia pathologizing persona personal note personification persons prefiguration projection psychoid romantic love self-knowledge shadow soul space spirit subjectivity symbols synchronicities technology time