Literalisation

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literalisation

James Hillman says that ultimately there is only one sin, which he calls ‘literalisation’. Sin taken in its original meaning of ‘to miss the mark’. There are many layers and meanings to the notion of literalisation. One example is when we are open only to the literal meanings of events, ideas, myths or stories. Or fixate on their functional implications and applications, always turning them into allegories. Literalisation is a failure to grasp or acknowledge how poetic language more precisely captures inner experience than scientific formulation. Not grasping how metaphor has the power ‘to transfer us’ from one experiential reality to another. Ultimately, literalisation points […]

Encounter in the forest

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encounter in the forest

‘Do not say the moment was imagined Do not stoop to strategies like this As someone long prepared for this to happen Go firmly to the window, drink it in Exquisite music Alexandra laughing Your first commitments tangible again … As someone long prepared for the occasion In full command of every plan you wrecked Do not choose a coward’s explanation that hides behind the cause and the effect’ – Leonard Cohen, from his song  Alexandra Leaving High up in the forest, early morning. No-one else around this high up, so early. Space to breathe. A tender layer of clouds stretching across the flowing hills […]

Visitation

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visitation

Back-ache swoops in for a visit. My old friend. His intensity more explicit as he grows older. As we near our inevitable end. Why is it? When first comes his knock (and ‘I’ decline) my soul present spirit is ‘me, an old man’. Stuck. Hard as rock.

meanwhile … life fades away

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white wall

late winter’s afternoon sunlight dapples the white wall little jump spider rushes across the lazy light’s play jumps on a fly, ricochets back one step. pauses. fly flies off late winter’s afternoon light sadly flits here and there on the white wall. spider stands still. i wonder: while she now stands there, so still, is little jump spider carried away by her struggle with severe self-criticism? arguing with herself ‘did i do something wrong?’ ‘what exactly happened there?’ ‘how could i let that happen?’

On the inside of God’s face

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archetypes

‘Religious experience is absolute; it cannot be disputed. You can only say that you have never had such an experience, whereupon your opponent will reply: “Sorry, I have.” And there your discussion will come to an end.’ – Carl Gustav Jung, from Psychology and Religion Archetypal Psychology The psychology infusing the culture from where these pages are written is called Archetypal Psychology. Therefore, a central question is, ‘what are archetypes?’ Some say they are really no less than ‘the gods’ or different aspects of God. Others emphasise that they are ‘patterns for life and death from which all that exist are born’. That they pre-exist […]