The Archetypal Imagination

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Overview

Also available in an open-access, full-text edition at http://oaktrust.library.tamu.edu/handle/1969.1/85764

What we wish to know, and most desire, remains unknowable and lies beyond our grasp.” With these words, James Hollis leads readers to consider the nature of our human need for meaning in life and for connection to a world less limiting than our own.

In The Archetypal Imagination, Hollis offers a lyrical Jungian appreciation of the archetypal imagination. He argues that without the human mind’s ability to form energy-filled images that link us to worlds beyond our rational and emotional capacities, we would have neither culture nor spirituality. Drawing upon the work of poets and philosophers, Hollis shows the importance of depth experience, meaning, and connection to an “other” world. Just as humans have instincts for biological survival and social interaction, we have instincts for spiritual connection as well. Just as our physical and social needs seek satisfaction, so the spiritual instincts of the human animal are expressed in images we form to evoke an emotional or spiritual response, as in our dreams, myths, and religious traditions.

The author draws upon the work of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies to elucidate the archetypal imagination in literary forms. To underscore the importance of incarnating depth experience, he also examines a series of paintings by Nancy Witt.

With the power of the archetypal imagination available to all of us, we are invited to summon courage to take on the world anew, to relinquish outmoded identities and defenses, and to risk a radical re-imagining of the larger possibilities of the world and of the self.
 

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Analytical Psychology

" . . . beautifully crafted and conceived . . . As befitting a work on the necessity of imagination, this book is written in a heightened poetic style. . . I find it heartening that contemporary depth psychologists are finding continued insight and wisdom in the great poetic works."--Journal of Analytical Psychology

— David Tacey

Journal of Analytical Psychology - David Tacey

" . . . beautifully crafted and conceived . . . As befitting a work on the necessity of imagination, this book is written in a heightened poetic style. . . I find it heartening that contemporary depth psychologists are finding continued insight and wisdom in the great poetic works."--Journal of Analytical Psychology
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Product Details

Meet the Author


James Hollis is a Jungian analyst and executive director of the C. G. Jung Educational Center of Houston.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations IX
Foreword XI
Acknowledgments XV
Introduction: Archetypal Imaginings: The Golden String Which Leads to Heaven's Gate 3
Chapter 1 Religious Imaginings: Divine Morphologies 13
Chapter 2 Literary Imaginings: Envisioned Logos 35
Chapter 3 Incarnational Imaginings: The Painter's Eye on Eternity 59
Chapter 4 Therapeutic Imaginings: Psychopathology and Soul 99
Afterword: Re-Imagining the Soul 119
Notes 125
Bibliography 131
Index 135
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