Mask, Personality, Synchronicity, Work

This is a little bit of a sorting post. First up, I’ve updated the “About”; it’s now the “What’s Going On Here” button at the top of the page.

Next, let me see if I can summarize some of the trajectories that I have been taking around the Yeatsian and Jungian material. I know, I’m doing that a lot lately; I’m winnowing and that isn’t glorious work, but it seems necessary.

I ended one recent post with the thought that the personality, well-developed, falls into the daemonic realm as the Mask. That’s making more and more sense to me, in part because it fits with a range of experiences described by spiritualists and mystics. In other words, that one of the gifts we provide to the daemonic realm is a persona that can be used by the daemonic. There is an afterlife of our lives that isn’t our afterlife.

That’s a little weird, I know, but one of the things you’ll see enlightened spirits mention in spiritualist sessions is that they are not necessarily the person whose identity they use to manifest. All the Abraham Lincolns and Cleopatras? Mostly, they are other spirits using that well-formed Mask for their own ends. It also meshes with Ibn al-Arabi’s notion that the spirits in the Garden abandon the body of their life, but that the greatest among them and the angels can pick those remainders of a life back up again for their own ends.

There is some useful lines of inquiry to consider here about the nature of fame (on a large and small scale) and hungry ghosts, too. If we think of fame as a daemonic process, then we can start talking about the work of fame as being something of a contribution to the daemonic repertoire of faces and the confusions possible thereby. Hungry ghosts, with their eagerness for attention, are doing something similar, creating a mask that, through attention, might acquire some stability.

That said, it makes good sense to differentiate the Yeatsian Mask personality from the Jungian personality type. The personality is animated and maintained by a type, but the type itself represents active potencies in the person that the Mask does not. The type as active potencies falls more squarely in the Yeatsian Intellect’s domain, suggesting that one of the Yeatsian crises revolves around disambiguating the personality from the capacities that animate it. That provides us with a somewhat broader sense of the crises, one that can encompass relationships that fall outside the romantic ones emphasized in the Yeats material.

There is much mirroring going on across the faculties, which is part of what makes their differentiation difficult. The general tenorof this work runs a bit counter to Hermetic thinking, a separation and differentiation of above and below rather than their unity through analogy.

That helps to flesh out the talk of synchronicity. Synchronicity is not the proof of success, a token of the divinely ordered symmetry between domains, but a point of departure into more work through which spiritual orderings can acquire embodiment and thereby differentiation.

Which gets to work, that labor that must be done between the more satisfying and sometimes easier to grasp synchronicities. Between the moments when the worlds come together, there are the stretches of labor required to make the coming together possible. Those are the stretches filled with contemplation, prayer, study, consecration, personal and communal development.

The work is where the substantive action of a life goes on, where changes are made in the spiritual substance of the world. The synchronicities provide some direction and support, but are ancillary to work.

ETA: I bolded “Yeatsian” before intellect in the sixth paragraph by way of correction. I originally typed ‘Jungian.’ Whoops.

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4 thoughts on “Mask, Personality, Synchronicity, Work

  1. I very much enjoy how this is written. Very concise and articulated well. I agree with the process outlined here; at least it echoes the processes within my own experiences greatly.

  2. Pingback: [NB] Grimoire, Ecstasy, Play, Possession | Disrupt & Repair

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