[NB] We don’t need another hero

“Jung’s cases pick up many colorful but extraneous threads. They don’t make as thrilling reading as Freud’s just because his [Jung’s] plot has less selective logic and therefore less inevitability. Only when it is cast, or when we read it, in the model of a heroic quest or a pilgirm’s progress does the individuation plot grip the reader. But that is only one archetypal mode of individuation, one mode of selective logic.”—James Hillman, “The Fiction of Case History” in Healing Fictions (emphasis mine)

Yeah, I know, forgive the title; this post isn’t making such a strong claim. I’ve just watched the latest Mad Max movie, which reminds of Thunderdome, which reminds of Tina Turner…you get the idea.  Pretty soon, I’m looping back to Hillman and thinking about the herculean-martian heroism that introduces a brittleness into our narrative alloys. It seems like the sort of post that is good for the interim.

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Sitting With Saadia

The intellectual work of the last few posts has value in itself, but I undertook as a run-up toward contemplating the tree, i.e., sitting down in the dark and slowly unfurling it. As a rule, sitting with the tree prior to thinking through the Saadia model has turned into a modestly useful intellectual exercise.

This wasn’t that. I only worked with the spare structural dimensions of the tree and it was qualitatively different than the usual intellectual exercise.

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[NB] Geomancy-Fueled Contemplation: Populus

I usually spend late Saturday morning meditating with a geomantic triplicity. I’ll consecrate a patch of floor, draw out a simple chart for recording two signs, cast for two signs, do the math, then just sit with it. I listen for what the spirits say, I apply my sense of the signs, I make notes, I may look at a few books for amplification. I’d say it is easier than taking a full chart, but I have sat with these triplicities as long (or even longer) as I have sat with many full and complex charts.

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To Be More Specific

As a general rule, we think generally too often. Contrary to some romantic notions of savage immediacy, human beings on the whole seem naturally disposed to conceptual and symbolic thinking. We compare and empathize easily, to the point that it is only a slight exaggeration to say that what we call our self, our ego, is nothing more than the conflation of our being with that tendency and its products. As a corollary, we can with just a little exaggeration say that a ‘culture’ is simply the dynamic organization of this habit and its products.

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Making of Your Mind a Talisman

There are times when I am writing about spiritual work in public, like here, or in private, in my journals, that I am troubled by what value it has. It seems like there is so much work that goes into the discussion and some of it is so peculiar, that it cannot have any real purpose outside of occupying my thoughts. The speculations about the coil of life, or the giants, or the daemons, can all sound very abstract, especially after the fact. They do have a practical value, of course, in directing my thoughts and actions during spiritual work and in laying the groundwork for talking to others about it, but it seems like that practical value does not quite merit the effort of contemplation that goes into them.

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