Pansophism Booklist: The Next Ten Books

Ever since I finished the book challenge, I have found my thoughts wandering toward what someone should read after those ten books. It is all well and good to have secreted them away in a lakeside hideaway for a month, but what should they do for their continuing education? What should they dip into over the course of the next year?

I’m not sure exactly what I’m after with this thought exercise, but since it has been persistent I figured it’s worth a post.

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[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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[NB] Jungian psychology and alchemical transhumanism?

James Hillman is one of those authors I go to like a tonic. The way in which he conceptualizes the mythological and its relationship to the psychical opens up my thinking. His archetypal psychology is a definite improvement on Jung’s work, especially when he speaks to the diversity of mythic styles and the importance of that diversity for illuminating and guiding our spiritual work.

Like Jung, though, he always leave me a little dissatisfied; the atmosphere seems too rarefied. He liberates the dream from too-tight interpretation, but he hasn’t yet returned it to life. Much of that has to do with his eagerness to defend the dream, the psyche, from the ego-driven concerns that would demand it have clear purpose.

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[NB] Old Notebooks

Today when I sat down with the ancestors, I started to get this mad little bug to tidy. That isn’t particularly surprising–the ancestors tend to like tidiness. But I found myself grabbing hold of this box that I have been carrying around for a few years without opening. As I finished sorting through it, I widened my efforts to its immediate neighbors.

That is when I came across the notebook that I thought lost. I can’t date it precisely, but it is from my first few years of college back in the mid-1990s. My best guess puts it somewhere in the 1995-1996 range. I had started it as a supplement to a philosophy course I was taking, but it became something very different the summer afterward.

Been thinking (as a note, the semester is over—the notebook was of limited usage)—seems that in much of the writings here I approached the thinkers in a far too confrontational manner; not only is this not useful (one does not water orchids with boiling water), but it is really antithetical to who I am. The attitude puts me outside myself, taking my ability to absorb and contemplate. Remember this.

Oh, yes, hello crazy little me. Whew, why did you think the academy was a good idea again?

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Ritual Time: Punctuated Equilibrium?

So, yeah, I do jabber on around spiritualist and gnostic practice. I circle in words and concepts without often zooming in to deal with the practical day-to-day matters that constitute my work. I don’t talk an awful lot about prayer or ritual, for example. That’s mostly because I am not sure about the value of such talk in this medium; it seems too fast and shallow.

If that sounds negative, I don’t mean it to. It just seems like the time in which ritual work unfolds and the time in which internet-use unfolds are quite different.

This brings me to something I want to talk about regarding practice and ideas of practice—time.

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