Almost immediately after going online in 1995, I ran into new friends via email discussion lists. This was a comfortable mode for me although when I look back at my experience I recognize how I let a lot of counter-productive personality impulses stream online too. Nevertheless, I can name the people who I am in relationship to today, to some degree, by virtue of our falling into the same discussion locales way-back-when. In noting this, I title this post hoping to hint at the paradox of proximity as it is obtained in the online world. I have met face-to-face but three of my online friends, Lexie, Hugh, and Heward.
Let me sing some praises on behalf of friends.
Heward Wilkinson, a UK-based psychotherapist and philosopher of science and social science has published a book, The Muse as Therapist. A New Poetic Paradigm for Psychotherapy (Karnac.) I bet this has been the book that has been percolating for all his life. I’ve fallen out of touch with Heward for about four years, but for several years we had a wonderful back-channel–to two different ‘Jungian’ discussion lists–dialog going, a dialog full of meta-commentary and informal poetics. I count Heward as an important guide, not the least of which included his pointing out the work of Daniel Stern, (The Present Moment In Psychotherapy and Life.) I was grateful for Heward’s attention because I am a piker in comparison to his erudition. On his web site are papers he’s written that are important in the scheme of the philosophy of psychology, and, several are touchstones for my own perspective. My first recommendation is Phenomenalogical Causality, at the bottom of |papers|. hewardwilkinson.co.uk
I have never met Alice O. Howell, the celebrated archetypal astrologer and author. Yet, one of the first delights of my online travels was joining an email list Alice was a member of. I was delighted because I was already familiar with her fine book, The Dove and the Stone. It was sort of like meeting an old friend. We’ve talked once on the phone, many years ago. Over the years I have on occasion given her a hard time. But since she is the prototypical wonderful person, she used her eight plus decades of experience to deal with me gently and generously. She has a blog, Credo. On it are her credos. They are profound. Yet, the key work of hers–for me–is an essay, God, The Verb. On the Stratification of the Archetypes.
Over the years it seems that there is only a growing confusion over the nature of Jungian archetypes. For some it is a primordial image, for others it is a god or a character in a fairy tale and so forth. All of which are true on different niveaux and thus the arguments represent “a dilemma of levels”. The great obstacle in understanding the essence of an archetype is that we have to use words to define what is essentially a direct experience. We cannot even mention the nature of a verb without turning it into a noun! To say “swimming is delightful.” is to turn the gerund into the subject of the sentence, i.e. a noun; or “to swim is delightful.”, the infinitive to swim again becomes the subject of the sentence. All our hows turn into linguistic whats. Thus we must remain conscious of a mercurial trickster stopping the flow of the action as one would frames in a reel of film. So to write of archetypes is at best a challenge. “In the beginning was a verb” is actually a simple transliteration of the words of John: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God.” The word verb means “word”. This is so obvious, it takes a simpleton like myself to get the joke. If we say that God is a verb, we are on the right track to understanding the essence of an archetype because the nature of archetypes is at its most essential a process, a verb. And postulating energy (God!}, for lack of a better word, as the Primal Verb, then the archetypes become the different modalities inherent in both the invisible and the visible world.
I will urge her to publish the full piece on her blog. In the meantime, Credo.
I’ve been hanging with Robert G. Longpre for 13 years, starting out with Walter Logeman’s Psyber-L list. I consider Robert a kindred soul. We’re close to the same age and I imagine close to being moved by the same inveterate curiosity about what makes the cosmos sound; errr, sound here being the Godly verb! Robert pops up now and then. When he does I often am moved to reflect upon my first moves in cyberspace. Robert has a blog, Retired Eagle. On it are ‘photos viewed with a Jungian Psychology filter.’ This unique theme is given its due, and, I would sense from Retired Eagle that all outer travelogues go along with the inner kind. Turn the lens inward, travelers, yes?
Mike Dickman sent me a kind note a month ago. One thing we share is we both have didgeridoos. I’ve never learned to circular breathe, although once during a trance-like state I almost got it. I purloined his picture from a listing for one of his books on eastern religion, The Saying of Old Ch’Eng on the Nature of Original Mind.
I like his picture. I project upon it and say to myself, ‘happy hippies are where it’s at.’ He maintains a web site, Mist, attached to JungCircle. I’ll ask permission after the fact, but here’s one of his translations of Monk Tan Hsia. ->>Better picture and interview.
In the subtle truth there’s nothing you can gain
Which also doesn’t mean that all is vain
The moon reflects on the sea, the fish all disappear
You — fisherman — why do you cast your hook again?
Eve Neuhaus is author and searcher. She’s another in the Jung karass. Congratulations Eve on your your book Journey to Mythaca obtaining a second edition. The book and Eve have a web site. I just asked Eve for the secret password to get inside its magic realm. I dig the children’s artwork, and so will you.
Oh, what a party we old time cyberians could/should have!