Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This excerpt about knocked me off my chair this morning: "Philosophy, from Plato and his Neoplatonic followers (especially Plotinus) and from Hegel and his neo-Hegelians, also supports this idea. Its tradition is that even if psyche refers to an individual soul here and now lived by a human being, it always refers equally to a universal principle, a world soul or objective psyche distinct from its individuality in humans. However, of these notions, psyche and human, psyche is the more embracing, for there is nothing of man that soul does not contain, affect, influence, or define. Soul enters into all of man and is in everything human. Human existence is psychological before it is anything else--economic, social, religious, physical. In terms of logical priority, all realities (physical, social, religious) are inferred from psychic images or fantasy presentations to a psyche. In terms of empirical priority, before we are born into a physical body or a social world, the fantasy of child-to-come is a psychic reality, influencing the 'nature' of the subsequent events. But the statement that soul enters into everything human cannot be reversed. Human does not enter into all of soul, nor is everything psycholgical human. Man exists in the midst of psyche; it is not the other way around. Therefore, soul is not confined by man. The soul has inhuman reaches. That the soul is experienced as my 'own' and 'within' refers to the privacy and interiority of psychic life. It does not imply a literal ownership or interiority. The sense of 'in-ness' refers neither to location nor to physical containment. It is not a spatial idea, but an imaginal metaphor for the soul's nonvisible and nonliteral inherence, the imaginal psychic quality within all events. Man can never be large enough to possess his psychic organs; he can be reflect their activities." [Pg. 173, Re-Visioning Psychology]

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This explains while I'll get a "handle" on what Ishmael had to say: "Fictions are not suppose to have great explanatory power, so they do not settle things for a mind searching for fixity. But they do provide a resting place for a mind searching for ambiguity and depth. In other words, fictions satisfy the aesthetic, religious, and speculative imagination more than they do the intellect."--Pg. 151, Revisioning Psychology

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Literalism is a Sin

"The thing to be abolished is literalism;...the worship of false images; idolatry....Truth is always in poetic form; not literal but symbolic; hiding, or veiled; light in darkness...the alternative to literalism is mystery."--Norman Brown

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quinn Quote Saturday

"The most dangerous idea in existence.... Humans belong to an order of being that is separate from the rest of the living community."--Daniel Quinn, If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways

Friday, October 26, 2012

More Quotes From RP

A few quotes that I wrote down out of James Hillman's Re-Visioning Psychology this morning. "Where problems call for will power, fantasies evoke the power of imagination."[James Hillman, Pg.135] "Ritual brings together action and idea into an enactment."[James Hillman, Pg.137] "He [The poet] sees events through and through even when the participants see only the surface. And often when the participants sense only that a divine had is touching them the poet is able to name the god concerned and knows the secret of his purpose." [W.F. Otto, The Homeric Gods] "....the essence of consciousness is fantasy images."[James Hillman, Pg.140]

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Commanding Nafs

"The commanding nafs is that which has not passed through the crucible of aesthetic discipline, or shed the tough hide of existence. It actively resists all of God's creation. This nafs is of a bestial character that harasses other created beings and consistently sings its own praises. It always follows its own desires and grazes on the field of material nature; it drinks from the spring of the passions and knows only how to sleep, eat, and gratify itself."[Years back I ran across this quote on page 21 of Robert Bly's Sibling Society. He got the quote from Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh of Iran.]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Primary Caregivers

I often imagine teachers and psychologists as being the primary caregivers to the victims of our abusive economic system.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Life After Ishmael Reflection

A life after Ishmael reflection. I ran across this quote while reading Re-Visioning Pschology early this morning.
"Ideas remain impractical when we have not grasped or been grasped by them. When we do not get an idea, we ask 'how' to put it in practice, thereby trying to turn insights of the soul into actions of the ego. But when an insight or idea has sunk in, practice invisibly changes. The idea has opened the eye of the soul. By seeing differently, we do differently. Then 'how' is implicitly taken care of. 'How?' disappears as the idea sinks in--as one reflects upon it rather than on how to do something with it. This movement of grasping ideas is vertical or inward rather than horizontal or outward into the realm of doing something. The only legitimate 'How?' in regard to these psychological insights is: 'How can I grasp an idea?'" Pg.122, Re-Visioning Psychology
This quote resonated with me because there are times when I get confused when trying to understand action and ideas. I often ask myself: Is my thirst for ideas an excuse not to act? Or to put it another way if I acted more would I be so interested in ideas? [Paragraph break. I have no idea why the paragraphs will not publish with a space. When I get some time I'll figure it out]Here is another idea that I got from Quinn's work: The primary function of schooling is to keep kids off from the job market. That's one of the reasons why we don't send our 13 yr. old son to school. He also tried to go to school when he was young and did not like it, and he doesn't have any interest in going back.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Who Am I?

This quote spoke to me this morning: "Whoever will look narrowly into his own bosom, will hardly find himself twice in the same condition. I give to my soul sometimes one face and sometimes another....all the contrarities are there to be found in one corner or another....I have nothing to say of myself entirely, simply, and solidly without mixture and confusion. Distinguo is the most universal member of my logic."--Montaigne

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Daniel Quinn Quote Saturday

"During your lifetime, the people of our culture are going to figure out how to live sustainably on this planet--or they're not. Either way, it's certainly going to be extraordinary. If they figure out how to live sustainably here, then hum anity will be able to see something it can't see right now: a future that extends into the indefinite future. If they don't figure this out, then I'm afraid the human race is going to take its place among the species that we're driving into extinction here every day--as many as 200--every day"-Daniel Quinn I pulled the above quote from The New Renaissance

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Brief Reflection on the Gods

After spending some time with James Hillman's work I'm starting to understand why I got hung up on Daniel Quinn's use of the term gods in Ishmael. I'm sure the hang up is because I was trying to think of them literally when I should have been thinking of them imaginatively. I was questioning their existence or nonexistence. Thinking of them imaginatively simply expands one vision.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Falling Apart

"Consciousness today is closer to it pathology. Psychopathology is no longer held behind asylum walls. The sickness fantasy is now so dominant that one sees disintegration, pollution, insanities, cancerous growth, and decay wherever on looks. Pathology has entered our speech and we judge our fellows and our society in terms once reserved for psychiatric diagnoses. And the ego falls apart."--James Hillman, Pg. 109, Re-Visioning Psychology

Saturday, October 13, 2012


"Our secret plan is this: We're going to go on consuming the world until there's no more to consume. This does not preclude consuming it "wisely" or consuming it as slowly as possibly. It doesn't preclude supporting every conceivable conser vation initiative. It doesn't preclude supporting every conceivable means of recycling. We're going to recycle, we're going to conserve-- but we're also going to go on consuming until there's no more to consume."--Daniel Quinn from On Investments

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Quinn Quote Saturday

“We're not destroying the world because we're clumsy. We're destroying the world because we are, in a very literal and deliberate way, at war with it.”― Daniel Quinn out of Ishmael