Monday, November 12, 2012

Seeing The Light

Yesterday I mentioned enlightenment. And the reason why I'm bringing it up again this morning is that I'm thinking about a quote. Again it comes from James Hillman's Re-Visioning Psychology:

"Finally, psychological learning or psychologizing seems to represent the soul's desire for light, like the moth for the flame. The psyche wants to find itself by seeing through; even more, it loves to be enlightened by seeing through itself, as if the very act of seeing-through clarified and made the soul transparent--as if psychologizing with ideas were itself an archetypal therapy, enlightening, illuminating. The soul seems to suffer when its inward eye is occluded, a victim of overwhelming events. This suggests that all ways of enlightening soul--mystical and meditative, Socratic and dialectic, Oriental and disciplined, psychotherapeutic, and even the Cartesian longing for clear and distinct ideas--arise from the psyche's need for vision."[Pg.123]

There is a few reasons why I'm interested in this quote. First of all, I use to think enlightenment was an escapist fantasy to some degree. We are facing all of these problems in the real physical world(global warming, child abuse, poverty, wars)and there is a part of me that fantasizes about enlightenment. But what I'm hearing Hillman say is that the soul desires it. Secondly, most teachers of eastern disciplines talk about how thinking will not get us out of this mess were in as a culture. I'm hearing Hillman say again and again that clear thinking is essential. He's going against eastern philosophy and following our western tradition. Like he mentioned at the beginning of his book, were in the western psyche whether we like it or not. Why look to the east to solve our western problems? He says look to the south of our western tradition and think about the Renaissance that started in Italy. Lastly, he mentions in the quote the psyche needs vision. If you've read any of Daniel Quinn's work he talks a lot about vision. Not laws, not moralities, not meditation, not programs, but vision. This is probably one of the reasons why I'm starting to see DQ's work as a psychological text to some degree.

Well, that's it for this morning. It's not much. All I'm attempting to do is lay out why some of these quotes resonate with me. I consider these authors my mentors.


Hazen said...

Your posts are valuable and insightful. Their brevity only adds to their power. We’re grateful for them. But please pay attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Curt said...

I try, Hazen. Believe me, I try. But I find when I focus to much on it I'm not able to get anything written. My writing time is limited.