Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Are Fantasies Alive?

I wrote down two quotes this morning. One out of Sit Down and Shut Up, by Brad Warner. The other out of The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, by Dick Russell. I'm confused by them. I'm hearing in them that Buddhists don't think fantasies are alive and archetypal psychology views them as living beings that are archetypal. Perhaps, here again, spirit is claiming itself to be superior to soul.

"'...through the imagination man has access to the gods: through the memoria the gods enter our lives.' So it might be that psychological language must 'find its kinship, not with the logics of scientific reason or with the exercises of a behaving will, but with the arts.' 'Why are our fantasies embarrassing to tell, and why are we embarrassed hearing the intimate tales of another's imagination?...The shame about our fantasies gives testimony to their importance.' Our will and intelligence do not embarrass us in the same way, yet 'the revelation of fantasies exposes the divine, which implies that our fantasies are alien because they are not ours. They arise from the transpersonal background, from nature or spirit or the divine, even as they become personalized through our lives, moving our personalities into mythic enactments."[pg.617, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman]

"To a Buddhist everything is alive, including wells. The only things that aren't alive are those fantasies we create in our heads." [Brad Warner, pg. 240, Sit Down and Shut Up]

I'm wondering if one denies that fantasies are alive then one is denying the existence of the gods. If you've read The Holy by Daniel Quinn you might have a better understanding of where I'm coming from. What I got from that book is that the gods and our fantasies are beyond our minds but yet influence our actions. So how could they not be alive? I thought the gods are eternal and immortal.

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