Archetypal Imagination (eBook)

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Archetypal Imagination: Glimpses of the Gods in Life and Art

“When the early Greek philosophers inquired into the nature of things, the world, and their own experience, they asked: “What are the archai?” What is the ultimate nature of things? They were not asking for the final explanation, they went beyond explanation to logos, to myth. They searched not only for the ultimate physical particle but also for a poetic cosmology, where flux and strife could be taken as ultimate constituents.” (from the Introduction by Thomas Moore)

This unique book is about freeing psychology’s poetic imagination from the dead weight of unconscious assumptions about the soul. Whether we think of the soul scientifically or medically, behaviorally or in terms of inner development, all of us are used to thinking of it in an individual context, as something personal. In this book, however, we are asked to consider psychology from a truly transpersonal perspective as a cultural, universal-human phenomenon.

Cobb teaches us to look at the world as a record of the soul’s struggles to awaken and as the soul’s poetry. From this perspective, the real basis of the mind is poetic. Beauty, love, and creativity are as much instincts of the soul as sexuality or hunger. Cobb shows us how artists and mystics can teach us the meaning of love, death, and beauty, if only we can awaken to their creations. The exemplars here are Dante, Rumi, Rilke, Munch, Lorca, Schumann, and Tarkovsky.

COVER: Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus (1900), John William Waterhouse

C O N T E N T S:

Introduction by Thomas Moore

1. Echoes of an Imaginal Bell:
— Reverberations of Andrei Tarkofsky’s Anrei Rublev
2. The Morbid and the Beautiful:
— Edvard Munch – Painter of the Modern Soul Life
3. Dionysos and Duende:
— Federico García Lorca – Torero of the Imagination
4. The Cast of Masks in the Life and Work of Robert Schumann:
— Part I: The Genius of Culture and the Culture of Genius
— Part II: Butterflies and Sphinxes
5. The Fires of Eros and the Alchemy of Seduction:
— Notes toward a Poetics of Love – A Sonata in Five Movements
6. Persephone:
— Midwife and muse of Metempsychosis: An Undertaking in Psychopoetics
7. Who Is behind Archetypal Psychology?
— An Imaginary Inquiry


About the Author

Noel Cobb (1938–2015) traveled widely in his early years, both geographically and intellectually, in search of a way of thinking adequate to his own rich and abounding imagination. His odyssey brought him to working with R. D Laing, becoming a Jungian analyst, and developing, with other contemporary thinkers, the re-visioning of psychology and culture through archetypal psychology. With his partner Eva Loewe, he cofounded The London Convivium for Archetypal Studies and published numerous books, including Prospero’s Island: The Secret Alchemy at the Heart of The Tempest.

Thomas Moore is the author of Care of the Soul, which spent forty-six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating the soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lectures widely on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and ecology. He lectures frequently in Ireland and has a special love of Irish culture. He has Ph. D. in religion from Syracuse University and has won several awards for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Lesley University and the Humanitarian Award from Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University. He also writes fiction and music and often works with his wife, artist and yoga instructor, Hari Kirin. He writes regular columns for Resurgence and Spirituality & Health and has recently published A Life at Work and Writing in the Sand. He is a patron of Re-Vision, a London center of spirituality and counseling, and on the board of Turning Point, a bereavement counselors training program in Dublin, Ireland.

Additional information



Thomas Moore






June 2020






Lindisfarne Books


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