James Hillman | George Berkely
Who has ever seen a gaseous molecule or an atom? …I don’t want chemistry to degenerate into religion; I do not want the chemist to believe in the existence of atoms as the Christians believes in the presence of Christ in the communion wafer.
A concept is a mental integration of two or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s), with their particular measurements omitted.
The entire problem is of the stomach. If the stomach is empty, then neither art has any meaning nor contemplation. The unmet need is the thing that has made life, a punishment for humans.
The great passions, truths, and images are not normal middles, not averages. Tongue-tied Moses who kills, has horns and a black desert wife; Christ turning miracles, lacerated on the Cross; ecstatic Mohammed; Hercules and the Heroes, even Ulysses; and the extraordinary awesome Goddesses — all these are unpredictable extremes that bespeak the soul in extremis. And these mythical figures show infirmitas: possessions, errors, wounds, pathologizings. In Vico’s terms, metaphorical truth is more than life, other than life, even while it presents the ideal standards for life. The very ideality is partly expressed through pathologizing enormities.
I am not pleading for a baroque Romanticism or Gothic horror, a new cult of the freakish to shock the bourgeois. Such is merely the other side of normalcy. Rather I wish us to remember Plato’s Timaeus: reason alone does not rule the world or set the rules. Turning to the middle ground for norms, norms without enormity, refuses the errant cause of Ananke. Such norms are delusions, false beliefs, that do not take into account the full nature of things. Norms without pathologizing in their images perform a normalizing upon our psychological vision, acting as repressive idealizations which make us lose touch with our individual abnormalities. The normalcy fantasy becomes itself a distortion of the way things actually are.
To put it in the language of academic psychology: the nomothetic must include the idiopathic within its formulations as an inherent part of its general statements and laws, else our vision of soul, too, becomes normalized, indistinguishable from bees and ants; social, practical, natural; 1984. Then we are defended against the archetypes in our lives and against the powerful images of our culture that can no longer reach us, or only do so through the middle path of perceptual observations, archetypes as allegories of moral practical action or as aesthetic illustration without persuasiveness. Then we have modeled ourselves upon norms without archetypal dimensions, man the measurer of all things, the observer outside, even outside his own suffering, treating it also from outside, observationally, objectively, living a life without any inherent sense of necessity.
Mian Muhammad Bakhsh