A brief excursus into James Hillman’s psychology of archetypes and the Imaginal
We call this world the vale of soul making; the soul, Psyche, drawing her patterns and images before descending into her next incarnation in this world. The world is then seen as the stage where the Soul can become itself. Her long journey through the challenging images she has chosen to the sole purpose of reminding herself her true calling – This is a process of two: the person incarnating their life on one hand, and this other something, the Dàimon, calling her back to her mission which seems forgotten. This is the time where unease, disease, or troubled events shake us from that daily, ongoing sleep we seem to have fallen into.
Like Psyche, the mythological maiden who had lost her godly lover Eros and had to face many challenges before she could be reunited to him. The mythological motive is a recurring one, as in the Nordic tale “East of the moon, West of the sun”. It is the tale we all know, of the wake-up call, leading us to leave the daily routine, to chase what has been lost. The shamanic sickness, one would call this in the Eastern traditions of Siberia, as well as other Asian areas. The acorn, as would the American Psychoanalist James Hillman call it, bearing the fate of the fully grown oak within its tiny shell.
All these theories and traditions seem to agree on one single perspective: that we all come into this world with a fate, a vocation, a calling that we need to accomplish and fulfil in order to fully achieve our potential. This sometimes seems larger than the actual person being the acorn, and yet, the calling finds it way to have its voice heard. All disease and unease in one’s life would then be pointing to the fact that one is resisting – or not seing this goal or vocation. This is where mythical thinking comes to help: because we all put on a myth in our life’s stage, and we set ourself free by recognising and acknowledging this myth.
It is from Hillman’s learning teaching as well as those Eastern mystical traditions we mentioned above, that Selene Calloni Williams founds the teaching and practices of her Imaginal Academy. Her goal is a call to all of us, to acknowledge and follow the good daimon which is the happy fate of our vocation. And joy, she quotes Sri Aurobindo.
Sammasati – the last world the enlightened one is said to have whispered upon his own death. Sammasati, Remember who you are.