SEEING THE SOUL
[THE SOUL] IS NOT TO BE THOUGHT;
IT IS TO BE VIEWED; IT IS A PAINTING
PERSONIFICATION OF THE SOUL
Seeing in the Dark
“There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul.”
C G JUNG
"Perceptual vs. Conception
“Imagination is the eye of the soul”
C G JUNG
This website is an exploration of how to create and view the multiple soul through the paintbrush strokes of art
PERSONIFICATION OF THE SOUL — A gift to give
Jung said that the artist should bring something back to humanity (a buried treasure) from their journey into the unconscious depths, as he did in The Red Book. Though I feel that art itself is an offering (and I created an illuminated body of artwork), this website is what I give back to the world. This gift was actually suggested by a personification of my soul in an early active imagination with my art in which the figure told me to create a website as a teaching platform to BRIDGE between the art (Jung’s, Morgan’s, and my own) and you, the viewer. In the beginning of The Red Book (TRB) Jung (2009) said: “To understand a thing is a bridge and a possibility of returning to the path. But to explain a matter is arbitrary and sometimes even murder,” adding have you counted the murder of scholars?” (p. 122).
Seeing Through Art focuses on and sees through a line that Jung gave toward the end of TRB when Elijah asserted, “I do not like this [the soul’s] multiplicity. It is not easy to think it” (p. 547). In response Jung declared: “It [soul] is not to be thought; it is to be viewed. It is a painting." This website is an exploration of how to create and view the multiple soul through the many paintbrush strokes of art and the many personifications of the soul.
"The anima is bipolar and can therefore appear positive one moment and negative the next; now young, now old; now mother, now maiden; now a good fair, now a witch; now a saint, now a whore."
While the soul was personified throughout The Red Book, Jung and later archetypal psychologist James Hillman argued that modern man was in search of the soul--like Jung in his creative opus.
BURIED TREASURE — A window to the soul
Jung is opening “people’s eyes to the reality of the soul and the buried treasure in the field," an in this sense the soul is personified by art and the many personified figures of the art of The Red Book. An orientation to Jung’s art-based process, this section illuminates the structure of the website as a warren of tunneling paths. Entering into the chthonic depths of these pathways, we follow Jung (1933) who said that he “so often travelled this path with individual patients” (p. 72).
This is an art-based journey and “process” that Jung never “succeeded” in “making clear to a wider circle” (p. 72) because he never published it, yet it is also an archetypal path walked by the ancestors of old. In this section we will begin with information about The Red Book and Jung’s art-based approach as we begin to follow Jung on his path.
Seeing Through Art focuses on and sees through a line that Jung gave toward the end of TRB when Elijah asserted, “I do not like this [the soul’s] multiplicity. It is not easy to think it” (p. 547). In response Jung declared: “It [soul] is not to be thought; it is to be viewed. It is a painting.” This website is an exploration of how to create and view the multiple soul through the many paintbrush strokes of art.
LOVERS — The reconciliation of opposites
Seeing through a myth and a metaphor of the alchemical Coniunction of Spirit and Matter. Whether the inner psychological feminine and masculine of the anima and animus or their mythic embodiment in Eve and Adam, this process is about the reconciliation of opposites in a lover’s embrace. In this love affair we are both figures or halves, united within ourselves.
As Jung (1923) said: “When you can establish a communication between yourself and your other side, you begin a certain development” (p. 31) and then “the anima begins to function properly, and you begin to find that the anima has certain qualities behind her, and you can learn of her power” and “the content of the collective unconscious” (p. 31).
Thus “the anima becomes less and less a personification, she becomes a function” (p. 31). By “achieving this connection with the soul figure, you become the ruler of your fate” (p. 31). But to do this you must unite fully with your soul to realize, like Jung (2009) in his crowning achievement, that “love never ends” (p. 441).
A HYBRID APPROACH — Website + white paper
In order to avoid the murder of scholars and their explanations and definitions, I will present this information in my own art (attached) and that of Jung and his patient, student, and a profound artist in her own right Christiana Morgan. Yet, due to a dissertation limitation that allows only 5 images by an artist (imagine writing a dissertation with only 5 quotes), I will include the art of many artists throughout history to illustrate or animate my point. Given that Jung (1933) saw artists as “collective” and “higher” humanity who “carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic life of mankind” (p. 169), this art historical perspective is appropriate and even advantageous.
Because of the evolution of my dissertation (focusing on Morgan, then my own art, and returning back to Jung) this website has had a variety of incarnations. I had hoped to use more of Jung, Morgan, and my work to illustrate the methodology that we all applied and exemplified in different ways. I created both a more and less traditional website, but I have settled with this form—a hybrid website—white paper. While this is not a traditional website or white paper, the combination of these two genres gives the best approximation of the approach which seeks to bridge different ways of knowing and increase visual literacy while working with the reality of verbal hegemony.
"It is not to be thought; it is to be viewed. It is a painting." Jung of his soul