SEEING THRU ART
ILLUSTRATE and ANIMATE JUNG'S WORK
bridge and possibility of returning to the path
IMAGINAL SCHOLARS - A GNOSIS
“only supplements and clarifications of the material that burst forth from the unconscious” at this time (p. 199)
C G JUNG
A LIVING BEING
In its painted pages he sought and found her in a “knowledge of the heart” that “is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher” (p. 133).
“The wealth of the soul exists in images. (TRB, p. 130)."
~ C G JUNG
THE SOUL — Charting the Fathomless Depths
Jung (1961) said, “the years when I was pursuing my inner images [in TRB] were the most important in my life—in them everything essential was decided,” referring to “the later details” as “only supplements and clarifications of the material that burst forth from the unconscious” at this time (p. 199). The images of TRB provided “the prima materia for a lifetime’s work” (p. 199), and it took Jung “nearly forty-five years,” to “distill” them “within the vessel” of his “scientific work” (p. 199). In this process of distillation Jung’s art-based practice gave birth to theory, and this visual glossary seeks to communicate this theory to help understand the practice.
In TRB Jung repeatedly claimed to speak for his soul in her language of art and a knowledge of the heart or “Eros” who is “a source of knowledge” (p. 565). This is the “enlightening thought” that the soul insists “comes from the body” (p. 485), and it is the basis of imaginal scholarship.
ANIMATE — Understanding Through Imagination
To reflect the imagistic knowledge of the soul this visual glossary combines information from Jung’s Collected Work or theory with his artwork from TRB. Because the soul condemned the “murders among scholars” caused by explainging and defining, instead suggesting that “to understand a thing is a bridge and possibility of returning to the path” (p. 122), I will try to promote understanding through examples that illustrate and animate Jung’s creative work. In this glossary I stick to the image of TRB and almost all quotations are Jung’s.
While the website will use these terms in the art-based context of Jung’s methodology from TRB, this glossary seeks to bridge Jungian psychology as theory with the practice from which it sprung. It is also intended to aid the non-Jungian in understanding Jungian thought. While the terms and theories that follow were not used in TRB, which contained no conceptual or theoretical apparatus, Jung’s theories evolved from and in this seminal work.
VISUAL LIERACY — Understand What You See
This sight or insight is reflected in the root of idea “to see” and to see through an archetypal pattern, and it will be critical to this methodology. In effect, the viewing reader will be practicing this new (and yet old) way of seeing as imaginal knowing. This way of seeing or seeing through the image (whether a painting of a tree or a physical tree) allows you to enter the image through the imagination—like a window or even a doorway to the soul. Even though this realm is imaginal, it is also real. Seen through the animated worldview of the soul and the embodiment of the soul in art, both a painting of a tree and a physical tree are real and alive or animated (from anima). This ensouled perspective is the heart of the art-based teaching, which Jung’s soul in TRB described a teaching found not in any book or the mouth of any teacher but in the heart.
In TRB Jung also said that knowledge was not found in books but in our blood, so, as you read through these definitions try to feel into them as what Jung’s soul called the “enlightening thought” that “comes from the body.” Through aligning the body and a body of art, the viewer can enter an inner realm where, as Jung exemplified in TRB, they are taught by their multiple or manifold soul. As you move through these words and images, see if you can embody them. Note sensations in your body—and remember that you have a body, since our habitual way of knowing is in the head. If there is one thing that I have learned as an outcome of applying “Jung’s” soul-based art process, it is that I am constantly drawn down into my heart as a way to center in and know from the body.
DAY — Emerging Dawn of Solar Consciousness
Jung said that it was important to try to consciously understand the images that were seen in dreams and visions, describing this as a moral and ethical imperative. I see this as internalizing the images to digest or integrate them. While art provides the primary way to psychologically process the images in this website, the glossary is intended to aid in achieving this understanding by providing the conceptual tools to see through or view the art.
Notably, the glossary should be used before or after creating the art, since the rational mind interferes with the creative process as the “slayer of the real.” Like Jung who could not read an academic book for the years of his intense artistic creation, I have had to separate the artistic and traditionally academic work, since they seemed to repel each other. Reflecting different states of consciousness and ways of knowing, fantasy and directed thinking are an odd couple, one coming out in lunar consciousness during the night, the other emerging at dawn for the solar consciousness of the day. This movement between conscious day and unconscious night will be a current throughout this site.
"It is not to be thought; it is to be viewed. It is a painting." Jung of his soul