Stay with the Image

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[...] the point is that consciousness floats; a psychic fluidum, as Mesmer might have called it, wrapping around and all through the analytical session.

It doesn't belong to either party.

Sometimes the patient has an insight, and another moment the analyst is conscious by simply being reticent, and another moment the consciousness is really in the image.

For instance, a black snake comes in a dream, a great big black snake, and you can spend a whole hour with this black snake talking about the devouring mother, talking about the anxiety, talking about the repressed sexuality, talking about natural mind, all those interpretive moves that people make, and what is left, what is vitally important, is what that snake is doing, this crawling huge black snake walking into your life [...]

[...] and the moment you've defined the snake, interpreted it, you've lost the snake, you've stopped it, and then the person leaves the hour with a concept about my repressed sexuality or my cold black passions or my mother or whatever it is, and you've lost the snake.

The task of analysis is to keep the snake there, the black snake, and there are various ways for keeping the black snake [...] see, the black snake's no longer necessary the moment it's been interpreted, and you don't need your dreams any more because they've been interpreted.

But I think you need them all the time, you need that very image you had during the night.

For example, a policeman, chasing you down the street [...] you need that image, because that image keeps you in imaginative possibility [...] if you say, "Oh, my guilt complex is loose again and is chasing me down the street," it's a different feeling, because you've taken up the unknown policeman into your ego system of what you know, your guilt.

You've absorbed the unknown into the known (made the unconscious conscious) and nothing, absolutely nothing has happened, nothing.

You're really safe from that policeman, and you can go to sleep again.

[James Hillman]
A Blue Fire, p.74


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The content of the symbol is not easily replaceable by content one already knows. Its manifestation is its most appropriate expression. There is no way to replace it.

[Jung] disliked for anyone to forget this point and just interpret dreams according to ready-made theories or known ideas. His warning, "Do anything you like, only don't try to understand [dreams]," reflects his attitude well.

[...] we would appreciate the importance of both understanding a dream and nonunderstanding a dream.

Or we might spend our entire effort on interpretation, while also remembering nevertheless that that is not the primary importance of the dream.

Amplification [...] is an effective method. Similarly, using the contents of amplification also has two directions, understanding and nonunderstanding. We cannot forget that both are important.

[...[ by the amplification of nonunderstanding, we open ourselves to discovery.

[Hayao Kawai]
Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy, p.134-5


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Amplification.

Elaboration and clarification of a dream-image by means of directed association and of parallels from the humane sciences (symbology, mythology, mysticism, folklore, history of religion, ethnology, etc.)

Since the unconscious, as the result of its spatio-temporal relativity, possesses better sources of information than the conscious mind - which has only sense perceptions available to it - we are dependent for our myth of life after death upon the meagre hints of dreams and similar spontaneous revelations from the unconscious.

As I have already said, we cannot attribute to these allusions the value of knowledge, let alone proof. They can, however, serve as suitable bases for mythic amplifications; they give the probing intellect the raw material which is indispensable for its vitality.

Cut off the intermediary world of mythic imagination, and the mind falls prey to doctrinaire rigidities. On the other hand, too much traffic with these germs of myth is dangerous for weak and suggestible minds, for they are led to mistake vague intimations for substantial knowledge, and to hypostatise mere phantasms.

[C.G. Jung]
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p.348, 411


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He had told Richard that his Hopi friend was involved in a very vast and complicated struggle that was taking place on many levels. The old man's cancer was only a small part of this whole struggle, and he explained that things like this needed to be seen in a wider context.

It is always necessary to be aware of and consider the entire situation. 

It is always necessary to be cognizant of what the spirit wants.

It is a mistake to think that the only way to help a sick man is to take away the illness.

[Doug Boyd]
Rolling Thunder, p.202


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[...] the label gives the viewer [...] too much, it pacifies him too soon.

To see a poem or a picture as fulfilling a category is to reach a premature sense of it. Naming or labelling is important because it is the most effective means of making something familiar, and familiarity is necessary if the arts are to be managed.

The snag is that the familiarity comes too soon, the label imposes local clarity by ridding the work of its mystery and releasing the viwer from his hesitation. But it's hard to make this point without giving the impression that I want people to remain hesitant or insecure forever.

I want them to postpone their security.

Most cultural forces are working towards making the arts comfortably familiar. The problem is how to break off the impression of familiarity in time to let the force of the artistic vision come through.

[Denis Donoghue]
The Arts Without Mystery, p. 77


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A lot of hostility against art is based on people's misapprehension that they're supposed to be understanding it, and failing to.

Actually, this failure is a sort of success, because it leads us away from habit, from repetition, from recognition.

[Momus]
'Derstand, understand, un-understand'


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Related posts:-
Entertaining Ideas
Search the Depths
Empty Container
Make It Personal
Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb (essay)
This, Not That 
Incursions of the Unknown
Escaping Uncertainty
Open Wound
Sailing the Turbulent Seas
Small Mind/Large Mind 
Dreams from Dreams

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