Esotericism and the Academy at the American Academy of Religion in San Francisco

Phoenix Rising at the AAR Meeting Saturday Nov. 19th!.

Some of these papers look great. The problem of how to traverse the disciplinary boundary between esoterica and academia is one I will face in my own dissertation. Is it possible to integrate imaginal and rational modes of consciousness, to harmonize sacral and critical attitudes of inquiry? Can one study the arts of magic and alchemy, the sciences of astrology and theology, and remain at an academic distance? Is it possible to feign objectivity when one’s object of inquiry is that out of which inquiry itself emerges?

It is precisely the Imagination, the Muse, the indwelling spirit that brings the subject of objects into focus for us. Subject and Object are both creations of Imagination, or Psyche. Inner and Outer are both modes of Imagination. What some call an Outer Object is really a Mage, that is, a Moving Image in the Eternal Mind’s I. Psyche is All.

Like the Inner and Outer, Time and Space are both productions of the Cosmos. The ensouled Cosmos.

Cosmos Is Psyche. Which is to say that Psyche is not just eternal objects in an abstract Mind, but actual occasions of concrete experience and embodied existence. Archetypes, strictly speaking, do not exist without appetites and enjoyments, without living and playing fully intermixed with the created world.

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