Responses to Archive Fire and Immanent Transcendence: Egos, Ideas, and Eternal Events

Jason/Immanent Transcendence and Michael/Archive Fire have been continuing the discussion that began almost two weeks ago HERE and HERE. In his latest response to me, Michael writes: Matt wants to think the Absolute (unity), with an eye towards cultivating the existential implications which flow from an acquaintance therein, while I want to think the Possible (multiplicity), with a wonky fish…

The Beginning and the End of Positive Philosophy

In the Theaeteus, Plato has Socrates say that “wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.” In his Metaphysics, Aristotle echoes this by writing that “it was their wonder, astonishment, that first led men to philosophize and still leads them.” In the Phaedo, Plato has Socrates say that “those who really apply…

More Reflections on James Hillman’s Archetypal Psychology

Building on what was said here last week:   James Hillman’s psychology, above all else, aims to remind the modern Western psyche of its roots in the Renaissance. To illustrate his methods, he dwells upon the lives of Renaissance figures like Petrarch, “the first modern man…perhaps…the first psychological man.”1 Most cultural historians focus on Petrarch’s…

Thinking While Naked

Here is an intriguing article in Wired magazine by Jonah Lehrer. He reflects upon the implications of an experiment attempting to gauge the cognitive significance of nakedness. It looked at how our attribution of agency to others is effected by what they wear and how attractive they are. The results: Pictures of the faces of…

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 Cosmological Powers

This is a presentation I eventually gave during one of Brian Swimme‘s courses at CIIS. Watching it again now, I detect thinly disguised Christian apologetics in what I’ve said. That doesn’t necessarily make it bad cosmology.

Taste the Sky, Swallow the Horizon

  I screamed so loud, I could taste the sky. The stars became buds of light on my tongue, And the clusters of galaxies Poured into the tangled sinews of my brain. I became one of billions of sons, All circling the heavens In praise of our life. And yet, I was alone; My father…

The Ethics and Esotericism of Eating

Bourdain says the analogy between animal and human flesh (PETA: “you eat cow, eh? so would you eat human meat, too?”) is the last irrational wail of the animal rights activist. His response: “If I were two weeks out on the life boat, hell yeah I would!” Gill then makes an especially poignant response about…

Follow me to the desert, my soul.

Follow me to the desert, My soul.   Sing with me Until I lose my mind; Dance with me, Until my body unwinds, And my feet no longer touch the ground, And all that’s left of time Is the sound of wind shaping sand.   Build with me a temple, My soul.   Share with…

Death as Trickster

A reflection after participating in Steven Goodman‘s “Tibetan Trickster” workshop at CIIS several weekends ago. See my follow up comments to this essay here. ——————————————————————— I should begin. I don’t know how much time I have… I’d like to tell you a secret, even though I’m not sure if I can repeat it exactly as…

I am Time

I am Time Time is unwinding through its eternal hour and life is heading always toward the grave. The sun is being born and dying every day as the earth rolls across the sky. Toward the Origin all creation flows, though once upon a time, the destiny of this world was written with words. History:…

Meister Eckhart, Philosophy, and Soul-Making

The following is an essay written for a weekend course taught by philosopher Jacob Needleman on Meister Eckhart the 26th and 27th of February 2011. ————————– Meister Eckhart, Philosophy, and the Soul By Matthew Segall And there shall be for thee all soft delight That shadowy thought can win, A bright torch, and a casement…

Meister Eckhart and the Core of the Soul

For a little more than a week now, I’ve been engaging with Graham Harman‘s object-oriented approach to philosophy. I’m intrigued, but not yet convinced by his tactics. I still have questions about access, about epistemology. How do I know anything about mind-independent objects if their essence remains infinitely hidden? I’m forced to rely upon analogy, the most…

James Hillman on the folly of reducing mind to brain.

From The Soul’s Code by James Hillman, p. 150-154: The upshot of genetic studies leads in two (!) directions: a narrow path and a broad one. The narrow road heads toward simplistic, monogenic causes. It wants to pinpoint bits of tissue and correlate them with the vast complexity of psychic meanings. The folly of reducing…

Divine Imagination

I’ve been having a very stimulating discussion with a Christian theologian named Jason Michael McCann. He has held up a mirror to my ideas and allowed me to see them in a new light. His criticisms are fair and I hope we will each benefit from continued exposure to what may turn out to be…