Good Mother Earth: Imaginal or Literal

An Audio Recording

Each year for the past five years, The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture has sponsored the James Hillman Symposium. Speakers from all over the country, as well as from Mexico and Brazil come together to celebrate the life and work of James Hillman, one of the truly great depth psychologists of this time. He originated Archetypal Psychology, a mode of psychology intimately related to the depth psychology of C.G. Jung.

The theme of this year’s symposium is Mythic Figures, based on the volume of his writing that concentrates on Greek mythology in his work in psychology. Archetypal and depth psychology work with images from Greek mythology based on an understanding that these myths are central to Western culture (As you will hear, I have questions about that assumption). Each speaker works intimately with one chapter of the volume and seeks to expand the vision of Archetypal Psychology.

I am speaking on his chapter “Good Mother Earth: Imaginal or Literal”. A preliminary version of the talk is included here as an audio recording.

The writings in this blog, ten so far, are all influenced by the work of James Hillman, who I worked with closely for the five years he lived in Dallas and we worked together at the Dallas Institue. It may be helpful to say just a bit about Archetypal Psychology.

A central question, as yet unposed,  for the writings you have read in this blog is — what Earth is being spoken of? It is inevitable, as you will hear about in the audio, that Earth is being taken literally — in our time. The In Dios did not take Earth literally — as dirt, soil, planet, the mere ‘place’ where we are and are here to use Earth, which has come to mean use and destroy. The In Dios live ceremonially and ritually, that is, within the images of the beings, the spirits that pattern their actual behavior. Our question through these blogs is — as we become aware that the unconsciousness of our destructive actions toward Earth, aware of them as symptoms, as pathologies, how do we, in this time enter images, true images that bring relief — not only to us but to the imaginal/literal Earth?

The stories told thus far of this land in the writings on this blog are all BOTH literal and imaginal — simultaneously. That is what this audio recording goes into in some depth.

The audio is about 25 minutes long. You might want to listen in sections. You might want to listen more than once. Again, I apologize for the quality of the recording — it is a clear recording but there are some distracting things that occur — like my coughing, which could easily be edited out — if I knew how.

Thanks so much.