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About

An old friend who served as something of an ambassador of the Dallas underground art, music, and hermetic scenes during the mid-to-late 90's once expressed that he could not tell whether it was more accurate to think of himself as a healthfully skeptical mystic or a healthfully mystical skeptic. Though some of us find the call of the vast psyche compelling and intuitively irresistible, there is an inherent risk of losing one's bearings and becoming swallowed up through egoic self-identification when the experiential deconstruction and reconstitution of archetypal forces gives way to a deeper contact with the foundational content and underlying world-making process of the unconscious. 

Historically, most psychodynamic traditions have considered such experiences to be dangerous territory because of their association with pre-psychotic levels of personality organization. Such generalized concerns with an intentional and meditatively grounded survey of the depths of experience might be contextualized with a bit of metaphor.  Just as a calling in archeology (or etymology)  does not entail becoming recklessly lost in an Indiana Jones bug-pit, it is likely to require some field work in the darkness, getting one's hands dirty, and keeping a clear head, for it is possible to lose one's bearings or become buried beneath any unstable structures that lie above. It just so happens that a more complete exploration of the personality and repair of its structural integrity can sometimes be profoundly aided by the forces of the deep, although this need not be (and perhaps should not be) the central motivation. Indeed, fundamental dissatisfaction and the pursuit of a deeper maturational process is how many people find and learn to trust the call of the spirit from any tradition.

This risk of such exploration becoming impeded or delusory is indeed so real that it has become my agenda (i.e. my own creative impulses have been conscripted by the psychologically examined "push from beneath" whose aim it is) to describe and identify in psychodynamiclly consistent theoretical language the pitfalls and opportunities of encountering the so called "intermediate realm" of the human capacity for inspirational contact with the psyche or transpersonal experience. Perhaps the key is to be found in a simple shift in perspective: instead of positing a human capacity for various kinds of supernatural experience that defy rational analysis, we may instead swap the contention of an ego-centric notion of the mind with a perspective that understands the conscious notion of self and habitual attention (with its heavy left-hemispheric bias) to be but a feature of a much broader psyche that experiences a greater continuity with the vastness of life and the forces that shape it.  Deeply entwined in this pursuit are interpretive frameworks detailing intersection of art and music, myth and ritual (especially South Asian and Gnostic/Hermetic), and the associated philosophies of meditative and revelatory traditions. 

For purposes of greater safety and accuracy, such frameworks may finally begin to be integrated with the ontologies and epistemologies made available by advances in the various intersecting disciplines of the various levels of systemic autopoesis (our broader scientific worldview). The historical dilemmas of pseudoscientific speculation and neglect of the boundaries of non-overlapping magesteria may be carefully navigated while still relishing in the majesty of "creation" now that sufficient and fruitful bridging is accessible when traversing the overlapping edges of the successive domains of existence and experience.

Indeed, even the contention of Analytical (Jungian) Psychology, that all human neurosis and most human suffering may be distilled to non-fortuitous or imbalanced relationships (complexes) to certain gods (archetypes) becomes not only defensible, but actionable and profoundly relatable when the structures of inter- and intrapersonal organization are translated into relational terms.