saying the unspeakable

From Ineffability, Simplicity and the Pleasure of Bitterness. Letter to students Therapeia 2 2018

“I do not recognize memory in the sense in which you mean it. Whatever we encounter that is great, beautiful, significant, need not be remembered from outside, need not be hunted up and laid hold of as it were. Rather, from the beginning, it must be woven into the fabric of our inmost self..” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


words cannot say what the heart knows
still, in poetry and dance
and with gratitude and thanks
we get half way

Johann agrees.
‘The secret places in the way of life may not and cannot be revealed: there are rocks of offence on which every traveller must stumble. But the poet points to where they are.’
Goethe. Maxims and reflections 306.

Others disagree.
Because they have not had the experience, some say there is no soul. Like smug atheists, the adamant conceit belies their anxiety. I did not read through these articles here, just what is on the first page. Ain’t nobody got time for that. But I put them here as references, if you are interested in exploring the vast philosophic debate about aestheticism, art, reality and experience. Mostly senseless abstractions about senses.

Jim says it’s nothing but a category error.
‘Proof and demonstration are categories of science and logic.. For the soul, the equivalent of proof and demonstration are belief and meaning. They are as difficult to develop and make clear, as hard to wrestle with, as is proof.’ James Hillman. ‘Suicide and the Soul.’ p66.

Jim explains the mystery of a mystery.
‘Where secrecy keeps silent about the known, mystery concerns the unknown and the unknowable. The participant in a religious mystery shares an experience which he does not bring about himself. He is witness to an epiphany of a God, a drama which draws his soul into its events, and through this experience is transformed… They did not tell for fear of death, because a mystery in which one participates creates not just secrecy, not just discretion, but an over powering silent awe which makes impossible telling someone who did not share the same experience. The participants themselves do not ‘know’, In the scientific sense, precisely the content an sequence of these mysteries..
One cannot report about a mystery, because one cannot speak about what one is in.. the participant in a mystery is still in so long as the vessel is closed. To step out of a living experience by telling about it means to share no longer in this livingness. It means death.’James Hillman, Suicide and the Soul. p176/177.

Johann says it’s a symbol.
That is true Symbolism, where the more particular represents the more general, not as a dream or shade, but as a vivid, instantaneous revelation of the Inscrutable.
Goethe. Maxims and reflections 202.

Jim plays the symbols.
’Soul’ is really not a concept but a symbol.. we take it to refer to that unknown human factor which makes meaning possible, which turns events into experience, and which is communicated in love.’ James Hillman, Suicide and the Soul. p46.

Carl says what he means.
‘Image and meaning are identical; and as the first takes shape, so the latter becomes clear. Actually a pattern needs no interpretation; it portrays its own meaning.’Carl Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, CW8:402

Jim tells it like it is.
‘There is an invisible connection within any image that is its soul. If, as Jung says, ‘image is psyche’, then why not go on to say, ‘images are souls’, and our job with them is to met them on that soul level.’ James Hillman, Inquiry into Image, quoted in A Blue Fire p25

ineffable continued