Yet more Metaxy

This time from James Hillman

Especially—this Neoplatonic tradition is thoroughly Western even if it is not empirical in method, rationalist in conception, or otherworldly spiritual in appeal. This tradition holds to the notion of soul as a first principle, placing this soul as a tertium between the perspectives of body (matter, nature, empirics) and of mind (spirit, logic, idea). Soul as the tertium, the perspective between others and from which others may be viewed, has been described as Hermetic consciousness (Lopez–Pedraza 1977), as “esse in anima” (Jung [1921] CW 6, §66, 77), as the position of the mundus imaginalis by Corbin, and by Neoplatonic writers on the intermediaries or figures of the metaxy. Body, soul, spirit: this tripartite anthropology further separates archetypal psychology from the usual Western dualistic division, whose history goes back before Descartes to at least the ninth century (869: Eighth General Council at Constantinople), occurring also in the medieval ascension of Averroes’ Aristotelianism over Avicenna’s Platonism. Consequences of this dualistic division are still being felt in that the psyche has become indistinguishable from bodily life, on the one hand, or from the life of the spirit on the other. In the dualistic tradition, psyche never had its own logos. There could be no true psychology. A first methodologically consistent attempt to articulate one in a philosophical style belongs also within the perimeters of archetypal psychology (Evangelos Christou 1963).

Leave a Reply