Eric Voegelin & Participatory Consciousness

quoted in

The Philosopher and the Storyteller
By Charles R. Embry

The symbols do not refer to structures in the external world but to the existential movement in the metaxy from which they mysteriously emerge as the exegesis of the movement in intelligibly expressive language. Their meaning can be said to he understood only if they have evoked in the listener or reader the corresponding movement of participatory consciousness. Their meaning, thus, is not simply a matter of semantic understanding; one should rather speak of their meaning as optimally fulfilled when the movement they evoke in the recipient consciousness is intense and articulate enough to form the existence of its Human bearer and to draw him, in his or her turn, into the loving quest of truth.

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I found it fascinating that through the words participatory consciousness the dialogue and archetypal psychology – with its notion of metaxy come together.

Careful reading of the passage points to the responsibility of the sender. Sending might involve beauty. In imago we are asked to listen to some ugly sends! Fair enough, but what if they were works of art?

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