I have liked to this essay before, it is crucial to my explorations, because the whole of psychotherapy is in the metaxy. The transference is participatory. The Imago match is participatory perception. Cyberspace is participatory, not just justice, good, beauty though these large ideas were the cyberspace at the time.

These theoretical uses, perception, relationships between the ideas, and epistemology are intertwined. The philosopher resembles Eros, because he or she is able to “know” both knowledge and opinion. He / she can know “true knowledge” because of participation in the ideas. Since he can participate in the ideas of justice, good, etc., the philosopher is even able to perceive the world better.(8) Since the philosopher is also able to participate in the (lesser) forms, including justice, good, beauty, he / she will be also be most virtuous. Thus, the theoretical uses of metaxy all band together to form a coherent picture of Plato’s philosophy, a philosophy which is between idealism and realism.

Though I have trouble with the postmodern school as the writing never fully connects with me, there is a strong respect here for the archetypal trdition, here are some paragraphs to mull over from David L. Miller, 1966:

The world is itself a graphic interface with “icons” clicking us rather than we them. As Henry Corbin had noted, the world is mundus imaginalis, a medial imaginal cosmos, like Plato’s metaxy, the realm of the phantasm. We are in a sort of Windows 95: an screen of images pointing to no-thing on either side but a so-called reality that is in fact virtual. William James had remarked that in the twentieth century the greatest discovery was the unconscious. Gilbert Durand has added that in the twenty-first century the greatest discovery will be the content of the unconscious: namely, images. Perhaps we are already there. From TV satellite dish, to computer terminal, laser holography, and imaging centers with diagnostic MRIs, as Andre Agassi says in a camera commercial: “Image is everything.”

A postmodern theologian of culture, Mark C. Taylor (who not incidentally was honored by the Carnegie Foundation as the 1995 Teacher of the Year) has helped in his writings to bring to differentiated articulation the implications of a culture of simulacrae for teaching. In a book (Imagologies) that reports on values in teaching where classrooms in Finland and in Massachusetts are electronically linked, Taylor points out that cultural “imagology insists that the word is never simply a word but is always also an image” (styles). “The return of the figure disfigures the disfiguration of concepts by reinscribing the imago in the midst of the logos” (simcult) The audio-visual trace of the word involves an inescapable materiality that can be thought only if it is figured. The abiding question for conceptual reflection, according to Taylor, is: “How to (dis)figure the wor(l)d?”–a statement written in a manner so as to enable at least four possible readings (styles).

Others besides Taylor, and not only those in the study of religions, have mapped the contemporary hermeneutical task similarly. I have alluded already to the essay in which Derrida writes that “every abstrtact concept hides a sensible figure” (1982: 210). And I have mentioned, also, Wittgenstein and Bachelard. But there is also the important cultural and intellectual work of George Lakoff and J. A. T. Mitchell, both of whom have offered strategies of thinking and working in a world of semiotic simcult, a world in which, as Taylor has observed there is a fundamental irony. “A paradox of the imaginary.” writes Taylor, is that “the proliferation of images is iconoclastic” (communicative practices). This is because of the infinite deferral of final definitive signification. Since closure is not possible, neither is idolatry or dogmatism or ideologism or colonialism. When these emerge, as indeed they do and will, they are defenses against the situation in which we find ourselves.

One Reply to “Metaxy”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *