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“perchance to dream” 2

August 19, 2015

(That’s Shakespeare, of course, from the rattled mind of an ambivalent, all too young—seriously, what can you know at that age, all too heady and idealistic Hamlet. Really smart though—but what dreadful mistakes, especially when he confuses his girlfriend with his mother and his mother with Eve and Eve with his girlfriend. But hey, don’t we all? “Straight” guys, I’m talking to us.)

I’m thinking that it would be good if our first woman president was Persephone, someone who could take us down into the underworld, and make us more healthy in our imaginings. Make it real.

Another draft of the poem: night attack / by the destroyer / Persephone. She can be a nightmare.

As Hillman explains, in The Dream and the Underworld, our dreams critique and help destroy our false, destructive, fantasy images, of our awake life, by de-literalyzing them, helping us realize that they are indeed images, fantasies, that we have taken literally, as if they were factual—and so, like Hamlet, we see ghosts and cannot deal with the actual fact.

As the obsessive, monomaniacal captain took his fantasy of that whale to be what that poor (but big), hunted animal really was.

Projections. Ideologies. Isms of various kinds….psychopathologies.

Once we understand that they are only fantasy-based images, and understand them as images, their destructive hold on us is destroyed, and we can use them as a means of imagining ourselves and others in a healthier, truth-based way.

As Hillman explains, our perspective changes, so that now we can “see through” our delusional falsification, and can “see, through”—truly see, “by means of” the image.

This happens, for instance, when someone sees through his or her prejudice, and prejudice in the general society; reality (perhaps slowly—it can take time, it’s a process, painful) becomes clear, factual, individual, renewed, illuminated.

I mean to suggest that, as we come under attack by ourselves, in the midst of our current national darkness—our fellow citizens being murdered by our police because of skin color, our high poverty rate including children and homeless, our befouling of our planetary nest, involvement in crazy wars, vastly destructive inequality in distribution of our national wealth, legislative campaigns to deny women control over their “own” lives, clowns and nincompoops running for President—we can move toward health (if not a cure) by turning from ego to the soul, whose pathological sufferings enact our own pathologies and suffering, attending to her, nourishing her, allowing her to help us to a healthier consciousness, and a healthier democracy.

(Btw, this is part of an aesthetic. We might wonder, for instance, about Prospero drowning his books—down into the depths, you go.)

From → democracy, dreams, soul

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