The Call of the Invisibles

 

 

 

The Call of the Invisibles

 

 

As categorical thinking continues to fragment reality and as the replication of experience becomes the primary reality, the big words lose power and meaning: beauty, grace, pathos, poetic reverie, inspiration, depth, love, freedom, all devalued by dominant forms of ironic distancing, hyper-conscious conceptualism and carefully crafted political posturing. These methods mock but fail to dissipate the spectacle of self-image and its conscious construction and manipulation as it conforms to new media.

Despite, or in spite of, the institutionalization that impels the blandalization machine, genuine style, as opposed to 'fabricated selfism,' persistently emerges from a gritty and tactile tussle between the senses, the nervous system, the world of matter and spirit and the dualistic language which keeps these worlds divided. The debris from this collision disrupt literal description and therefore evade reduction to formative causation (technique). Regardless of this inadequacy, when this fantasy is confronted and embodied with one's whole being, it feels more ‘real’ than that which is often quantified as such. 

‘Reality’ in this con-text is re-visioned to be that which reveals the limitation of factual comprehension by providing depth and meaning to lived experience. It is from those depths that the given uniqueness of the individual takes form, not from the desire to find form for it. Squeezing one’s ‘self’ into a ‘program’ or a ‘profile’ of anothers making will not suffice. The ‘self’ is not limited to or constructed by the ego and its biography, but rooted in the very relational conversation the ego alone fails to partake in. From this vantage, the ego is not dismissed from a spiritual or philosophical highground, but revealed to be but one character of this conversation- a conversation best initiated in silence, with an eye that listens and an ear that sees.

Re-collection of the unspeakable, the invisible and the unknowable, then invokes an archetypal re-membering - which is 'to be a member again' of something larger than the polished chain of causality that locks the explicable in and the imagination out. This primordial sense (or gut-instinct) that ‘there is always more than meets eye' (or the mind) beckons in-sight, and in-sight defies informative explanation.

The old dualisms no longer apply. We no longer need to choose between the conceptual and the perceptual, the intellect and the instinct, thought and emotion, mind and body, but require a complete response commensurate to crisis in the world that calls that response forth.

This is a world where information rules, where explanation attempts to explain away mystery, paradox, depth… the invisibles are now more hidden than ever. Yet the deeper their hiding, the louder they call. And the louder they call, the more efficient our technologies become at distracting us from the visible and tangible world through which the invisibles move.

When we lose touch with the visible world, we lose touch with the invisibles that move through it. The poetry which binds both worlds together withers because we fail to notice it doing so.

When the lingering presence of the unseen is obscured by the illusion of information and the all-knowing sense of control that that information elicits, the call of the invisibles becomes all the more desperate and therefore necessary. 

Poetry is both the response to this call and the calling itself.

 


 

"The heroic ego literalizes the imaginal. Because it lacks metaphorical understanding that comes with image-work… without metaphorical understanding everything is only what it is and must be met on the simplest, most direct level.

Without imaginal understanding, we may expect killing, as if our culture cannot ever take down the wild Western ego until it has restored the ancient sense of imageand recovered the imaginal from the broken shards of reformational literalism.                  

James Hillman, Dream and the Underworld Pg. 194.