Romanyshyn, R: In the Gap Between Phenomenology and Jungian Psychology: Cultivating a Poetics of Psychological Life


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Ricoeur and Merleau-Ponty attest to the challenge that the unconscious poses to phenomenology. Ricoeur brilliantly met that challenge for Freud’s psychology. In my presentation, I explore how Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, converging with Jung’s psychology in that pregnant gap where Orpheus, the eponymous poet, bridges the human and the divine, does so for Jung’s psychology. Merleau-Ponty’s theme of flesh, which he says has no name in philosophy is, like, air, fire earth, light, an elemental reality that finds its complement in Jung’s theme of the psychoid archetype where psyche in all its depths is an elemental reality, the mind of nature, a part of it and not apart from it. Flesh, which is the ultimate notion of Merleau-Ponty’s thought and the site for a new ontology, is the basis for a poetics of psychological life. Drawing on the poets, especially Wallace Stevens, I show how such a poetics does unveil the world as a vale of soul making, placing us in the world as witnesses who wander in wonder at the epiphanies of the Anima Mundi, perpetual beginners as Merleau-Ponty’s describes a phenomenologist. In the second part of my presentation, I show how a poetics of psychological life can be a path that is responsive to the ecological crises of our age.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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