Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where do I stop, where do I begin?

1) The possibility that our conscious self (body and mind) is just a polished shell curled around a deeper lifeforce, quite different and separate from our own familiar Earthbound persona. Going further, the possibility that these individual lifeforces are immensely willful and cosmically engaged - they spend their days roosted in our host soul, vying for a more fixed and luminous position in the universe. Sometimes it's a battle, sometimes its a celebration. Our being feels the reverberations of this larger engagement in subtle and not so subtle ways.

2) Animal totems, or manifestations of an individual soul in the form of an animal. This fascinating concept was used extensively in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, recently cinematized in The Golden Compass. These totems are referred to as "daemons" in the books and film. Pullman's notion was influenced by the above painting.

3) Hylozoism is the philosophical conjecture that all or some material things possess life, or that all life is inseparable from matter. The English term was introduced by Ralph Cudworth in 1678.

("Lady with an Ermine" by Leonardo da Vinci, 1489)


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