In a period of climate crisis and global pandemic aggravated by neuroses and conflicts, the imaginal provides a resource for the re-enchantment and recovery of our relationship with both nature and technology. Hence, we shall examine, and experiment with, imaginal strategies for mending the split between psyche and cosmos.
Psyche is the name which the ancient Greeks gave to the soul. The individual soul, and the soul of the world termed as the anima mundi, were conceived as part of a matrix that connects the life of people with the life of the Earth and the Cosmos. These subtle and invisible webs of relationships were mediated by the imaginal realm through a unique form of imagination. Imaginal language expresses the mysteries of planetary and cosmic existence through archetypal and symbolic shapes and patterns. It transforms their hidden meanings into myths and rituals, fairytales and legends, poems and artworks.
In our scientific and technological space-age, the word soul is often replaced by the terms unconscious, brain or mind. Space travel, as well as the colonisation of Mars and the Moon, offers a physical substitute for a mythic cosmos. However, the imaginal has never ceased to manifest the most profound aspirations of humanity through evolving archetypal patterns coded in artistic, scientific, and cultural texts and productions.
The option provides critical, theoretical methodologies and embodied creative, experiential tools for the exploration of the imaginal and its relationship with the psyche and the cosmos. For this purpose, we integrate films, artworks as well as telematic, technoetic arts and transpersonal technologies that engage holistically with the imaginal realm. The students become active participants, moving and meditating with the mysterious rhythms of Gaia, encountering visionary phenomena, and exploring the ritualistic and magical realms through games and practices. The main themes explored through the imaginal lens are: the heroine’s and hero’s journeys, spiritual and visionary experiences, healing of self and environment, transformation, and shifts in paradigm.