3rd in the Corbin Series of Online Classes - Begins May 14
3rd in a series introducing the work of Henry Corbin.
This course can be taken with no prerequisite.
We meet once a week for approximately 2 ½ hours.
All sessions are recorded and available for download by registered students.
Tuition for the course is $300, or $40 per session. "Scholarships" are available for those in need.
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. He was a major figure at the Eranos Conferences in Switzerland. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought. His work has provided a foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman and influenced countless poets and artists worldwide. But Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His great work Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of the religions of the West and makes a profound contribution to the study of the place of the imagination in human life.
"Mundus Imaginalis or the Imaginary and the Imaginal"
The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism
& selections from
Temple and Contemplation
Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis
Texts are available as pdf files free of charge through links I will provide.
There will be a weekly Newsletter with notes and reference material.
CG Jung Society of Montreal
Friday, April 26, 7:30pm
The Flame Of Things: Lessons in Pyrotechnics: A lecture by Tom Cheetham
Many of us have lost contact with the primal immersion in reality where all things are marvellous and strange, both familiar and unexpected. That world is saturated with an incandescent fire, as in the first morning of creation. There are many ways to recover the beginner's mind that reveals the flame of things. If we imagine the fiery heart to be the organ of both imagination and sensation, as certain traditions have held, we can know the nature of our task. Fire is magical and dangerous. It is spirit and life, conflagration and despair. It is hearth and hellfire both. Our challenge is to master the pyrotechniques of art and of alchemy, of knowledge and of love. Then we might enact new forms of life that reveal the wonder and mystery in all things. In this lecture I will try to help us take a few small steps towards that end.
1610 Ste. Catherine St. W. Room FG B030
Members: $15 Non-Members: $20 Students/Senior Members: $10
CG Jung Society of Montreal
Saturday, April 27, 10am-4:30pm
Learning the Flowers: Eros and the Precision of Imagination: A seminar with Tom Cheetham
Creative imagination lies at the heart of the arts and the sciences. Effective mastery of true imagination requires a discipline of attention. The word derives from the Latin for "stretching out toward" something. In attending to things we let them educate us, to educe us, to "lead us out" from ourselves. In this workshop we will be concerned with attending. To attend to things is to be in sympathy with them as they show themselves. We will start by stopping. As the Buddhists put it: Rest in the openness of mind, in beginner's mind. We aim for a profound receptivity to what there is, a radical empiricism that releases the ego and discovers the world. Zen master Dögen Zenji put it this way: "To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening."
John Molson Building 1450 rue Guy (Metro Guy/Concordia) Room:
TBA Members: $60; Non-Members: $70 Students/Senior Members: $40
Sparkroot Farm, Moncure, North Carolina
June 21-22, 2019 https://sparkrootfarm.org/
Imagination is reality. There is no pure experience. Neuroscience, philosophy and the arts all teach us that the poetic imagination sets the bounds for human thought and experience. Today we are the targets of a flood of images and ideas carefully designed to alter our behavior. This amounts to a war for the control of our individuality, and our imagination. We are engaged in a battle for the soul of the world. Modern society is a disimagination machine that "short-circuit[s] the ability of individuals to think critically, imagine the unimaginable, and engage in thoughtful and critical dialogue, or, put simply, to become critically engaged citizens of the world." We are elements in a system that has super-charged a natural process of assimilation and compliance. Humans are born with an innate primary potential, the limits of which we do not know. That potential is shaped by culture and experience to produce the world we inhabit. There is a constant conflict between a drive towards open-ended exploration and the desire to conform. Conformism is the default because it is easier. Leslie Scalapino said that what we need in order to escape the stifling effects of fixating ideas, both our own and those of others, is "continual conceptual rebellion." Henry Corbin, the great master of the religious imagination, called this "perpetual hermeneutics." In his cosmology each of us has an "Angel out ahead" who can lead us towards endless metamorphoses. But something in us fears the unknown. We need to tend our courageous inner fires so that we don't succumb to dogma, stasis and oppression. In Scalapino's words, we must always be outrunning "the destruction of the world." Living begins maintain a dynamic equilibrium between order and disorder. We are at our best while living on the edge of chaos. What zen practitioners call "beginner's mind" is one embodiment of this. It is very hard to achieve. We naturally fall into default modes of cognition and sensation that require less awareness. But unless we work to pay attention we will live in a world made by other people. If we lose our ability to pay attention and activate our imagination, then we have lost our soul and the soul of the world.
Houston Jung Center, Houston, TX
The Boundaries of the Imagination: On Love
August 2-4, 2019
Intimacy and Imagination: Exploring the Ecstasies of Sensation
Towards the end of a long and profound meditation on the depths and darkness of psyche James Hillman wrote about the love we have for dream images. He called this "imaginal love." He wrote, "this love does not reach only towards unifying as we have been so tediously taught. When we love, we want to explore, to discriminate more and more widely, to extend the intricacy that intensifies intimacy." Because imagination is the substance from which our experience is made, this love is fundamental to everything we do and all that we imagine ourselves to be. The identification of imagination and intimacy turns our attention to what is closest to us, to where all our journeys began, to touch, and touching and to the simplest ways that we know ourselves in the world. Norman Fischer, the zen master, tells us that the word intimacy is a synonym for awakening or enlightenment. He said "it sounds like we are getting closer, deeper, more loving with our experience rather than somehow beyond it. Intimacy better expresses what enlightenment really feels like I think." In this presentation we will think about some of the simple ways in which we can bring life and light to the world, to ourselves, and to those we love.
The Rowe Center
September 13 - 15, 2019
Restoring the Soul of the Earth
Learn to practice attention in an ecological context, awakening your sense of the anima mundi, the soul of the world.
In attending to things — in paying attention — we let them educate us, to educe us, to “lead us out” from ourselves. In this workshop, you’ll be attending to the earth. To attend to things is to be in sympathy with them as they show themselves. You’ll start by stopping. As the Buddhists put it: Rest in the openness of mind, in beginner’s mind. Tom will help you open to a profound receptivity to what there is, a radical empiricism that releases the ego and discovers the world. Zen teacher Dōgen put it this way: “To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.” Disciplined and sustained attention is a kind of prayer, the supreme form of creative imagination. There must be as many modes of attention as there are modes of being. Find your mode of attention in this weekend of exploring creative imagination, community, sympathy with beings, language, and wonders to behold.
Temenos Academy, London, UK
Spring 2020 Details TBA
April/May 2020 Details TBA
UNIPAZ - Brasilia, Brazil
Sept 5-13, 2020
Restoring the Soul of the Earth