Pacifica Graduate Institute in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Depth Psychology with emphasis in Somatic Studies
Abstract : This hermeneutic research journey begins with the premise that Jung’s and Corbin’s works presuppose a visionary capacity far removed from the experience of most people. In Corbin, this capacity is associated with an apparitional imaginal world and creative Imagination depicted in Islamic Sūfism as accessible only to mystics. Hillman’s writings in archetypal psychology, which are profoundly influenced by both Jung and Corbin, approach this world of imagination from a literary (or psycho-poetic) perspective that is potentially more accessible to nonmystics. But Hillman’s intriguing references to Corbin, which are metaphorically inclined, fall short of providing an explicit knowledge of Corbin’s abstruse oeuvre. This research explores the works and hermeneutic approaches of Corbin and Hillman with the aim of learning about the creative Imagination in respect to nonmystics. A third voice, referred to as the Actress, contributes to this dialogue reflecting the researcher’s experience. This figure acts as a representative of the nonmystic whose connection to the numinous imaginal world of Corbin’s focus can best be described as an associative sense of numinosity experienced through acting. As the research journey unfolds, Dionysos, the god of Greek tragedy, simultaneously provides an environment that corresponds to each of these voices and explicitly brings the worlds of mysticism and theatre together. The Dionysiac cosmos thus leads to a vision of mystictheatre as an archetypal practice and twofold individuation process for today’s world which is informed by Corbin, Hillman, and the Actress.