"When the early Greek philosophers inquired into the nature of things, the world, and their own experience, they asked: “What are the archai?” What is the ultimate nature of things? They were not asking for the final explanation, they went beyond explanation to logos, to myth. They searched not only for the ultimate physical particle but also for a poetic cosmology, where flux and strife could be taken as ultimate constituents." (from the Introduction by Thomas Moore)
Noel Cobb shows us a new way to tread the path of our soul-making—from a truly transpersonal perspective, as a cultural, universal-human phenomenon: a contemporary, soul-centered, imaginal achetypal psychology in which myths are the archetypal sources for all psychological events.
This book is a look at the way these archetypal structures of consciousness inhabit and inform our culture, and hence our souls. Noel Cobb guides us to look at the world as a record of the soul’s struggles to awaken, as the soul’s poetry– so here, instead of the usual masters of psychology, it is the artists and mystics of the Western tradition: Dante, Rainer Maria Rilke, Edvard Munch, Federico Garcia Lorca, Robert Schumann, Andrei Tarkofsky, who illumine the meaning of love, of death, and beauty.
COVER: Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus (1900), John William Waterhouse
“Rich with good learning and clear writing, with a soul-strength that turns ‘the poetic basis of mind’ into a practical aesthetic. Cobb’s book chops up the deadly wooden ideas of psychotherapy at the end of its overly long century.”— James Hillman, author of The Soul’s Code
“I like Noel Cobb’s outcries on behalf of ferocity, loneliness, anxiety, ‘the hideous hag of life’, beauty sitting in the lap of terror, Edvard Munch’s paintings and Garcia Lorca’s panter-like poems.”—Robert bly, author of Iron John
“Readers of this book have the opportunity to learn how to think archetypally. They will discover how rich and how soulfully rewarding is the work of the mythmaker and the artist.”—Thomas Moore, author of The Care of the Soul
Noel Cobb (1938–2015) traveled widely in his early years, both geographically and intellectually, in search of a way of thinking adequate to his own rich and abounding imagination. His odyssey brought him to working with R. D Laing, becoming a Jungian analyst, and developing, with other contemporary thinkers, the re-visioning of psychology and culture through archetypal psychology. With his partner Eva Loewe, he cofounded The London Convivium for Archetypal Studies and published numerous books, including Prospero’s Island: The Secret Alchemy at the Heart of The Tempest.
Thomas Moore is the author of Care of the Soul, which spent forty-six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating the soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lectures widely on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and ecology. He lectures frequently in Ireland and has a special love of Irish culture. He has Ph. D. in religion from Syracuse University and has won several awards for his work, including an honorary doctorate from Lesley University and the Humanitarian Award from Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University. He also writes fiction and music and often works with his wife, artist and yoga instructor, Hari Kirin. He writes regular columns for Resurgence and Spirituality & Health and has recently published A Life at Work and Writing in the Sand. He is a patron of Re-Vision, a London center of spirituality and counseling, and on the board of Turning Point, a bereavement counselors training program in Dublin, Ireland.