The Mythic Imagination - talks, trails and mysteries
  Weekend 2-4 September 2016  
  The Thought Fox  
Interchangeable with the physical landscape is the imaginative one - and both can be held in tension by means of what William Blake termed 'double vision'. This Mythic Imagination weekend aims to explore both.
Underlying these explorations is the tradition which asserts that reality is grasped not so much through the abstractions of mainstream philosophy and religion, as through the concrete imagery of myth and folklore, depth psychology and - as is particularly emphasised this weekend - poetic vision.
  Friday 2nd  September  
  6.00pm Welcome. Registration and drinks.
Patrick Harpur. An introduction to the weekend: Imagination and the Golden Chain. The tradition of imagination as opposed to reason, from the Neoplatonists via the Romantics to modern psychology.
  6.30 pm Supper  
  8.00-9.00 pm Merrily Harpur. The salmon of knowledge. An illustrated revelation.  
  Saturday, 3 September  
  10.00 -12.30
at half time.
James Harpur. Workshop: Ted Hughes
Ted Hughes was one of the most illustrious links in the Golden Chain of the twentieth century.
In this seminar, which includes a coffee break, James will introduce Hughes’s life and work, outlining the key moments in the poet’s life and illustrating his poetry with a selection of poems. Texts will be provided and no prior knowledge of the poems is necessary. The session is suitable both for experienced writers and newcomers who would like an introduction to mythic poetry.

  12.30 Lunch  
  2.00 Trail: The pike's domain. Guided by Patrick and Merrily Harpur  
  4.30 Tea and discussion  
  5.30 Film: The Adoration of the Lamb, by Jan Van Eyck.  Jules Cashford.
Or Film: The Haunting of Hunting by Merrily Harpur
  6.30 Supper  
  8.00-9.00 Jules Cashford. 'To a To a Man of Imagination, Nature is Imagination itself. As a man is, so he sees.’ (William Blake). A talk with lots of illustrations.  
  Sunday, 4 September
  10.00 Lindsay Clarke. Talk: 'The Shaping Spirit of Imagination'.  
  11.00 Refreshments  
  11.30 Discussion: James, Jules, Lindsay, Patrick and Merrily answer questions.  
  12.30 Lunch  
  2.00 Trail: Metamorphoses. Guided by Patrick and Merrily Harpur  
  4.30 Tea and discussion  
  5.00 Farewell  
  Talks are illustrated with Power Point projections as appropriate.
Patrick, James and Merrily will be present most of the time (except for lunch) for informal questions and discussion. Lindsay Clarke and Jules Cashford will be present some of the time.
N. B. The programme is flexible - timings and individual talks within it may change from time to time.
  How to book  
Courses overview
  The Golden Chain  
  '...Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making". Then you will find out the use of the world (I am speaking now in the highest terms for human nature admitting it to be immortal which I will here take for granted for the purpose of showing a thought which has struck me concerning it). I say 'Soul making', Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence. There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions - but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself. Intelligences are atoms of perception - they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God. How then are Souls to be made? How then are these sparks which are God to have identity given them - so as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each one's individual existence? How, but by the medium of a world like this?' ~ John Keats, letter 14th February 1819