The Mythic Imagination
talks, trails and mysteries
Philosophy: The Mythic Imagination courses are broadly based on the
neglected Western tradition of soul-making - a tradition described by
Plato and which resurfaced among the Renaissance Magi and in nineteenth
century Romanticism. It continues today among members of what the
alchemists called The Golden Chain, and underground in folklore and
Courses: The weekend courses run from Friday evenings to Sunday afternoons. They are intensive, but also fun and informal, and everyone is welcome to participate.
Speakers and facilitators: They include Jules Cashford, Lindsay Clarke, Patrick Harpur, James Harpur and Merrily Harpur. Full information on all of them here...
Talks: The talks are illustrated with slides and Power Point projections as appropriate. They include time for questions and participants are warmly invited to discuss ideas with the speakers.
Location: The courses takes place in Cattistock, a peaceful village in deepest West Dorset, England, designated a national area of outstanding natural beauty.
Explorations: The West Dorset landscape is not only unspoilt but rich in prehistory, history and myth. Its architecture, history, legends, churches, megaliths and sacred sites reveal an almost lost perspective on landscape - but one which can still be glimpsed. Patrick Harpur and Merrily Harpur guide explorations of these visionary landscapes, focusing especially on those aspects relevant to the day's talks.
There are two trails each weekend, but the timing and locations are slightly variable, depending on the weather. Most include short walks - but this is not absolutely necessary and if you have mobility problems we can adjust the schedule slightly, so please let us know. Similarly longer guided walks can be included for the energetic, again depending on weather.
Requirements: No equipment or requirements are necessary for the courses except a notebook and pencil, suitable outdoor clothing and a pair of walking shoes or wellies. Everyone is welcome whether or not you are already familiar with the subjects covered.
The Primary Imagination
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'...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