Posts in Mythology
The Wise Old Man and the Eternal Youth

The last few years I've been attempting to harmonize elements in my psyche - the rational and the ecstatic, or Socrates and Dionysus. I want to approach this idea today through the lens of Jungian psychology, and his idea of the two archetypes of the Puer Aeternus (or Divine Child) and the Senex (or Wise Old Man) - two aspects of the psyche which are superficially antagonistic but which actually need each other.

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Gods, voice-hearing and the bicameral mind

A few months back I was giving a philosophy workshop in a mental health charity. It was one of my less popular events - only one person turned up, a Romanian man who had recently moved to the UK and was finding it tough. We talked about Socratic philosophy, about the idea of engaging your inner voice in a rational dialogue, and the man (let’s call him Anghel) quietly told me that he heard voices.

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Simon Critchley's Politics of the Sacred

Simon Critchley, an English philosopher at the New School in New York, has suggested that all philosophy is an attempt to deal with two disappointments: religious disappointment, or the loss of faith; and political disappointment, or the search for justice. In his most recent book, Faith of the Faithless: Experiments in Political Theology, he attempts to put these disappointments behind him, and work out a relationship between religion and politics.

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Choose Your Own Myth, with John Gray

I managed to get out of bed to run a London Philosophy Club event last week, where the philosopher John Gray gave an interesting talk about his new book,The Silence of Animals. He seemed a very nice guy, who gave up his evening for free, and the audience (the biggest we've ever had at an LPC meeting) seemed on the whole to like his humility and humour, bar one lady who said 'if I'd written your book it would have been very different', and then left!

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