The Nuances of Soul and Imagination Through Expressions of the Heart
Opening a space and giving emphasis to a collective sharing of ‘what is in the heart’, I would like to present some of my reflections stemming from various workshops facilitated on the theme of the creative imagination of the heart. Workshop participants typically were given time to connect and creatively engage with what arises or emerges for them at the time, after which these experiences were shared in the group.
Instead of depicting the individual imagery of participants, I relay the themes that emerged via the unique, one-off group encounters as examples of the constellation of a shared field effect/synchrony that spontaneously arises during such group experiences.
I convey how our emotions are moved through the intertwined dance of psyche between the glue of soul and the freedom and flow of imagination. This relational heeding of soul with imagination is demonstrated via and informed by samplings of well-known writings in the field, notably in the work of Romanyshyn (the pathetic heart in Ways of the Heart, 2002), Marlan (mysteries of psyche and soul in C.G. Jung and the Alchemical Imagination, 2021), Hillman (The Thought of the Heart, Eranos Lecture 2, 1981), Corbin (the himma or intention of the heart of the imaginatio vera in Alone with the Alone, 1998) and indeed also drawing from Jung himself (e.g. in The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga, 1932) that considers inter alia the role of the alchemical heart with Mercurius as dweller therein, as mediating centre between spirit and matter, etc.
I present the imagery and themes evoked as a rich tapestry for meditation and a call for more heart-focused experiences of collective engagement that can act to transform and strengthen our collective emotional milieus.
Lyn Mather is a practicing art therapist in Ireland since 2010, having had a previous career in architecture and town planning. She qualified with a first class MA from Crawford School of Art and Design, Cork. Since then, she is a lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design (Technological University of the Shannon), where she delivers and coordinates the experiential aspect of the Certificate in Jungian Psychology with Art Therapy, as well as the MA in Art, Psyche and the Creative Imagination (both programmes initiated and developed by herself and her husband Mathew). She has also currently embarked on PhD studies focusing on the value of the creative imagination from a contemporary perspective. She presents talks and workshops regularly e.g. for Art and Psyche Ireland, the Jung in Ireland programme, Critical Perspectives Conference, Cork, and the latest Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Conference at the University of Limerick. Lyn is a professional member of the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists.