Man is dominated by his archetypes; they mould not only his history but his dreams. But how are we to define and evaluate them? Is it perhaps possible for us to relate more creatively to them?
Originally published in 1981, these are some of the questions raised by this title. To answer them the author gathered together a vast amount of material drawn from Eastern and Western traditions, from science, literature, art and poetry. The answers he puts forward are often highly original and will surely challenge many of our most cherished patterns of thought.
There emerges from this book what can only be described as a global metaphysical system, yet the author’s language is not that of an ordinary metaphysical treatise, and what he writes offered new challenge and hope to those suffering from the despair and cynicism engendered by a great deal in modern society at the time. Zolla does not, however, advocate a return to earlier historical patterns, nor is he proposing a new Utopia, but rather offers us a brilliant series of lessons in the art of centring. In the words of Bernard Wall, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, Zolla’s ‘deep, polymathic probing of the terms of human existence makes it sensible to compare him with Simone Weil, while some of his conclusions about ultimate mysteries – expressed in signs, symbols and sacraments, the sense of which we have lost – will make us think of the later T. S. Eliot’.
Table of Contents
1. Metaphysical Experience 2. Archetypes 3. Archetypal Politics 4. Archetypal Poetry 5. The Vision of the Rose.