Symbolic Mental Representations in Arts and Mystical Experiences : Primordial Mental Activity and Archetypal Constellations book cover
1st Edition

Symbolic Mental Representations in Arts and Mystical Experiences
Primordial Mental Activity and Archetypal Constellations

ISBN 9780367505370
Published April 29, 2022 by Routledge
252 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Symbolic Mental Representations in Arts and Mystical Experiences explains how the individual’s conceptualization of reality is dependent on the development of their brain, body structure, and the experiences that are physiologically confronted, acted, or observed via learning and/or simulation, occurring in family or community settings.

The book offers support for Jean Knox’s reinterpretation of Jung's archetypal hypothesis, exposing the fundamentality of the body – in its neurophysiological development, bodily-felt sensations, non-verbal interactions, affects, emotions, and actions – in the process of meaning-making. Using information from disciplines such as Affective Neuroscience, Embodied Cognition, Attachment Theory, and Cognitive Linguistics, it clarifies how the most refined experiences of symbolic imagination are rooted in somatopsychic patterns.

This book will be of great interest for academics and researchers in the fields of Analytical Psychology, Affective Neuroscience, Linguistics, Anthropology of Consciousness, Art-therapy, and Mystical Experiences, as well as Jungian and post-Jungian scholars, philosophers, and teachers.

Table of Contents

List of figures


Acknowledgements and Credits


Chapter 1 – Introduction to the understanding of archetypal constellations through the lens of Primordial Mental Activity

Part I – How discussing the structure, affective charging, and functioning of the body within the occurrence of archetypal constellations can support the developmental view of archetypes

Chapter 2 – Exploring the origins of symbolic thinking: the intelligibility of the sensing and feeling brain

Chapter 3 – PMA (Primordial Mental Activity): The affective-somatic unconscious

Chapter 4 – Archetypal imagery as mainly channelled by mental representations that mediate the here-now from partial simulations of the past, awakening or reliving the affectivity that marked it, and the background cognitive capacity that (by then) targeted its metabolisation

Chapter 5 – Affects, sounds, images, and actions: addressing the developmental formation and activation of archetypes through the consideration of image-schemas and PMA

Chapter 6 – The comparison of PMA to the fantasy-thinking mind

Conclusion to Part I

Part II – Impressions and expressions of the body’s mind in mystical experiences and Arts

Chapter 7 – Proximities and distances between mental illness and mysticism

Chapter 8 – Mystical experiences of the Ayahuasca consumption – the Brazilian Santo Daime doctrine and European neo-shamanism

Chapter 9 – Witnessing PMA operations: the activation of archetypes in [neo]shamanic practices

Chapter 10 – Arts and psychosis: Comprehending PMA expressions in their association

Chapter 11 – Interpreting PMA in artistic creations: primary metaphors on canvases

Conclusion to Part II

Part III – Affects, image schematic compounds, and patterns of behaviour – Links between body, concept, and culture

Chapter 12 – Conclusions: Understanding affective, non-verbal matrices of the making of meaning

Chapter 13 – Further researchIndex


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Giselle Manica is a clinical psychologist, a graduate of the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Psychology, with an MSc in Social Psychology from the same university, an MA in Mysticism and Religious Experiences, from the University of Kent/UK, and a PhD in Psychoanalytic Studies from the University of Essex/UK