Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Union
Publisher: State Univ,.,ersity of New York 1993 | 397 Pages | ISBN: 0791416194 , 0791416208 | CHM | 0.5 MB
The significance of active imagination for the history of religion remains to be assessed. Several intriguing speculations have been offered. Jung alleged the use of active imagination in gnosticism, alchemy, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, and Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra. Henry Corbin made a case for active imagination in the Islamic gnosis of medieval Isma 'ilism, Avicenna's Neo-Aristotelian mysticism, and theosophical Sufism. Antoine Faivre has suggested that a blend of gnosis and active imagination has been part of Western esotericism since its systematization in the Italian Renaissance.
The present study is, to my knowledge, the first systematic history of active imagination in Western culture. As I am not a Jungian, I have reconceptualized the topic in terms of both method and perspective. My historical findings remain exploratory. I hope to have identified the major trends of the history, but at this stage in the research all results must be considered provisional. I have cited the data that I have happened to find; there must be oversights, small and large.
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