Losely taken from a talk given by James Hillman on Alchemical Psychology.
“Lunacy” (coinage of Persephone) is the precondition for the conjunction. It is the necessary condition of soul. Lunacy becomes insanity when it is diagnosed as such by the medical model.
There are two widespread forms of Lunatic conditions: Delusional Literalism (Paranoid Schizophrenia) and Depersonalization.
A factified imagination; A fantasy believed literally. What religions might call a “True Believer”. The border between fundamentalism, and Delusional Literalism is subtle. Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate are everywhere in our society.
This happens when the Lunar energy and images are overshadowed (the sun dominates the moon, the man dissolves over the woman) by the sun (Masculine energy), and the images are soulified. Gold and Silver were too soon joined, the silver (Feminine energy) has not been fully realized.
“A spiritual certainty.”
This can occur in any stage in life; depression, neuroticism, complexas, anxiety, etc… “The Dark Night of the Soul”.
It’s a symptom not tied to any syndrome, and is therefore archetypal.
It’s symptoms involve seeing yourself and the world de-realed, de-souled. Everything is as it is, but there is no dimension, no importance. It is like something more central has gone missing. The “flatland”, Mechanical.
It is the reverse of delusional literalism. The silver has dominated the gold, the lunar energy has robbed reality of its soul.
We find no value, in this world, no mercy, no sharing, no connection – because the solar world has been silvered over, and become hollow. Vitrification.
This process has been occurring slowly in the zeitgeist; there used to be a time when trees, roads, swords, etc, etc, had personalities, or at the very least a spirit that was feared, respected, or worshiped. This slowly had declined in the West.
This is what has happened in the West
But, instead of going through these stages, which are necessary, we are given medical diagnosis, drugs, and numbed through false light. Going through it successfully however, is not a given. One may not make it to the other side. Getting lost in the projections, and suicide can win over. So we are at a crossroads as a culture and society.
Our Task: For those that seek the Transcendental
The recognition of “moon moments”, that is, finding meaning in lunacy, the irrational, in “magic”. We need to inhabit the moon, listen to the moon, these are appropriate goals when working for the soul.
We need new modes of theology, new “God Images” to connect us to what was, otherwise the Gods become diseases. The poets, storytellers and artists are the physicians of the soul.
The psyche ought to be both as translucent as glass, (it must not become a “thing”, but a container through which we see) and as transmutable as quicksilver (to take the shape of anything it needs to take, so it does not remain static.)
To pull in my favorite mythology into this (Lord of the Rings):
(Order – Classical Physics, Determinism) Compulsions, Desires = Sulphur = Dwarves; Somatics (Gnostic)
(Neutrality – Tears, Urine, Sweat, Biological Life Processes) Residue of experience = Salt = Humans; Psychics (Gnostic)
(Chaos – Quantum Physics, Entropy, Free Will) Destruction, Purification = Silver = Elves; Pneumatics (Gnostic)