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Mourning the Dream/Amor Fati:
A Mythopoetic Inquiry
Looking Through A Spiral Lens

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Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ph.D.
Date created
Mourning the Dream/Amor Fati: A Mythopoetic Inquiry Looking through a Spiral Lens is an investigation of the relationship between a state of mourning or loss, and amor fati—love of one’s fate. This investigation is a process of exposing the dialectical nature of self-actualization, or individuation. The inquiry proposes that the nature of consciousness and what we can know about it is a matter of epistemology. As the study of knowledge, epistemology is concerned with questions, some of which have been identified and pursued in this mythopoetic journey. Through both personal and clinical experience, Mourning the Dream/Amor Fati: A Mythopoetic Inquiry Looking through a Spiral Lens, includes an examination of what role ‘image’ plays in the relationship between perception and consciousness and the implications of what looking through a spiral lens suggest. The inquiry speaks of image as embodiment of unconscious or invisible processes that inform consciousness through the creative process. Modalities of art making, poetry, autobiographical inquiry, and field notes from living inquiry as methods of “active/embodied imagination”—a technique wherein one opens to the contents of the unconscious, then shaping these through the creative process—are presented within a theoretical framing from the discourses of Depth Psychology, Mythology, Art Education, Art Therapy, Phenomenology and Taoism. Part of the method of Mourning the Dream/Amor Fati is a kind of ‘soul tracking’ by way of the footprints of the emerging autonomous images from the unconscious that present themselves metaphorically and symbolically. From the metaphoric ground created in the spiral inquiry process, emerges the diaphoric imagination in which new presences arise that generate the possibility of both mourning the dream and loving one’s fate. Amor Fati. Mythopoetic process extends the rational—conceptual into the imaginal; it allows a new understanding of how new information gained through the experience of the imaginal changes the creator in the process of creation. Mythopoetic inquiry extends rational knowledge based information; the imaginal discourse is a bridge into the unconscious, bringing the previously unknown into awareness. In the realm of the imaginal the image as experienced in the body and the process of creation is a powerful mode of inquiry extending beyond regions of rational evidence based inquiry. The application of the findings of the research involves asking questions, while dwelling in the everyday, listening to the call and feeling into the “flickers” as clues the direction the inquiry is both led by, and leading me to: the symbolic. Mourning the Dream/Amor Fati: A Mythopoetic Inquiry Looking through a Spiral lens demonstrates that perception is an act. It is not just something that comes to us therefore it is inherently dialogical.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Snowber, Celeste
Thesis advisor: Vicky Kelly, Lynn Fels
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