The Mythic Imagination - talks, trails and mysteries
  Weekend April 25 - 27 2014  
  Double Vision
Parallel roads, opposing principles, divergent worlds, twin perspectives... this Mythic Imagination weekend explores various versions of what William Blake termed 'double vision'.
    Underlying these explorations is the tradition which asserts that reality is grasped not so much through the abstractions of mainstream philosophy and religion, as through the concrete imagery of myth and folklore, depth psychology and poetic vision.
  Friday, 25th April              
  6.00pm Welcome. Registration and drinks.
Patrick Harpur. An introduction to the weekend: Imagination and the Golden Chain. The tradition of imagination as opposed to reason, from the Neoplatonists via the Romantics to modern psychology.
  7.00 – 8.15pm Supper            
  8.15 – 9.15pm  Merrily Harpur. The haunting of hunting. The occluded survival of 'natural' religion, what Prof. Lucien Lιvy-Bruhl called participation mystique, in modern Britain.  
  Saturday, 26th April            
  9.30 – 10.30am James Harpur. The two roads - the via negativa and the via affirmitiva. Two currents have run through the approach to the divine and the creation of art from time immemorial, as exemplified by Eckhart and St Francis, Cage and Tchaikovsky, Hopkins and Eliot.  
  10.30 - 11.00am Refreshments  
  11.00 – 12.00pm Patrick Harpur.
Spirit and Soul: the vision of Nature and the vision of God.
  12.00 – 1.30pm Lunch            
  1.30pm    Trail: The sacred landscape - footprints of hidden deities.  
  4.00pm Tea and discussion  
  5.00pm  Patrick Harpur. The Volatile and the Fixed. An introduction to the two-fold nature of alchemy.  
  6.00pm Drinks  
  6.30 – 8.00pm Supper  
  8.00 – 9.00pm   Merrily Harpur. Encounters with Modern Daimons – the black panther phenomenon.  
  Sunday, 27th April  
  9.30 – 10.30pm James Harpur. Eliot and the Via Negativa. An introduction to T. S. Eliot and the Four Quartets with special reference to East Coker, Eliot’s meditation on spiritual darkness and the struggle to articulate it.  
  10.30 - 11.00am Refreshments  
  11.00 – 12.00pm James Harpur. A workshop on East Coker - exploring the text.
A discussion of the five sections of East Coker, exploring its various themes, including the rhythms of life, death and war.
  12.00 – 1.30pm Lunch   
  1.30 – 4.00pm Trail: Portals to the otherworld; East Coker, a Domesday village; foundation myths and images of the soul.  
  4.00 – 5.00pm Tea, discussion with the speakers and facilitators, and farewell.  
  Talks are illustrated with Power Point projections as appropriate.
In addition Patrick, James and Merrily will be present (most the time!) for informal questions and discussion.
N. B. The programme is flexible - timings and individual talks within it may change from time to time.
  How to book              
  Courses overview            
  The Golden Chain            
  '...Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making". Then you will find out the use of the world (I am speaking now in the highest terms for human nature admitting it to be immortal which I will here take for granted for the purpose of showing a thought which has struck me concerning it). I say 'Soul making', Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence. There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions - but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself. Intelligences are atoms of perception - they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God. How then are Souls to be made? How then are these sparks which are God to have identity given them - so as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each one's individual existence? How, but by the medium of a world like this?' ~ John Keats, letter 14th February 1819