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Primordial Mental Activity: Archetypal Constellations in Mystical Experiences and in the Creative Processes of Psychotic Patients

Manica, Giselle (2018) Primordial Mental Activity: Archetypal Constellations in Mystical Experiences and in the Creative Processes of Psychotic Patients. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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In this study I investigate the relationship between the concept of Primordial Mental Activity (PMA) coined by Michael Robbins, and the constellation of archetypes, as described by Analytical Psychology. PMA, expressed as a mental function qualitatively different from thought for its a-rationality, is generated by the self-organization of brain and driven by raw affects and unidentified emotions (not cognitivised), forming the core that scaffolds the process of individuals’ emotional regulation. Accumulating information by implicit and procedural learning, PMA is expressed in enactments and actualisations. For its reliance in interrelationships for the learning of attribution of meaning to experiences, PMA depends on a non-logical approach to subject-object relations, demonstrating the fluidity of the frontiers of inner/outer realities. Considering the nature of archetypal energy as bipolar, composed by an affective pole and its ‘spiritual’ counterpart, PMA is associated with the biological pole (that constrains and allows meanings construed by cognitive mind functions). I portray PMA as the neural circuitry that roots the possibility for conceptual meaning (archetypal imagery) to be ‘born’ out of the embodied perceptual-sensorimotor experiences (archetypes-as-such) it neuroanatomically manages. To expose PMA and archetypes as underlying factors responsible for experiences in mental health and spiritual experiences, I cross-culturally analyse 1) mystical experiences of the Santo Daime Church and of European neo-shamanistic encounters, and 2) selected artworks from the 'Museu do Inconsciente' [Museum of Images from the Unconscious] and the 'Adamson Collection’. Thus, I discuss how awareness directed to behaviours and attitudes derived from impressions stored in the unconscious, can elucidate individuals’ interpersonal and transpersonal difficulties, promoting psychic transformation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Affects, a-rationality, archetypes, embodied cognition, image-schemas, outsider art, primordial mental activity, shamanism.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Giselle Manica
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2019 14:00
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2019 14:00

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