lunedì 13 luglio 2020

Active Imagination, Extraversion, Cross-Culture. Guan Yin and Chinese Divination

Marta Tibaldi
Active Imagination, Extraversion, 
Guan Yin and Chinese Divination

 My contribution to the Volume 3, Winter, 2020, #2 of

Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in China
ed. by David Scharff 
and Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp, Guest Co-Editor

On track for publication before the end of the year 2020
Phoenix Publishing House, London

Abstract: In the Far East, Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, is the one who "listens to the cries of the world". Depicted by gigantic white statues, she is the feminine personification of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and represents an archetypal figure dear to Chinese women and men. In Hong Kong and in Taipei, Taiwan, she is consulted by throwing two moon blocks or ritual sticks according to the rules of Chinese divination. The goddess is a real presence who acts in a real way: when questioned, she answers, defying a synchronistic and extroverted field of knowledge and meaning. In my paper I highlight the importance of approaching in a cross-cultural, sensitive way such a slippery cultural phenomenon as the use of divination in that part of China, investigating a possible parallelism between this form of dialogue with archetypal images and the Jungian method of active imagination.  Developing a cross-cultural sensibility towards Chinese divinatory practices, as they practice them, without either prejudicially declaring them superstition or considering them as a form of magic, can have a transformative effects both on Eastern and Western imagery. In the case of Chinese people, this sensibility develops the ability to examine, psychologically, a phenomenon whose deeper meaning often remains unconscious. In the case of Westerners, this sensibility creates an experience of active imagination in extrovert form. In both cases, when approached from a Jungian perspective, the Chinese divinatory practice leads to experiencing the transformative reality of the extroverted and synchronistic imaginal action.

Copyright 2020

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