Welcome to our new independent centre which continues the work of the Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred academic initiative located in Canterbury, UK since 2006.

This unique and ground-breaking project in transformative learning combines creative expression, personal reflection and critical edge in the study of esoteric wisdom and contemporary exploration of the sacred. Our academic programme is formally ending in 2021, and our new web platform provides an archive of our work and publications, whilst also moving forward with new courses, lectures, podcasts, community building and much more.

Our focus is on ‘seeing with different eyes’ in the study of myth, symbolic cosmology (including astrology and divination), the arts, esoteric philosophy, transpersonal psychology, holistic science and the paranormal. We are creating a space in which to engage with ‘impossible’ subjects which outreach the limits of the rational mind and require a new, imaginal voice which combines vision with discernment. It is also a space in which you are invited to participate – a ‘mystery school’ for our challenging times – in order to heal the age-old split between head and heart, mind and body, divinity and nature.

We hope you enjoy the contributions on this site, and will consider contributing to our community in the Community Forum

 

Appeal

Would you like to become a patron of higher and transformative learning?

We are actively seeking a place ​in Italy to hold retreats and holidays for integral and holistic learning in the humanities, the arts and sciences.  Such places are forgotten in our modern age but increasingly we need ​a place for spiritual and soulful renewal, ​a place where broader learning, wisdom- enriched conversations and transformative learning ​can happen – something that was commonplace during the Renaissance.  Places of such learning were also architecturally enriching and enhanced by beauty, landscape and nature, ​and we would love to be high in the Tuscan hills with access to Florence, Siena, Pisa and other treasure-troves of spiritual and artistic nourishment.

This is our dream-  and we are putting the word out in case anyone can help in any way, or has any contacts or friends who might know friends of friends…..

 

What is the Imaginal?

The imaginal world “is neither literal nor abstract and yet is utterly real, with its own laws and purposes” (Hillman, 1991, 6).

Jeff Kripal writes in Authors of the Impossible:

‘Myers became convinced that in certain contexts, the imagination can take on genuinely transcendental capacities, that is, that it can make contact with what appears to be a real spiritual world, or, at the very least, an entirely different order of mind and consciousness. The imaginal is the imagination on steroids. The imaginary is Clark Kent, the normal. The imaginal is Superman, the supernormal. Same guy, different suits. The Human as Two.’ (83)

Imaginal perception is understood “as engendering a kind of knowledge which arises from the confluence of inner recognition with ‘external’ reality” (Voss, 2009, 37–38).

 

Henry Corbin: “Between [the empirical world and the world of the abstract intellect] there is a world that is both intermediary and intermediate, described by our authors as the world of the image, the mundus imaginalis: a world that is ontologically as real as the world of the senses and that of the intellect. This world requires its own faculty of perception, namely, imaginative power, a faculty with a cognitive function, a noetic value which is as real as that of sense perception or intellectual intuition. We must be careful not to confuse it with the imagination identified by so-called modern man with “fantasy”, and which, according to him, is nothing but an outpour of “imaginings”. 

“Spiritual reality envelops, surrounds, contains so-called material reality. Spiritual reality can therefore not be found “in the where”. The “where” is in it. In other words, spiritual reality itself is the “where” of all things.”

QUICK LINKS

FEATURED LECTURE

You can have the body of a god

with Simon Wilson

FEATURED IMAGE

Explore Fra Angelico’s ‘Annunciation’ with Mary Attwood.

 

FEATURED OPEN LECTURE

On the Cosmic Humanities

Re-Enchanting the Academy

26 September 2015

Canterbury Christ Church University

This is the keynote address given by Jeffrey Kripal, who is the associate dean of the faculty and graduate programs in the School of the Humanities and the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He is also the associate director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.

Read the accompanying paper: On the Cosmic Humanities for Canterbury Jeffrey Kripal

SPECIAL FEATURE

Over four weeks, Mary and Louise explore expanded ways of seeing and knowing that carry the potential to alter ways of perceiving and engaging with the world. Through Renaissance art and Goethean enquiry, Mary and Louise explore the starved version of normality that many people live in today in contemporary society; opening eyes, hearts and minds to ancient ways of knowing that honour intuition, sensory experience and imaginal consciousness.

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