Jenna Lilla limns the way of soul in the work of Carl Jung
Immanence is the ‘spiritual’ dimension which saturates life. We have not been able to speak of it because it has been experienced as ‘beyond’ (transcendent to) our ability to symbolize or represent. But a new culture of immanence is emerging, and with it a new capacity to represent the sacred is coming into form.
The sacred is no longer being viewed as existing solely outside (transcendent to) life, but also as embedded in (immanent to) life. This sacred appears to us as new ways of symbolizing and conceptualizing our experience of being. And this sacred is experienced as a deep inter-relatedness and embeddedness that turns the oppositional nature of ‘otherness’ into the inter-subjective nature of ‘othering’.
The emergence of the concept of immanence into our collective consciousness awakens us to a sense of our embeddedness within the matrices of life, an embeddedness which is interrelational and intersubjective. To begin to experience the depths of relationality in our lives is immanence revealing itself.
While on the surface ego level of experience each individual holds their self out to be independent, and thus free and sovereign, we are in truth deeply embedded in systems of relationships which predetermine our thought. Thought, in turn, predetermines our experience. There is a tension present in this, so that the more that one struggles for independence and recognition of one’s independence, the more that one becomes embedded in matrices of the ego. On the other hand, the less that one struggles for recognition, the more one is able perceive the subjectivity of another being, and thus one is open to the inter-relatedness inherent in immanence.
It is only when one is able to fully realize relationality that one has come into conscious awareness of immanence. But relationality cannot be understood until we have begun to understand value.
The level of consciousness in which the ego is predominant experiences the world in terms of measurement, and particularly the measurement of space, time, and value. All things are known to the ego insofar as we can give measurements to them. Those things and experiences which not cannot be recognized through measurement are left unarticulated and obscure.
For example, Jean Gebser speaks of how the mental structure measures time in terms of space. We know time only in so far as we measure it in the likeness of space: past, present, and future are spatial dimensions. At the extreme, time is only known as a measurable value: time is money.
But what time truly offers is the possibility to come into a deeper understanding of the nature of value. Understanding ‘value’ requires that we understand not only the ‘use value’ of an object, but also the intrinsic value of particular objects as subjectivities. We are deeply embedded in a living web of subjectivities. We are so dependent upon each other and upon nature itself that all of our subject-object divisions are but (sometimes useful) illusions. Understanding value allows us to free ourselves of the ego’s need for recognition through opposition, and move into inter-relatednesses. To know the intrinsic value of another is to truly recognize another, not through a battle for recognition, but through desire for gnosis as love and knowledge.
This love, eros, is the heart of creation. Interrelatedness leads to the possibility of eros. Eros leads to a creative fertility that brings the possibility and potential of all that life has to offer into manifestation. Thus the culture of immanence is a culture of creativity: a creativity that emerges from the depths of life and from the matrices of being. This creative potential arises when we cease any attempts to transcend other, and instead enter into the fertile waters of relatedness.