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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Knowledge derived from the imaginal heart: The process of perceiving an ambiguous reality
by Poulson, Britten S., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2011, 279; 3528242
Abstract (Summary)

The research question for this theoretical study is "What is the imaginal heart's role in the process of knowing the imaginal?" In other words, "how does the heart participate in the experience of the imaginal?" Using the head and heart as metaphoric or metonymic terms, the literature review on imaginal scholarship indicates that there is a way of knowing the imaginal that is unavailable to the head and accessible via the heart. What is the common ground between the heart, the imaginal, and knowledge?

A more foundational question is what is the process of knowing the imaginal? Using the perception of the visible as an analogy, a framework was developed in this study for the process of knowing (physical) reality that may also fit knowing imaginal reality. This framework has five arenas: noumena, stimuli, organ of sensibility, cognitive processing, and phenomena. These five arenas in the process of knowing reality were then applied to the imaginal to derive a corresponding set of five arenas in the process of knowing the imaginal: imaginal reality, imaginal field, imaginal heart, metaphoric imagination, and imaginalia. The ambiguous nature of the imaginal reality is preserved throughout the process in its various forms to create an image that has a relational charge. The imaginal heart reinforces the creative tension or affinity that is created between unlike things. The imaginal heart serves as an organ of sensibility that detects or senses stimuli that emerge from the imaginal reality and imaginal field and then transduces those ambiguous stimuli into cognitive information that is placed in charged images.

This study also indicates that the imaginal, especially the imaginal heart, serves as a medium or relational bridge between the material and ideological realities as well as between the individual and the charged image. The imaginal heart's central role is relational, holding together and being a vessel for the tension of the opposites. The primary learning within this study is that the imaginal heart provides a bridge between the ambiguous stimuli (noumena, infinite) and the cognitive formation of the charged image (phenomena, finite).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Selig, Jennifer Leigh
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Epistemology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Ambiguous reality, Imaginal heart, Jung, Carl
Publication Number: 3528242
ISBN: 978-1-267-58621-6
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