Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The poetics of soul: Mythic narrative as creative elegy
by Quinn, Linda, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013, 283; 3556957
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the analogical complexity of the soul's unfolding mythos within human consciousness as it mediates and constellates creative psychic impulses into the form of mythic narrative. This study argues how, through its fundamentally poetic, narrative action, the epical soul reciprocally seeks its own development as it raises human consciousness to the larger ground of its being, with its consequent healing of the human soul.

Depth psychotherapy accords to a mimetic pattern of soul that contains an epic sensibility in its power to differentiate, then integrate, the full dimensions of psychic life. The purpose of this essentially poetic journey is to amplify human awareness of the imaginal soul and its guiding principals in reviewing one's personal and ancestral past. It conveys how literalized stories of human life can be deconstructed and re-mythologized through the eyes of the soul.

The complexity of the soul's mythopoetic impulse constructs a world of personal meaning based in divine purpose for the individual; it also bridges one to a larger sense of communal order. Such an expansive mythic vision unleashes a flow of healing energy. With such healing, compassionate energy spirals out, enriching communal life and connecting us to the world.

Throughout the dissertation, an image of the giant sequoia tree is used as a symbol of an expanded form of consciousness and that carries the narrative essential to the human soul. It serves as a guiding metaphor to demonstrate the transformation of one's painful past into a fictional, healing narrative. Deeply rooted in the soul's soil of significance, every ring of one's personal history carries the ghostly stories of ancestors and cultural history that, when deeply explored and explicated, impart meaning to one's journey and the aspirations of an ensouled spirit.

This theoretically-informed dissertation employs a phenomenological hermeneutic as its methodological approach. As an interdisciplinary study, the work weaves together literary criticism, depth psychology, and mythological studies in support of its argument. Clinical material is used to illustrate the depth psychotherapeutic dynamics and how the soul heals through that process.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Slattery, Dennis P.
Commitee: Daehnert, Christal, Wright, Jacob I.
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Mythological Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Divinity, Philosophy, Psychology
Keywords: Autobiographical memory, Body-psyche, Dark-light, Meaningful metaphor, Mytho-poiesis, Soul-death
Publication Number: 3556957
ISBN: 978-1-267-99536-0
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