“to interpret the world’s things as if they were our dreams deprives the world of its dream, its complaint” james hillman

Came back from two weeks up in Scotland and the Lakes to poignant decay in the house.

It was a powerful fortnight away.

Didn’t really want to go. I’ve been too busy. Too many things clawing at my attention. None of them really getting it.
But the Island always roots me somehow. Even though I didn’t do much practice – or perhaps because I didn’t do much practice.

I wondered around in the rain, looking at things. Exorcising ghosts, pulling up phantoms and laying them on the grass for the gulls to nosh. I sat very still at the water’s edge and enjoyed the suchness of things.

But I also made peace with images, thoughts, emotions. I realise that most of this ‘spiritual’ work has been a form of psychic anorexia. Starving thoughts and emotions out in favour of pure experience. What ever that might be.

Rob Nairn said something brilliant: ‘Loneliness is isolation from Self’. Not from others or the world but from the vast continent of the Self – which is rich and deep and utterly untranslatable.

James Hillman calls it the underworld. We live mostly in the overworld but the huge repository of energy and riches (Pluto is not accidentally God of the underworld and wealth) is in the depthless interior. Dreams access it. Images. But we must never bring the freight of the underworld up into the light. Like Eurydice, once it’s looked at squarely then in vanishes back into the dark.


  1. Lynn

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I was an inward-looker for ever-so-long, but discovered, in the long run, that I enjoyed the outward view more. It is possible, though, that the first made the second possible…

  2. Valerie W

    August 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    That’s not decay in those pictures, it fruit fly

  3. Rachel

    August 11, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Stumbled across your blog after watching Escape to the Country (!)

    But I just had to say that these are really interesting photos. They’d make some great paintings!

  4. nomads on the milky way

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Don’t be so serious Alistair!
    It seems to me that you need a good laugh,
    plenty of sunshine and a big party! I am thinking
    of you. X

  5. Melissa

    August 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Beautiful pictures, particularly the second one.

  6. Vicky

    August 15, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    🙂 Be serious as you’ve become after your traveling
    throughout those inner islands. It seems to me that
    you needed this rain much more than any previous

    Beautiful lines.. (I like your selection of
    Hellenistic themes )

  7. lori

    August 18, 2009 at 2:28 am

    I’ll agree with the ladies that the shots
    are painterly. Last one from the left is my favorite.

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