Archetypal aesthetics: viewing art through states of consciousness

In: International Journal of Jungian Studies
Jordan S. Potash Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Centre on Behavioral HealthThe University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China

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A Jungian and archetypal psychology approach to aesthetics includes noticing which archetypes are activated when viewing or engaging with art. Archetypes provide vitality to art and can be accessed by viewers through attention to bodily responses and emotional awareness enhanced by imagination. Connecting these personal experiences to the collective requires framing viewers' responses within comprehensible patterns. Joan Kellogg's theory ‘The Archetypal Stages of the Great Round of Mandala’ offers a system for identifying archetypes as states of consciousness and making them accessible to a wide audience in order to aid understanding of one's responses to art.

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