Under the attraction
Externals of reason
The powers of sense perception are enveloped by imagination, which is within the realm of intelligence. Churned and activated by intuition, all these mental modalities comprise a unified intellect.
“For we do not think that we know a thing until we are acquainted with its primary conditions or first principles, and have carried our analysis as far as its simplest elements.” – Aristotle
Hidden in the spiritual unconscious, the common root of the powers of the soul dwells. In this integral unconscious activity, the intellect, imagination, desire, and emotion are all engaged. The senses exist in man to serve imagination, and through imagination, intelligence.
“Of itself poetic intuition proceeds from the natural and supremely spontaneous movement of the soul which seeks itself by communicating with things in its capacity as a spirit endowed with senses and passions.” – Jacques Maritain
The free creativity of the spirit tends to engender in transcendental beauty, participating within an infinity of possible alternatives and implementations.
“Nature is that which we observe in perception through the senses. In this sense-perception we are aware of something which is not thought and which is self-contained for thought.” – Alfred North Whitehead
Powers of the soul
Active in common
The proficiencies through which various sensitive and intellective operations of life perform emanate from the soul. Moreover, there is a natural order in the way in which biological forces flow from the spiritual essence.
“What we are considering is the kind of inherent knowledge that is imminent in and consubstantial with poetry, one with its very essence.” – Jacques Maritain
Down the road
Things to do
Taking it on trust
Modern artists free themselves by transforming logical reason without abolishing it. In the process of transforming reason, intuition is goal directed to the unfettered and immediate passage into the work, born in the depths of the soul. In creative work, an artistic inner content received from elsewhere is inexorably present.
“The intellectual mode of cognition must sacrifice the full context of the image as a whole in order to obtain a self-contained description of each component.” – Rudolf Arnheim
Doors of poetry
Philosophical reflection, through the logical necessities of reasoning, is able to establish the essential features in the structure of intellectual activity. The spiritual unconscious is responsible for the birth of ideas and for the abstractive function of intelligence, therefore playing an essential part in the genesis of creative intuition. Although we can become aware of the existence of a subterranean mental mechanism, as a rule it escapes experience and consciousness.
“We possess in ourselves the Illuminating Intellect, a spiritual sun ceaselessly radiating, which activates everything in intelligence, and whose light causes all our ideas to arise in us, and whose energy permeates every operation of our mind.” – Jacques Maritain
Although sometimes we know what we are thinking about, we never know how we are thinking. Before forming and expressing concepts and determinations, intellectual knowledge is first an unformulated intuition. The light of the Illuminating Intellect is influenced by the realm of images tending toward an intelligible content to be grasped.
“There can exist unconscious acts of thought and unconscious ideas.” – Jacques Maritain
Our intellectual essence is spiritual and distinct from the senses. Yet, according to Aristotle, nothing is found in the intellect that does not originating in sensation. Abstract spiritual illumination manifests in internal mental powers drawn from the senses.
“And this very process of illumination is unknown to us, it takes place in the unconscious; and often these very images, without which there is no thought, remain also unconscious or scarcely perceived in the process, at least for the most part.” – Jacques Maritain
Ways and means
Just as reason consists of more than conscious logical manifestations, so to the will consists of more than its deliberate conscious assessments. Accordingly, a spiritual preconsciousness exists which pertains to inner personal freedom striving for observation, knowledge, and expression.
“There will always be metaphysics in the world, and what is more in everyone, especially in every thinking man; but in the absence of a public standard everyone will cut his metaphysics in his own way.” – Immanuel Kant
Impact of the light
Obscure within the mind there exists a nonconscious energy realm from which consciousness and perceptions emerge. Thus the summation of rational discourse and deliberation, concepts, and logical connections in which intellectual activity takes explicit form, is anteceded by the clandestine workings of an original prodigious preconscious life.
“Far beneath the sunlit surface thronged with explicit concepts and judgments, words and expressed resolutions or movements of the will, are the sources of knowledge and creativity, of love and supra-sensuous desires, hidden in the primordial translucid night of the intimate vitality of the soul.” – Jacques Maritain