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The Primordial Dance

Diametric and Concentric Spaces in the Unconscious World

Paul Downes

This book argues that a silent axis of the unconscious world rests largely undiscovered. It recasts foundational concepts in the psychology of Freud, Jung, Carol Gilligan and R.D. Laing, as well as in cognitive science, to highlight this hidden unconscious axis: primordial spaces of diametric and concentric structures. The author generates fresh approaches to understanding the philosophy of early Heidegger and Derrida, with the idea of cross-cultural diametric and concentric spaces fuelling a radical reinterpretation of early Heidegger’s transcendental project, and challenging a postmodern consensus that reduces truths and experiences to mere socially constructed playthings of culture.
The book, which also examines projected structures in modernist art, suggests a systematic refashioning of many Western assumptions, but it is more than a deconstruction. It also attempts to offer a new interplay between structures and meaning, as a spatial phenomenology. This significant expansion of the boundaries of human subjectivity opens alternative pathways for imagining what it means to be human, in order to challenge the reduction of experience to instrumental reason.

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Part I Setting the Stage for the Primordial Dance

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chapter 1 Introduction A silent axis of the unconscious world rests largely undiscovered. A task of this book is to bring the contours of these poles to the fore. To breathe life into this scrutiny of the primordial in relation to the unconscious, a key question needs to emerge and be interrogated: Is there a spatial-phe- nomenological structure, of a primordial unconscious dimension, inf luencing human experience? Response to this core question requires development of a wide range of philosophical, psychological and anthropological insights. It requires a framework that is more than being merely the sum of the parts of phenomenology and psychoanalysis. A radical recalibration of these terrains is being sought. This questioning of spatial structures in a domain of the unconscious brings the potential to uncover fundamental, overlooked, primordial pro- jections in experience, observations and truth claims. It of fers an approach to deconstruct ideological blind spots. Awareness of potential projected structures is also an important condition for engagement with wider modes of experience, as part of personal and cultural development, and for open- ing from states of repressed structural experience. The abdication of our potential spaces for experience need not continue. Proposing candidate spatial structures of the unconscious provides not only a concretization of understanding but also engages with the develop- ment of publicly defensible criteria for interrogation of the unconscious, as part of an interpretative scientific approach. In response to this core question, a specific central argument this book seeks to address is that: A primordial...

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