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Geologic soul

an ethic of underworld force

Matthew Cochran

pp. 177-193

This chapter wanders deeply into catastrophe meaning a turning down into the underworld. Presently, the earth is ecologically unraveling, as we humans have become an unprecedented geologic force through overpopulation, nuclear detonation, and our sheer disconnection with nature. This chapter holds the stare straight at the inner gravity of our condition with respect to the Other-than-human world. Coming from the perspective of an archetypal geology embodied in a visceral earth instinct, we notice the problems we are faced with today are on a geologic level requiring an imagination of the earth and the will of an underworld ethic to address such issues. Through Jung"s prospective psychology and the stratigraphy of philosophy, we can begin to sense just how far we have distanced ourselves from the very ground on which we stand. Yet, only through a steady praxis of psychic and physical decolonization can we unearth the subtle wisdoms that our bodies reflect: our bodies as mirrors to the landscapes in which we dwell. This waking accuracy occurs in rupture, in our foundations being shaken and by catastrophe opening us up into the maw of the earth, the deep time and being of the planetary body itself. By entering these underworld gateways, a felt geology begins to reconnect us at a primordial place that is the foundation of the soul. In doing so, movement resumes, the circle flows, petrified and frozen places become free creating a revolutionary earth or a relationship that follows the creature earth itself.As a phenomenological chapter, this work grew through extended times wandering the desert southwest. It addresses the invisible wounds of the earth, which are our own, and derives from the experiences of an exploration geologist and a mapper and surveyor. Through its critical thinking, it weds the dirt to the intellectual, working through the underground of both psychology and philosophy. It is a geo-logic. In addition, through the poetics, it attempts to take the reader into the experience of the earth. It is completely transpersonal as well, showing how our bodies are mirror images of the landscapes we live in, diseases almost entirely being environmental illnesses. Archetypal geology has a running engagement with deep psyche: the structure of the earth also being the structure of our own personal souls. This chapter loosens the moorings on a boundary existing between ourselves and the places we encounter.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-9619-9_11

Full citation:

Cochran, M. (2014)., Geologic soul: an ethic of underworld force, in F. Castrillón (ed.), Ecopsychology, phenomenology, and the environment, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 177-193.

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