The Concept

"The mind must be in harmony with the work, and the
work must be above all else." I take this alchemical dictum
from C. G. Jung (XII 270) as my paradigm for alchemy.
But I broaden the scope of what counts as a work, so as to
include all works of art provided they are produced in
accordance with the above maxim. A
lchemy, to me,
therefore means no more and no less than art as a means
for psychic transformation
. Alchemical art, as I conceive of
it, thus implies the undertaking of artwork for the purpose of
instigating a like process in oneself. "Like" that is to say,
what goes on in the artwork shall take place in oneself, the
rationale behind this being self-determination in virtue of
one's own creativity. What Hegel said of the major
Shakespearean characters, that they are "free artists of
themselves" is a wonderful way of formulating what is
hoped to be achieved here. Milton, however, remains the
more succinct, the more radical and fearful apostle:
"Self-begot, self-raised by our own quickening power!"

 

 

 
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© 2008 Anders Rendtorff Klitgaard