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The Visionary Spirit: Awakening to the Imaginal Realm in the Transformocene Age Paperback – 31 Mar 2018
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In The Visionary Spirit, Mick Collins writes deeply about our neglected relationship to the dreaming realm. His book is a wonderful contribution to the activation of our total human potential for these troubled times. --Dr Arnold Mindell, Founder of Process Oriented Psychology, Author of Conflict: Phases, Forums and Solutions
Mick offers thoughtful and exciting ways of shaking us out of our ignorance and denial. He convincingly argues that the imaginal is indeed a pathway to revelation. He shows that the enlivened soul can cope with the crushing order of scientism by enabling us all to reflect and open up our discourse and contemplation. What is critical for his exposition is the startling relevance of his propositions as laid down in his introduction for contemporary society, and especially for the coming generation. He is right to emphasise the one-dimensional view that ushers us onto destructive tram rails where the destination is so deeply wounding for so very many. He is right to claim that we all have within us the roots of sustainability with their focus on sharing, on compassion, and on reciprocity. --Tim O Riordan, Emeritus Professor, School of Environmental Sciences University of East Anglia, Editor of Addressing Tipping Points for a Precarious Future
Mick Collins The Visionary Spirit is a transformational tour de force inviting readers to expand their ways of knowing beyond hyper-rationalist scientism and reconnect with the imaginal realm through dreams, visions and synchronicities. Our predominant paradigm has repressed other ways of knowing embodied in the mythic, sacred feminine and indigenous traditions. Mick gives readers the tools, not only through his exposition but also in reflections and exercises, to make a personal contribution to this redemptive quest by engaging in shadow work, recognising human moral evil in ecocide and accessing the daimon within in order to realise our individual and collective potential. His approach is one of re-imagination, deepening and resacralising our relationship to Nature. Importantly, he recognises the need to integrate the transpersonal with the transhuman in technologies of transformation that go beyond the robotic to a soul connection. It is clear that our overall human challenge is unprecedented and that our institutions are inadequate and unfit for purpose. As he inspiringly suggests, it is possible for us to exercise our visionary capacities to move from the Anthropocene to what he calls the Transformocene, but, as in all processes of birth and rebirth, the process will be intense on every level. --David Lorimer Programme Director, Scientific and Medical Network, Author of Whole in One
About the Author
Mick Collins PhD has worked for many years as an NHS occupational and psychological therapist. He worked for 10 years as a lecturer at University of East Anglia, UK. He now spends his time writing and working as a holistic coach. His previous book, The Unselfish Spirit won the 2014 Scientific and Medical Network book prize.
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I just love your tireless attention and passion to writing.
For me personally , it has been deeply healing experience reading your books , this one particularly . I was deeply in awe of the wide ranging content , and the topics covered .
The print was tiny for the limitation of my own eyesight , I bought a magnifying glass to read it . The magnifier had a circle of small LEDs to illuminate and focus on a small manageable area at once . After a page of reading , I put the magnifier to oneside and could read the small print just with the LED help and a bit more attention to focus on a small number of words at once .
It is a metaphor for your book .
A vast array of topics , that you bring your personal journey , your own life experiences , your training , your imagination , and the depth with which you understand others too
It resonated so much with my own appreciation of life and death .
It resonated too with Such a depth of enquiry and understanding that inspires me , inviting me to contemplate the restriction I felt in scientism and the sacred feminine . It invited me to address scary topics ( for me ) like the Global crisis, the veil of evil , Daimons , death transitions , atheism and Wu Wu and the unexamined shadow .
I shed so many emancipatory tears in the last chapter at the realisation of my personal encountering Wu Wu and the delighful true stories and myths I had not heard before that bought intense Joy .
Yes it has thrown light and brought magnification to important topics that need to be viewed and contemplated by the clarity of vision , mindful contemplation , and imaginative transformation to create “ Visionary Spirit “ for creating an enlightened self , and an enlightened intention for co creating , happiness, fulfillment and nourishing intentions for our world .
This book nourished my logical mind , my body, my emotional expression , my I maginative mind and my soul into contemplating transformation and nourishment . That done Krishnamurti’s quote comes to mind “ He who appreciates himself in other people , and other people in himself , knows no sorrow “ , that is truly how this book touched me , and the bonus ( if that is not enough ? ) is that the royalties go to feed children who need material nourishment too .
An invaluable and priceless contribution to our world .
Thankyou Mick for your prayerful existence .
I found this a truly holistic book, clearly informed by much experience (and vision) which is offered to the reader in a number of ways but usefully in the outlining of practical exercises to carry out yourself. In this I feel Collins is addressing the actual 'transformocine of self', in order for each of us to understand the power of interaction that we hold, in relation to his addressing of clear need for self-planetary change.
I would recommend this for personal interest, gentle activism, self development, change makers and those interested in facilitation and teaching. Personally I found the Visionary Spirit very useful in informing and catalysing ideas for my dissertation in Ecological Design Thinking MA which contained both theory and practical. Collins is forward thinking, a courageously honest voice in the midst of systems over-load, who is bringing change in a grounded, practical (hurray) and manageable way. Thank you!
There are many books supporting us to go deep into our psyche, but Mick’s exceptional contribution is the way he brings this quest back to the everyday. Part of what makes our inward quest meaningful is the application in practice of the insights gained, and it is through such archetypal action or ‘doing with depth’ that we hone our character and the quality of our being. "It is through our actions (doing) that we can deepen our reflections and awareness (being)."
This is not a book for superficial reading. You need to give time for the ideas and stories to register and percolate through. And that is what I value the book for most. For me it registered on a deep emotional level – speaking to a deep longing in my soul. I don’t think there was a chapter that did not move me to tears and it is already encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone to try different ways of living.
Although each of us will find our own way, Mick points to use of transformational technologies (dreamwork, active imagination, breathwork, shamanic journeying, etc.) to connect with the imaginal (non-local, transpersonal) realm. It is here we can encounter the numinous and rediscover a sense of awe, lost by so many in the Western, one-dimensional, unbalanced materialist culture, with its reliance on scientism and consumerism, which is currently leading to environmental degradation on a scale we have not seen before.
As we meaningfully connect with information from the imaginal field we come to know and trust a deep intelligence that is active in the universe. We become inspired and empowered to participate as we align ourselves to work in harmony with the whole, bringing individual, collective and planetary healing. We rediscover and work with the sacred in our lives to find a deep sense of vocation, activated in the soul.
Mick warns us the sacred is not always ‘nice’. As we go deep we will encounter our own, our collective and even our ancestral shadow – those aspects of being we and our culture have not been able to face or integrate and which have been split off and pushed out of awareness. Facing the content of the imaginal realm (both the light and the dark) can be terrifying, but our survival depends on developing our individual and collective ability to engage and learn from such encounters. If we do not, we will continue to project shadow content outward onto others and compulsively fight there what we cannot face in ourselves. We need to find ways to tolerate such experiences, in the knowledge that what we find is not ‘us’ in our small identity and will flow back into the collective, having touched and changed us.
Mick suggests to enable us to do this, we need modern personal and collective myths to guide us and hold us firm. I gained much from his discussion of daimons and angels as sacred, animating and inspiring spiritual powers which can be activated in the soul and connect us to a living mystery, guiding us towards greater wholeness and a vision of life and work for the greater good.
As with his previous book, The Unselfish Spirit, Mick has researched and referenced his work brilliantly, weaving together many different strands of thought in an accessible way, always contrasting opposing views to clarify and build his argument. For those who like to do further reading, there are many leads to follow up and each chapter has a list of exercises which can help you explore the impact and resonance for you of what you have read, as well as the possible implications for your life.
I want to finish with Mick’s own words: "The occupational shift that is being called for is about a renewed relationship to technologies of transformation, which can help us expand our consciousness and inspire new ways of living to meet the global crisis, connected to doing with depth." "Deep ecology needs a deep self." "How we bind together and co-create an improved future is set to become the great challenge of this era."