Novalis Complex

Novalis Complex

The viscous element is effectively that of slowness, and descent only permits of viscous matter or thick, dormant water. It retains only the intimate substance of the igneous element: heat.


In his work dealing with fire, Bachelard distinguishes, as does Novalis, between burning, shining heat and the warmth of the innermost depths and of the wombs: “ Light laughs and plays on the surface of things, but only heat penetrates”.


The dreamed interior is hot, but never burning. Everything is given depth by heat, and heat is the sign and meaning of depth. In the image of “ warm intimacy” the gentle penetration and the caressing repose of the digestive and the sexual belly are joined.


The imagination of descent confirms the Freudian intuition that the digestive tube is the descending axis of the libido before its sexual fixation. It can even be said that the archetypes of descent faithfully follow the genetic path of the Freudian libido, and it will always be possible to see in the appearance of anal or oral digestive imagery a regression to the narcissistic stage.


The “ Novalis complex”, which assimilates the descent of the miner into the earth copulation, is linked to the “ Jonah complex”. Both are symbolized by the digestive or the sexual belly, and meditation on them opens up the whole euphemizing phenomenology of cavities.


The belly is the first cavity to which a positive value is attributed through hygiene and diet. The confusion Freud noted between the sexual and the digestive is, moreover, so pronounced that descent into the incubating belly is accomplished, in folk stories, either through the mouth or the vagina.


The polyvalent belly can, indeed, easily fill up with negative values as we have already noted, and come to symbolize the abyss of the fall and the microcosm of sin. But the microcosm implies minimization.


The epithets “ soft” and “ warm” makes sin so pleasant and constitute such a valuable middle-term in the euphemisation of the fall, that the latter slows its descent and converts the negative values of anguish and fear into delight in slowly penetrated interiority.



Anthropological Structures of the Imaginary

By Gilbert Durand

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: