Involutive procedure

Involutive procedure 渦漩的程序

As Bachelard writes, all impulses to explore the secrets of time begin with an “ involutive” procedure. Desoille in his second work studies dreams of descent, which are dreams of return and of acclimatization or consent to the temporal condition. It is a matter of “ unlearning fear”.

如巴舍拉所言,所有探索時間秘密的衝動都起源於「渦漩」的程序。Desoille 在他第二本書研究「下降」的夢,描述回轉跟適應調整時間狀況的夢。那是一種「不學而知的恐懼」。

This is one of the reasons why the imagination of descent necessitates more precautions than that of ascent. It requires armor and diving-bells, or the company of a mentor, a whole arsenal of machines more complex than the wing, which was such a simple accessory of flight.


For descent risks at every moment confusion with, and transformation into, falling. It must, as reassurance, be constantly accompanied by symbols of interiority and intimacy.


As we shall see in the Jonah complex, there is an overdetermination of protection even in the precautions taken during descent: one protects oneself in order to penetrate to the heart of protective intimacy.


Bachelard analyzing a page of Michel Leiris’s Aurora, has clearly shown that the positive value placed on descent was linked to digestive intimacy and the act of swallowing.

巴舍拉分析Michel Leiris 的「曙光」,清楚地顯示:下降的積極價格跟消化的親密及吞噬的動作有關。

Whereas ascent is a call for exteriority or for transcendence of the carnal, the axis of descent is a fragile, comforting, intimate axis. The imaginary return is always to some extent a coenaesthetic, visceral “return home”.


When the repentant prodigal son crosses the paternal threshold, it is in order to banquet. Certainly, in these obscure, hidden depths there is no more than a hair’s breadth between the rash act of descent without a guide and the fall towards animal depths.


But what emotionally distinguishes descent from the sudden shock of the fall, and also from flight, is its slowness. Duration is reintegrated and neutralized by the symbolism of descent, in a sort of assimilation of time from within.


The redemption of time comes about, as in Bergson’s work, from the inside, through the concrete experience of duration.


Thus, all descent is slow, time-consuming, sometimes viewed as laborious penetration. To visceral slowness is added a thermal quality. However, it is here a case of slow, gentle heat, far removed from bright heat and glare.



Anthropological Structures of the Imaginary

By Gilbert Durand

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

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