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Project Writeup

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Soul Searching AudioVisual Project

Visual Arts And Craft Makers Award 2021-2022

The following film, Soul Searching, is an abstract audio-visual representation of commonalities and echoes I have found across studied texts, interviews and research undertaken for this project on the subject of the soul. I chose to anchor my research predominantly in my own western tradition and religious/spiritual strands of thought that resonate most with my own experiences and unconscious cultural paradigm. Through regular visits to the Alex Johnston Reference library, I developed focused research around concepts of the soul according to the western traditions of:

- Hermeticism

- Neoplatonic Philosophy

- Rosicrucian Philosophy

- Transpersonal Psychology

- Theosophy

- Gnostic Texts

- Alchemical Texts

- Jewish/Christian Kabbalah and Mysticism

- Ancient Egyptian Texts

These traditions survived either through sectarian branches of monotheistic practice (as with Gnosticism and mysticism) or through practices directly outside of (and sometimes in opposition to) the canon of mainstream denomination. The use of language of these texts veil the meaning through subtle and abstract language forms. Some of these source materials purposely obscures the essential message so as to protect their pupils and to escape heretical accusations for its deviation from the cultural monotheistic dogma - however, in most traditions, adepts of the teaching schools are deliberately presented with analogies and shrouded messages, presented as gateways of knowledge, through personal engagement with the totality of Self. The ineffable is respected for its inherent qualities, by allowing its meaning to fall outside of the domination and restriction of language. Rather, it is found in the space between fixed language.

As such, gentler, less directive language, that is subtle and allows the individual to arrive at their own implicit meaning-making, is used in an attempt to describe the indescribable. Without earthly form and beyond the reaches of knowing through ordinary means, the soul is understood through our internal resonance, through subtle personal gnosis - that is, knowledge beyond intellectual knowledge, an inner knowing; through contemplation and experience. This film endeavours to propose an abstract representation of the ineffable in motion, inviting the viewer to contemplate and tune into their own inner knowing.

For the purpose of this piece, I have set out to demonstrate the fluidity and dynamism of the soul, as well as its splicing with the representational facets we experience in our waking life; corporeality, matter, mind, consciousness, will, emotions - all properties through which we encounter the soul. These synergistic attributes are in symbiosis with the soul, both enveloped by it, and expressed within the function of its parts. Through the development and growth of individual parts, we grow the whole of our individual soul. Within the work, I hope to infer the possibility of our individual soul as an expression of an anima mundi, the all, a universal soul, enveloping and expressed through individual parts.

A special thank you to interview contributors:

  • Gary Kidgell - Professional Esoteric Astrologer and Author

  • Mike Hall - Qigong & Tai Chi Consultant, Theosophical Society Edinburgh President

  • Marcus Le Brocq - Kabbalist, Teacher

  • Father James Cadman - Exorcist, Catholic Priest

  • Luca McQuillan, David McLoone, Jamie L McKenzie & Charlene Morgan - Catholics

List of Notable Books:

  • The Way of Divine Union - Arthur Edward Waite

  • Reincarnation; A study of Forgotten Truth - E.D.Walker

  • Everyone's Book of the Dead - Tim Wyatt

  • Cycles of Eternity - Tim Wyatt

  • From Soul to Soul - John M Watkins

  • Mansions of the Soul; The Cosmic Conception - H. Spencer Lewis

  • Esoteric Psychology; The Seven Rays - Dr Douglas Baker

  • The Soul’s Imperative - Harold Tarn

  • The Philosophy of Witchcraft - J. Mitchell & Jn. Dickie

  • Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy - Grillot de Givry

  • Egyptian Magic - S.S.D.D edited by W.W.Westcott

  • The World Soul - H. Fielding Hall

  • Transpersonal Development - Roberto Assagioli

  • The Inner Journey; Pathways to the Higher Self - Gary Kidgell

  • The Lamp Relit - Vestigo

  • The Book of the Dead; Papyrus of Ani - E. A. Wallis Budge

  • Cosmic Consciousness - Richard Maurice Bucke

  • The Sevenfold Planes of Nature - Susan Bayliss (article)

  • Who Do You Think You Were - Robert Woolley (article)

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