Centaur Manifesto

I’m writing a book about centaurs and cyborgs – about bringing together mythos and logos, magic and science, Carl Jung and Karl Marx, Maria Von Franz and Fredric JamesonI’m podcasting the book via my lectures on Tedcast. I’m tweeting the book via the #centaur hashtag. And I’m blogging the book here.

The project expands my work on politics, myth, fantasy, and the ideas of Karl Marx and Carl Jung. It’s a marriage of post-Marxist critical theory with post-Jungian depth psychology. My hope is the combination will prove, if not a dialectical synthesis, perhaps an alchemical reaction – what Jung calls syzygy, the marriage of opposites.

Jung like Marx began as a Hegelian. Alchemy is Jung’s own revision of Hegel’s dialectic, just as deconstruction is for Derrida. The Buddhist version is my personal favorite: the middle way. Which leads to emptiness, no-self, nirvana. And as Jack Kornfield puts it, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.

The book began as a series of essays in the media studies journals Flow and Scope in 2009 on Jungian approaches to cultural studies:

My most recent work has been on games as forms of active imagination. Here’s a short slideshow I made about the social game Farmville and active imagination. It accompanied a piece I contributed to the digital humanities journal In Media Res, “Farmville: the Garden in the Machine.”

Here’s a radio interview I did with Erik Davis about the Centaur Manifesto. Erik hosts Expanding Minds on the Progressive Radio Network, and is author of numerous books, including a great study of Led Zeppelin IV and the new collection Nomad Codes.

Here’s an interview I did with David Metcalfe, who runs the wonderful OpenMythSource.com. He also wrote a very thoughtful follow-up piece about my work, “Digital Gardening,” and republished “Myth, the Numinous & Cultural Studies.”

And here’s a talk I gave a couple of years ago about the politics of fantasy films.

11 thoughts on “Centaur Manifesto

  1. Pingback: Myth: Ideology vs Fabulation | AGENT SWARM

  2. kunzelman

    Have you read any Peter Sloterdijk? I have been reading the first volume of Spheres, and it seems to be vaguely related to some of the points that you’re making. The book is very much about how myth is deployed and invested in as a bridge between the subject and the world around. That isn’t your main thrust, and it isn’t his either, but I definitely see some overlap in the middle.

  3. Pingback: Remarques à propos de “La Société Automatique” de Bernard Stiegler | AGENT SWARM

    1. tedfriedman Post author

      I guess I’d say I’m arguing for a Hegelian reading of Jung.

      Thanks for the link – fascinating article! One of the more persuasive critiques of Jung I’ve seen. I’m not ready to give up on the language of the numinous, though – it describes too much of my own experience. I’m intrigued by poststructuralists such as Bruno Latour who question the boundary between belief and nonbelief – and Marxists like Slavoj Zizek who reclaim the utopian politics of spirituality.

  4. Pingback: UNCONSCIOUS JUNGIANS: the “theological” turn is an unconscious variant of the Jungian turn | AGENT SWARM


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