Contemporary life is generally hedonistic in its orientation a consequence being that people seem to be confused, dogmatically opinionated and at times grasping for something to ground them in a deeper way than an indulgent life is able to. There seems as well to be lost sense of moral purpose, or a “telos” (a Greek term referring to that which in an individual provides the moral justification for society)”.
Michael Zimmerman writes that there is a general tendency that we find it almost impossible … to regard our experience just as a series of happenings; instead, we filter it through all sorts of projections and interpretations, including scientific theories about the structure of “reality,” and religious claims about the “meaning” of it all. We tend to be so purposive and willful that the world appears only as a set of goals and obstacles. In viewing the world this way, we are shut off from its primal mystery: that events are constantly happening, and that the play of appearance is going on at all.
Hillman also rejects the idea that origin is something that lies in a literal (objective) past. Attempts to trace everything to a source do not solve anything. The fantasy of objective origins disguises the psychological truth that “the ultimate source is … in the enigma … of the imaginal … in the mundus imaginalis.” (See Henry Corbins notion https://www.amiscorbin.com/bibliographie/mundus-imaginalis-or-the-imaginary-and-the-imaginal/)
The following quote by Zimmerman explores, and requires somewhat deeper contemplation, stepping out from a conventional rational explanation to a way of exploring living authentically or in Pindar’s words from the Greek Lyric Odes, a way to “come forth as what thou art.
Play refers to a time of gnosis which can be a time of awakening to an inherent knowledge and/or mundus imaginalis; a place of spiritual mysteries especially esoteric mystical knowledge. In play we rediscover this “telos”.
“These happenings (beings, events) require a place (time, absence) to happen (to be manifest). The place does not come from outside of the happening, but is intrinsic to it. Presencing and absencing happen together, or “give” themselves to each other. The play plays because it plays. We are most ourselves when we participate in this play.”