Nothing is more important to ARAS than the symbol as it is included in our name ARAS: The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism. Ironically, however, we rarely inquire about the origin of symbols or what we actually mean by archetypal symbol or image. Rather, we tend to take it for granted that we all know what it is and tacitly agree on that meaning. What thrills me about the lively exchange between Sylvester Wojtkowski and Warren Colman in this edition of ARAS Connections is that they inquire about the origins and meaning of what we call archetypal symbolism. And they argue about it fiercely and passionately in an exchange that is noted for its integrity, intelligence, and graciousness. There are even elements of play and fun in their back and forth. This is not an era in which people of opposite points of view or beliefs—especially political—are known to engage in a substantive and civilized exchange. Sylvester and Warren actually helped one another with editorial and copy editing suggestions in the preparation of these papers which are stimulating and challenging. They remained truly collegial even as they whole heartedly disagreed with one another. And, like the living symbol itself which can contain the opposites, one ends up somehow believing that they are both right even though their positions are diametrically opposed.
This edition of ARAS Connections is for me, personally, the realization of a dream—that we create a forum in which we can conduct a substantive inquiry about symbolic reality, imagination, and psyche. To further that goal, we have created a blog for the readers of ARAS Connections to continue this conversation with Sylvester and Warren. This is an experiment and we hope it proves to be as rich and fruitful as this exchange between Sylvester and Warren about Warren Colman’s wonderful, groundbreaking contemporary inquiry into the origins of symbolic imagination: Act and Image: The Emergence of Symbolic Imagination.