The Amplification Effect, No. 4

This is an invitation for artists and writers, creators of any medium, to participate in a group exercise.

A group exercise performed in the comments.

A symbol is provided, and participants are asked to share at least twice to generate an amplification of that symbol.

Regarding the value of amplification of symbolic content, CG Jung writes:

 “An archetypal content expresses itself, first and foremost, in metaphors. If such a content should speak of the sun and identify with it the lion, the king, the hoard of gold guarded by the dragon, or the power that makes for the life and health of man, it is neither the one thing nor the other, but the unknown third thing that finds more or less adequate expression in all these similes, yet– to the perpetual vexation of the intellect– remains unknown and not to be fitted into a formula.”

Jung, CW, V. 9i, p. 267

Jung also championed approaching unconscious symbolic material with an ‘as-if’ attitude. Jung taught that meaning may be circumscribed, but not described.

The Process

1. Participants self-select.

2. Responses are placed in the comments to this post.

3. Each participant replies with an amplification of the symbol.

4. Each participant replies with an association to another participant’s amplification.

5. Participants are encouraged to repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as they wish.

6. Participants are encouraged to reflect on the group results of the exercise to provide an impetus for future creative work.

Postscript: Consider linking back to this post with any work this exercise generates. Links from this post to any work generated will be shared below.

(For further information, as well as an example of a completed group response mind map, see the inaugural Amplification Effect)


Week #4 Amplification Effect Symbol:

An abandoned house.

Join us in the comments below!


Group Response Mind Map (updated throughout the exercise):


Links to Works Generated:

Abandonments Below 0°F, by Richard Reeve

17 thoughts on “The Amplification Effect, No. 4

      1. One of the most interesting experiences of this recently for me was a visit to the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge, which was built on an old military airport which, in its heyday, trained cadets out of West Point. Today, you would miss the signs of that activity if you did not know to look for it.

  1. An abandoned house brings to mind ghosts. This makes me think of the concept of mana, that there is something supernatural in objects and even people. Also, it reminds me of how easily superstitious beliefs mark out a person or object that is different from others. I have forgotten the exact word for this. I suppose Edmund Husserl’s concept of the ‘other’ comes close to what I have in mind.

      1. Where can misery abide if it has no home? An abandoned nest hole ceases to be a nest hole. It’s just a hole in a tree–until/unless someone takes up residence again. Abandoned house: freedom; evolution; moving on…

      1. Yes, I believe it starts in childhood, when needs are not met one craves the attachment but has difficulty maintaining healthy/close attachments in adulthood for fear of abandonment.

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