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Alison L. Thomson

Creative art practices can be used as a support for spiritual, psychological and neurological transformation. A trauma informed approach is central to integrating experiences of the absolute with the relative. (Thomson, 2024. See useful references below.)


Alison Thomson is an independent artist and researcher. In 2013 she completed a Master of Fine Art by research at Monash University. This project used visual art practices to investigate the feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray’s concept of the ‘sensible-transcendental’ through the lenses of Vipassana meditation and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. (See Pdf attached below or hardcopy at Monash University library.)


Luce Irigaray argues that males and females, and the categories of the masculine and feminine, are different and equally valuable. For Irigaray sexual-difference is the first and foundational difference from which all other differences arise. Through her concept of the 'sensible-transcendental' Irigaray aimed to elevate the value of the sensible in response to Plato's dualism. (see Plato's 'Divided Line') Glossary of terms below.

Alison Thomson developed Irigaray's concept of the 'sensible-transcendental' further into a union or synergy of transcendence and finitude. Her re-conceptualisation of the 'sensible-transcendental' reflects Plato's notion of metaxis and the Christian practice of integrating heaven and earth. (See the work of Jonathan Pageau eg. 'Christian Architecture' - YouTube lecture.) Thomson's writing and artworks attempt to think and symbolise a 'sensible-transcendental' as both process and horizon. Recent scholarship in cognitive science, psychology and the wisdom traditions refer to this approach as 'transcendent-naturalism'. (See the work and website of Dr John Vervaeke.)

Glossary of Terms: 

  • The Absolute: God, Love, the 'really real'

  • Sensible: senses and sense objects, matter, nature, the relative, finitude (The sensible forms part of the realm of Becoming in Plato's ontology. The realm of Becoming also includes emotions and mental imagery. It is typically aligned with the 'feminine' in Western metaphysics.)

  • Transcendental: the divine prior to objects, ideas and ideal forms, spirit, the intelligible, mind, intellect, rationality (The transcendental maps onto the realm of Being in Plato's philosophy. It is generally associated with the 'masculine' in Western metaphysics.)

  • Subject: the 'I' or agent. (The true subject integrates subjectivity and objectivity. John Vervaeke has proposed the term 'transjective' to describe this way of being.)

  • Subjectivity: thought, speech and action (has a spiritual, psychological and biological basis.)

Useful References: See the websites of researchers listed below for further information about their work and courses.



Image: Rosella Spider Orchid - rear view, by Alison Thomson 2014. The photograph shows the flower in first bloom. *Please note all artworks, images and text included on this site are subject to copyright laws.

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