Pathways into the Jungian World: Phenomenology and Analytical Psychology

Pathways into the Jungian World: Phenomenology and Analytical Psychology

Pathways into the Jungian World: Phenomenology and Analytical Psychology

Pathways into the Jungian World: Phenomenology and Analytical Psychology

Synopsis

In Pathways into the Jungian World contributors from the disciplines of medicine, psychology and philosophy look at the central issues of commonality and difference between phenomenology and analytical psychology.The major theme of the book is how existential phenomenology and analytical psychology have been involved in the same fundamental cultural and therapeutic project - both legitimize the subtlety, complexity and depth of experience in an age when the meaning of experience has been abandoned to the dictates of pharmaceutical technology, economics and medical psychiatry. The contributors reveal how Jung's relationship to the phenomenological tradition can be, and is being, developed, and rigorously show that the psychological resonance of the world is immediately available for phenomenological description.

Excerpt

In his autobiography Jung wrote:

The earthly manifestations of "God's world" began with the realm of plants, as a kind of direct communication from it…. Man and the proper animals, on the other hand, were bits of God that had become independent. That was why they could move about on their own and choose their own abodes. Plants were bound for good and ill to their places. They expressed not only the beauty but the thoughts of God's world, with no intent of their own and without deviation. Trees in particular were mysterious and seemed to me direct embodiments of the incomprehensible meaning of life. For that reason the woods were the place I felt closest to the deepest meaning and to its awe-inspiring workings.

This impression was reinforced when I became acquainted with Gothic cathedrals…. What I dimly felt to be my kinship with stone was the divine nature in both, in the dead and the living matter.

(Jung 1962:67-68)

Jung is describing here the world of his early school years, in which he bore witness to the consecrated nature of Being. Things were alive with meaning; they were occasions for the presencing of the Holy in all its mystery, promise, and multiplicity. But in the following pages Jung goes on to say that this experience had no adequate cultural articulation, and that by his middle teens it had become "a remote and unreal dream" (p.68). I want this phrase to echo through the following pages, as we trace the path by which experience is doubted into subjectivity and illusion, and the real evaporates into dream. Jung understood clearly that, for him, as for us, this path is an educational process that in certain fundamental ways recapitulates the historical drama of western consciousness, particularly as it unfolded in the renaissance. It repeats a process according to which the ensouled presence of the

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