My own sense is that C.G.Jung’s lifework becomes mostly phenomenological and echoes his Jamesian roots profoundly in its last stage, when his alchemical inquiry moves into peculiarities of soul-making unable to be encompassed by a dualistic psychology of complex and transference. (It is in this last stage that Jung’s psychology truly becomes paradoxical and justifies the essence of ‘irrational facts’.) This crossover finds a place in the post-Jungian universe firstly through James Hillman.

Yet, my favorite is the brillant Robert Romanyshyn – < Psychological Life. from Science to Metaphor> and < The Soul In Grief>. Roger Brooke has contributed an important volume of essays by this post-Jungian ‘school,’ Pathways Into the Jungian World. Elphis Christopher and H.McFarland Solomon do likewise – < Jungian thought in the Modern World>. Less phenomenological but no less interesting is a volume of papers edited by Ian McAllister and Christopher Hauke – < Contemporary Jungian Analysis>.

[2005] I didn’t read much in analytic psychology last year outside of the journals, yet, Sonu Shamdasani’s Jung and The Making of Modern Psychology : The Dream of a Science, is a terrific intellectual investigation of the ideas that informed the first stage of Jung’s inquiry. S.S. enjoys unusual access to materials held by the Jung family trust and, at least for this, his important volume brings a very high resolution to the complicated subject. In the main, Jung is situated by Shamdasani as a figure with one foot in European idealism and one foot testing the waters in the deep end of what will become a pleromatic modernism. He nails the connection to William James, the first intellectual biographer to do so.

(I read Deidre Bair’s Jung. A Biography, too. She wisely chooses not to over rate her own abilities to analyze his system of psychology, but reaches, as many a biographer is prone to do, a bit to0 much beyond her ability to analyze the inscrutible Dr. Jung. It’s a mostly superficial view she offers even if she presents the evidence of Jung’s parental complexes cleanly.


Filed under analytic(al) psychology


  1. Valerie

    All I know is that anyone who takes the “pain” to read Jung’s (or Freud’s) literature, they all end up liking Jumg most, and believe in everything he wrote.

    I have been unable so far to read more than three or four pages and I am not sure why; I almost get a feeling that I am going to learn about Jung and his own beliefs for himself than it is about therapy. I don’t know, but it fascinates me to see how liked Jung is and yet it might just remain a mistery for me as I become impatient with his writings.

  2. Believing in everything would constitute a problem able to yield even to a ‘Jungian’ analysis. Jung himself was aware that he was likely to be a good hook for the projections of his followers.

    I can review my own informal, (‘lay,) encounter. It reached its peak while, at the same time, it was pressured by other inquiries. But for many additional reasons too, the actual model of Jung seemed not rigorous enough to support its being taken (by me) as global and true. True enough…then.

    Much of psychodynamic psychology, or depth psychology, for me, expresses phenomenological evocations of very adept introspective observers, firstly of their own inner conditions. This is no mean point even it the suggestion is of both a high-minded folk psychology, and, smart grasping at the elephant in the darkened cave.

    (Incidentally, I would suggest that Marion Woodman provides more compelling quasi-case studies in her many fine books. eg. The Pregnant Virgin.)

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