Depth Psych
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Depth Psych
Pioneered by William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Gustav Jung, Depth Psychology is the study of how we dialogue with the Unconscious via symbols, dreams, myth, art, nature. By paying attention to the messages that show up from beyond our conscious egos, we can be guided to greater understanding, transformation, and integration with the world around us, inner and outer. Join the conversation in community at
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Myth and Psyche: The Evolution of Consciousness

Myth and Psyche: The Evolution of Consciousness | Depth Psych |

Mythology is the most archaic and profound record we have of mankind's essential spirit and nature. As far back as we are able to trace the origins of our species, we find myth and myth-making as the fundamental language through which man relates to life's mystery and fashions meaning from his experiences. The world of myth has its own laws and its own reality. Instead of concepts and facts that make logical sense, we find patterns of irrational imagery whose meaning must be discerned or experienced by the participant-observer. Discovering these patterns of meaning is what Jung meant by the symbolic approach to religion, myth, and dream.

The mythic image is not to be taken literally and concretely...we must approach myth symbolically as revealed eternal 'truths' about mankind's psychic existence — about the reality of the psyche. 'Once upon a time' does not mean 'once' in history but refers to events that occur in eternal time, always and everywhere. Any myth is very much alive today. Every night in sleep we sink back into that source of all mythological imagery, the unconscious psyche — the origin of dreams. Many of our games have their roots in mythology and much of contemporary art, literature, and film is shot through with mythological themes..... (Click title for more)

Kathy Mays's curator insight, June 3, 2015 3:20 AM

Nice description of why we look to myths and the symbolic imagery they present, which is still so alive in our lives today.

Eva Rider's curator insight, September 7, 2015 4:40 PM

fascinating exploration of the archetype inherent in Mythological motifs.

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Dreaming with Open Eyes: On Jung's "Active Imagination"

Dreaming with Open Eyes: On Jung's "Active Imagination" | Depth Psych |

Carl Jung believed that active imagination is a channel for messages from the unconscious.


In December 1913, Jung first experienced what he was later to call active imagination. However, he did not talk about these experiences until twelve years later, when, in May and June 1925, he “spoke for the first time of his inner development” at two sessions of a series of weekly seminars he was giving in Zurich. The contents of these lectures were not published until 1989,  but a partial account of these experiences was given in 1962 by Aniela Jaffé in Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections, which she largely wrote. This account is the foundation myth, the charter, for active imagination.


In 1913, according to this account, Jung, profoundly distressed at his break with Freud, began to experiment with different ways to enter into his own imaginings. As James Hillman describes it, “When there was nothing else to hold to, Jung turned to the personified images of interior vision. He entered into an interior drama, took himself into an imaginative fiction and then, perhaps, began his healing — even if it has been called his breakdown.


In this imaginal world, Jung began to confront and question the figures who appeared to him; and, to Jung’s surprise, those imaginal persons replied to him in turn. “Near the steep slope of a rock,” Jung says, “I caught sight of two figures, an old man with a white beard and a beautiful young girl. I summoned up my courage and approached them as though they were real people, and listened attentively to what they told me... (Click title for more)

Erel Shalit's curator insight, January 30, 2015 2:15 AM

For an example of Active Imagination following a dream, see Introductory Chapter in The Dream and its Amplification

Maxwell Purrington's comment, January 30, 2015 2:18 AM
Eva Rider's curator insight, March 24, 2015 12:09 AM

Jung, Active Imagination and The Red Book

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On wounding... from Rumi

On wounding... from Rumi | Depth Psych |

"The wound is the place where the light enters you"~ Rumi

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Personal Myths Bring Cohesion to the Chaos of Each Life

Personal Myths Bring Cohesion to the Chaos of Each Life | Depth Psych |

THE ancient myths are not dead; they live on in the stories people tell about their own lives.

While the old gods do not show up by name, they are there in spirit, in the struggles and triumphs that people depict as the key episodes in their lives.

New work by psychological researchers shows that in telling their life stories, people invent a personal myth, a tale that, like the myths of old, explains the meaning and goals of their lives. In doing so, they match - quite unwittingly - the characters and themes that are found in the old myths.

For example, one research subject, Tom H., depicted his life story as a saga in which he was a warrior like the Greek god Ares. Tom found himself in constant battle -with other children, relatives and people in authority. The main struggle of his life... (Click title to keep reading)

(Image by Nathaniel Bearson.)

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Carl Jung on Living an Authentic Life

Carl Jung on Living an Authentic Life | Depth Psych |
To live an authentic life is at the heart of Jungian therapy. What wisdom can we gain from Carl Jung about living fully and authentically in the world?


It could be argued that at the heart of Jungian therapy is the aim of experiencing and living an authentic life.


That is not the language that Carl Jung used, but it does express a central idea of his psychology, which he called ‘individuation.’ Put very simply, individuation is the process by which individuals become more fully themselves.


Individuation involves differentiating oneself from... (click title for more)

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Jung’s model of the psyche - Ann Hopwood

Jung’s model of the psyche - Ann Hopwood | Depth Psych |

Jung writes: ‘By psyche I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious’, (CW6 para 797) so we use the term ‘psyche’ rather than ‘mind’, since mind is used in common parlance to refer to the aspects of mental functioning which are conscious. Jung maintained that the psyche is a self-regulating system (like the body).


The psyche strives to maintain a balance between opposing qualities while at the same time actively seeking its own development or as he called it, individuation. For Jung, the psyche is inherently separable into component parts with complexes and archetypal contents personified and functioning autonomously as complete secondary selves, not just as drives and processes. It is important to think of Jung’s model as a metaphor... (Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, April 10, 2014 1:40 AM

A little more on  Jung's model of "Psyche"  ]

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The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife

The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife | Depth Psych |

I’ve recently read Jungian analyst James Hollis’s book, The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife. It is one of the best books on this developmental phase, and its many opportunities, that I’ve read. The author says that childhood lasts until around age 12, the first adulthood from around ages 12 to 40, and the second adulthood–if a person chooses to progresss–from around age 40 to old age.


Many people never pass from childhood to adulthood developmentally, but are overgrown children, and many people never pass from the first adulthood into the second, and thus have unlived lives.

 Hollis writes that the middle passage presents us with the opportunity to reexamine our lives and to ask, “Who am I apart from my history and the roles I have played?” It is an occasion for redefining and reorienting the... (click title for more)

Belkacem Nabout's curator insight, November 12, 2013 7:54 AM

Incroyable 50 à 100 euros/jour GRATIS:

Belkacem Nabout's curator insight, November 14, 2013 5:11 PM

Produits Universaliss Bank....Produits Universaliss Laboratory

Eva Rider's curator insight, November 19, 2014 2:15 AM

James Hollis" excellent and acclaimed study of the midlife passage.

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"Christ, a Symbol of the Self " by Jerry Wright, Jung Society of Atlanta

"Christ, a Symbol of the Self " by Jerry Wright, Jung Society of Atlanta | Depth Psych |

Carl Jung’s ideas and writings about God, religion, Christ, Christianity, and the Christian Church are some of his most challenging, controversial, and fruitful. His approach was to take ancient “thought forms that have become historically fixed, try to melt them down again and pour them into moulds of immediate experience.” (CW:11:par.148) Jung’s own experience of the numinosum (holy) was a lifelong passion and most of his major written works in the last third of his life were devoted to some aspect of religious experience and religious symbols, with particular attention to the symbols of the Christian myth.


In Aion (Collected Works, Vol. 9,ll) Jung addresses Christianity’s central figure, Christ, and unpacks the meaning of Christ as a symbol of the Self. At the request of many of his readers who asked for a more comprehensive treatment of the Christ/Self relationship, and apparently inspired by a dream during a temporary illness, Jung worked on the project for several years...

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Carl Jung Depth Psychology

Carl Jung Depth Psychology | Depth Psych |

You saw that the alchemists used the term "scientia" in a very wide sense, and that they regarded it as something exceedingly mysterious. 

The same is true of the "sapientia", which even appears personified as a highly mysterious figure. 

Wisdom is personified as early as the book of the "Wisdom of Solomon" (Apocrypha]. 

In Gnosticism wisdom appears as the famous Sophia, sometimes represented as the youngest daughter of the creator of the world, or as the feminine counterpart of Christ, and sometimes as 
the virgin of light. 

The sapientia appears in a very substantial form in alchemy. 

Wisdom is attained, so the alchemists say, through the union of chemistry and theosophy.... (Click title for more)

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Our Unique Image - James Hillman

Our Unique Image - James Hillman | Depth Psych |

"Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny. As the force of fate, this image acts as a personal daimon, an accompanying guide who remembers your calling." (James Hillman)

Via Michael Goodman, Eva Rider
maria taveras's curator insight, January 31, 2015 2:49 PM

James Hillman always a unique way of expressing the mystery that belies the image.

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The Red Book and Beyond - The Red Book of Carl G. Jung: Its Origins and Influence

The Red Book and Beyond - The Red Book of Carl G. Jung: Its Origins and Influence | Depth Psych |

Jung described the process that led to the creation of the Red Bookas “my most difficult experiment.” He was referring to his sustained response to a series of “assaults” from his unconscious that he feared might overwhelm him. These experiences began after Jung’s break with Sigmund Freud. Jung recorded them in a series of notebooks that he later used as the basis for the Red Book.


As he recalled in the autobiographical Memories, Dreams, Reflections: “An incessant stream of fantasies had been released . . . . I stood helpless before an alien world; everything in it seemed difficult and incomprehensible.’ Amidst this psychic turmoil, Jung resolved to “find the meaning in what I was experiencing in these fantasies”—a process that required him both to engage with and distance himself from their effect— and to describe, comprehend, and transform them for a constructive purpose.

The material in the Red Book came from Jung’s exploration of his unconscious and his encounters with the works of many cultural figures, including the... (Click title for more)

Laura M. Smith's curator insight, October 7, 2014 8:09 AM

Nice summary with references to other great works from The Library of Congress...

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Carl Jung and Jungian Analytical Psychology

Carl Jung and Jungian Analytical Psychology | Depth Psych |
Jung saw in unconscious material, especially dreams and fantasies, an unfolding of a process of individuation - the idea of continual, lifelong personal development.


According to Jung, the Ego - the "I" or self-conscious faculty - has four inseparable functions, four fundamental ways of perceiving and interpreting reality: Thinking, Feeling, Sensation, and Intuition. Generally, we tend to favor our most developed function, which becomes dominant, while we can broaden our personality by developing the others. Jung noted that the unconscious often tends to reveal itself most easily through a person's least developed, or "inferior" function. The encounter with the unconscious and development of the underdeveloped function(s) thus tend to progress together.


Jung understood and acknowledged the enormous importance of sexuality in the development of the personality, but he perceived the unconscious as encompassing much more. In addition he saw in unconscious material, especially dreams and fantasies, an unfolding... (Click title for more)

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Jung and the Four Psychological Functions

Jung and the Four Psychological Functions | Depth Psych |

In Psychological Types Jung (1971/1921) describes four basic psychic functions that are capable of becoming conscious: intuition, sensation, feeling, and thinking:


Under sensation I include all perceptions by means of the sense organs; by thinking, I mean the function of intellectual cognition and the forming of logical conclusions; feeling is a function of subjective evaluation; intuition I take as perception by way of the unconscious, or perception of unconscious events. (p. 518) 


   Jung goes on to explain that, in his experience, there are only four basic functions, a fact that seems to be self-evident if one inquires into the possibilities. These psychic functions are the methods employed by humans to acquire knowledge of themselves and the surrounding world; cognition is not restricted to one function, and each function provides its own kind of knowledge.

   Of equal importance in Jung's typology are the attitude types of introversion and extraversion, which... (click title to read more)

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A glossary of Jungian terms.

A glossary of Jungian terms. | Depth Psych |

A glossary of Jungian terms collected by depth psychologist Dr. Craig Chalquist in his journey through Jung's letters, seminars, and Collected Works as well as from my studies in Depth Psychology. Terms defined elsewhere in this document appear in italics. You might also want to peruse the Glossary of Freudian Terms and some quotations by James Hillman and Alfred Adler. 


"The alchemists thought that the opus demanded not only laboratory work, the reading of books, meditation, and patience, but also love..." (Click title to read more)

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Being Jungian in Today's World

Being Jungian in Today's World | Depth Psych |

When a local editor recently asked to write something about Jungian psychology, she opined that Jungian thought had become popular in various segments of our community, but notably not among psychologists. I had to agree with her. Best-selling books Care of the Soul and Women Who Run with the Wolves are both based on Jung's work, and Jungian analysts Robert Moore and James Hillman have been key figures in the men's movement.

I encounter Jungian terms in popular songs, movies, literature, and comic strips all the time. Even Madison Avenue has incorporated Jung. In one commercial, a beer-drinker joked that appreciation of Budweiser s finer qualities is stored in the collective unconscious. Nevertheless, I continue to hear the same story from university students: Jung is barely mentioned in most psychology departments...

Jane Brody's curator insight, November 3, 2013 12:33 PM

While Jung is neglected in psychology departments, he is vital for artists.  Whether his writings pass the limited view of psychology, they are an essential touchstone for artists of all kind because they attempt to merge the mundane with the luminous.