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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 www.DepthPsychologyAlliance.com
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The Green Man

The Green Man | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The Green Man is an archetypal expression calling attention to our relationship to the natural habitat of the woods as a necessary source of life and creativity. 


The Green Man has made appearances in stories around the globe through both pagan and Abrahamic religious imagination, leaving behind a trail of art and symbolism in Europe and the Near-East.

I first heard (and have even written) about him a few months ago through Tom Cheetham’s book, GREEN MAN, EARTH ANGEL, The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle for the Soul of the World, in which Tom writes about Khidr, the Verdant One, how... (Click title for full article)

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Carl Jung and James Hillman: The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil

Carl Jung and James Hillman: The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
I found this great quote from Tom Cheetham (in his works on Henry Corbin). I think only true Hillmaniacs can understand it, especially when we are trying to reconcile the drive toward integrative wholeness while recognizing the necessity of falling apart: 

"To compare Hillman and Jung in any detail is far beyond the scope of these remarks...Hillman is "a Jungian" by any standard, but rather a wayward one. Any simple contrast will be inadequate and perhaps misleading; but if Jung is the Wise Old man, Hillman is the Trickster, or pretends to be. Years ago when I was immersed in reading them both rather obsessively in the midst of the beginnings of my own psychic crisis, the difference was quite a practical one about which I thought very little. If I were feeling threatened by fragmentation, I would read Jung. If I were in terror of being bound and stifled, I would read Hillman. I still think  that says a lot about their differences."... (Click title for more)

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Eva Rider's curator insight, May 15, 3:55 AM

A novel and intriguing examination of Jung, Hillman and the two trees in the Garden of Eden.

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Something to do with Love: Dreams and the Archetype of the Orphan  ~ by Jean Raffa

Something to do with Love: Dreams and the Archetype of the Orphan  ~ by Jean Raffa | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In Monday night’s dream I’m driving a lawn mower and am surprised to see that I’m pulling three portable potties behind me, tiered one above the other, which appear to have been the unlucky recipients of some explosive diarrhea. The image suggests I am trying to get rid of, but still unconsciously lugging around, some powerful and “disgusting” inner contents.

 

Last night’s dream features some dangerous intruders who invade my house and run upstairs Fred goes to turn on the alarm to alert the police so I relax. But after time passes and the police have not arrived, I see shadows descending the staircase and run for my life.

 

Unwanted diarrhea. Dangerous intruders. Both dreams remind me of some powerful emotions I experienced after last weekend’s house party at the cabin. We had invited four couples to join us. Since it was Valentine’s Day weekend we decided to be romantic and silly. We made valentines out of red construction paper and lace and ... (Click title for the full essay)

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Psyche, Eros, and Aphrodite: The Beauty/Soul Connection - Myth and More

Psyche, Eros, and Aphrodite: The Beauty/Soul Connection - Myth and More | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The myth of Psyche (the word psyche means “soul” in Greek), Cupid, her invisible lover (Eros in Greek), and Cupid’s mother, the goddess of beauty and love, Venus (Aphrodite in Greek), illustrates how deeply Beauty, Soul, and Love are interrelated.

 

This relationship can show up in a modern context of the spa experience.  The many spa treatments readily available might be presumed to be merely pampering and possibly even decadent. However, if approached in the right frame of mind, they have the potential to touch us deeply and nurture the soul.

 

STORY OVERVIEW

The story of “The Invisible Lover” is a chapter from the greater work of The Metamorphoses (also known as... (Click title for more)...

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Depth Insights » "Artemis without Arrows: Aggression Lost and Found" by Betsy Hall

Depth Insights » "Artemis without Arrows: Aggression Lost and Found" by Betsy Hall | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
Contemporary American stereotypes, resulting from fixed and rigid typologies, reveal cultural beliefs and psychological truth. Evolving out of a faulty understanding of hunting and farming mythologies, and patriarchal and feminist assertions, one such stereotype is the belief that by nature men, and not women, are hunters.

 

By extension, the binary fantasy that men are aggressive and women are nurturers is a testimonial to the lost archetype of woman as hunter within our everyday life. Denial of feminine aggression has rendered Artemis, a feminine archetype of the Hunt, to an unconscious and split-off position—she has been stripped of her arrows. Drawing upon my own life and with a specific focus on women’s experience, this article examines both the psychological consequences of the lost archetype and the transformation offered by a present day practice that facilitates a conscious re-integration of aggressive instincts.

According to Depth psychology, myths are timeless and eternal stories that contain and reveal essential patterns, and archetypal instincts, that underlie all human experience. The ancient Greek myth of Artemis... (click title for more)

 

Photo credit: Copyright http://www.123rf.com/profile_malchev

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Depth Insights » Mythology of Animals by Joseph P. Muszynski, Ph.D

Depth Insights » Mythology of Animals by Joseph P. Muszynski, Ph.D | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The possibility exists that animals may have their own myths. Evolutionary biology tells us that non-human and human animals are biologically related, including similarities in brain function. Both see images. Depth psychology is rich in discussion of how we create myth from images. This opens the possibility that animals can also do so.

 

Many questions arise. Are images all that are needed to “know” myth? If the archetypal images we see are related to instincts, would such images really be a uniquely human phenomenon? If other animals do have these archetypal, instinctual images within them, are they enough to lead to myths? The question of whether non-human animals are aware and conscious would be an a priori condition to believe this to be possible. Or, do we need speech for myth?

 

A myth may only be a myth if it is told, somehow shared with others. We do know other animals communicate, both with each other and with us to the degree that we are receptive, but are they capable of sharing myths? (Click title for more....)

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Aladin Fazel's curator insight, November 6, 2014 2:44 PM

The answer might be Yes, who knows! 

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Michael Meade: Why the world doesn't end

Michael Meade: Why the world doesn't end | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The world as we know it is awash with profound problems and puzzling changes and beset with seemingly endless conflicts.

 

To be alive at this time means to be exposed to the raw forces of nature as well as the rough edges of culture. Increasingly, it does seem that everything might come to a screaming end, that it could happen at any moment, and that it might happen from a mistake of culture or from a catastrophe of nature.

 

When the balance of the world slips towards chaos, nightmares of apocalypse can rise to the surface and affect even the most rational of people. Periods of great uncertainty and radical change can stir our deepest forebodings and awaken the darkest corners of our souls, where fears of catastrophe and apocalyptic endings reside and have always resided. For fears of the end have been with us from the very beginning.

 

Tales of apocalyptic endings can be found in most...(Click title for more)

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Reversing Genesis: The Ransacking of Temple Earth ~ Craig Chalquist PhD

Reversing Genesis: The Ransacking of Temple Earth ~ Craig Chalquist PhD | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

If you were to enter a church, mosque, or synagogue determined to plunder it before burning it down, you would probably end up in custody. Do the same to Earth, temple and home to us all, and you might be eligible for a government subsidy. Isn't that strange?

 

When psychologists talk about splitting, they refer to the habit of keeping sectors of life that belong together divided into different compartments. The unhealed child abuse survivor grows up to forget that the parent who beat them savagely was the parent they now idealize as an exemplar of loving discipline. The producer of violent films forbids his children to watch them. The speed dater with a track record of ending up with exploitative men convinces herself, again, that this man is the one she's been waiting for. The troll who attends church on Sunday spends the rest of the week vilifying people online.

 

Splitting, an emotional defense of early childhood, has become a character disorder of American society. News networks whose politician guests pushed the disastrous war in Iraq but never landed in prison...(Click title for more)

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Why the World Doesn't End - Michael Meade

Why the World Doesn't End - Michael Meade | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Fears of the end have been with us from the very beginning. Endings and beginnings are mythic moments par excellence; they depict the extremes of existence and are the bookends of creation. There are countless stories of how it all began, and tales of apocalyptic endings can be found in many cultures.

 

Humans are naturally myth-makers and storytellers. We find our way by "storying" the world around us. We turn everything into a news story or a dramatic tale that helps make sense of the ever-changing, often threatening events of the world. Whether it is a major storm, a horrifying massacre, a new scandal or the threat of war, we look for elements of the story that can help us understand what is happening to us.

 

To be alive at this time means to be exposed to great uncertainty and to feel the raw forces of nature as well as the rough edges and sharp divisions of culture. It is not simply that the air has become dangerously polluted and overheated, or that the political atmosphere is increasingly poisonous and destructive. We live amidst rapid changes, increasing fears and devastating tragedies. We suffer increasing extremes that include... (click title for more)

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Animals in Mythology and Legend

Animals in Mythology and Legend | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Since the beginning of human history, people have lived in close contact with animals—usually as hunters and farmers—and have developed myths and legends about them. All kinds of creatures, from fierce leopards to tiny spiders, play important roles in mythology. A myth can give special meaning or extraordinary qualities to common animals such as frogs and bears. However, other creatures found in myths—many-headed monsters, dragons, and unicorns—never existed in the real world.

Animals may serve as stand-ins for humans or human characteristics, as in the African and Native American trickster tales or the fables of the Greek storyteller Aesop. In some legends, animals perform heroic deeds or act as mediators between heaven and earth. They may also be the source of the wisdom and power of a shaman.


Animals often have a dualistic quality in mythology. They can be helpful to humans or harmful—sometimes both. They provide people with food, but at the same time, they can be dangerous...Click title for more


Read more: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Am-Ar/Animals-in-Mythology.html#ixzz32nVaigwz

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Symbols of the Minoan Goddess Religion

Symbols of the Minoan Goddess Religion | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The earliest goddess figurines found on Crete date from Neolithic times and thus from its first settlers, who supposedly came from Anatolia. The figurines belong to the age-old ”fat woman” tradition that began during the Paleolithic. These goddess-figurines were found together with figurines of birds and other animals, all typical of the whole Eurasian region since the Ice Age.

 

Marija Gimbutas believed that the labyris was a symbol of the Goddess as butterfly. The various stages of the life cycle of this insect can be seen as representing the cycle of life, death and rebirth – or resurrection.

The butterfly in itself frequents Minoan art both on Crete and the surrounding islands, and some places the connection with theGoddess seems obvious, such as this butterfly goddess.

 

The bee and beehives frequent Minoan imagery. The bee was obviously associated with the Goddess, since she is often shown as half woman, half bee. Her sacred snakes coil themselves around beehives... (click title for more)

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Dreams of the "Great Turning" by Meredith Sabini

Dreams of the "Great Turning" by Meredith Sabini | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

We are living at a period of history variously called “the shift” and “the great turning.” A time when the spirit of domination, conquest, heroism, and individualism are on the wane, and a new spirit or zeitgeist is emerging—of cooperation, respect for diversity, and recognition of the interconnectedness of all life.


It’s a challenging and trying time to live through, because these two paradigms are in direct opposition; they are actively and intensely antagonistic. We might wish that the redwood trees on the empty lot at the corner here belonged to the earth, to all of us; but they belong to the owner, who has a right to cut them down, which he did. The international geological society that names the eras, epochs and periods of earth history has recently come to the decision that the Holocene epoch is over and we are now in the Anthropocene, meaning “human-centered.” (Click title for more)

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The Sacred Feminine Today -by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

The Sacred Feminine Today -by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

 

Today there is a resurgence of interest in the sacred feminine. The immense popularity a few years ago of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code spoke not just to our enjoyment of a good thriller but also to the mystery of the divine feminine in Western culture, which is the real thread of the book's chase, from the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa to the search for the grail and the heritage of Mary Magdalene.

 

We know now how the feminine mysteries were present in Greek culture and myth, as imaged in the story of Persephone, and enacted for more than 2,000 years in the initiations at Eleusis. In the early Christianity women had spiritual equality, and the significance of Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved more than others, being the first to see the risen Christ, points to the esoteric significance of the feminine. We have also learned how the power of the sacred feminine was repressed by the Church fathers, and Mary Magdalene purposely misidentified as a prostitute.

 

As we awaken from the repressions of the patriarchy we need to reclaim the sacred feminine both for our individual spirituality and for the well being of the planet. Our ecological devastation...(click title for more)

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A Brief Mythology of Petroleum ~ Craig Chalquist PhD

A Brief Mythology of Petroleum ~ Craig Chalquist PhD | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Oil has also raised a modernized mythology of the subterranean smoking and flaming to the planet surface. Our current state of global crisis looks to a mythological eye like the Underworld is eradicating the upperworld. 

Most people with a basic psychological education know about what Freud named the "repetition compulsion": the human tendency to repeat old patterns even when they disrupt and sadden rather than satisfy.

 

Anyone capable of some degree of self-reflection quickly discovers similarities between friends, bosses, relationship partners with whom we repeat typical situations over and over until we realize what we need from these recurrences. Jung referred to the largely unconscious woundings that drive the compulsion to repeat as "complexes."

 

What goes unnoticed, especially in cultures frozen in an adolescent belief in the delusion of a wholly self-made life free of limitations, is that similar patterns of recurrence play out collectively, in the world at large. At that level the vehicle is not the personal complex, it’s a collective structure: myth, the cultural repository... (Click title for full article)

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Symbols and Signs: Tree of Life and its Meaning

Symbols and Signs: Tree of Life and its Meaning | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
Symbolism of Tree of Life across different cultures, discovering a magical key to how life manifests itself, a complex formula of existence, the flow of creation from Divine to Earth and back to Divine.

 

The Mayan believed heaven to be a wonderful, magical place on Earth hidden by a mystical mountain.  They called this place Tamoanchan.  Heaven, Earth, and Underworld (Xibalba) were connected by the ‘world tree’.  The world tree grew at the locus of creation, all things flowing out from that spot into four directions.  These were: East associated with red, Northrepresented by white, West that is black and South that is yellow.  The Mayan tree of life is a cross with its centre... (Click title for more)

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Susan Scott's curator insight, May 13, 4:29 AM

a wonderful exposition from many traditions revealing its manifold meanings..

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | The Secret Meaning of Myth

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | The Secret Meaning of Myth | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
A simplified life in nature exemplifies the ideal environment for inner growth; this fact has been alluded to in mystical literature, which expressed the need for humbleness, quietude and the beautiful surrounding of the country. You won’t find sacred literature extolling the need for 25,000 square foot castles, or the newest electronic gadget for that matter. The point was made there is a higher purpose to life, other than materialistic or narcissistic acquisitions, this involves serious inner work on our own ignorance. The advice to “Know Thyself” was the quintessence of Greek philosophy, also applies here.
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Depth Insights » American Cerberus: Meditations on Pit Bulls and the Underworld by Elizabeth Selena Zinda

Depth Insights » American Cerberus: Meditations on Pit Bulls and the Underworld by Elizabeth Selena Zinda | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Admired by some as strong and loyal, vilified by others as vicious killers, and cherished by many as sweet family members, pit bull type dogs inhabit extreme and contradicting places in the American imagination. For decades public debate has raged over the nature of pit bulls and their rightful place in communities (“pit bull” is not the name of a specific breed but rather refers to few breeds and mixes, notably the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier).

 

Since pit bulls began to be imagined as inherently dangerous in the 1980s they have been the subjects of wave after wave of negative media representation. Municipalities across the country implemented breed-based regulations and bans, resulting in countless dogs being surrendered to shelters or seized and euthanized. In recent years rescue and advocacy efforts emerged in response, with a shift toward positive representation and public education to debunk myths and...


- See more at: http://www.depthinsights.com/Depth-Insights-scholarly-ezine/american-cerberus-meditations-on-pit-bulls-and-the-underworld-by-elizabeth-selena-zinda/#sthash.N841ysd1.dpuf

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Depth Insights » Jung in the Garden of Eden: A Myth of the Transformation of Consciousness by Arthur George, J.D

Depth Insights » Jung in the Garden of Eden: A Myth of the Transformation of Consciousness by Arthur George, J.D | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis Chapters 2-3) is foundational to our Western culture and has influenced the upbringing and psychology of all of us, whether we realize it or not. Mythologists as well as many biblical scholars recognize the story as being in the genre of myth, which makes it appropriate to analyze it from the perspective of depth psychology, among other approaches.


Indeed, as Joseph Campbell concluded, “This story yields its meaning only to a psychological interpretation” (2001, p. 50). Further, Carl Jung (CW 9.2, para. 230) had already written that “cosmogonic myths are, at bottom, symbols for the coming of consciousness.” But the literature about the Eden story taking such a psychological approach is scant, largely due to traditional and problematic gaps and tensions between academic disciplines....


. - See more at: http://www.depthinsights.com/Depth-Insights-scholarly-ezine/jung-in-the-garden-of-eden-a-myth-of-the-transformation-of-consciousness-arthur-george-j-d/#sthash.nvkjfuuH.dpuf

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Susan Scott's curator insight, May 7, 3:32 AM

thank you - a valuable and interesting exposition

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Psychology is Mythology Hillman

Psychology is Mythology Hillman | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
“Psychology is ultimately mythology, the study of the stories of the soul”
~James Hillman in The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, p. 576 
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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 | Scoop.it

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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Image is Everything: Mythology, Hillman, and Jung

Image is Everything: Mythology, Hillman, and Jung | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Nothing could be more mistaken than to assume that a myth is something ‘thought up.’ It comes into existence of its own accord, as can be observed in all authentic products of fantasy, and particularly in dreams. It is the hybris of consciousness to pretend that everything derives from its primacy, despite the fact that consciousness itself demonstrably comes from an older unconscious psyche.” *

 

When Jung observes that “image is psyche,” (CW 13, §75), or James Hillman writes in this context that “According to Jung, the sine qua non of any consciousness whatsoever is the ‘psychic image,’” (Anima: An Anatomy 95), both men are not just saying that “image is everything” but also that “everything is image.” At any moment we are surrounded by language, images, and motifs created by the unconscious fantasy or myth-making mind (a.k.a. the “psyche” or soul) in its need to understand, make order out of, and create meaning for everyday existence... (Click title for more)

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Re-awakening the Green Man

Re-awakening the Green Man | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
The degradation of our environment is accelerating beyond the point of our being able to repair it. The problems are many and complex—from the destruction of our forests, to the dying off of our fish. Our impure air and water is causing worldwide increases in chronic diseases including severe challenge to our immune systems. Most threatening of all, climate change may raise temperatures and cause extreme weather conditions for thousands of years. Scientists and experts such as Al Gore can show us charts of what is happening, but the facts and figures don’t reach into the depth of our heart and motivate us to change.  Joanna Macy, author and deep ecologist says, “We need to love the world in order to save it.”  Using our intellect in this area is not enough; we need to feel an emotional connection to the planet. Advertisers know that the best way to stir us is through images and stories, often culled from myths that deeply affect our psyche...

 

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Ancient warrior myths help veterans fight PTSD

Ancient warrior myths help veterans fight PTSD | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

A soldier returns home from battle but has brought the war with him. He stares off into the distance, unable to take joy in his family or friends, still hyperalert to threats he no longer faces. Unable to heal his invisible wound, he takes his own life.

 

People have been struggling for thousands of years with the question of how war changes people and what their loved ones can do about it. Some of the answers to this huge social problem can be found in the past, says Michael Meade, who runs myth-filled retreats for veterans called “Voices of Veterans.” (The retreats are part of his larger Seattle-based nonprofit, Mosaic Voices.)

 

Meade calls himself a “mythologist,” and he uses ancient stories from Ireland, Greece, India and other cultures to prod veterans into unloading their experiences and making sense of them over four-day retreats on the West Coast. Veterans in Meade’s program also sing ancient warrior chants together, take part in a “forgiveness” ceremony, and write and recite poetry. He believes that many ancient cultures did a better job of formally welcoming returning warriors home and helping ... (click title for more)

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Can the Gods Be Revived?

Can the Gods Be Revived? | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In October 1913, psychiatrist CG Jung was riding a train in Western Europe. Suddenly, he was caught by an urgent inner vision of floods inundating the continent but sparing Switzerland. On the way back another vision rolled in, this time of seawater turned to blood.

Worried that he was losing his grip, Jung began what he called a "confrontation with the unconscious": a deliberate plunge into upwelling emotions and fantasies long held at bay. Not until a year later did he realize that the images assailing him on the train had signaled the coming outbreak of World War I.

 

Imagistic events that felt personal, Jung realized, could be triggered by collective occurrences. The individual was not psychologically separate from the time, then. "Because I carried the war in me," he wrote in his Red Book, "I foresaw it." By realizing this Jung placed himself beyond psychologies that limited themselves to the personal: my self, my family, my work, my relationships. "We make our era."

 

While teaching himself to use active imagination--basically a conscious daydream state--to dialogue with various figures of the imaginal psyche, Jung...(Click title for more)

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Eva Rider's curator insight, May 13, 2014 5:39 PM

Can the gods be revived in our time? Will imagination be the key to reawakening the gods and ensouling our radically change world?

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James Hillman, The Soul's Code

James Hillman, The Soul's Code | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Jungian analyst and originator of post-Jungian "archetypal psychology," James Hillman is a psychologist, scholar, international lecturer, and the author of over 20 books.

 

Personal Transformation: Your best-selling book, "The Soul's Code," not only introduces, but documents, through fascinating anecdotal stories, the idea that a unique, formed soul is within us from birth, shaping us as much as it is shaped. While this is not a new myth, the possibility that we are fated, or called into life with a uniqueness that asks to be lived, is rejected by our culture. This myth is described as the acorn theory.

Let's begin with a discussion of the acorn theory.

 

James Hillman: It is a worldwide myth in which each person comes into the world with something to do and to be. The myth says we enter the world with a calling. Plato, in his Myth of Er, called this our paradeigma, meaning a basic form that encompasses our entire destinies. This accompanying image shadowing our lives is our bearer of fate and fortune... (Click title for more)

 
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