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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Lessons of Jung's Encounter with Native Americans

Lessons of Jung's Encounter with Native Americans | Depth Psych |

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1973) Jung described his encounter with Native Americans he met in New Mexico in 1925.  This event, though brief, had a profound effect on Jung, and he referred to it many times in his writings. He commented that his experience in New Mexico made him aware of his imprisonment "in the cultural consciousness of the white man" (Jung, 1973, p. 247).

At the Taos pueblo, Jung spoke for the first time with a non-white, a Hopi elder named Antonio Mirabal (also known as Ochwiay Biano and Mountain Lake), who said that whites were always uneasy and restless: "We do not understand them. We think that they are mad" (Jung, 1973, p. 248). Jung asked him why he thought the whites were mad, and the reply was " 'They say that they think with their heads . . . . We think here,' he said, indicating his heart" (p. 248).

Impressed, Jung said he realized that Mountain Lake had unveiled a significant truth about whites. To Jung the Indians he met appeared to be tranquil and dignified, which Jung attributed to their belief that (as Mountain Lake explained) through their religious practice, they helped the sun cross the sky every day. Jung believed this belief and practice served the function of making the Indians' ... (Click title for more)

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Carl Jung and I Ching

Carl Jung and I Ching | Depth Psych |

In his introduction to the English version of I Ching made by one of his acquaintance, Jung admits having practiced the oracle 30 years before meeting Richard Wilhelm, the German translator of the book. He was interested in the method of exploration of the unconscious. He said:


"For more than thirty years I have interested myself in this oracle technique, or method of exploring the unconscious, for it has seemed to me of uncommon significance. I was already fairly familiar with the I Ching when I first met Wilhelm in the early nineteen twenties; he confirmed for me then what I already knew, and taught me many things more. (Foreword to the I Ching) ."


Using the oracle with his patients in psychotherapy Jung could remember a great deal of meaningful answers. He recalled the story of a patient stuck between ambivalent feelings related to... (Click title for more)

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A Jungian Analyst Talks about Psychological Types

A Jungian Analyst Talks about Psychological Types | Depth Psych |

John Beebe, M.D., is a Jungian analyst, editor of the San Francisco Jung Library Journal, co-editor of the Journal of Analytical Psychology, and an expert on Jung's psychological types.

While many people have become familiar with psychological types as a way of examining the differences between people, Dr. Beebe has been pioneering their use intrapsychically as a way to explore the depths of the psyche.

Trained at the Jung Institute in San Francisco with its strong tradition of interest in typology, in this wonderfully informal interview he gives us an intimate glimpse of what this neglected dimension of typology looks like in practice. He explains how his analysands often come to their own insights into their psychological types, and how he, himself, discovered the importance of dreams through his own depression, and encountered his own anima in the form of a Chinese laundress. And he deals with related questions about types and archetypes, and types and the inferior... (Click title for more)

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A New View of Depth Psychology's Link to the Astrological Tradition — A Review of Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View by Richard Tarnas

A New View of Depth Psychology's Link to the Astrological Tradition — A Review of Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View by Richard Tarnas | Depth Psych |

As a practicing astrologer, I have studied many books on astrology but this new work by Richard Tarnas is by far the best one I have read in many years. Tarnas, a respected scholar and cultural historian, wrote his first book, The Passion of the Western Mind, in 1991. It was a best seller and is still widely used in universities today.

Tarnas describes his latest book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, as scandalous because it supports astrology by presenting the results of his 30 year long study of planetary alignments and how they correlate to historic patterns of human culture. This work outlines a fundamental transformation in the way we see and understand our world. He combines astrology with Jung's theories of archetypes, the collective unconscious and synchronicity. I believe that this book is destined to be a classic, not only among astrologers, but philosophers, historians and students of culture as well.

Cosmos and Psyche builds on the work of Carl Jung's idea of archetypes. Tarnas says, "We can define an archetype as a universal principle, or force that affects-impels, structures, permeates-the human psyche and the world of human experience...(Click title for more)


Eva Rider's curator insight, May 23, 1:17 AM

More on the astonishing, pivotal opus by Richard Tarnas.

Submerging oneself in this work subtly begins to dissolve, transform  and transfigure the lens through which self has gazed out at  the  universe throughout western recorded history.

A new paradigm carefully mapped, navigated and imagined with radiant hope as its compass.



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Ensouled on the Planet by Marion Woodman

Ensouled on the Planet by Marion Woodman | Depth Psych |

NR: You have said we have to overcome our addictions before we can connect to nature.  Does our refusal to confront our addictions lead directly to our destruction of Mother Earth?

MW: I think so, yes. As children many of us feel a deep connection to Her.  But our culture warps our natural instincts. That warping leads to addictions.  But there’s a suicidal drive in the addicted individual and in the addicted society.  Our planet is coming up against the wall.  

Yet, despite all the horrors we have created, we are still doing precisely what we know will be ultimately destructive. Denial!  Denial!  We are still accepting a cultural value that annihilates the Earth. If we don’t change, we are going to our own extinction.  This is precisely what addicts do.  Addicts—in other words most of our society—pretend there’s nothing wrong.  As they laugh and talk and plan, they deny their dying souls.  That’s what we’re doing to the planet.  We fight about things that won’t matter if we are extinct...(Click title for more)

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Great Mother Archetype

Great Mother Archetype | Depth Psych |

In Container, the third article in my series on leaving home, I wrote briefly about what can happen when a child’s need for balanced “containment” and nurturance are not met in the family of origin, and she grows up uncontained, unprotected, and without nurture. The opposite can happen, of course, and a child can grow up over-protected by an over-involved mother or father, as in the case of some religiously home schooled children, for example. And it is to the concept of opposites and ends of the bell curve that we must now turn, for when we write in Jungian terms about mothers, we are writing not only one’s own actual mother, but about the archetype of mother, one Jung referred to as theGreat Mother.

Jung believed that the influence of the mother on a child derived not only from the actual mother, but also from the Great Mother archetype, a universal image or symbol, along with influences from the child’s own psyche. The child’s idea of “mother” may or may not correspond accurately to the actual mother, then, depending on the child’s... (click title for more

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The Shamanic Perspective: Where Jungian Thought and Archetypal Shamanism Converge

The Shamanic Perspective: Where Jungian Thought and Archetypal Shamanism Converge | Depth Psych |

Studies in anthropology led Jung to adopt into psychology a concept prevalent in shamanic societies: that of soul loss. Typically recognized as a state of general malaise, soul loss provides another common thread between both Jungian psychology and shamanism.


Soul loss is a fragmentary sequence in which parts of the whole wander away, flee, or get split off, lost, or disoriented resulting in a loss of vitality or life force (Ingerman, 1991). In a shamanic worldview, the dislocated parts are carried away to the underworld; in psychology, they are said to recede into the unconscious.


With the critical absence of vital parts of our soul, we are left feeling weak, empty, depressed, deflated, or anxious, and commonly trend toward mental or physical illness. Jung cited the loss of connection between our ego and the Self as the fundamental cause of soul loss... (Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, May 6, 12:27 PM

Anyone on a Spiritual journey is too well familiar with the experience of soul loss. It is also what has been called "the dark night of the soul".

It is often only "Grace" that transforms this state and redeposits us back into the topside world again. When we return, (if we return) we are are not the same. Transformed, because we have been through a death and re-birth either metaphorically or physically. We become the Initiated and are required to pass on the knowledge and wisdom we have gained in the underworld journeys.

Some of the Images for the transformed state in western myth that we recognize are the butterfly and the phoenix and the redeemed god.

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Carl Jung & Astrology: The Freud/Jung Letters

In May of 1911 Dr. Carl G Jung (1875-1961) wrote his (at that time) mentor Sigmund Freud saying: "Occultism is another field we shall have to conquer - with the aid of the libido theory, it seems to me. At the moment I am looking into astrology, which seems indispensable for a proper understanding of mythology. There are strange and wondrous things in these lands of darkness."


Jung, then, cautiously added: "Please don't worry about my wanderings in these infinitudes. I shall return laden with rich booty for our knowledge of the human psyche.... For a while longer I must intoxicate myself on magic perfumes in order to fathom the secrets that lie hidden in the abysses of the unconscious..." (Click title for more)

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Love and lust the two eternal archetypes of “collective unconscious.”

Love and lust the two eternal archetypes of “collective unconscious.” | Depth Psych |
Love (nurturing) and lust (hatred and selfishness) are two eternal archetypes of human nature and collective unconscious. These two archetypes can be merged into the bigger archetypes of mother earth and shadow as envisaged by the Jung.

Via Zeteticus, Eva Rider
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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 9, 10:40 PM

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

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ARE WE POSSESSED? | Depth Psych |

C. G. Jung, the great doctor of the soul and one of the most inspired psychologists of the twentieth century, had incredible insight into what is currently playing out, both individually and collectively, in our modern-day world. He writes, “If, for a moment, we look at mankind as one individual, we see that it is like a man carried away by unconscious powers.” We are a species carried away — “possessed” by — and acting out, the unconscious. (Image from Lantern Hollow Press)


Jung elaborates, “Possession, though old-fashioned, has by no means become obsolete; only the name has changed. Formerly they spoke of ‘evil spirits,’ now we call them ‘neurosis’ or ‘unconscious complexes.’” To condescendingly think that we, as modern-day, rational people, are too sophisticated to believe in something as primitive as demons is to have fallen under the spell of the very evil spirits we are imagining are nonexistent. What the ancients call demons are a psychic phenomena which compel us to act out behaviors contrary to our best intentions...

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Eva Rider's curator insight, March 19, 10:28 PM

Are we possessed? Addiction is possession. How do we awaken and break the spell?

Laura Smith's curator insight, March 20, 8:31 AM

An extremely long and interesting article about how we become a slave to our false perceptions of who we are and of who we think others are...In Archetypal Dreamwork, we refer to pathology as the "demon" that gets in and takes over, driving us to act or believe in ways that are not true to our soul. As a colleague stated recently, pathology is a force that moves us further from God, or said differently, further from our soul. Mr. Levy speaks, as did Jung, about the "mass possession" in which a whole group or society suffers from and acts out the neurosis. Perhaps our continual pursuit of the proverbial "more" is and example of this and the devastation to our planet is the consequence.

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Sophia: Gnostic Archetype of Feminine Wisdom

Sophia: Gnostic Archetype of Feminine Wisdom | Depth Psych |

The Gnostics recognized the condition of exile as more than an event in history.  They saw it as having a profound cosmic and even transcosmic dimension.  The human spirit, they held, is quite literally a stranger in a strange land.  "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child," laments the American spiritual.  The Gnostics would have agreed and might have been tempted to replace "sometimes" with "always".

The exile may indeed find himself in a dark land, but his very awareness of the darkness can also reveal a light on the path to freedom.  So also, the awareness of our alieness and recognition of our place of exile for what it is are the first great steps on the path of return.  We begin to rise as soon as we realize that we have fallen.
The predicament of exile and alienation is not confined to humanity nor does it originate at the human level.  Long before there was a cosmos as we know it, a great drama of exile and return was played out in the story of the divine feminine being named Sophia.  Having resided in the lofty height of eternal Fullness... (Click title to read full article)

Bonnie Bright's comment, February 11, 12:39 AM
Truly excellent telling of the story...I really understood Sophia and gnosticism on a new level by reading this!
Eva Rider's curator insight, February 28, 8:55 PM

A History of Sophia

Kati Sarvela's curator insight, March 9, 8:50 AM

My Inner Wisdom was called Sophia in my self-reflective journaling process :D!


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Zombie Apocalypse: a symbol of collective transformation

Zombie Apocalypse:  a symbol of collective transformation | Depth Psych |

Given a plethora of television shows and films about zombies, what is a Jungian to see but a collective attempt to dream the unsayable.  Carl Jung showed that what cannot be worked through at the conscious level is often worked through at the unconscious level, in symbolic fantasy (CW 5, para 4-45).


 Encountering that for which there is yet no fantasy, we confront the limits of sense.  For the collective social body, film and art are an unconscious attempt to work through collective transformation at the limits of reason and sense.  In the case of zombie movies and the growing zombie apocalypse movement, we may be seeing an attempt to dream ‘apocalyptic’ change.


Zombie are the  ‘Undead’: not living, not dead, driven yet not alive, the zombie images emerge from the recesses of the collective unconscious.  Animated yet with out life, they move.  Driven, yet without desire, they seek. ....(Click title to read more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, January 22, 7:56 PM

T.V. Shows about Zombies and movies about being alone and adrift in the world, in the cosmos, in the stratosphere. We are floating and stranded between worlds. As systems break down, dissolve and transform. We find our old mythologies have lost their meaning and the new ones have not yet been formed. We are in an epoch of unprecedented change stretching the limits of our imaginations in our seeking for reanimating Body and Soul.


Mandy Webster's curator insight, February 7, 6:56 AM

A psychological explanation for the literary world's current obsession with zombies. The zombies are US!

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Foreword to the I Ching - By C. G. Jung

Foreword to the I Ching - By C. G. Jung | Depth Psych |

Carl Jung's foreward to the "Book of Changes" about the IChing 


Since I am not a sinologue, a foreword to the Book of Changes from my hand must be a testimonial of my individual experience with this great and singular book. It also affords me a welcome opportunity to pay tribute again to the memory of my late friend, Richard Wilhelm. He himself was profoundly aware of the cultural significance of his translation of the I Ching, a version unrivaled in the West.


If the meaning of the Book of Changes were easy to grasp, the work would need no foreword. But this is far from being the case, for there is so much that is obscure about it that Western scholars have tended to dispose of it as a collection of "magic spells," either too abstruse to be intelligible, or of no value whatsoever. Legge's translation of the I Ching, up to now the only version available in English, has done little to make the work accessible to Western minds.[1]Wilhelm, however, has made every effort to open the way to an understanding of the symbolism of the text...

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Memories, Dreams, Reflections: A Rare Glimpse Inside Iconic Psychiatrist Carl Jung’s Mind

Memories, Dreams, Reflections: A Rare Glimpse Inside Iconic Psychiatrist Carl Jung’s Mind | Depth Psych |
"…the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."


In the spring of 1957, at the age of 84, legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung (July 26, 1875–June 6, 1961) set out to tell his life’s story. He embarked upon a series of conversations with his colleague and friend, Aniela Jaffe, which he used as the basis for the text.


At times, so powerful was his drive for expression that he wrote entire chapters by hand. He continued to work on the manuscript until shortly before his death in 1961. The result was Memories, Dreams, Reflections — a fascinating peek behind the curtain of Jung’s mind, revealing... (Click title for more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, June 20, 9:47 PM

This is Jung's only autobiography and it continues to live and deepen our understanding into the humaness that was Jung and offer solace for those of us who seek meaning to the mysteries of the soul throughout life and beyond. I have it at my fingertips always.


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Types of Personality

Types of Personality | Depth Psych |

The word “personality” often gets used pretty broadly today: we talk of someone “having personality” or “being a personality” – meaning that there’s something particularly expressive or obvious or typical about the way they conduct or express themselves; we talk about showbiz or sporting “personalities” – meaning they have a profile and a way about them that attracts attention.


Carl Jung’s theories have been around for almost 100 years now and are still very influential on the way that psychologists think about personality. As the table below illustrates, Jung proposed four pairs of “either or” mental preferences or what can be seen as “mental muscles”. We all have both preferences but one in each pair will be dominant over the other. Each item pair is described on the left of the chart with the word in red on the right explaining in one word what it is essentially targeting. Although this is certainly not the only way to classify personality, Jung’s model has been widely used on an... (Click title for more)

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“The Red Book” by Carl Jung: A Primer For Healing Madness In A Mad World

“The Red Book” by Carl Jung: A Primer For Healing Madness In A Mad World | Depth Psych |

Through his meticulous design of The Red Book, Carl G. Jung interwove his experience of madness with the collective suffering of his era. Such syntheses are rare — and just what the current mental health field desperately needs. In what follows, I look at how The Red Book became Jung’s journey out of madness as well as the foundation for his analytical psychology. Even today, over 50 years after his death, Jung’s analytical psychology is a relevant, non-pathologizing method for transcending madness, while also relating individual suffering to the larger collective.

The Ways of Jung’s World

In the early twentieth century, when Jung was “flooded” with “an enigmatic stream” that threatened to break him, the field of psychology was just beginning to make a science of the study of madness. Practitioners still acknowledged the wisdom of artists, novelists, and poets with regards to the nature of the human psyche. The soul was still in need of cure, and hearts were broken as much as brains. There were perhaps five diagnoses in use...(Click title for more)



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Can the Gods Be Revived?

Can the Gods Be Revived? | Depth Psych |

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)

Eva Rider's curator insight, May 13, 2:39 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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Managing the Psychological Stress Caused by Climate Change and Environmental Issues

Managing the Psychological Stress Caused by  Climate Change and Environmental Issues | Depth Psych |

Once people believe that they cannot do anything to change a situation, they tend to react in all sorts of unhelpful ways. They may become dependent on others (i.e., by believing that the government or corporations will fix things, or that technology has all the answers), resigned ("if it happens, it happens"), cynical ("there's no way you can stop people from driving their cars everywhere - convenience is more important to most people than looking after the environment"), or fed up with the topic.


Although environmental threats are real and can be frightening, remaining in a state of heightened distress is not helpful for ourselves or for others. We generally cope better, and are more effective at making changes, when we are calm and rational.


People who are concerned about the environment, and are trying to make a positive difference, need to look after themselves to keep their enthusiasm and motivation up, and to protect themselves from disillusionment or burn out. The following suggestions may help you to ‘stick with it'.

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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 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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Wolfgang Pauli, Carl Jung, and the Acausal Connecting Principle: A Case Study in Transdisciplinarity

Wolfgang Pauli, Carl Jung, and the Acausal Connecting Principle: A Case Study in Transdisciplinarity | Depth Psych |

Nicolescu’s quest for “a space of knowledge beyond the disciplines”4 is exemplified by the Pauli-Jung collaboration aimed at explication of a unifying or connecting principle bridging the gap between mind and matter.  Jung’s theory of synchronicity posited that certain events-often called coincidences-actually reveal the operation of an acausal connection between mental and physical events through meaning. Jung’s paradigmatic example of a synchronicity occurred during a therapy session.

In this session, his patient was in the midst of relating an intense dream she had had in which someone gave her a piece of gold jewelry in the shape of a scarab beetle. As she related the dream, Jung heard a tapping sound on the office window, which was caused by a very large insect flying repeatedly against the glass. He opened the window, and in flew a small goldish-green colored scarabeid beetle. The connection between the woman telling the dream and the appearance of the actual beetle is non-causal – the inner dream experience did not.... (click title to read entire post)

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Carl Jung on Death

Carl Jung on Death | Depth Psych |

“We are so convinced that death is simply the end of a process that it does not ordinarily occur to us to conceive of death as a goal and a fulfillment.”

“It would seem to be more in accord with the collective psyche of humanity to regard death as the fulfillment of life’s meaning and as its goal in the truest sense, instead of a meaningless cessation.”

“Death is the hardest thing from the outside and as long as we are outside of it. But once inside you taste of such completeness and peace and fulfillment that you don’t want to return.”

“…death appears as a joyful event. In light of eternity, it is a wedding…The soul attains, as it were, its missing half, it achieves wholeness.... (Click title to read more)

Eva Rider's curator insight, March 27, 10:46 PM

In the end lies the beginning....

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Archetype - Definition and Examples

Archetype - Definition and Examples | Depth Psych |

In literature, an archetype is a typical character, an action or a situation that seems to represent such universal patterns of human nature.

An archetype, also known as universal symbol, may be a character, a theme, a symbol or even a setting. Many literary critics are of the opinion that archetypes, which have a common and recurring representation in a particular human culture or entire human race, shape the structure and function of a literary work.

Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist, argued that the root of an archetype is in the “collective unconscious” of mankind. The phrase “collective unconscious” refers to experiences shared by a race or culture. This includes love, religion, death, birth, life, struggle, survival etc. These experiences exist in the subconscious of every individual and are recreated in literary works or in other forms of art. (Click title for more)

Michael Goodman's curator insight, March 29, 7:09 AM

Via Bonnie Bright...thank you! And thank you for the vast resource of wisdom and knowledge from the Jungian community and beyond that you continue to share so generously.


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Jung's Theory of Dreams

Jung's Theory of Dreams | Depth Psych |

Why do we have dreams? Where do they originate? Do they have meaning? Are dreams of any value to us, or are they just so much nonsense? These questions have puzzled thinkers since the dawn of humanity. Every culture in the world has offered explanations. For instance, the Australian Aborigines believe that what we consider the realm of dreams is the real world (the Dreamtime), and the world we experience with our senses is a dream.


C.G. Jung put forth a theory of dreams which is quite popular today. Following in the footsteps of Sigmund Freud, Jung claimed that dream analysis is the primary way to gain knowledge of the unconscious mind. He says that the dream is a natural phenomenon which we can study, thereby gaining knowledge of the hidden part of our mind.... (Click here for more....)

Ike Cerrada's curator insight, February 3, 12:15 PM

The fabulous world of dreams...