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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Rescooped by Bonnie Bright from Depth Psych Book Reviews!

The Sleeping King Alchemical Symbols as Manifest in Dream, Alchemy, & Creative Work — by Gary T. Bartlett

The Sleeping King Alchemical Symbols as Manifest in Dream, Alchemy, & Creative Work — by Gary T. Bartlett | Depth Psych |

The king is the central person of order within a kingdom; the medium through which the upper and lower worlds are connected to the middle world of mortal reality. Speaking of the centrality of kingship, John Weir Perry, in Lord of the Four Corners: Myths of the Royal Father (1966) tells us that:

In the symbolic cosmos, the locus of most supreme and intense powerfulness was the axial center, and any figure or object occupying this position became thereby highly numinous and evoked feelings of awe and reverence. For not only was this the focal point at which the world’s powers were concentrated, but even more significantly, it was the connecting link between the three planes of existence, the sky world, the world of man, and the underworld. (pp. 18-19)

The king is also, as the generator and vehicle of the law, the establisher of the boundaries of the realm. This is not a mere geographical feat, but one of cosmic and psychic (Click title to read full article)

Eva Rider's curator insight, February 27, 6:36 PM

Wonderful exploration of the King Archetype and one that is worth rekindling in these times.

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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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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 |

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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Depth Insights » The Coming Storm: Prophetic Dreams and the Climate Crisis by Paco Mitchell

Depth Insights » The Coming Storm: Prophetic Dreams and the Climate Crisis by Paco Mitchell | Depth Psych |

All dreams are laden with anticipatory clues about emerging trends; but a prophetic dream gazes, as it were, past the individual dreamer, to focus upon emergent motifs that confront the entire culture, society or even civilization. This collective, anticipatory potency imparts to prophetic dreams much of their enhanced value. That, plus the enlivening archetypal energies of their images and dramatics.


A prophetic dream enables us to see not just further ahead, in a horizontal, secular sense, but also deeper—into the emergent psycho-spiritual motifs that confront the entire culture, society or even civilization. Such dreams offer a better way for us to form attitudes toward the future than just relying on ego-habits alone. In creating the future, the transpersonal agencies within and behind dreams can help us break up our old assumptions and melt them down to be re-cast in new forms.

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Eva Rider's curator insight, November 9, 2014 4:41 PM

Dreams from the Paco Mitchell

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Patterns and Jungian Depth Psychology

Patterns and Jungian Depth Psychology | Depth Psych |

"The reason Jung says anima/animus is the most difficult piece you are going to come into on your journey to self is because it is so foreign and so remote from how we ordinarily conduct our lives that we can’t see it operating. We’re looking at one reality. It reminds me of a microscope where you are seeing one reality and then you fix on something else and “oh here’s another reality” as you move it up and down.  So the anima in this reference is constantly operating.  She constantly weaves all of the information both seen and unseen and transforms it into appearances.  And, interestingly, she is so good at the variations that 28 people watching an event in a room are experiencing it differently. Not one is experiencing the same reality.  She weaves it in infinite variation.


I am mentioning these patterns because they are part of what is called the eternal and the deeper you go in your journey and the more you can pick up a pattern and recognize pattern, you have access to not only time/space, by time/space I’m talking about doing jumps of time, because patterns are not in time and space as we know it.  They are operating through it.


This is why I keep emphasizing dream work, being able to read pattern.  To read the pattern that you are moving through at this time is to see an eternal pattern emanating in your life about which you have absolutely nothing to say.  So it is best to put yourself into accord.  It serves a larger mystery.


Life’s energy is not devoted to the ego.  It’s devoted and serves your soul.  It doesn’t matter which pattern you discover you are operating in, you always want to catch a glimpse.  It is one tree in the forest of your own interior.  And it always has its complement.  The abandoner is in love with the abandoned.  When it is taken all the way over to an extreme, it is very hard to see the other side.  In fact most of us operate in the extremes of one-sidedness and cast out the other part, which is called projection.  We cast out the unseen part onto everyone or everything else.  It can’t be me.  You’re wrong. 


As you move more and more into the awareness of the heart center, it is way beyond the personal.  You really do catch the suchness of things.  It’s not being viewed through biases and preferences.  It’s being viewed through suchness and this is what gives you the ability to not only see clearly but it gives you the ability to respond clearly"...W.Brugh Joy, MD

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Michael Goodman's curator insight, September 13, 2014 2:26 PM

Via Patricia D...thank you

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A Brief Introduction to C. G. Jung and Analytical Psychology

A Brief Introduction to C. G. Jung and Analytical Psychology | Depth Psych |

Carl Gustav Jung was the best known member of the group that formed the core of the early psychoanalytic movement—followers and students of Sigmund Freud. After completing his medical studies, Jung obtained a position at the Burghoelzli Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. There he worked with patients suffering from schizophrenia, while also conducting word association research.

In 1904 Jung corresponded with Freud about this latter work and also began to use Freud's psychoanalytic treatment with his patients. In 1906 Freud invited Jung to Vienna, and they began a professional relationship. Freud soon began to favor Jung as his successor in the new and growing psychoanalytic movement.

Through Freud's efforts, Jung was appointed Permanent President of the Association of Psycho-Analysis at its Second Congress in 1910. Jung and Freud held in common an understanding of the profound role of the unconscious. Their understanding of the nature of the unconscious, however, began to diverge. This led to a painful break between the two men... (Click title for more)

Carol Sherriff's curator insight, August 8, 2014 5:02 AM

Interesting introduction to Jung's work. For facilitators perhaps best known for developing archetypes that underpin facilitation tools such as Heroes' Journey (my preference to Hero's)

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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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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, 2014 4:17 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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Robert Romanyshyn, a Man in Touch with the Soul of the World

Robert Romanyshyn, a Man in Touch with the Soul of the World | Depth Psych |

Healing of the heart broken in grief begins in reverie,” Robert Romanyshyn declares in his moving, soul-evoking book, The Soul in Grief: Love, Death and Transformation, “and not in our efforts to interpret our tragedies.”


I am blessed a hundred fold for having read this small treasure. It reads like poetry and touches your soul like a silken whisper. Romanyshyn went on to marry again and to take up the challenge of speaking for and witnessing to all that is precious and marginalized and passing away: “Each of us has a vocation to become a spokesperson for all that is fading but, at this moment, endures.” It is necessary, he believes, for each person to become an “apostle of grief” who by his or her witnessing presence refuses to contribute his or her energies to the destructive dreams of the culture.

He calls for an ethical epistemology that would “speak the aesthetic appeals of the world.” “We live in an an-aesthetic time, in a time we are benumbed in our feeling function and insensitive to the plight of the world... (Click title for more)

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Greek Gods in Mythology and as Archetypes in Your Personality

Greek Gods in Mythology and as Archetypes in Your Personality | Depth Psych |
Who are the Greek gods? Their myths and symbols and their role as archetypes (personality types) with an introduction to the popular online personality test that reveals your god or goddess type.

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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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Psychology and Fairy Tales--by Carrie Hughes

Psychology and Fairy Tales--by Carrie Hughes | Depth Psych |

Beginning with the fathers of the field, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, psychoanalysts have turned to fairy tales in an effort to understand the human mind. This is accomplished in two ways—either by studying the psychology and needs of the creators of these stories or by examining the characters in the stories. Just as many fairy tales hinge upon a revelation of the truth about those who have been somehow disguised, so too, fairy tales cut to the essence of the human psyche.


Freud suspected that dreams and fairy tales stem from the same place, and the relaxation of inhibition that occurs in the dream state is also true of many story tellers. So fairy tales might prove, like dreams, windows into the unconscious.... (click title to read more)

Belkacem Nabout's curator insight, December 11, 2013 1:55 PM

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Eva Rider's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:04 AM

In my workshops, synthesizing the symbolic elements in fairy tales, dreams with our personal life myths, we can weave new patterns with in the larger tapestry. The personal and collective intetwine in colourful and unexpected ways but the story always leads us towards healing through love.

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Halloween, Masks and Your Shadow: What’s Jung Got To Do With It?

Halloween, Masks and Your Shadow: What’s Jung Got To Do With It? | Depth Psych |

Psychologist and Spiritual Philosopher Carl Jung developed the theory of “The Shadow”. The shadow is the monster inside of us, and the darker part of ourselves that is hidden from the world and ourselves - and we all have shadow selves. Aspects representing the shadow do not “fit” with parts of our psyche, therefore we repress them as they remain tucked into a deep corner of our mind.

Jung taught that by denying these shadows hidden deep within ourselves, we project them onto others, therefore using them as scapegoats instead of facing our own unacceptable depths. Typically, this is followed by criticism and blame towards others or external systems, diverting our attention away from those unwanted parts of ourselves we would rather not ... (Click title for more)

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Depth Insights » Symbolism and Synchronicity: The Art of the Tarot   ~ by Suzanne Cremen Davidson

Depth Insights » Symbolism and Synchronicity: The Art of the Tarot   ~ by Suzanne Cremen Davidson | Depth Psych |

‘Archetype’ refers to a principle or agency which organizes and structures psychic imagery into specific patterns or motifs (mythologemes) and constellations of persons in action (mythemes).


Our conscious images are archetypal when they possess an archaic content or when they are primarily derived from mythological motifs. Archetypes can also be described as ‘partial personalities’ appearing in myth, art, literature, and religion the world over, as well as in dreams, family roles, personal emotions and pathologies….In Jungian psychology archetypes are arranged under such names as shadow, persona, ego (hero), anima, animus, puer (eternal youth), senex (Old Wise Man), trickster, Great Mother, healer, Self. (Avens, 1980, p. 42)

We intuitively experience the presence of these archetypes in the image of each card in the Major Arcana: the Magician, the High Priestess, the Emperor, the Hierophant, the Lovers, Strength... (Click title for more)

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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 |

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...

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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 |

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....)

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

The answer might be Yes, who knows! 

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Carl Gustav Jung and Synchronicity, Archetypes, and the Collective Unconscious

Carl Gustav Jung and Synchronicity, Archetypes, and the Collective Unconscious | Depth Psych |

Jung created the term synchronicity to describe the alignment of "universal forces"with the life experiences of an individual. Jung believed that many experiences perceived as coincidences were not merely due to chance, but instead reflected the creation of an event or circumstance by the "coinciding" or alignment of such forces. The process of becoming intuitively aware and acting in harmony with these forces is what Jung labeled "individuation". Jung said that an individuated person would actually shape events around them through the communication of their consciousness with the collective unconscious


Jung coined the term “collective unconscious” to refer to that part of a person's unconscious which is common to all human beings, as opposed to personal unconscious, which is unique to each individual. According to Jung the collective unconscious contains archetypes, which are... (Click title for more)

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Quotes from “Memories, Dreams, and Reflections” by C.G. Jung

Quotes from “Memories, Dreams, and Reflections” by C.G. Jung | Depth Psych |

“The decisive question for a man is: is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interest upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance. Thus we demand that the world grant us recognition for qualities we regard as personal possessions: our talent and our beauty.

The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life. He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy. If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change. In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.

In our relationships to other men, too, the crucial question is whether an element of boundlessness is expressed in the relationship.” (Click title for more)

maria taveras's curator insight, September 6, 2014 9:05 PM

A treasure of a book for those who seek a deeper understanding of their authentic nature. 

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Quotes from C.G. Jung On The Shadow

Quotes from C.G. Jung On The Shadow | Depth Psych |
Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.
"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131
"Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it.The Integration of the Personality. (1939) (Click title for more)
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Re-awakening the Green Man

Re-awakening the Green Man | Depth Psych |
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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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, 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 |

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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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.

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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, 2014 10:09 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.