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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The Dis-Ease of the Western Mind

The Dis-Ease of the Western Mind | Depth Psych |

Science made great progress by dissecting the outside world into parts and manipulating the parts: this became the basis of modern technology. And the West fell in love with technology, more exactly, with the powers over people and nature conferred by technology. It relegated the felt “inside” world of value, feeling, and spirit to religion and spirituality, to be celebrated on Sundays and holidays. It made the manipulation of the “outside” world its true concern: the woof and wharf of modern economics and politics, the way relations between people, and between people and nature, are decided and conducted.

This historical backdrop might explain how it is that the West ended up with an impersonal, mechanical, atomized world as its “real” world. But it doesn’t say how the Western mind actually operates, why it sees the world as an impersonal, mechanical aggregate of atomistic parts. But cognitive neuroscience can tell us more... (Click title for full article)

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The Epoch of Soul Revisited

The Epoch of Soul Revisited | Depth Psych |

I was beginning to become aware of a movement in the collective psyche that would bring about what I called the Epoch of Soul, but I was still seeing imperfectly. The vision is still not entirely clear, but it is coming into sharper focus. The Epoch of Soul is nearing, but it has not yet arrived, as much as wishful thinking would desire it. Humanity is still somewhat within the confines of what Jean Gebser calls the “mental-rational” mode of consciousness. It is deteriorating, and has been since the rise of perspective during the Renaissance. It would seem that we are in the last throes of the overemphasis on the mental-rational, if events of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries are reliable indicators...(Click title for more)

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Eva Rider's curator insight, August 12, 2015 1:25 AM

The Epoch of Soul - Are we on the brink? What can we do to usher in this era now/

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Jung and Synchronicity: The Union of Nature and Psyche

Jung and Synchronicity: The Union of Nature and Psyche | Depth Psych |

C.G. Jung determined that the psychological and physical features we perceive in the world are dual aspects of one underlying reality (Pauli et al., 2001). He came to view mind and matter as a continuum, with psyche located on one end and the physiological instinct on the other, and the archetype serving as the bridge between them (C. G. Jung, 1947/1985, p. 216), though he ultimately expressed a desire to do away with a theory of psychophysical parallelism altogether in lieu of a unitary reality known as the unus mundus, a union of spirit, soul and body (C. G. Jung, 1958/1978a, p. 452).

Pointing to ways in which inanimate objects seem to “collaborate” with the unconscious by forming symbolic patterns, Jung even cited instances where clocks stop at the moment of their owner’s passing, or where items break within a home where someone is going through a powerful emotional crisis. Click title to read more...

Susan Scott's curator insight, May 7, 2015 3:16 AM

I loved this - so insightful and broadening. Thank you.

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Mercury Retrograde and the Imagination

Mercury Retrograde and the Imagination | Depth Psych |

The purpose of this post isn’t going to be about what you think it’s going to be about.

You read the word imagination in the title, but actually I’m going to talk about the word in a different way.

And so this little exchange will be a good example of how the mind works when Mercury is retrograde. Or rather what we see about the nature of our habitual mind and the way it works. Which is usually predictable and reactive — thinking but not really understanding.

Mercury retrogrades can be a fortuitous time to foster understanding, because the mental process of the mind is heightened, more engaged and possibly — with a little effort — more present. In fact, compared to its normal rhythm, the mind is liable to feel charged with Mercurial quicksilver.

So what I’m talking about here is this: (Click on the title for more)

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Awaken from the Illusion of Separateness

Awaken from the Illusion of Separateness | Depth Psych |

"We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness"

- Thich Nhat Hanh

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On wounding... from Rumi

On wounding... from Rumi | Depth Psych |

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

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Depth Insights » Traveling the Royal Road: A Personal Encounter With the Word Association Test By Drew H. Smith

Depth Insights » Traveling the Royal Road: A Personal Encounter With the Word Association Test By Drew H. Smith | Depth Psych |

In his lectures at the Tavistock Clinic, C. G. Jung (1968) addressed an eager and engaged audience with his exciting application of word association tests. While explaining the simple procedure of speaking a word to a patient, recording their reply word, and timing the space that hangs in between the two, he says something quite profound. He talks of the original intent of this “test”—it was meant to study mental associations—and explained this proved to be too idealistic.

But what could be studied, however, were the mistakes. Jung said, “You ask a simple word that a child can answer, and a highly intelligent person cannot reply. Why? That word has hit on what I call a complex” (p. 53). Complexes, as defined by Jung...(Click title for more)

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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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Jung, Individuation, and Shamanism

Jung, Individuation, and Shamanism | Depth Psych |
According to historian and philosopher Mircea Eliade, shamanism has been around for millennia, practically as long as humans have existed. In recent decades, the archetype of shamanism has experienced a rebirth. With growing consciousness, more and more individuals are recognizing spontaneously and consistently what our indigenous ancestors knew: that there is a divine intelligence at work in the universe, a life force of love andlight, of which, by nature and birthright, we are an integral part. 
Anne Baring (2007), psychologist and author, notes that C.G. Jung himself commented on the capacity of humans to respond to this greater force, saying:
The archetypal image of the wise man, the saviour or redeemer, lies buried and dormant in man's unconscious since the dawn of culture; it is awakened whenever the times are out of joint and a human society is committed to a serious error...These primordial images are … called into being by the waywardness of the general outlook. When conscious life is characterised by one-sidedness and by a false attitude, they are activated…"instinctively" … in the dreams of individuals and the visions of artists and seers... (Click title for more)
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Carl Jung on How Symbols Arise in Dreams to Explain the Unconscious

Carl Jung on How Symbols Arise in Dreams to Explain the Unconscious | Depth Psych |

"Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious, new contents, which have never yet been conscious, can arise from it," wrote Carl Gustav Jung, pointing to the critical importance of translating the symbols which show up in our lives through dreams, art, mythology, film, literature and dozens of other sources.


In Man and His Symbols, Jung spoke eloquently about the way symbols communicate the contents of the unconscious to us, saying...


"Because there are innumerable things beyond the range of human understanding, we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we cannot define or fully comprehend. This is one reason why all religions employ symbolic language or images . But this conscious use of symbols is only one aspect of a psychological fact of great importance: Man also produces symbols unconsciously and spontaneously, in the form of dreams.... (Click title for more)

Viviana Puebla's curator insight, October 16, 2014 9:14 PM

Is  important to pay attention to symbolic language of the dreams, even if it displeases us like the nightmares we may have from time to time. They can teach us ways to understand better how we came to be and why we  choose to walk like this in the path of conscious life.


In the middle of the night ,covered by the protection of the dream world,  we tend to re-live those feeling who never acquire the proper wording so they never came to be in the light of the concious world.


Sometimes because they were dismissed , others, because we forget about what we don´t like  to disturb us  in the speedways of our existence.

But they are not forgotten by our inner self so they must acquire a voice of their own to be Heard by us in our life.



The painful feelings of loss and betrayal  re-lived in our dreams can affect our moods and preconceptions of our daily conscious life.


And by these the veils of the uncertainty of what is was and what is real now.

We start to re-enact those feelings searching for the clues of how they came to be unespected as we think they are, unwanted as they start to overthrow our world of day light : We become suspicious, sadder and angrier lossing ourselves in the mistranslations of the deeper meaning of this sensations. Affecting our relationships and our ability to function in life


Paying attention to the languaging of our dreams, tending the dreamworld means to start to understand this feelings and sensations in the ligth of the inner reaches of our unconcious , turning inwards to the symbolic, not outwards searching  scaping goats of our past experiencies.


Keeping us from the shadows of others but taking the toll of a live half lived. Until we decide to look and face this uncertainties as ours and because of that , looking for the way to make the sound of this symbolic language our way to converse and reach out the deeper meaning of our existence


Nightmares can effectively gallop wildly,  trembling the path of our existence, or if we learn to listen with attention and care to their symbolic languaging,  become our best friends and wise counsellors in the dawn of  our waking life


Dreams and symbols became the treasure map to our inner Gold.

Working towards a soul full life is an unexpected  and extraordinary journey. 


In order to Achieve complete fulfillment in life we must Become whole  again , to be able to recapture the discarded parts of ourselves entails the wisdom of hearing  the sounds and whispers of the language of  the life of the symbols in dreams  that give us the ability to Voice our Soul.


maria taveras's curator insight, September 14, 2015 10:30 PM

The C.G. Jung Center is pleased to announce "Snakes, Dragons and Other Scaly Creatures " a conference and exhibition of C.G.Jung Red Book on March 5th, 2016 in New York City. For info. go to http://snakesanddragonsnyc.eventbrite 

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"The Consciousness Revolution" by Graham Hancock

"The Consciousness Revolution" by Graham Hancock | Depth Psych |

Consciousness is one of the great mysteries of science – perhaps the greatest mystery. We all know we have it, when we think, when we dream, when we savour tastes and aromas, when we hear a great symphony, when we fall in love, and it is surely the most intimate, the most sapient, the most personal part of ourselves.


Yet no one can really claim to have understood and explained it completely. There’s no doubt it’s associated with the brain in some way but the nature of that association is far from clear. In particular how do these three pounds of material stuff inside our skulls allow us to have experiences?

 ... True, if you damage certain areas of the brain certain areas of consciousness are compromised, but this does not prove that those areas of the brain generate the relevant areas of consciousness. If you were to damage certain areas of your TV set the picture would deteriorate or vanish but the TV signal would remain intact. (Click title for more) 

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Scientists Demonstrate Remarkable Evidence Of Dream Telepathy Between People

Scientists Demonstrate Remarkable Evidence Of Dream Telepathy Between People | Depth Psych |

Dream telepathy suggests that human beings have the ability to communicate telepathically with another person while they are dreaming. This isn’t a new concept, scientific interest in telepathy dates back to the fathers of the psychoanalytic movement. Freud, for example, considered telepathy and the implications of it with regards to psychoanalytic thought.


He also considered dream telepathy, or the telepathic influence of thought on dreaming on multiple occasions. Carl Jung believed in the telepathic hypothesis without question, and even developed a theoretical system to explain “paranormal” events of this nature. (2)


All great minds seem to encourage the study of various types of non-physical phenomena... (Click title for more)

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Circumambulating the Alchemical Mysterium

Circumambulating the Alchemical Mysterium | Depth Psych |

A L C H E M Y  may be described, in the words of Baudelaire, as a process of ‘distilling the eternal from the transient’. [1] As the art of transmutation par excellence, the classical applications of alchemy have always been twofold: chrysopoeia and apotheosis (gold-making and god-making)—the perfection of metals and mortals. In seeking to turn ‘poison into wine’, alchemy, like tantra, engages material existence—often at its most dissolute or corruptible—in order to transform it into a vehicle of liberation. Like theurgy, it seeks not only personal liberation—the redemption of the soul from the cycles of generation and corruption—but also the liberation (or perfection) of nature herself through participation in the cosmic demiurgy. In its highest sense, therefore, alchemy conforms to what Lurianic kabbalists would call tikkun, the restoration of the world.

Via Zeteticus, Eva Rider
Eva Rider's curator insight, September 3, 2014 2:32 PM

Alchemy - the transformation of  what was unconscious lead into illuminated Gold is the essence and goal of Soul Making, the discovery of the eternal in the transitory, the imagination made manifest in Beauty.

Erel Shalit's curator insight, September 4, 2014 5:46 AM

The author discusses the interesting etymology, such as Egyptian, of alchemy. However, there is also, as raised by Gershom Scholem, a possible Hebrew origin (see Enemy, Cripple, Beggar, p. 202f.).

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The Transcendent Function: A Mediating Force Described by C.G. Jung

The Transcendent Function: A Mediating Force Described by C.G. Jung | Depth Psych |

Jung says that holding the tension of the opposites is essential to bridging the gap between ego-consciousness and the unconscious. If the tension between the opposites can be held long enough without succumbing to the urge to identify with one side or the other, the third, completely unexpected image, one that unites the two in a creative new way, comes into view. 

The transcendent function has important implications for an ecological psychology because it can serve as a bridge between rational thinking and archetypal sensibility, thus facilitating a renewed connection between the human psyche and the natural world... (Click title for full post)

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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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Carl Jung Depth Psychology

Carl Jung Depth Psychology | Depth Psych |

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

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

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

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

The sapientia appears in a very substantial form in alchemy. 

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

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Jung on "Instinct"

Jung on "Instinct" | Depth Psych |
Instinct. An involuntary drive toward certain activities. All psychic processes whose energies are not under conscious control are instinctive.


Jung identified five prominent groups of instinctive factors: creativity, reflection, activity, sexuality and hunger. Hunger is a primary instinct of self-preservation, perhaps the most fundamental of all drives. Sexuality is a close second, particularly prone to psychization, which makes it possible to divert its purely biological energy into other channels. The urge to activity manifests in travel, love of change, restlessness and play. Under reflection, Jung included the religious urge and the search for meaning. Creativity was for Jung in a class by itself. His descriptions of it refer specifically to the impulse to create art.


Though we cannot classify it with a high degree of accuracy, the creative instinct is something that deserves special mention. I do not know if “instinct” is the correct word. We use the term “creative instinct” because this factor behaves at least dynamically, like an instinct. Like instinct it is compulsive, but it is not common, and it is not a fixed and invariably....(Click title for more)

maria taveras's curator insight, January 24, 2015 2:04 PM

Thank you Bonnie  for this gem of a fine. 

Laura M. Smith's curator insight, January 24, 2015 9:20 PM

Our instincts and how they have been distorted, misused, or repressed are often reflected in the dreams. The dream will always want to move us toward wholeness...all instincts functioning and engaged in our lives.

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Our Unique Image - James Hillman

Our Unique Image - James Hillman | Depth Psych |

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

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

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

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Depth Insights » God as Intimate Soul by Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D.

Depth Insights » God as Intimate Soul by Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. | Depth Psych |

The idea of practical spirituality emerged out of an alchemical mix of William James and Carl Jung, and their respective psychic perspectives on the soul. As a clinical psychologist in private practice for the past 30 years specializing in depth psychology and psychology and spirituality, I have treated scores of individuals in the midst of making their way across the dark and troubled waters of the unconscious mind.


Serving as therapist and guide, a Hermetic dynamic at work within the treatment relationship, we frequently witness the emergence of a natural and immensely practical spirituality that nourishes the soul. It is of course, a vital relationship with the Self that supplants old, outer, religiosity.


In developing this relationship, William James (2006, p. 24) hit upon a revolutionary idea: God as intimate soul. Transformative numinous experience is nourished as we cultivate intimacies with soul


- See more at:

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You Are Not a Stranger Here - Alan Watts

You Are Not a Stranger Here - Alan Watts | Depth Psych |

"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. 
 You are not a stranger here." ~Alan Watts

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The unconscious arises ~ C. G. Jung

The unconscious arises ~ C. G. Jung | Depth Psych |

"Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious,
new contents, which have never yet been conscious, can arise from it."
~ C.G. Jung, Man and His Symbols  

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Holotropic Breathwork: New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Self-Exploration (Stan Grof)

Holotropic Breathwork: New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Self-Exploration  (Stan Grof) | Depth Psych |

In the last few decades, Western therapists have rediscovered the healing potential of breath and developed techniques that utilize it. Deliberate increase of the pace of breathing  typically loosens psychological defenses and leads to a release and
emergence of unconscious (and superconscious) material.


The extraordinary healing power of holotropic states — which  ancient and native cultures used for centuries or even millennia in their ritual, spiritual, and healing practices — was confirmed by modern consciousness research conducted in the second half of the twentieth century. This research has also shown that the phenomena occurring during these states and associated with them represent a critical challenge for current conceptual frameworks used by academic psychiatry and psychology and for their basic metaphysical assumptions. The work with Holotropic Breathwork thus requires a new understanding of consciousness and of the human psyche in health and disease. The basic principles of this new psychology were discussed in another context (Grof 2000, 2007). (Click title for more)

Via Laura M. Smith
Laura M. Smith's curator insight, October 15, 2014 9:46 PM

Wonderfully illustrated piece on holotropic breathwork as a psycho-spiritual healing practice...piques my curiosity to bring this into my work with dreams, specifically focusing on trauma as opened by the dream and where it's held in the body.

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Marion Woodman on How We See Ourselves...

Marion Woodman on How We See Ourselves... | Depth Psych |

In the below YouTube clip, Jungian analyst, Marion Woodman talks to us about how we see ourselves and how this determines what happens in our lives... 


From Marion: "One of the biggest catastrophes in life is to not see ourselves as we truly are. When we don’t know our true nature, it is the cause of much suffering.


Anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and relationship problems are just some of the concerns that are a consequence of poor self-worth and a lack of unconditional love for ourselves.

What I love most about psychotherapy, is the journey as we awaken to our true selves; the self-realisation of who we really are.


The process as the true self unfolds, is one that may take some time. In order to get our needs met, we may have been identified with and lived from a false self, or from one or more of our subpersonalities; for example, the survivor, people pleaser, perfectionist, victim... (Click title for more)

Via Eva Rider
Aladin Fazel's curator insight, September 18, 2014 3:17 PM

At first let's have a look at our own! 

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Carl Jung - BBC: In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the extraordinary mind of the psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung. In 1907 Sigmund Freud met a young man and fell into a conversati...

Via maria taveras, Eva Rider
maria taveras's curator insight, September 9, 2014 1:21 PM

This was the start of a fascinating and short lived relationship between two creative minds.