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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

self and Self

Frieda Fordham's Introduction to Jung's Psychology is a gem for those of us who just want to understand the gist of Jung and his terminology. Because I'm diving into the works of female Jungian analysts as another window into the Divine Feminine, I wanted a quick-reference book. This one was re-published in 1966 (originally published in 1953) with an updated biographical sketch, and, as far as I could determine, is still considered one of the best resources for an overview of Jung. I greatly enjoyed it, I must say!

While this led me into a desire to read Jung's entire collection, as I now find him fascinating, that effort will have to be put on hold indefinitely. I have way too many other projects to do and books to read already, so I must prioritize. Don't we all?

I do highly recommend this thin volume, though, for anyone who is curious about Jung. An additional benefit is that Jung himself approved the work; the editorial note states: "The reader can enjoy all the attractive qualities of the introductory exposition with the added satisfaction of knowing that it is authentic. It has Jung's own Imprimatur and his personal commendation." Nice!

One aspect I hadn't realized was Jung's strong wish that every person be educated in the process of self discovery from childhood, and, if not, then at the very least all adults so that they could provide children with clearer guidance. Fordham also summarizes Jung's disgust with mass manipulation of people by organizations and governments, primarily because of this lack of deep self-awareness; not a surprise considering the wars he witnessed. I can imagine Jung would be even more appalled at the state of our global situation.

Of course, there are a lot of psychologists and spiritual leaders these days emphasizing the need for self-awareness and ritual in the lives of adults and children. I, for one, wish that some form of this was taught in grammar school along with the basics of meditation. We overload kids with information and sports without any framework in which to ground their own unique personalities. One of my favorite books exploring children, phases of life, and ritual is Bill Plotkin's Nature and the Human Soul. If I had children or grandchildren, I'd be recommending it. As it is, I try to talk about the subject with my brother and his kids; most of my brief suggestions are immediately turned away because, after all, he (and most other parents I know) says: "You don't have kids so you don't really have a clue." Granted. But this doesn't mean that I don't hope for a better future for the children of our world.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting -- I know only a bit about Jung -- derived sideways, as it were, through reading fiction,


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