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Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 12: Psychology and Alchemy: 012 [Kindle Edition]

C. G. Jung , Gerhard Adler , R. F.C. Hull
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  • Länge: 624 Seiten
  • Sprache: Englisch
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Readers ... who believe that medieval and early modern alchemy was only a misguided effort to transform base metals into gold, or at best a crude preparation for scientific chemistry, will experience a great and probably bewildering surprise. -- Thought


A study of the analogies between alchemy, Christian dogma, and psychological symbolism. Revised translation, with new bibliography and index.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 43093 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 624 Seiten
  • Verlag: Princeton University Press; Auflage: 2 (1. März 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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5.0 von 5 Sternen a good companion to Jung's ALCHEMICAL STUDIES 1. Juni 2000
Jung surpasses himself here by seeing in alchemical symbolism the psyche trying to discover itself to the artifex bent over his alchemical retort. Only one who'd discovered his own version of the fabulous Philosopher's Stone could have attempted such a work.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Making sense of concealed 11. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is a result of Jung's extensive study of old Alchemical practices and his efforts to connect and interpret it in the light of his own psychological concepts. The book gives sense to ancient Alchemy practices and explains them as symbols of the process of human spiritual growth.
Jung explains different steps of this process and illustrates them with phases of the symbolic process of alchemic transmutation, leading to integration of the soul and producing alchemyc gold - or in terms of his own concept the result of the process of individuation.
Concrete examples from his own psychiatric experience of dream analysis and monitoring psychological growth very vividly and convincingly illustrate this concept in action.
The book is richly illustrated with authentic alchemic iconography which renders reader authentic atmosphere and taste of ancient art.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in connecting ancient spiritual practices and modern psychological interpretation theories.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Difficult but impressive work 6. Juni 2006
Von Neal J. Pollock - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Jung explored alchemy as if it were a mystery novel--relishing every clue, interpreting (nominally) each symbol as it arose. His conclusion that it paralleled his psychological observations & model satisfied his incredible yearning to know that he wasn't crazy or a voice crying in the wilderness--yeah, verily, the alchemists pursued the same goal though in a slightly different way--vindicating Jung's quest for individuation=personal salvation. Thus, Jung's love for alchemy. It's unfortunate that even so-called scientists have ego's so wounded that they disavow their roots: chemists tend to downplay alchemy as astronomers downplay astrology--denigrating their roots. This shows an appalling lack of courage--something Jung had no lack of. Just think of what courage it must have taken for Jung to write about alchemy as having psychological truth embedded in its very heart. Yet he wrote 2 books worth on it CW12 & CW13. I'm in awe of his courage, let alone of his genius. Try reading some alchemy works yourself--if you think Jung is hard to read, think twice. Alchemical works are far more difficult. It took Jung's supreme effort to decipher them. So, if this work seems obtuse to you (& it is), consider how obtuse it was to Jung. Some of the best (& most profound) quotes in this work (from the hardback version) are:

p. 3 Even the most unqualified layman thinks he knows all about psychology as the psyche were something that enjoyed the most universal understanding. But anyone who really knows the human psyche will agree with me when I say that it is one of the darkest & most mysterious regions of our experience.

p. 117 paragraph 152. Only a fool is interested in other people's guilt, since he cannot alter it. The wise man learns only from his own guilt. He will ask himself: Who am I that all this should happen to me? To find the answer to this fateful question he will look into his own heart.

p. 222 Sense and nonsense are merely man-made labels which serve to give us a reasonably valid sense of direction.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Only Four Stars For A Good Reason 31. Dezember 2006
Von Kevin Fuller - Veröffentlicht auf
In the first half of this book, Jung uses the dream analysis of a mentally ill patient to draw conclusions based on what he calls universal archetypes. Jung flagrantly filters this person's dream symbolism through his own alchemical bias, where personally I could come up with all kinds of different interpretations that seemed to me just as valid. But I'm no Jung. So moving on. The flip side to the coin, for the first half, is you do get a nice exposure to the tenets of alchemy along with it's rich symbolism. It is up to the reader to decide if the trade off is worth it. Learning about alchemy, while doing so through what many may consider questionable means. There are two principles Jung brings out that I happen to agree with. The first is concerning the psyche. In the beginning of the book, Jung categorically states the psyche is ancient and pagan. The second principle I agree with deals with archetypes. Jung makes pains to say that just because he is focusing on the archetype, which he defines as an image, he is not denying an imprinter. So the door to objectivity is left at least slightyly ajar.

In the second half, Jung focuses on alchemy as a science that predated christianity, and that though it was pagan, it's motifs were certainly congruous with christian ideals. Parallels are drawn between the Virgin Mary and Prima Materia. Between a metal's blackening, whitening and sublimation to the philosopher's stone as the state of the christian soul through it's stages of redemption. In this section of the book, Jung characterizes the royal art as being objective and practical, but also subjective and spiritual. The author can't rid himself of the possibility that the earliest philosophers were projecting their unconsiousnesses into their art. He also brings out the gnostic feel of alchemy in that the art attempts to separate the pure spirit out of foul matter. Some readers may question his veracity as he states in one of his footnotes christianity actually was subsumed into gnosticism due to the presence of Simon Magus. This reader said 'what'? Also, alchemy is monadic in that the philosopher's stone comes out of one, becomes few, and is returned to one, now ennobled, higher state. Philosophically, monadism can lead to problems of it's own, and again, it is left to the reader's discrimination as to what to accept and reject.

The capstone, of course, is the epilogue. Jung finally tips his hand that he is a modern through and through and relegates the art to a purely subjective level. He hints that it is the the breadth of the modern psyche that as Auguste Comte said, poses such endless need and endless danger to ourselves. And in this, the pieces all fall neatly into place.
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Von Steven H. Propp - Veröffentlicht auf
In his "Prefatory Note to the English Edition," Jung wrote, "In this present study of alchemy I have taken a particular example of symbol-formation, extending in all over some seventeen centuries, and have subjected it to intensive examination, linking it at the same time with an actual series of dreams recorded by a modern European not under my direct supervision and having no knowledge of what the symbols appearing in the dreams might mean. It is by such intensive comparisons as this ... that the hypothesis of the collective unconscious ... may be scientifically established."

Here are some representative quotations from the book:

"The Western attitude, with its emphasis on the object, tends to fix the ideal---Christ---in its outward aspect and thus to rob it of its mysterious relation to the inner man. It is this prejudice ... which impels the Protestant interpreters of the Bible to interpret ... the Kingdom of God) as 'among you' instead of 'within you.'" (Pg. 8)
"Accordingly when I say as a psychologist that God is an archetype, I mean by that the 'type' in the psyche... Nothing positive or negative has thereby been asserted about the possible existence of God, any more than the archetype of the 'hero' posits the actual existence of a hero." (Pg. 8)
"Has it not yet been observed that all religious statements contain logical contradictions and assertions that are impossible in principle, that this is in fact the very essence of religious assertion?" (Pg. 15)
"We do not yet possess a general theory of dreams that would enable us to use a deductive method with impunity, any more than we possess a general theory of consciousness from which we can draw deductive conclusions." (Pg. 43)
"The doctrine that all evil thoughts come from the heart and that the human soul is a sink of iniquity must lie deep in the marrow of their bones. Were that so, God had made a sorry job of creation, and it were high time for us to to go over to Marcion the Gnostic and depose the incompetent demiurge." (Pg. 102)
"The earlier talk of the 'aberration' of alchemy sounds rather old-fashioned today when the psychological aspects of it have faced science with new tasks. There are very modern problems in alchemy, though they lie outside the province of chemistry." (Pg. 279)
"However remote alchemy may seem to us today, we should not underestimate its cultural importance for the Middle Ages. Today is the child of the Middle Ages and it cannot disown its parents." (Pg. 323)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen This is where an investigation into the psychological aspects of alchemy should begin 7. Februar 2014
Von karen okster - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This book begins by tying alchemical symbolism to actual dreams. It illuminates how alchemy is still with us and influencing our lives. It goes on to explore parallels between alchemy and religion. It shows how religious symbolism is used in alchemy and alchemical symbolism is found in religion. The interweaving of the two makes for an eye opening read. There is much to be learned here. Jung's prose can be daunting and repetitive but that actually helps to bring home the points he is trying to make.
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