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30 review

Psychology and Alchemy

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

30 review for Psychology and Alchemy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    I was reading Psychology and Alchemy on the bus when a young woman leaned in and ask me, "Is that Jung?" I told her that it was. "Man, I've tried reading Jung before, but I've never made it all the way through. How are you liking it?" "Well, it's ..." I blanked. And not only blanked, I realized that my mind had been blank for the last god-knows-how-long. As my eyes had been scanning the page, my thoughts had wandered so that not only could I not remember what the last sentence I had read said, but I was reading Psychology and Alchemy on the bus when a young woman leaned in and ask me, "Is that Jung?" I told her that it was. "Man, I've tried reading Jung before, but I've never made it all the way through. How are you liking it?" "Well, it's ..." I blanked. And not only blanked, I realized that my mind had been blank for the last god-knows-how-long. As my eyes had been scanning the page, my thoughts had wandered so that not only could I not remember what the last sentence I had read said, but I couldn't recall what the chapter was about or, for that matter, understand a great deal of the book and that as a psychological layman I had been kidding myself that I could possibly finish a work written in such impenetrable academic language as to include citations in untranslated Greek, Latin and French. "... difficult to digest." She stared at me in wordless anticipation as if there were someway in hell I could possibly have something to follow up such an evasive remark. "But I'm sure whatever part of my subconscious is actually paying attention is having a blast."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason Thompkins

    If I happen to write about a book then you can be certain it is IMPORTANT to those of us "on the Path". This book contains invaluable reproductions of drawings made by REAL Alchemists, in fact the whole book as more illustrations than writing almost. Almost every page as a huge Alchemical drawing that, in my true opinion, can be meditated on and it helps those of us on the Path to GNOSIS.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mariam

    In this book, Jung describes the 'opus' "as a work of imagination. He is discussing an old alchemical text that that tells how to produce the philosophers' stone. The passage says that one should be guided by a true and not a fantastic imagination. Commenting on this idea, Jung says that imagination is "an authentic accomplishment of thought or reflection that does not spin aimless and groundless fantasies into the blue; that is to say, it does not merely play with its object, rather it tries to In this book, Jung describes the 'opus' "as a work of imagination. He is discussing an old alchemical text that that tells how to produce the philosophers' stone. The passage says that one should be guided by a true and not a fantastic imagination. Commenting on this idea, Jung says that imagination is "an authentic accomplishment of thought or reflection that does not spin aimless and groundless fantasies into the blue; that is to say, it does not merely play with its object, rather it tries to grasp the inner facts and portray them in images true to their nature. This activity is an 'opus', a work" - #CareoftheSoul #ThomasMoore(Oh well!)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth LaPrelle

    Wow. Jung, along with T.S. Eliot and some others, has the ability to make me feel woefully undereducated because, you know, I can't read Greek. OR Latin, even. Many parts of this book were almost impenetrably dense (for me), made up of references to ideas and people I had never heard of, and lengthy quotations and their translations, and discussions of their translations. That was rough. I was hoping to come out of it knowing a little something about alchemy, and I'm not sure that really happene Wow. Jung, along with T.S. Eliot and some others, has the ability to make me feel woefully undereducated because, you know, I can't read Greek. OR Latin, even. Many parts of this book were almost impenetrably dense (for me), made up of references to ideas and people I had never heard of, and lengthy quotations and their translations, and discussions of their translations. That was rough. I was hoping to come out of it knowing a little something about alchemy, and I'm not sure that really happened. It more made me wish for some kind of Medieval Alchemy Guide. However, if you already know a little something about alchemy, or you can put up with footnotes that take up half the page and lots of references to people like Zosimos and Zathura, then the ideas about symbols and dreams and the mind are, as always, totally fascinating. Or actually, the ideas are totally cool and kind of soothing. I think the nicest experience I had with this book was reading it to a room of three other tired, sun-burned people; and one by one they each fell gently asleep. Jung really is a personable writer who likes people. And there's always pictures! The pictures are the bomb.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bennett

    if you can't be botehreed to wade through the very dense case studies, the first chapter is worth reading on its own, just for the insights it gives into Jung's marvelous connections he makes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aziz

    Most certainly I wasn't ready for how much alchemical knowledge Jung had in this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    I'm not actually certain when I read this volume of the Collected Works and such similarly demanding texts as his Mysterium Coniunctionis. Hopefully I had the sense by the end of college to hold such texts until such time as I knew more about medieval and early modern religion and alchemy. One thing I did do in college was to utilize interlibrary loan to obtain hundreds of journal articles about Jung and analytical psychology. By senior year I had my own study carrel and would basically spend the I'm not actually certain when I read this volume of the Collected Works and such similarly demanding texts as his Mysterium Coniunctionis. Hopefully I had the sense by the end of college to hold such texts until such time as I knew more about medieval and early modern religion and alchemy. One thing I did do in college was to utilize interlibrary loan to obtain hundreds of journal articles about Jung and analytical psychology. By senior year I had my own study carrel and would basically spend the days there, arriving in the early afternoon to pick up the material received through the loan program that morning, then settle in with coffee to go through them and my regular school assignments. Then, after a good eight hours or so, I'd head for my job as a bartender at Grinnell's bar, The Pub Club, working until close at two, cleaning up, then putting in a couple of more hours of reading in bed before dawn. It, those last two years in college, was one of the most exciting times in my life. During that period I not only read most of Jung and Nietzsche, but I also read the whole bible for the first time, much of Thomas Mann--including Doctor Faustus--and all of Goethe's Faust. On the side, preparing for my thesis on the origins of gnosticism, I read scores of books about antique Christianity. All of these topics related in one way or another to Jung and his interests, contributing to my ability to study him critically--so critically, indeed, that the lustre was wearing away by graduation...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Medical Marijuana

    Jung's book introduced me to the subject of alchemy and became a profound influence on me in terms of the way in which I use symbolism in my own writing. Jung believes that the Freudian "subconscious", (which he renamed the "unconscious"), or what he calls the "personal unconscious," is subsumed by a greater whole of transpersonal, transcultural elements called the "collective unconscious". When he (supposedly) noticed alchemical symbolism in the dreams of his patients he embarked on a massive s Jung's book introduced me to the subject of alchemy and became a profound influence on me in terms of the way in which I use symbolism in my own writing. Jung believes that the Freudian "subconscious", (which he renamed the "unconscious"), or what he calls the "personal unconscious," is subsumed by a greater whole of transpersonal, transcultural elements called the "collective unconscious". When he (supposedly) noticed alchemical symbolism in the dreams of his patients he embarked on a massive study of the subject whose only flaw is that it is completely ahistorical as everything is referenced to his theory of the archetypes and not at all to conventional transmission by means of cultural evolution. Still, it's a "good read," if nothing else for the copious illustrations, which make it look like a graphic novel. Read this for such chapters as "The Lapis-Christ Parallel" but skip the dream interpretation at the beginning: it's utter garbage but to be expected from the psychologists of his era. The reason for the latter statement is that, since Jung is "only interested in the collective unconscious" he skips from patient to patient when one person's dreams stop proving of interest. I dinged it one star for this but other than that, this is a five-star book. My copy is broken at the binding in several places, underlined, has marginal comments -- I'll never give it away. Wonderful. If you think that the average pop art treatment of alchemy is at all "realistic" then read this and prepare to be shocked. You ain't seen nothin' yet, sugar!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kirby

    Carl Jung puts forward a thesis, which I am going to oversimplify: Alchemy, rather than being a scientific process, was, at least in part, an artistic process by which alchemists were attempting to resolve unconscious material within the psyche by using narratives involving physical matter such as chemicals, precious metals, and stones. The “transformation” alchemists sought is similar to that of the symbol of the figure of Christ and many of his parallels. Jung provides support for this theory Carl Jung puts forward a thesis, which I am going to oversimplify: Alchemy, rather than being a scientific process, was, at least in part, an artistic process by which alchemists were attempting to resolve unconscious material within the psyche by using narratives involving physical matter such as chemicals, precious metals, and stones. The “transformation” alchemists sought is similar to that of the symbol of the figure of Christ and many of his parallels. Jung provides support for this theory by pulling from a myriad of the usual suspects: mythology, religious texts, Faust, and many others. But Jung also includes a description and analysis of dreams from one of his colleague’s clients, offering a very fascinating look into the symbolic relationship between the dream world, the unconscious psyche, and alchemy. This book presents itself at a whopping 480 pages, but it should be noted that many of the pages are filled with optional explanatory citation as well as tons of wonderful illustrations. This book feels more like its 200 pages long. I wouldn’t recommend this as a starting point for readers interested in Jung. I think “Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious” or some of Erich Neumann's work are good prerequisites to “Psychology and Alchemy”.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Taliesin Mcknight

    This is a very good book for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Jung's views on alchemy and its connection with the individuation process. Jung analyzes dream images and shows parallels with many of the symbols found in alchemy. Jung theorizes that the alchemical Great Work is an actual process of self-actualization and unfoldment which is projected into the chemical changes witnessed by the alchemist. For this, Jung does produce some empirical evidence in the form of a great deal of recor This is a very good book for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Jung's views on alchemy and its connection with the individuation process. Jung analyzes dream images and shows parallels with many of the symbols found in alchemy. Jung theorizes that the alchemical Great Work is an actual process of self-actualization and unfoldment which is projected into the chemical changes witnessed by the alchemist. For this, Jung does produce some empirical evidence in the form of a great deal of recorded dream material and its comparison with hundreds of alchemy texts from different periods. In this book, Jung presents the basic ideas of alchemy, the stages of the work, and the parallels between alchemy, psychology, and religion. Whatever your opinion of Jung and his theories may be, this book is a wonderful introduction into his views on alchemy and its connection with the individuation process. I give this book 5 stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    This impressive account of how much the medieval world view, based upon a perhaps faulty historical record of Ancient Egyptian customs, developed into a transformational spiritual practice Jung places at the heart of his psychoanalysis. Individuation may not have been the wealth a wide variety of alchemists throughout history (mostly in European locations) had expected to achieve and much has been written on these attempts through the centuries, not all of it to be trusted. Fortunately, Jung had This impressive account of how much the medieval world view, based upon a perhaps faulty historical record of Ancient Egyptian customs, developed into a transformational spiritual practice Jung places at the heart of his psychoanalysis. Individuation may not have been the wealth a wide variety of alchemists throughout history (mostly in European locations) had expected to achieve and much has been written on these attempts through the centuries, not all of it to be trusted. Fortunately, Jung had the instinct to follow the dreams of a quantum physicist he was treating and produced some amazing discoveries of his own, many of which I will soon delve into with my research!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vera Borisova

    Too much alchemy and religion, less psychology than I expected.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nemanja Lazarevic

    I really couldn't expect anything less from such a genius mind as Jung's, especially after reading "The Red book". I think that anything I'm capable of saying would lower the value of the book itself, therefore, without many words, 5/5 for the great Jung!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Interesting, if tedious at times.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anton Zlatev

    Exceptional and absolutely stunning. Must read for all who are destined to become "themselves".

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barron Dalton

    Jung was a genius. His introspection was always deep and usually verified by time. Some of the illustrations were very insightful. One serious point that I learned from Jung was "intuition".

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lillian

    Very very dry. Not sure why most of the book is a stranger's dream analysis...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book is encyclopedic in scope, filled with page after page of electrifying insight and ecstatically illustrated throughout with 17th and 18th century alchemical engravings. There are worlds upon worlds to be discovered here, many of which I'm afraid I will have to wait until subsequent readings to fully grasp. Jung writes for the serious scholar, with footnotes that often cover more than half the page, and assumes substantial knowledge in the fields of analytic psychology, alchemy, and Chri This book is encyclopedic in scope, filled with page after page of electrifying insight and ecstatically illustrated throughout with 17th and 18th century alchemical engravings. There are worlds upon worlds to be discovered here, many of which I'm afraid I will have to wait until subsequent readings to fully grasp. Jung writes for the serious scholar, with footnotes that often cover more than half the page, and assumes substantial knowledge in the fields of analytic psychology, alchemy, and Christian theology from the reader. (I recommend working up to it with more introductory texts such as Titus Burckhardt's Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul and Jung's Man and His Symbols.) That said, this book is well worth the effort. Whether or not one agrees with all the connections Jung makes, it is certain that his work paved the way for much subsequent scholarly interest in alchemy and other symbolic spiritual vocabularies and is at the very least crucial on an historical level. The overlap with Jung's lectures on Psychology and Religion are of specific importance, and some of the most interesting insights from the text relate the process of alchemy to the symbolic transformation of Christ (the Christ-Lapis parallel, discussed indepth here.) This may be Jung at his most passionate, and his passion for the material is contagious. I am inspired to follow this up with Mysterium Coniunctionis.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ayam Abraxas

    This book was unbelievably illuminating into the psychological symbolism of the ancient alchemical art. Jung was an initiate, and thus understood the esoteric significance of what he was studying, and any explorer of the unconscious through the use of psychedelics will be able to intuitively apprehend what he is alluding to.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan Cooper

    For anyone interested in the mystery of life and the mind. I recommend reading the intro, then the epilogue first. Reading the intro twice really helped. It will especially interest you if you like dream interpretation (by a master) as well as mythology, the problem of opposites, and universal symbols. A lot of our new age ideas originate with alchemy. Nothing new under the sun.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lupita Kirklin

    Who believes 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. The philosopher's stone can only be acquired and the metal can only be transformed into Gold in the psyche of man and in his soul... with the help of God...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ned

    nice picture book, associating ideas with concepts, on several different levels. Much on dream symbolism, the elements and interactions of these ideas and images reveal motivations, drives and affectations of all of us.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Clayton Stewart

    Was a good read. The beginning as he follows the inward, spiral like pattern of the man's dreams is incredible. The symbolism of alchemy is extensive and exhaustive. Makes a good summary in the Epilogue however. Definitely not a bad choice.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matte

    Amazing book about all the symbolism inherent in alchemy. Jung really hits the spot

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    The abstruse theories behind alchemy's relation to the psyche.

  26. 5 out of 5

    T60n3

    I almost cried with joy reading the first 40 pages. I can't believe I avoided Jung for so many years! Simply amazing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sidhartha

    alchemy, dream psychology, individuation... Written in characteristicy style of Jung. One needs to read it at least two times. Each time VERY slowly

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lysergius

    Requires much study in Alchemy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    I am a nerd and love alchemy. I love it in the way Jung loves it. So obviously I like this book a lot. If you don't love alchemy you probably won't get into it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fire-fish

    Loved it! At least for the pictures! :)

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