Ego and Archetype: Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche

Ego and Archetype: Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche

by Edward F. Edinger

Edward Edinger traces the stages in this process and relates them to the search for meaning through encounters with symbolism in religion, myth, dreams, and art.

Edinger, M.D., a founding member of the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology in New York, is the author of many books on Jungian psychology, including The Eternal Drama and Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Psychology
  • Rating: 4.30
  • Pages: 304
  • Publish Date: August 25th 1992 by Shambhala

What People Think about "Ego and Archetype: Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche"

Here are a few more: In my experience, the basis of almost all psychological problems is an unsatisfactory relation to ones urge to individuality. All the facts of biology and psychology teach us that every individual unit of life is self-centered to the core. It is a mistake to identify our individuality with any particular talent, function or aspect of ourselves. If a person feels inferior and depressed in the presence of people who are more intelligent, who have read more books, who have traveled more, who are more famous, or who are more skillful or knowledgeable in art, music or politics, or any other human endeavor, then that person is making the mistake of identifying some particular aspect or function of himself with his essential individuality. If such a person can experience the fact that his individuality and personal worth are beyond all particular manifestation his security will no longer be threatened by the accomplishments of others. To be related to ones individuality means to accept all that is encountered within as meaningful and significant aspects of the single whole. The answer that emerges from the Book of Job is so that he may see God. It is through the child or primitive in ourselves in ourselves that we make connection with the Self and heal the state of alienation To be primitive in our relation to the outer world is to be superstitious; but to be primitive in relation to the inner world of the psyche is to be wise. Here are some quotes from Ego and Archetype on the subject of an inflated ego: The psychotherapist frequently sees cases of this sort. In fact taking on oneself too much of anything is indicative of inflation because it transcends proper human limits. The whole experience of alienation, which brings consciousness with it, is omitted, and the child gets acceptance for his inflation. The book Ego and Archetype describes the relationship between Ego and Self as the way to put the inflated ego into proper alignment. More quotes: It is impossible for the ego to experience the Self as something separate as long as the ego is unconsciously identified with the Self. In order to break out of the alienated state some contact between ego and Self must be re-established. At a certain point in psychological development, usually after an intense alienation experience, the ego-Self axis suddenly breaks into conscious view.

) (Jacob's ladder by William Blake) "The Self is the ordering (unifying) center of the total psyche (conscious and unconscious) just as the ego is the center of the conscious personality. The book offers an abundant collection of paintings and Christian analogies to explain personality ego/self development.

He was, in the old C.I.A. phrase, "experienced" as regards hallucinagens and he did have a hermeneutical talent for translating religion into modern secular language--his father having been a pastor. (It should, however, be noted that modern American psychoanalysis, because of its commitment to medical models and training, is not entirely subject to such criticism.) Jung's personality had an immense influence on his system and on his followers. Edinger's book is a treatment of Jung's developmental theory, what he termed "individuation" and what I have implicitly criticized above.

What a rich reading!

I just started reading this book and am only up to page 51 but I am absolutely loving it so far!! -------------------------------------------- Update 3/21/15: I am only at page 96 but this book has already blown my mind! The only caveat I would put on it is that it is probably most beneficial when one is in the right space in their self development to be open and to process the ideas in this book. --------------------------------- Update April/16/2016 - I just re-read the first 100 pages and I love the incredible insight and wisdom! I do plan on reading the first 100 pages for a third time and writing something up on it. I also happen to be reading a book by Rabbi Berkowitz examining Martin Buber and it struck me that Buber's I-It and I-Thou is equivalent to the Ego and the Self, subjectivity and objectivity.

Every few months, my boyfriend and I pick a book we've liked for each other to read. Some of the Christian analysis made sense - Christ as the ultimate individuated ego for example (as he is both God and man). Themes: ego, consciousness, psychology, counseling, dream interpretation, Christianity, alchemy, philosophy, symbols