AuthorLeif Frenzel

Leif Frenzel is a writer and independent researcher. He has a background in philosophy, literature, music, and information technology. His recent interest is Jungian psychology, especially synchronicities and the relationship between consciousness and the unconscious.

The Homeric Greeks didn’t do perspective reversal (yet)

I have written quite a few times on this blog about “perspective reversal”: the move that Jung and Hillman frequently make of reminding us that “I had a dream” is phenomenologically untrue. Actually, when we are dreaming, we are immersed in the dream, walk around it and it would really be more adequate to say that the dream “had me”. Only later, when awake and remembering it, the reversal of the...

Matter, spirit, and phenomenalism

I have left off last week with a sketch (more detailed than earlier) of the ontological layout implicit in Jungian thought; and I have noted that there are several passages in Jung’s work where he outlines those same ontological categories. Let’s examine one of those more closely. 1. In his 1913 lecture on “Das Grundproblem der gegenwärtigen Psychologie” (GW VIII, §§ 649-688) Jung describes an...

Refining the ontological layout at the basis of Jung-Hillman metaphysics

I ended an earlier post deriving a (very rough) sketch of an ontological layout that would be consistent with Jungian thought. It would be consistent in the sense that it takes seriously both its methodological fundamental — starting with subjective experience — and its central idea — that our subjective experience is not fully transparent to our conscious personalities. Taking them seriously...

Methodological fundamentals and the distinction between extraversion and introversion

When I left my big-picture sketch of Jungian thought, I noted that the methodological fundamental (with subjectivity rather than objectivity as point of departure) was itself a theoretical choice; a choice that contrasts with the dominant preference for intersubjectively verifiable observation taken, paradigmatically, in a scientific approach. There is a certain temptation to assign this...

Fundamental methodological choice, central theoretical idea, and ontological categorization

In contrast to objective science, which relies on intersubjectively verifiable observation, the Jungian tradition is based on a different methodological fundamental. It starts with subjective experience, which we know from our own personal introspection and from the reports and narration which others give us. Whereas scientific observation is stated in the third person, subjective experience as a...

Everyday perceptions, materialism, and Jung-Hillman metaphysics

What makes Jungian thought, although it is generally called “psychology”, really a philosophy of the unconscious are its speculative mode and its central idea: that our own psychological life is not transparent to us. The latter means that our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, memories, phantasies, and intentional behaviors — all of our psychological life — can at times be triggered or shaped by...

Future directions for a Jungian way of thinking

To expand once more on the question of classifying, as psychological or otherwise, the considerations on this blog: there is an important difference in method. While our contemporary psychology adheres to the scientific method, the Jungian tradition is focused on understanding “the unconscious”; we might say that contemporary psychology is empirical, focuses on intersubjectively observable and...

Independent reality: active and passive, inner and outer

When Jung insists on the reality of the psyche, the emphasis is not on experience-independent existence, on continuity and re-identification. Instead, what seems to be important to him is that there are factors in the psyche which act autonomously (independent of the conscious perception and will of any individual person), and which are effective in producing psychological change — they manage to...

Independent reality: material and psychological

I have started exploring the notion of an objective and independent reality (beginning with the connected idea of individuation, as it is used in philosophy); but it will perhaps be helpful to pause and consider why this is relevant to a discussion of Jungian metaphysics. The point of departure is twofold: one is the question of the interiority of psychology and its relation to the “external”...

Individuation: simple things

The term “individuation” has a rather particular meaning in Jung, when he talks about the “individuation process”. Elsewhere, primarily in philosophy, it is used somewhat differently. Let’s explore the differences. 1. To begin with, in philosophical discussions the question is framed more broadly: it’s not just persons who are individuated, but really anything at all. Imagine two fresh and...

Leif Frenzel is a writer and independent researcher. He has a background in philosophy, literature, music, and information technology. His recent interest is Jungian psychology, especially synchronicities and the relationship between consciousness and the unconscious.

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