Ways of soul-making: mystification

Every question for which we have found an answer does also reveal, at the same time, some uncertain aspects — aspects that aren’t just unanswered yet, but somehow seem all the more difficult to figure out now since we know what we’ve learned. Questions, in a word, lead to answers which in turn always seem to lead to more questions. When we look at this fact of life from the perspective of...

On not confusing stages with the whole, or stages with the goal

In my last post I have outlined an interpretation of Hillman’s central idea of soul-making, and connected it with the notion of projection (in analytical psychology), the relationship between individual souls and the collective psyche, and the theoretical move of treating both individual human beings and ideas as souls which can be perceived as personalized. In the background of this line of...

Shadow reversal

A little into The Dream and the Underworld, when he discusses the relationship between the day world and the night world, Hillman makes yet another suggestion that is an instance of the technique of “perspective reversal”. This time it is about the shadow (in its Jungian understanding of the term). Since the movements of the body and its shadow are simultaneous and inseparable, that is, co...

The ambiguous shadow

In everyday parlance, when we refer to a person’s “shadow”, we often simply mean some grim, dark streak of their personality, perhaps even a violent or evil element. But what Jung meant by the “shadow” is a little more complex than this habit of our everyday talk suggests.

The dead backwaters of life

There is a particular kind of life situation, in which a person may find themselves, and which fits the pattern I have discussed in my earlier post: it is one of those situations where archetypes are triggered. Let's call it the "dead backwater" type of life situations.

The hypocritical mirror-critic

Returning from his year-long stay on a Greek island, the protagonist of The Magus makes an intermediate stop in Rome. But he compares his impressions unfavorably with those he had in that other Mediterranean world: The sun shone as certainly, the people were far more elegant, the architecture and the art much richer, but it was as if the Italians, like their Roman ancestors, wore a great mask of...

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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