Alchemical Psychology: Why does it matter?

A great post on Hillman’s Alchemical Psychology, and particularly the images of the goal. Enjoy!

Margaret Mikkelborg

backgrounds-world-fantastic-wallpapers-70497One of Hillman’s last gifts to us before his death, Alchemical Psychology, is perhaps one of the most important contributions to Jungian thought because it sheds light on the importance of alchemical metaphors for the soul’s journey. For many followers of Jung, myself included, the difficulty of penetrating the alchemical mysteries in order to grasp Jung’s fascination with it, has been a daunting and mysterious task. Hillman’s book brings many fresh and meaningful insights to this arcane subject matter, and allows us to glimpse behind the veil. I feel he peels away the layers, using poetic but modern language, unlike Jung, whose language and train of thought is often very dense and labyrinthian.

One of the ideas that Hillman throws into question is the whole notion of the goal of individuation, one of the sacred tenets of Jungian depth psychology.  He feels that inherent in this concept is the idea of…

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5 thoughts on “Alchemical Psychology: Why does it matter?

  1. Hi Debra,
    I saw your comment about David Bohm on MIchaels’ blog. I saw Krishnamurti and D. Bohm giving talks in the UK in the 90s. You may be interested in my blog. 😉

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  2. Have read two of the books you are reading now–Tarnas and Hillman. Tarnas’s book played a fundamental role in a class I have taught the past two years on “The Chronicles of Narnia” and I had my students read a chapter from “A Terrible Love of War” in tandem with “Prince Caspian” in particular. Have you ever heard of/read Wolfgang Giegerich? While Hillman has been described as “a second wave of Jungian psychology,” Giegerich is considered by many in the field, as a third wave, doing to Hillman and Archetypal psychology what Hillman did to traditional Jungian analytical psychology.

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      • The first I would suggest is called “Dialetics and Analytical Psychology” by Giegerich, David L Miller and Greg Mogenson–it is based on a three day seminar put on by the three for students (such as myself) from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Spring Journal and Books has also put out a series of his collected English papers–those are real good and you get a sense of his various interests, perspectives on things. Last, but not least, “The Soul’s Logical Life,” put out by Peter Lang publishing–this was my intro to him in grad school–quite dense, but darn good. Look forward to catching you while you are on here again–I have a “date” to Skype my brother in Singapore now….Josh Bertetta

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