The Tao of Jung: The Way of Integrity

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Overview

This startling new interpretation of Jung's life and psychology is based on the insight that he was essentially a Taoist. Drawing on Jung's own letters, aphorisms, and other writings, David Rosen examines six crises in Jung's personal development, from childhood revelations and youthful rebellions to his break with Freud and his later work with the I Ching. Rosen discovers many parallels between Jung's natural world of the psyche and that of Taoist philosophy: the integration of opposites; the Great Mother as the origin of all things; the I Ching and synchronicity; the Way of Integrity and individuation; and the need to release the ego and surrender to the Self or Tao. As an increasing number of people turn to Eastern philosophy as a means of handling the many stresses of an increasingly confounding world, this illuminating introduction to both Taoism and Jungian thought provides a valuable spiritual resource for contemporary followers of the Path.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jungian concepts such as archetypes and the collective unconscious have become part of our culture's worldview, just as have some principles of Asian philosophies. So the insights in this book combining the two can be expected to intrigue many of today's readers. Indeed, psychoanalyst Rosen's (Transforming Depression) brief analysis of Jung's life in terms of Taoist principles is more an inspirational work than a biography. Jung became fascinated by Chinese religion and philosophy later in life, he explains. Rosen attempts to illuminate Jung's psychic development in terms of the Chinese concept of crisis, expressed by the pictographs for danger and opportunity. Jung's crisis, in Rosen's view, consisted of his break with Freud, with the pre-Freud and Freudian years represented by danger, the post-break years by opportunity. The text here consists mainly of biographical anecdotes juxtaposed with quotes from the Taoist masters Chuang-tzu and Lao-tzu and selections from the I Ching, some of which are more relevant than others. Rosen's approach works best for Jung's years at Bollinger, where the middle-aged and then the older Jung expressed his deepest understandings in stone carvings as well as in words. At Bollinger, Jung, already steeped in ancient lore, lived the life of a Taoist sage as he "integrated yin and yang forces and became a modest person in harmony with nature." (Sept.)
Library Journal
Psychiatrist Rosen has written a biographical study of his mentor, Carl Jung (1875-1961), from a Taoist standpoint. The text alternates between Jung's life and commentary based on quotations from the Tao Te Ching, which was well known to Jung. The integration of oppositesthe balancing of yin and yangstructures the examination of the life events, dreams, and theories of both Jung and Rosen. In limpid prose, the author leads us on a journey of religious certainty along the Way, making use of mandalas and Chinese pictographs, sychronicity and facile dream interpretation. The converted will revel, while the skeptic will squirm at the mystical, self-justifying, banal connections. When presenting more straightforward biography, Rosen is both critical and forgiving of Jung's sexual affairs and his transient support of Nazism. In addition, he offers readers a surprisingly candid glimpse of the collapse of his own marriage over the writing of this book: "We, too, can let go of ego, confront shadow,...be guided by the soul and the spirit...[and] surrender to the natural way of integrity." For a more balanced, nonidolatrous approach by a Jungian from Asia, see Hayao Kawai's Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy (LJ 7/96).E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140195026
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Series: Compass Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,256,710
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2000

    The Old Taoist

    As someone who writes on Jungian themes and who is very familiar with the corpus of C.G. Jung's work and the Jungian literature, I found The Tao of Jung to be a wonderful accomplishment. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, it confirms and expresses beautifully my own reading on Jung's sensibility and his struggle. I think David Rosen got it absolutely right in regard to the old Taoist! This book is a great way to get to know C.G. Jung, second only to reading Jung's own autobiography, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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