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Jung and the Alchemical Imagination illustrates the spiritual nature of Jungian psychology and the debt it owes to the tradition of esoteric religion. Unlike other books on Jung and alchemy which contain a psychological interpretation of alchemical material, this work uses alchemy to understand the three cornerstones of Jungian spiritualitythe self, the transcendent function, and active imagination. Through the interpretation of alchemical imagery, Raff explains the nature of these three concepts and illustrates how together they form a new model of contemporary Western spirituality. This book is also unique in selecting alchemical texts for analysis that are relatively unknown and which, for the most part, have never been interpreted. In addition, he presents two new conceptsthe ally and the psychoid realm. Through the addition of these ideas, and the new understanding that they offer, it is possible to apply alchemical imagery to transpsychic experience; that is, to a world of spirits which may not be reduced to psychological concepts. By including this realm in the study of alchemy and Jungian thought, it is possible to gain insights into the nature of visionary and ecstatic experiences that form part of the path of individuationthe road to completion.
|Series:||A Jung on the Hudson Bk.|
|Product dimensions:||5.36(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.75(d)|
About the Author
Jeffrey Raff received his B.A. from Bates College, a Master's in Psychology from the New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Union Graduate School. He graduated as a diplomate from the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. He has had a private practice in Littleton, Colorado, since 1976, and teaches classes, seminars, and workshops on Jungian psychology and alchemy all over the country.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I think this book may become a classic of spiritual psychology and practical mysticism. Jeffrey Raff uncovers the wisdom that has been hidden within the Western spiritual tradition, dresses it in clear, readable language, updates it with the central terms of Jungian depth psychology and grounds it in years of personal and prefessional experience. The result is the birth of a Way to wholeness and enlightenment equivalent to Eastern meditation practices - yet fitting for the Western psyche. The Way is active and creative, providing tools for self-knowledge, individuation and human self expression while simultaneously reaching to the deepest spiritual realities. It can stand on its own and can enrich any spiritual tradition. I'd recommend it especially to anyone interested in Jewish, Christian, or Islamic mysticism. This book will be known as a classic work in spiritual and practical mysticism. By explaining the methodology of Jungian depth psychology and ancient alchemical processes in clear and understandable writing Jeffrey Raff creates a Way.
Raff, a Jungian analyst practicing in Denver, takes some interesting leaps in this experiential and theoretical treatise of psyche and spirit. He begins with Jung¿s individuation theory, which he explores as a psycho-spiritual process expressed by symbols of union well known to western alchemists--such as sol and luna or sun and moon, king and queen. From Jung¿s foundation, Raff moves to both alchemy and the mystics of Sufism, as well as his own experience and that of his clients as he extends into and beyond the realm of imagination. He posits a transpsychic world of spirit he terms the psychoid. For Raff, the quest for wholeness continues as a blend of imagistic psychic and actual psychoidal experiences, the latter stemming from the realm of quasi-corporal spirit he considers the source of the archetypal psyche. Along with other recent volumes concerning the creative force and connective substance of imagination, this work too seeks to evolve western psycho-spiritual theory and practice with insights based on historic and contemporary experience.