Wisdom of the Psyche

For those of you interested in depth psychology, here is a new offering that I think you will enjoy.  I had the pleasure of seeing Ginette Paris in action at the Jung Society in Calgary this past weekend. Ginette was one of my favourite professors at Pacifica Graduate Institute – an accomplished writer, an insightful psychologist and one of the leaders in the field of depth psychology. It was a highly enjoyable way to spend a weekend – I feel energized and refreshed! Who could ask for more?

Her most recent book, Wisdom of the Psyche, speaks to the relationship between depth psychology and neuroscience – how they differ and how they relate.  She explores the question of what belongs to science and what belongs to the humanities in the quest for identity and healing. Ginette also speaks to her brush with death after suffering a brain injury in 2002 and how she witnessed from the inside-out how the brain heals itself.

Perhaps Jungian analyst James Hillman says it best: “Emotionally personal, immediately useful, surprisingly original, beautifully deep, this page-turning read also turns the pages into a new century of psychology. What an achievement!”

Wisdom of the Psyche: Depth Psychology after Neuroscience

The Seven Basic Plots

First people deny a thing; then they belittle it; then they say it was known all along.

– Alexander von Humboldt

For those of you who are hard-core devotees of the power of story, Christopher Booker has written a master work.  The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories is a 728 page reference guide extraordinaire.  There will always be those that think storytelling is for children only – a plaything useful for entertaining.  But one day, it will eventually be seen that one of the most remarkable failures of our scientific approach to understanding the world was not to see that our innate ability to imagine stories is as much governed by scientific laws as the structure of our genes.  Booker has also tackled the use of conscious and unconscious archetypes and does an excellent job of explaining how archetypes – both personified and transformational – work in practice as well as theory.

Not a quick read but worth the time and effort!

The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories

The Red Book – C.G. Jung

The profound influence of Carl Gustav Jung spans literature, psychology, ecology and science in evidenced in the release of Jung’s diary, The Red Book.  Finally permitted by the Jung family to be digitized for the public, this amazing work leads us into the world of C.G. Jung.

Asking “What Story are you Living”, Jung brings us the tools of transformation required to re-vision our current path and change the ending of the story in which we current reside. The Red Book is his opus and provides both guidance and inspiration to find our own.

The Red Book

Women Who Run With the Wolves

Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype.

When a book spends more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, you would be safe to assume it strikes a chord in the hearts of its readers.   This book is more that just good soul food, it is a hearty spicy stew capable of restoring vitality to a tired spirit.  Pinkola Estes gives story as sustenance, as a Cantadora or  keeper of the old stories, she sings over our weary bones to bring us back to life.

For those unfamilar with Jungian analysts, Pinkola Estes is a wonderful place to start.  Through her soulful writing, you will experience both the wonder and the power of Jungian psychology. Both as magical and as medicine, a Jungian perspective is a rich source of healing that is barely tapped by our society.  Tapping into old myth and recontextualizing the story as strategic intent, this book provides a solid pathway forward into an uncertain future.

The healing power of story does not exist in a vacuum.  Story cannot exist divorced from its spiritual source. Pinkola Estes is a juicy guide in recovering our connection to universal principles – the source that defines the human race and has done so since the beginning of time. A story is not just a story – it is someone’s life in archetypal energy. Stories grow through our lives like the roots of a tree – our stories grow us into our our skin.  Through the gift of this amazing work, may you become the future storykeep that the elders have hoped for.

Jung’s Map of the Soul

Jung’s Map of the Soul: An Introduction

Wandering through the collected works of C.G. Jung can be hard – the material is not easily accessible to the lay reader.  Barely tapped in its riches, this vast psychological treasure trove has much to offer our changing world.  But, a map is necessary – and Murray Stein has created one that allows access to the uninitiated.

Both a guide for the beginner or a serious student of Jung, this book walks you through the foundations of Jungian psychology. Long exalted as the psychology of creativity, artists of all kinds have sought refuge in the collected works.  A map of the inner life, of psychological transformation, a path to the source of human creativity – C.G. Jung is an invaluable resource.

Jung acknowledged his debt to many earlier thinkers, such as Goethe and Schopenhauer but his philosopher of choice was Kant. He constructed a system of interpretation that draws upon comparative religion, mythology, psychology, physics and anthropology that permitted an exploration of inner life, the map of the soul. For Jung the study of the soul was of extreme importance, for as he said many times, the survival of our race depends on our understanding of the psyche. Jung argued that such a study should be by scientific, empirical investigation and as a result, we have many tools in use today from lie detector tests to typology through systems such as Meyers-Briggs.

Stein walks us through the differences in approach to ego-consciousness between Freud and Jung, explains the role of our populated interior life (complexes), explores the role of psychic energy and how Jung suggests we tap into its power, and begins the exploration of instincts and archetypes and the relationships between individual and collective unconscious. He starts our exploration of what Jung called ‘individuation’ – the search for meaning that each person undergoes on the journey to an authentic self.

If this book intrigues you, there are many opportunities to experience the work of C.G. Jung. An upcoming retreat at Pacifica Graduate Institute on June 11-13, 2010. Jung In Dialogue is three days of exploration of the work of C.G. Jung including the recently released Red Book .