This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message In this book, Jung argues for a reevaluation of the symbolism of Alchemy as being intimately related to the psychoanalytical process.
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
January Learn how and when to remove this template message In this book, Jung argues for a reevaluation of the symbolism of Alchemy as being intimately related to the psychoanalytical process.
Using a cycle of dreams of one of his patients he shows how the symbols used by the Alchemists occur in the psyche as part of the reservoir of mythological images drawn upon by the individual in their dream states.
Jung draws an analogy between the Great Work of the Alchemists and the process of reintegration and individuation of the psyche in the modern psychiatric patient. In drawing these parallels Jung reinforces the universal nature of his theory of the archetype and makes an impassioned argument for the importance of spirituality in the psychic health of the modern man.
Lavishly illustrated with images, drawings and paintings from Alchemy and other mythological sources including Christianity the book is another example of Jung's immense erudition and fascination with the eso- and exoteric expressions of spirituality and the psyche in religion and mysticism.
Influenced by pioneering work by Ethan Allen Hitchcock and Herbert Silberer who was in turn influenced by JungPsychology and Alchemy is a seminal work of reevaluation of a forgotten system of thought which did much to revitalise interest in Alchemy as a serious force in Western philosophical and esoteric culture.
Also interesting about this book is that the patient whose dreams are being analyzed in the second section is the physicist Wolfgang Pauliwho would go on to collaborate with Jung on such ideas as the acausal connection principle of synchronicity.
The dreams are interpreted as a series to elucidate the meanings of recurring motifs and symbols, with the series culminating in the vision of a 'world clock', which is actually several clocks on different planes operating on different scales and colours as a symbol of Pauli's unconscious apprehension of some grand cosmic order.
Three of the best of these dreams were also mentioned by Jung in his Terry lectures Psychology of Religion. January Learn how and when to remove this template message The fundamental thesis Jung is advancing about the relationship between Alchemy and Psychology is that for pre-scientific humans there is not a sharp distinction between subject and object and thus this leads them to unconsciously project their own inner states onto external objects especially objects that are mostly unknown to themso a reflective analysis of alchemical symbols becomes revelatory about the unconscious psychic life of this time period.
Prior to this rational segregation of experience the world was a totally different one, phenomenologically, as people did not distinguish between the qualities of the object they were perceiving and their own values, emotions, and beliefs. It is partly for this reason that the alchemists cannot say aloud exactly what the philosopher's stone really 'is' and why there are so many different symbols for the work.
For the alchemist trying to understand matter and develop base metals into their purest form, gold, substances are grouped as being alike based on their perceived value. Jung documents as these alchemists collectively come to understand that they themselves must embody the change they hope to effect within their materials: It became apparent to the alchemists that they were trying to redeem nature as Christ had redeemed man, hence the identification of the Lapis Philosophorum with Christ the Redeemer.
The Opus work of alchemy, viewed through this interpretation, becomes a symbolic account of the fundamental process the human psyche undergoes as it re-orients its value system and creates meaning out of chaos.
The opus beginning with the nigredo blackening, akin to depression or nihilistic loss of value in order to descend back into the manipulable prima materia and proceeding through a process of spiritual purification that must unite seemingly irreconcilable opposites the coniunctio to achieve new levels of consciousness.
Introduction to the Religious and Psychological Problems of Alchemy[ edit ] This section does not cite any sources. January Learn how and when to remove this template message Jung sets out the central thesis of the book: Jung defends his exploration of the Psyche and Soul against various critics who have accused him of being both religious and anti-religious depending on their point of view.
He argues for a deeper understanding of the Western spiritual traditions e. Esoteric Christianity and Alchemy alongside an examination of the Eastern ones e. BuddhismHinduism etc. Jung diagnoses the spiritual laziness of the West in not truly embracing the Christian Myth as an inner journey of transformation.
Alchemy, he argues, is a 'Western Yoga ' which was designed to facilitate this. The book will begin with a description of a whole cycle of dreams described by an unnamed patient to protect confidentiality which will be interpreted in their archetypal and mythological sense by Jung.
This is designed to illustrate the existence of Jung's theory of the Collective Unconscious and the psychological goal or Great Work of psychic and spiritual integration or wholeness through the individuation process. That affects the mind state.
Individual Dream Symbolism in Alchemy[ edit ] This section does not cite any sources.THE ELEMENTS OF ALCHEMY Cherry Gilchrist, a graduate of Cambridge University, is well-known as an author and a singer who specializes in baroque and early music. She has written many books and articles on alchemy, astrology, mythology and social history, and has worked in various capacities in publishing books on these subjects.
Alchemy and depth psychology Back to introduction. Although we can now recognise a psychological component in many alchemical texts, it is only since the early 20th century that a language was developed with which the newly emerging science of psychology could investigate, in depth, aspects of alchemical symbolism.
Psychology and Alchemy is Volume 12 in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, a series of books published by Princeton University Press in the U.S. and Routledge & Kegan Paul in the U.K.
It is study of the analogies between alchemy, Christian dogma, and psychological symbolism. Alchemy is central to Jung's hypothesis of the collective unconscious.
Alchemy essays There are many ways to examine the subject of alchemy, including alchemy as a source of symbolism, psychology, and mysticism. It has also been an influence on the world view of various writers, artist, and musicians.
The symbolism that remained prevalent even after the scientific break between alchemy and chemistry is seen as an indication that such symbolism is an expression of an essential part of the psyche.
Psychology and Alchemy is illustrated with images from alchemical books and manuscripts and from related works. Many of these images were here presented in print for the first time, and this book had a profound influence and gave inspiration to many scholars .