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 spirituality--the 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 concepts--the 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 individuation--the road to completion.
Stanton Marlan brings together writings which span the course of his career, examining Jungian psychology and the alchemical imagination as an opening to the mysteries of psyche and soul. Several chapters describe a telos that aims at the mysterious goal of the Philosophers’ Stone, a move replete with classical and postmodern ideas catalysed by prompts from the unconscious: dreams, images, fantasies, and paradoxical conundrums. Psyche and matter are seen with regards to soul, light and darkness in terms of illumination, and order and chaos as linked in the image of chaosmos. Marlan explores the richness of the alchemical ideas of Carl Jung, James Hillman, and others and their value for a revisioning of psychology. In doing so, this volume challenges any tendency to literalism and essentialism, and contributes to an integration between Jung’s classical vision of a psychology of alchemy and Hillman’s Alchemical Psychology. C.G. Jung and the Alchemical Imagination will be a valuable resource for academics, scholars, and students of Jungian and post-Jungian studies, Jungian analysis, and psychotherapy. It will also be of great interest to Jungian psychologists and Jungian analysts in practice and in training.
Although alchemy is popularly regarded as the science that sought to transmute base physical matter, many of the medieval alchemists were more interested in developing a discipline that would lead to the psychological and spiritual transformation of the individual. C. G. Jung discovered in his study of alchemical texts a symbolic and imaginal language that expressed many of his own insights into psychological processes. In this book, Marie-Louise von Franz examines a text by the sixteenth-century alchemist and physician Gerhard Dorn in order to show the relationship of alchemy to the concepts and techniques of analytical psychology. In particular, she shows that the alchemists practiced a kind of meditation similar to Jung's technique of active imagination, which enables one to dialogue with the unconscious archetypal elements in the psyche. Originally delivered as a series of lectures at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, the book opens therapeutic insights into the relations among spirit, soul, and body in the practice of active imagination.
Traditionally, alchemy has been understood as a precursor to the science of chemistry but from the vantage point of the human spirit, it is also a discipline that illuminates the human soul. This book explores the goal of alchemy from Jungian, psychological, and philosophical perspectives. Jung’s Alchemical Philosophy: Psyche and the Mercurial Play of Image and Idea is a reflection on Jung’s alchemical work and the importance of philosophy as a way of understanding alchemy and its contributions to Jung’s psychology. By engaging these disciplines, Marlan opens new vistas on alchemy and the circular and ouroboric play of images and ideas, shedding light on the alchemical opus and the transformative processes of Jungian psychology. Divides in the history of alchemy and in the alchemical imagination are addressed as Marlan deepens the process by turning to a number of interpretations that illuminate both the enigma of the Philosophers’ Stone and the ferment in the Jungian tradition. This book will be of interest to Jungian analysts and those who wish to explore the intersection of philosophy and psychology as it relates to alchemy.
Traditionally, alchemy has been understood as a precursor to the science of chemistry but from the vantage point of the human spirit, it is also a discipline that illuminates the human soul. This book explores the goal of alchemy from Jungian, psychological and philosophical perspectives. Jung's Alchemical Philosophy: Psyche and the Mercurial Play of Image and Idea is a reflection on Jung's alchemical work and the importance of philosophy as a way of understanding alchemy and its contributions to Jung's psychology. By engaging these disciplines, Marlan opens new vistas on alchemy and the circular and ouroboric play of images and ideas, shedding light on the alchemical opus and the transformative processes of Jungian psychology. Divides in the history of alchemy and in the alchemical imagination are addressed as Marlan deepens the process by turning to a number of interpretations that illuminate both the enigma of the Philosophers' Stone and the ferment in the Jungian tradition. This book will be of interest to Jungian analysts and those who wish to explore the intersection of philosophy and psychology as it relates to alchemy.
The ancient practice of alchemy, which thrived in Europe until the seventeenth century, dealt with the phenomenon of transformation--not only of materials (ore into gold) but also of the human spirit (self into Other). Through their work in the material realm, alchemists discovered personal rebirth as well as a linking between outer and inner dimensions. C. G. Jung first turned to alchemy for personal illumination in coping with trauma brought on by his break with Freud. Alchemical symbolism eventually suggested to Jung that there was a process in the unconscious, one that had a goal beyond discharging tension and hiding pain. In this book, Nathan Schwartz-Salant, a leading Jungian analyst with an interest in alchemy, brings together a key selection of Jung's writings on the subject. These writings expose us to Jung's fascinating reflections on the symbols of alchemy--such as the three-headed Mercurial dragon, hermaphrodites, and lions devouring the sun--and brings us closer to the spirit of his approach to the unconscious, closer than his purely scientific concepts often allow.
Meeting and Partnering with Your Spirit Guide in the Imaginal World
Author: Jeffrey Raff
Publisher: Nicolas-Hays, Inc.
Jeffrey Raff has written about the ally (which has been called many different names in different traditions) in his books Jung and the Alchemical Imagination, Healing the Wounded God, and The Wedding of Sophia. Here, he shares with readers the techniques he has developed and taught in his workshops and lectures for achieving intimate contact with the divine. The ally is a divine being, a face of God, that is unique to every being. It appears in the imaginal realm to partner with a specific person/ but it has to wait for its human partner to seek it. The person has to learn how to enter the imaginal realm to meet and relate with the ally, and to that effect, Raff has designed a progressive series of exercises. Starting with imagination-building practices, he takes you through learning how to identify your ally, learning its name, and obtaining guidance from it. Intermediate and advanced exercises teach you how to deepen your relationship with the ally and bring it into everyday life. A relationship with your ally is a two-way street in that your attention to its existence in the imaginal realm makes it manifest in the material world, while the ally helps you achieve self-realization and gnosis in the literal sense of the word.
Finding Your Personal Guide to Individuation and Beyond
Author: Jeffrey Raff
Publisher: Ibis Press
Through their work with their clients, their own experiences, and studies in myth, mysticism, and alchemy, the authors have traced the emergence of a new spiritual paradigm in which the divine seeks wholeness through and with us. Many of us are having experiences that bring us in contact with a being who seems to exist independently in the realm beyond the psyche, or what the authors term "the psychoid." This being, the ally, challenges and helps us along our way to individuation. The ally represents our divine counterpart and works with us, if we are willing, to help heal the schism between and within the divine and us. The authors show us how to contact and consciously enter into a relationship with the ally through our dreams and by employing what C. G. Jung termed "active imagination. When we work with the ally to transform ourselves, the divine transforms as well, all three elements co-creating a whole being. The authors explore the ally's parallels in mystical traditions such as Sufism and alchemy, and how the ally differs from angelic beings. They also present an exciting new view of various creation myths, revealing that salvation exists beyond the "vault of heaven" for God and human alike.
Author of the acclaimed Jung and the Alchemical Imagination, Jeffrey Raff continues his teachings in psychoidal alchemy with an in-depth look at the feminine aspect of the divine. Sophia is, in the esoteric teachings, the embodiment of Wisdom, the matrix from which God arose, and God's heavenly consort and mirror. But, as Raff explains, she suffered a fall from this exalted state, corresponding to the obscuration of the feminine archetype in the patriarchal world. Without Sophia, God is not whole. It is our task to work with imagination to reunite Sophia and God. Raff explains the difference between fantasy, a product of the ego, and imagination, which comes from the soul. More importantly, he brings Sophia to life through a vivid analysis of an 800-year-old text, The Aurora Consurgens, as well as his personal experience with Sophia and active imagination. This process empowers us to become whole and realize our innate drive to unite with the divine.
A lost art and science of medicine, which may have begun evolving out of the cave more than 10,000 years ago, is resurfacing and reforming into a new map of medicine that is transforming contemporary patient care. This book unearths and transfigures human-earth expressions of healing through the exploration of metaphorical and symbolic images of caves revealed as recurrent symbols for mental states and physical environments. These “caves of healing” are introduced as the caves of the human body—caverns of heart and brain, and the caves of the earth body—caverns within, below and above the earth, which expand across cultures ancient and modern, shamanic and alchemical, initiatory and technological, intuitive and inventive, and imaginal and scientific. A mythological map is unfolded for navigating the relationship between the mind and the body, and healthcare and our environment, which invites a deeper, more integrative dialogue into much-needed philosophical, ethical and political discussions. The idea that the force of health is a force of Nature that becomes a fulcrum for healing is clarified here as a possibility for a “new medicine for the 21st century” called Integrative Health, which advances not only ancient and modern technologies, but also education, policy, research and clinical care by promoting the empowerment of personal responsibility, prevention of disease, continuity of care, and compassionate engagement between patients and healthcare practitioners. This new medicine facilitates a balanced circular ecosystem between illness and wellness, patients and healers, community and society, human and earth that revives and promotes the role of consciousness.