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This small book should be read and understood as consisting of loosely connected papers. The first two essays titled Jung in Context and Schools of Analytical Psychology demonstrate a necessary familiarity with the field that is a prerequisite for being able to take a critical approach towards Jungian Studies in general. Of course Jungian Studies is not one within itself as the Schools of Analytical Psychology essay title makes obvious. Hence it is necessary to be familiar with Jung’s own work, it’s context and subsequent developments within the field that are often referred to as ‘Post’ Jungian.
The third paper titled Applying a Reformed Complex Psychology to Cultural Life is an attempt to apply one or two psychological concepts to well-known phenomena in outer life. This demonstrates the value and relevance of psychological thinking. Jung himself did that and it serves to shed light on the concepts that you use and to shed light on the subject matter you are referring too. Too often Jungian Studies appears to be merely talking to itself. Therefore this essay equates to a minor corrective. It isn’t meant to apply a dogma to a social scientific approach as-such. But it is a strong argument for harder thinking especially about how we use our concepts.
The fourth paper is titled Kuhn’s Paradigms and Jungian Studies. In that paper Kuhn’s theory is outlined and psychology’s position within the fields of knowledge is clarified from within the context of Kuhn’s theory. And it is concluded that Jungian Studies needs to focus on one area that it could specialize in. The subject of ‘Meaning’ is suggested. This would sharpen Jungian Studies approach and clarify its position. As a field, it would stand greater chance of success in advancing knowledge - if it tried to solve just one puzzle. And those outside of Jungian Studies would understand what Jungian Studies was studying! This is not supposed to imply that Jungian Studies could never focus on any other subject matter ever again. Rather it is to discipline the field. Jungian Studies should focus on and resolve one issue at a time… no matter how long that takes.
The overall conclusion to this small book equates to an acknowledgement of the obvious… that the mind thinks and feels in a multitude of ways… but also argues that it is by thinking that we make sense of life. Hence the overall conclusion is that a sensible role for the mind is to think. Even when we experience meaning the threat of over identifying necessitates a role for thinking in order to establish perspective and balance… imperative for the maintenance of psychological health.
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