The timelessness and timeliness of the 'archaic': analytical psychology, 'primordial' thought, synchronicity

Bishop, P. (2008) The timelessness and timeliness of the 'archaic': analytical psychology, 'primordial' thought, synchronicity. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 53(4), pp. 501-523. (doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5922.2008.00743.x)

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In 1930 Jung gave a lecture entitled ‘Archaic Man’ to the Lesezirkel in Hottingen. Following recent work on this text by two commentators, this article uses their interpretations as a springboard for a complementary reading, which emphasizes the fundamental significance of this paper as bridging the earlier and later stages in the development of analytical psychology, and examines closely the opposition between ‘archaic’–‘modern’ in Jung's paper; indeed, in his work as a whole. In contrast to Lévy-Bruhl, Jung rejects the label of ‘mysticism’ as applied to the ‘primitive’ point of view, and his anti-mystical stance can be explained in terms of his dialectical conception of the relationship between Self and World. On this account, the subject and the object—the psyche and the external world—are more closely (inter)related than conventional (modern) epistemology and ontology generally believe. This conception of the relation between the subjective and the objective foreshadows his later, and controversial, concept of synchronicity, which is, Jung insists, a way of apprehending the world in terms of its meaning. Concluding with a survey of the status of the ‘primordial’ in some other texts by Jung, this article aims to foster further debate on one of Jung's most complex and fascinating texts.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bishop, Professor Paul
Authors: Bishop, P.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > German
Journal Name:Journal of Analytical Psychology
ISSN (Online):1468-5922
Published Online:29 August 2008

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
434001The literary culture of analytical psychology in relation to german classical aestheticsPaul BishopArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/E503861/1MLC - GERMAN