Minding the Self: Jungian meditations on contemporary spirituality (Anglais) Broché – 6 mars 2014
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Descriptions du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
Many people have an aptitude for religious experience and spirituality but don't know how to develop this or take it further. Modern societies offer little assistance, and traditional religions are overly preoccupied with their own organizational survival. Minding the Self: Jungian meditations on contemporary spirituality offers suggestions for individual spiritual development in our modern and post-modern times. Here, Murray Stein argues that C.G. Jung and depth psychology provide guidance and the foundation for a new kind of modern spirituality.
Murray Stein explores the problem of spirituality within the cultural context of modernity and offers a way forward without relapsing into traditional or mythological modes of consciousness. Chapters work towards finding the proper vessel for contemporary spirituality and dealing with the ethical issues that crop up along the way. Stein shows how it is an individual path but not an isolationist one, often using many resources borrowed from a variety of religious traditions: it is a way of symbol, dream and experiences of the numinous with hints of transcendence as these come into personal awareness.
Minding the Self: Jungian meditations on contemporary spirituality uses research from a wide variety of fields, such as dream-work and the neuroscience of the sleeping brain, clinical experience in Jungian psychoanalysis, anthropology, ethics, Zen Buddhism, Jung's writings and the recently published Red Book. It will be of interest to psychoanalysts, Jungian scholars, undergraduates, graduate and post-graduate students and anyone with an interest in modern spirituality.
Biographie de l'auteur
Murray Stein is a training and supervising analyst at the International School of Analytical Psychology, Zurich, Switzerland. He is the author of many articles and books.
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Détails sur le produit
Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
The text is sub-titled - Jungian meditations on contemporary spirituality and the book certainly fulfilled its promise. I just didn't want it to end and while not a long book, it is also one that you can take your time reading.
The central theme in the book is connecting with the (higher) self: "each person is required to incarnate the full complexity of the psyche, conscious and unconscious. This is what it means to mind the self" 12. Early on he opens up the important question of an ontological ground for the self - asking the key question, certainly of mid-life: what is our origin? A question which is answered with regards to reaching "beyond the psychic realm of the individual to the cosmic ground of Being" 15. Murray continues: "... the human task is to incarnate as much of the self as possible in a single life time with that which stands behind the self, the Ground of Being while the task of humanity is to incarnate as fully as possible on a collective level" .
In an era of spirituality that is in many ways beyond religion, the question arises as to how one moves into the spiritual quest? Murray says "it comes because it has to happen" 81. In our household we refer to it as getting the package - everyone gets one eventually and you don't know when it will arrive or what it will be but the bigger questions arise - ours was the loss of our child. " ... there comes a moment" he says "when an inner voice is not satisfied by conventional answers and demands something other. Individuation will inevitably require actions that society does not condone. It does not come without a price. Individuals will reach advanced ethical conclusions long before the collective gets there". 96
"Minding the self requires detachment" 98. It wouldn't be a Jungian text without raising the need to deal with our shadows and our opposites - a process which he says may also benefit from skilled direction 99. Importantly the process of growth is not linear - 112 - more the pity eh!
One discussion I really enjoyed was his treatment of the fact that God-images change and evolve over time, noting that we need these images to be relevant to who we are in our times, to assist us to establish a relationship with the self. As I noted in my recent review of Tony Flannery's Question of Conscience, a key issue with organised Christianity is its inability to make room for the new.
As a sociologist I also liked the fact that individuation did not occur in social isolation. For Murray, being in the midst of society while centred in the self inevitably resulted in our influencing that which is happening around us - one is centred yet connected.
A small negative is that the actual production of the book could have been a lot better - the front and back covers started curling up on opening and continue to do so. That said, this is a book that I didn't want on Kindle - it is something I want to hold on to - literally. Given the small price difference for a hard cover copy, I wish I had purchased the latter.
The subtitle, “Jungian Meditations on Contemporary Spirituality,” is perhaps too soft spoken to address the full thrust of what Dr. Stein deals with here. First of all, he address the actual situation many of us find ourselves in where we are adrift in a sea of symbols, mythology and dogma reflective of two-thousand-year-old religious concepts that in our time seem to not only stretch credibility but also defy objective reality. He understands our situation, my situation. I come from the sciences and engineering, although I’ve also been educated in literature and have been an author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry for over forty years. I’ve been reading the writings of Carl Jung for over twenty. Jung’s theories now provide a background for all my own work. But I’m a layman when it comes to psychology and spirituality, and Dr. Stein is President of the International School of Analytical Psychology, Zurich. Plus, he is an ordained minister. He knows what he’s talking about when it comes to spiritual matters, and here he’s following Jung’s “trail of hints for a possible way forward in our own troubled times.” [page 6]
Specifically, what is Murray Stein presenting here? This is the way he puts it:
“It is a vision for a new type of humanism based on the idea of integration of the divine into the human, which amounts to the incarnation of the full imago Dei for all who accept the challenge. This is the challenge and the opportunity that psychology offers, a challenge to the traditional religious notion of a supernatural metaphysical God and an opportunity for a future in which spirituality will be woven into the fabric of conscious and everyday life.” [page 6-7]
That is quite an undertaking. Does he deliver? And the answer is an unequivocal yes. I found it difficult to proceed through the material with any sort of speed because I kept stopping to reflect on the profound implications of statements like this: “The psyche is linked, in short, to a transcendent factor called Divinity that shapes it structurally.” [page 17] That was what I’d been sensing throughout my own life but couldn’t come to terms with or even have the courage to believe was real. In Chapter 8, “Not Just A Butterfly,” Dr. Stein gives an example of transcendence from his own life that helped me to understand a powerful event in mine, an example of Jung’s “synchronicity” that drove home the importance of paying attention to understand the significance to what is happening to us. He says that, “Perhaps the most tragic failure of human consciousness is that it so easily misses what is untoward and unusual.” A little later he says that, “When we stand squarely in the presence of death, especially of a loved one, our senses seem to be more attuned to hints of transcendence.” [page 48] This was what had happened to me several years ago with the tragic passing of the woman who had been my one true love in life. I had been warned ten days before in a dream, which was much more than a dream, that something was coming and even consoled beforehand. His experience gave credence to mine.
Dr. Stein never leaves behind the Jungian concepts of individuation and transcendent function but always builds on them. In Chapter 2, “Making Room for Divinity,” he states that, “The human task is to incarnate as much of the self, and therefore also of what stands behind the self, which is the Ground of Being, as possible in a single lifetime. This is the task of individuation, and it is what I mean by minding the self.” [page 19] And so it goes all the way through the last chapter titled “Minding the Self,” which is an insightful and powerful reading of “The Ten Ox-Herding Images” of Zen Buddhism, a favorite of Jung’s.
Dr. Stein also deals with the larger picture, society in general and the individual’s place within it. In Chapter 13, “The Problem of Ethics,” he states that:
“This view recognizes that individuation does not proceed in isolation from the wider world. It is not a sealed-off and isolated process limited to the individual personality. If an individual human being minds the self at the personal level and finds the way toward inner unity of the psyche’s inherent polarities, this will enhance order and wholeness as well in the surrounding social and natural worlds. Conversely, if the individual succumbs to inner disorder and disintegrates at a personal level and remains there, this will have a deleterious effect on the surrounding world.” [page 94]
It’s an exciting and exhilarating excursion through Murray Stein’s post-Jung world of analytical psychology, one that provides a new approach to spiritual development on the path to individuation. For me, it is quite possibly the most important book I’ve ever read.
a life that draws forth many, if not all, of one;s potential capacities as a human being, including shadow tendencies, and then reflecting on these experiences and discovering in them the features that we name as persona, shadow, anima and animus, complex, archetypal patterns and images, and at the center and embracing the whole, the self." This is a beautifully written book!