Sunday, October 15, 2023


Jung's magnum opusMysterium Coniunctionis, is a very difficult read.  Jung uses many Latin and Greek phrases and borrows heavily from alchemy, itself a mystery that unfolded into modern chemistry.  Jung is attempting to translate his understanding of individuation, the process by which a person becomes whole, undivided.  The book is a mighty challenge, but occasionally the fog clears and an astonishing statement jumps out.  Here is one: 

"The state of imperfect transformation, merely hoped for and waited for, does not seem to be one of torment only, but of positive, if hidden, happiness.  It is the state of someone who, in his (sic) wanderings among the mazes of her psychic transformation, comes upon a secret happiness which reconciles her to her apparent loneliness.  In communing with herself she finds not deadly boredom and melancholy but an inner partner; more than that, a relationship that seems like the happiness of a secret love, or like a hidden springtime, when the green seed sprouts from the barren earth, holding out the promise of future harvests."  (P. 432, Vol. 14, Jung's Collected Works)

For me Jung's greatest contribution is his outlining a path toward an "imperfect transformation," at one time the purview of the great religions.  In our increasingly secular society the religious path seems to be closed for many.  For these people a Jungian approach holds great promise.

Note:  I have corrected Jung's use of sexist language for two reasons:  One, it is wrong, the bias implicit. Two, my experience in analytic practice is that more women than men have adopted Jung's method so the change in language applies more appropriately to them.

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