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u/slabbb- · 2 pointsr/Jung

>If you're only doing them without the Jungian part, then you're practicing new-age spirituality, which is also fine of course, but not the same thing.

Yeah, this.

It would be encouraging if the 'new agers' (not said disparagingly, I used to self identify in such a manner) understood this.


OP, good answers in ITT, as to approach.

A practical tool for aiding this is keeping a journal.

Depending on background, situation (age, etc) and available resources therapy might be worth considering.

With Jung's model there's a personal shadow and a collective aspect. This is not easy to distinguish.

Keep in mind, when Jung writes about this process, more broadly individuation not just 'shadow work', he is speaking to and out of a therapeutic context usually conducted relationally and dialogically alongside another. He also spoke of an age, a stage in life when it seems to more naturally occur. But I'm not sure how that holds today. Individuation, and the encounter with shadow in its more dramatic forms can be prompted by varying events and life experiences it seems irrespective of life stage or age.

Many of us are trying to do this work on our own. There's some differences.

Here's some words from Jung that seem pertinent, even if they don't exactly go into the how of the process. Of note is how he speaks of a disturbance here, which it strikes me you are in (following your self description):

>The collective instincts and fundamental forms of thinking and feeling whose activity is revealed by the analysis of the unconscious constitute, for the conscious personality, an acquisition which it cannot assimilate without considerable disturbance. It is therefore of the utmost importance in practical treatment to keep the integrity of the personality constantly in mind. For, if the collective psyche is taken to be the personal possession of the individual, it will result in a distortion or an overloading of the personality which is very difficult to deal with. Hence it is imperative to
make a clear distinction between personal contents and those of the collective psyche. This distinction is far from easy, because the personal grows out of the collective psyche and is intimately bound up with it. So it is difficult to say exactly what contents are to be called personal and what collective. There is no doubt, for instance, that archaic symbolisms such as we frequently find in fantasies and dreams are collective factors. All basic instincts and basic forms of thinking and feeling are collective. Everything that all men agree in regarding as universal is collective, likewise everything that is universally understood, universally found, universally said and done. On closer examination one is always astonished to see how much of our so-called individual psychology is really collective. So much, indeed, that the individual traits are completely overshadowed by it. Since, however, individuation is an ineluctable psychological necessity, we can see from the ascendancy of the collective what very special attention must be paid to this delicate plant “individuality” if it is not to be completely smothered.

CW 7, para. 241

It's a slow process, be patient. Learn how to hold intensity, density, of consciousness and your particular discontents. Learn how to be present and hold to whatever is with you and comes up. Each little insight is important. There is always more.

Learn how to read your dreams, figure out what your particular symbolic language means (the journal as aforementioned can help with tracking this). The shadow is a regular feature in dreams as much as in projections and behaviour.

One of Jung's methods involved working with dreams. Another was employing a technique, active imagination, but he had a caveat about this; ego integrity and strength is a requirement.

There's an image process and there's affect and embodiment attendant. These are entangled.

If you're dealing with issues of addiction and/or non-sobriety perhaps a 12-step program isn't amiss? (interestingly Jung was an instrumental influence in its founding).

As to books, Jung's work is dense, it can take a while to work through it and gain some clarity about his model and concepts. If you're at the beginning start with the recommendations here.

In relation specifically to the shadow, another reader in the sub recently recommended this book: Meeting The Shadow. It includes some material from Jung himself but is a compilation of multiple authors (I haven't read it in a few decades so I can't comment personally about its content).

There's a couple of compilations of excerpts from Jung's Collected Works volumes that might be helpful too. One on dreams simply called Dreams. The other concerns active imagination, also excerpts from the CW, compiled by Joan Chodorow; Jung on Active Imagination.

u/thaninley · 2 pointsr/Jung

If you've already located the Jungian analysts in your city, then a next step might be to email all of them and ask them what they think about your project of learning active imagination and how they think they could be helpful for you. Maybe then meet with a few of them that give you the sort of reply you'd be hoping for and see which of them feels like a good fit for you, that is, does this person feel like someone I could trust, feel safe with, learn from, etc.

Analysts responses to your interest may vary. My analyst told me that in his training it was frowned upon to teach active imagination to a patient/client until they had done enough psychological work that the analyst had a sense that the patient/client could do active imagination without being overwhelmed by the unconscious with disturbing, disorienting, images and emotions. Also, like you, I've been practicing vipassana for years and have come to see Jungian analysis as it's own wisdom tradition that has an individual inner component and an equally important interpersonal/relational component with the analyst that works through stages of analysis leading to transformation.

"In Jung’s approach the first phase is ‘confession’, during which time the patient shares their story, experiences and problems with the therapist. Secondly, ‘elucidation’ involves working out the transference relationship which may involve interpretation. The third stage of ‘education’ extends the insights and expands them into the social, behavioural and archetypal dimensions, while the fourth stage of ‘transformation’ assists the patient in the process of individuation (Samuels, 1990, p.177)"
Samuels, A. (1990). Jung and the Post-Jungians. London, England: Routledge.

Anyway, I wish you good fortune in your exploration. Neither vipassana nor Jungian analysis is quick, but in my experience, both lead slowly toward greater insight, freedom, and wholeness.

Also, the following books may be useful in learning active imagination on your own.

Jung on Active Imagination edited by Joan Chodorow

Robert Johnson - Inner Work

Barbara Hannah - Encounters with the Soul

u/wiseblood_ · 5 pointsr/Jung

If you're done with the surface level stuff and have all the basics covered, pretty much all of Jung's important work is in the collected works (there's also The Red Book, but that's probably not a good starting point).

There really is no "recommended reading order" for Jung. The CW Wiki page has the release dates for each book, but a few of his books were revised multiple times (there were four editions of Symbols of Transformation, for example), so I don't really know how much of a good barometer that's gonna be. Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious and Psychological Types are popular, not terribly difficult, pretty good starting points for the CW. Aside from a few of more notoriously difficult books like Aion and the works on alchemy (vol 12-14), you can pretty much move on to anything else after that.

Symbols of Transformation is also a key text, it's the book that pretty much laid the groundwork for all of Jung's thought after he separated from Freud. It is not an easy read but if you understand SoT you've got a solid grip on Jung and can probably handle the rest of the CW. And all that aside, it's an extremely rewarding text.

u/daturapiss · 2 pointsr/Jung

One other place to start, as did i was, was Von Franz's alchemy. She gives the layman a good foothold, from egypt to st thomas aquines's big vision, the rising dawn, aurora consurgen. She also did another book devoted solely to the rising dawn, a book i am eagerly waiting for, shit should be in within a week.

What i learned from that? shit, one thing, the book is available, although partially, in pdf form on the internet. anyway, she breaks down some alchemical illustrations. i do not have the memory to break 'em down, but they are apparently the basics. There is the alchemist at the mountain you have the blind seeker and the shitty journey ahead. all leading to the phoenix, the rebirth, idk, like i said, i'm an artist not an intellectual. The shit i learned, idk, got absorbed but it's hard to articulate (one could argue that i didnt learn shit) but it is a great starting point.

Her second book on the subject is said to be... it's lessons nullify the need to read mysterium. like i said, i am still waiting for that fucker...

i also need to start taking notes. But goddamn, are some the passages beautiful. I have a lot of notes...

Idk, like i said, i'm an artist and not a scholar, but it is a great book, great passages.

u/JimJamz11 · 5 pointsr/Jung

In jungian terms, and, Jung talks at some length about this in his seminars on Nietzsche's Zarathustra, Nietzsche lacked a connection to his "Anima", his inferior function and in turn the unconscious.


This is the abridged version and is only around 350 pages of what, in its full form, is a whopping 1500 pages. I think its important to keep that in mind while reading.

Anyway, remember we talked about Sensing and Emotion to be Nietzsche's inferior functions. If we look at his life, his chronic illnesses (sensing) and his incredible loneliness(emotion), as many of his friends deserted him later in life, and his love of his life did not accept his love, we can see where his life lacked a strong connection to his philosophy.

Was Nietzsche a Dionysian anywhere else than in his philosophy? At one point, I believe, he had a good strong friend group. But nearer to the end of things, he was incredibly isolated, awkward as hell, and spent a lot of the time watching others in beautiful places. With this in mind, Jung talks about the Apollonian archetype as being an over intellectualized character, not necessarily in the soulless, over rational sense we know nowadays, but in the strongly spiritual/intuitive, bigger than life, on top of the mountains (6000 feet above good and evil) sort of way. Someone who cannot connect with others because hes caught up in intellectual spiritual realms or head spaces. Nietzsche fell into a sort of Enantiodromia, which, is a jungian term to describe being so one-sided that you fall into the opposite side of the spectrum. He lived the apollo life style, that was so part of his age, too the extent that he espoused the anti-thesis, the Dionysus lifestyle.

Nietzsche was a profound thinker and poet, a prototype of the psychologist par excellence. He could see other peoples projections easily, but never his own. With this in mind, lets look at the 'ugliest man'. In other-words, the ugliest man, is the normal man, and was always Nietzsche's shadow, as shown in much of his writing, and especially Thus Spoke Zarathustra. He wanted to be anything but, but paradoxically, it is what he wanted most at times. It is the normal man who experiences the sensing and the emotional aspects of life, which are crucial for a wholesome life. It is the normal man who actually exist in other-words. This is what Nietzsche's unconscious, his Anima, theoretically longed for. To be loved, to be normal, to be amongst other men. Nietzsche story is, fittingly, very tragic. I find that the people that are very steeped in Nietzschean thought tend to identify with too much with a strict Dionysian nihilism. Which is a shame, because I think Nietzsche, though very much birthed the concept, didn't think people would of interpreted like many do. That is, many get to caught up in the intellect and debase every experience, which lifts them up just enough to isolate them from others and just enough to fall down hard into the abyss they made for themselves. Its a vicious cycle! Perhaps getting more down to earth, forgetting his theories and the problems of society, and just feeling and sensing, would be a good way to compensate for this one-sided life style.

All this being said, take this with a grain of salt. I am not a a philosophy major who focused on Nietzsche, but my brother is. So I have had the honor to butt heads with him my entire life on these ideas, which is not to say I haven't read a good deal myself, and don't have a lot of respect for Nietzsche! (and again, sorry for writing so much, I probably over did it)

u/sograw12 · 2 pointsr/Jung

Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth - Robert A. Johnson

Johnson gives very clarified and flexible steps to be used in analyzing dreams along with how to use active imagination. This is the most structured and easily understandable reading for analyzing dreams and active imagination I have found.

u/Ghost33313 · 5 pointsr/Jung

I think some of the answers are missing the mark here. Try this book if you have the time.

I found it best illustrated the balance between unconscious and conscious. From my memory it might be easier to understand the other extremes away from individuation. On one extreme you have someone consumed by the unconscious. Impulsive people controlled by emotions and ruled by superstition, completely ruled by their animal impulses and archetypical motivations. At the other extreme you have entirely logical and completely detached people. These types are likely to be sociopaths, very calculating and often confused by why others let emotion get the better of them, they see no need for legends, myth, and story.

The other comments are not wrong in that Intuition, feeling, sensing, and thinking need to be balanced. That is just a smaller facet of the bigger picture. By balancing these four attributes one can better search within ones self to see the separation between mind and spirit, unconscious and conscious. Once you can do that you can further yourself down the path of individuation and achieve a balance and self actualized state.

I find a great litmus for where someone stands is looking at what desires define them. Do they obsess about something? Do they follow some cult or ideology, perhaps even a TV show or novel? If so they are being consumed by unconscious desire. Is the subject more inclined to rational thought? Do they scoff at tradition and are more focused on some material needs/gains? Then they are probably dissociative from their unconscious desires.

By balancing between these two states of mind the binary self becomes whole. Only then can someone individuate.

u/thebourbondialogues · 5 pointsr/Jung

Yeah fam I got you.

Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth


I prefer the book to the site, but the site is pretty decent.

Active imagination is something that for the first X amount of times that you do it, it feels like nothing is happening or that you’re doing it wrong. But just be consist at it and do it for like 10 minutes before bed and eventually you’ll get it and you’ll go “woah”

u/Pr4zz4 · 1 pointr/Jung

The shadow is just a place in your psyche. It's filled with anything that's been repressed, taboo'd, or any behavior not condoned by "normal" society. I'd read Bly's "Little Book on the Human Shadow" as he provides a really good intro.

Everyone's shadows will be similar, but different. For example, depending on the culture you're raised in, different things will be taboo'd. Or, your personal dispositions will lead you to certain behaviors, which you may find undesirable, so you yourself send it to the shadow domain.

Take this in consideration that what I described is the equivalent of cocktail-napkin-math. The shadow, its projections, and all things revolving around that can get pretty complex. I just put a dot on the map and those books will help you find the trail.

Bly's Book --

King, Warrior, Magician, Lover --

u/_spood_ · 3 pointsr/Jung

I am just beginning to read up myself.

Introduction to Jungian Psychology: notes on his 1925 seminar has been a great intro personally

'Demian' by Herman Hesse is a great novel that has a lot of influence from Jung. It's a quick read if Jungian fiction interests you at all.

Looking forward to hearing more suggestions.

u/trt13shell · 2 pointsr/Jung

So far all I know is within these small videos:

In a similar method one might use mythology to observe reoccurring themes in human values and archetypes this guy does it with movies and connects it to the contents of this book which describes 4 archetypes having to do mostly with masculinity.

I personally identify most strongly with the magician and perhaps the lover as well altho mostly with the shadow functions of the lover sadly

u/jwolfgangl · 4 pointsr/Jung
If he's not much of a reader there's a great YouTube series on King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by 'Like Stories of Old'. About 10 minutes each and examines how films portray these male archetypes.

u/didymusIII · 1 pointr/Jung

ah Individuation huh! I was able to always understand this term, through CGJs writings, intellectually but never really practically. I haven't found any of his writings yet where he really delves into the practical way to accomplish individuation. I do know that his personal process relied heavily on active imagination and this would seem to be his recommendation (for much of his life he did not want his process revealed because much of his writings come from his personal interaction with his own psyche and he feared this would not be considered scientific (also the reason he did not want Liber Novus (The Red Book) published)) because he saw it as a more focused way to access ones unconscious as opposed to dreaming. But often, as i believe is the case with Marie LVF, other of his followers were better able to describe his method. I just got this book by the then Chairman of the New York Institute of the C.G. Jung Foundation ,which takes the process of individuation as one of its main topics, for that reason.

u/ontheroadtofindout · 1 pointr/Jung

If you want a great foundation re: how to 'approach it from a good angle', try Richard A. Johnsons' book, Inner Work.

u/chacham2 · 4 pointsr/Jung

Intro to Jung: Jacobi's The Psychology of C. G. Jung (Available for free at She explains his entire theory, including things not in the books. She studied under Jung, was one of his main students, and Jung wrote an introduction to that book.

For Jung himself, the generally accepted place to start is Collected Works Volume 7, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. It's a basic introduction written by Jung himself, and is the easiest of all his books on this topic.

Jung doesn't really talk about the Tarot. The closest thing that he speaks of at length would be astrology. He lists his approach and tests in Collected Works Volume 2, Experimental Researches.

u/ChroniclesofSamuel · 3 pointsr/Jung

Amazing dreams. I would say that your unconcious and shadow are definitely trying to tell you something. But without further context, it would be hard to be accurate, and besides, I am not a professional to counsel or advise on such matters.

But I can tell you what came to mind and I can send you some references.

I noticed a lot of the same symbols that are contained in the Flood Story of Noah.

So I want to reference two Jordan Peterson lectures on the subject:

Also on audible there is a book I like that might help:

Jungian Psychoanalysis: Working in the Spirit of Carl Jung

By: Murray Stein editor

Narrated by: Cynthia Wallace

And finally, but you probably have it:

Man and His Symbols

u/Seriphosify · 1 pointr/Jung

I'll copy/paste my recommendations from another thread:

Start with with the autobiography Memories, Dreams, and Reflections. And then follow the references to other works of Jung and other Jungians from there.

After you read through his autobiography, I think it's actually better for a beginner to go directly to the works of other Jungians.

Read anything and everything by Edinger. In particular, Ego and Archetype, The Creation of Consciousness, and The New God-Image.

Neumann's Origin and History of Consciousness.

Robert Johnson's He, She and We series to get a better grasp on the masculine and feminine archetypes and the interplay between them.

This book ( which is a compilation of essays across various authors (including Jungian analysts) elaborating on the concept of the Shadow and how it plays a role in one's life. Cannot recommend this one enough.

And finally, Robert Moore's King Warrior Magician Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine. He even as an individual book on each of the individual archetypes, but those are extremely hard to find, and very expensive. You can probably find the audio lectures online though.

u/Mutedplum · 1 pointr/Jung

Edinger's Anatomy of the Psyche may be a good read for you :)

u/arkticturtle · 1 pointr/Jung

Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth is apparently good. I haven't read it yet but I've been recommended it many times.

u/tralfaz66 · 5 pointsr/Jung

You might take a slower start.

One of his first followers Marie Loise von Franz wrote a smaller book on his psychology and alchemy.

Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology (Studies in Jungian Psychology)

Then tackle Psychology and Alchemy

And then you can realize that you aren't yet prepared for his opus the Mysterium Conjiuctonis.

Have fun!

u/JRLee62 · 2 pointsr/Jung

It seems Jung matured in his understanding over time. It might be interesting to take a look at this book

>Jung, Jungians and Homosexuality by Robert Hopcke. He's a gay jungian psychotherapist in San Francisco.

u/Manfromanotherplace3 · 8 pointsr/Jung

I recommend this book on the subject: “The Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness”:

u/feliksas · 1 pointr/Jung

This is an excellent book on the topic. There’s also a long paper by the same author. I don’t think they book is online, but the paper can be gotten through scihub. PM me if you can’t find it

u/psysaucer · 1 pointr/Jung

does anyone know where I can find the complete jung's seminar on zarathustra online?

u/AEEARTE · 2 pointsr/Jung

Archetype of the Apocalypse: A Jungian Study of the Book of ...
Archetype of the Apocalypse: A Jungian Study of the Book of Revelation Hardcover – May 1, 1999. ... With this book, he constructs a Jungian interpretation of the Bible's "Book of Revelation", and offers his view of the meanings of images that have intrigued our culture for over 2000 ...
Nonfiction Book Review: Archetype of the Apocalypse

u/I_am_Norwegian · 1 pointr/Jung

Sorry, oh, and here.

This is my sarcastic way of pointing out that I'm talking about a chapter from a book. The relevant part isn't more than some ten pages, but I'm not going to type them out.