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Jung the Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung's Life and Teachings Paperback – December 27, 2012


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Jung the Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung's Life and Teachings + Swedenborg: An Introduction to His Life and Ideas + Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; Reprint edition (December 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399161996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399161995
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

GARY LACHMAN is one of today’s most widely read and respected writers on esoteric and occult themes. His writing has been published in several national journals on philosophy, esotericism, and modern culture, and his books—including Madame Blavatsky; Rudolf Steiner; Swedenborg; and A Secret History of Consciousness—have been published to acclaim in both America and Europe. In his musical career, Lachman has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of the pioneering rock band Blondie. Lachman was born in New Jersey, and he currently lives in London.


More About the Author

Gary Lachman (1955- ) was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, but has lived in London, England since 1996. A founding member of the rock group Blondie, he is now a full time writer with more than a dozen books to his name, on topics ranging from the evolution of consciousness and the western esoteric tradition, to literature and suicide, and the history of popular culture. Lachman writes frequently for many journals in the US and UK, and lectures on his work in the US, UK, and Europe.His work has been translated into several languages. His website is http://garylachman.co.uk/

Customer Reviews

The reader would do well to look elsewhere if interested in Jung, or mysticism, or both.
John Snethen
The author clearly would have preferred if Jung had come clean about his real views, rather than hiding behind a "scientific" persona.
Ashtar Command
I found this book very helpful in understanding Jung and his ideas and his role in the development of psychoanalytic practice.
Loves the View

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Verita VINE VOICE on July 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are interested in Carl Jung's esoteric works, as I am, you will have had to dig around in his books. A little mention of this here, that there. Jung himself was unsure he wanted this information disseminated, much less compiled -- he lived in a much more staid and judgmental time than we do (partly thanks to him!). Many of the ideas we take for granted, a collective unconscious, e.g., originated with him and in his mystical or shamanic experiences. Hypnagogia, active imagination, visionary experience. The author has done a very good job of bringing much of Jung's experience together for the reader, who may also use this book as a guide to further reading. Very nice to have -- I have already read a borrowed copy and am now buying one to keep.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Bodhi Heeren on October 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Lachman - the original keyboard player with Blondie - has written an entertaining and rather comprehensive introduction to the fascinating world of Carl Jung. Once again telling the story of his life from early childhood.

Encompassing all the usual steps: the childhood dreams and rituals, student life, early career as psychiatrist, Sabine Spielrein, Freud, midlife crisis and psychic breakdown. His perhaps ambivalent attitude towards nazism, the alchemical studies. And ofc focusing on the dichotomi of Jung, he's rather severely guarded scientific image and the more hidden interest in the occult. Without, it has to be said, adding anything new or original.

Lachman seems to have a reserved but generally positive view of his subject. Though his main criticism of Jung's book as rather unreadable seems somewhat misguided and lacking the historical dimension: well educated readers at Jung's time DID have a comprehensive understanding of Greek and Latin, lacking ofc for most readers today.

Although the book title seems to hint at more than just another biography, Lachman does not go into a very detailed analysis of the esoteric dimensions of Jung's work. He does make some interesting - if rather obvious - connections to the work of Rudolf Steiner and Gurdieff. While on the other hand his own knowledge of people like Schopenhauer and Goethe seems rather superficial. And largely ignoring Jung's roots in the tradition of Freemasonry and Rosencreuzians, as well as his influences from - and misunderstandings of - Eastern spirituality.

A very recommendable book for anyone new to Jung. In fact for them it can be said to be the perfect starting point. For the more advanced/experienced 'Jungian' there's not that much to come for.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By oberon on October 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lachman's bio on Jung is well-written, accurate and moves along easily. As stated by the other reviewers, he skips over some connections and emphasizes others, but this is inevitable in a short book. While it is not an "advanced" biography by any means, it captures a useful perspective on the essence of Jung from the viewpoint of Lachman's interests, and does so in a very entertaining way. It contains lot of pleasant food for thought.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robin Landry TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gary Lachman's biography of Carl Jung is as intelligent as its subject. Anyone trying to wade through the writings of Jung himself will have a hard time understanding the man in any way that might be useful. I've learned of Jung through Joseph Campbell in his works on the power of mythology in our lives, and now with Lachman's new biography, I can finally understand the genius of Jung himself.

Lachman writes as someone who truly understands his subject in a deep and meaningful way. Even though Lachman's writings read like a scholarly paper, it was still an enjoyable and easily understood book. Filled with quotations and researched to within an inch of its life, Jung the Mystic is a great introduction to the life of a man who opened so many doors into the unconscious of humankind.

Without Jung we wouldn't have the common terms such as synchronicities and collective unconscious. Joseph Campbell might not have been able to give us the hero's mythic journey, and maybe we wouldn't know that our mass despondencies come from living a modern life that lacks any real meaning, something only the inner world of our subconscious can give us.

Exerts from the book:
"Pierre Janet's central concept was what he called the "reality function." Like Bleuler, he believed that mental illness was a result of a "loosening" of consciousness, a slackness in our grasp of reality, as if the mind was a hand too feeble to hold anything properly. We even tell someone who seems on the verge of hysteria to "get a grip." Mental health, Janet believed, was determined by our ability to focus, to concentrate our attention (as we often say "pull yourself together" to someone who is danger of losing it").
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Alschuler on May 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Having read Lachman's book I can now safely discard my collection of Jung biographies by Barbara Hannah, Marie-Louise von Franz, David Rosen, Laurens van der Post, Paul Stern and Claire Dunne! While Jung's Memories, Dream, Reflections provides an introverted autobiography (almost devoid of references to people in his life), Lachman counterbalances this with an extraverted biography populated by Jung's interpersonal relations. Despite the book's title, accounts of Jung's mystical side provide only broken threads that do, however, weave into a coherent life tapestry.
The many footnotes and references attest to this fully documented and researched study. The biography imbeds Jung's major psychological contributions in an historical context of influences by other psychologists (especially Freud), philosophers, novelists, patients, and colleagues, not to mention the influence of Jung's confrontation with his own unconscious through dreams, visions, and mystical experiences.
Many of Jung's psychological ideas remain controversial to this day, not only those pertaining to mysticism. Lachman often presents opposing viewpoints, sometimes adding his own meaningful conclusion. The text introduces many of Jung's key concepts such as the collective unconscious, synchronicity, individuation, active imagination, the shadow, anima and animus. The author does the reader a great service by summarizing in a few sentences the essentials of Jung's work, for example, on gnosticism (p. 152) and alchemy (p. 158).
Lachman's treatment of two topics I found particularly insightful. First is the controversy surrounding Jung's supposed anti-Semitism and pro-Nazi sympathy. Jung's participation in several plots to overthrow Hitler and Jung's psychological profiling for the Office of Strategic Services with Allen W.
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