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The Symbolic Quest Paperback – January 1, 1979

ISBN-13: 978-0691024547 ISBN-10: 0691024545 Edition: Expanded

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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Expanded edition (January 1, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691024545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691024547
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Whitmont] has succeeded in what can only be called an act of creative translation. . . . The general reader will get what has not been available before, a clear and lucid statement of the Jungian position, that life has a pattern of wholeness which can only be comprehended symbolically at this moment in time."--The Los Angeles Times

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dana Garrett on August 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a read a few introductions to Jungian psychology and they have all suffered from one serious defect. Namely, in their attempt to be understood, they didn't provide a sense of the expanse of Jungian psychological thought. This book is the sole exception. It seems to be quite thorough.

Apparently, some readers have found this work difficult. I didn't and I am not a psychologist. In fact, I read this work as a beach book while on vacation. I found it to be a helpful explanation and introduction.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David on January 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
If anybody can take the pains to read and reread a book inch by inch, over and over again, ad infinitum, until you reach the other side, then by all means read this book! Being able to learn, retain and actually actualize the ideas he espouses, as you go along, into one ever expanding platform is all essential to even remotely comprehending so much as the first chapter, let alone the first page of this entire book! Mr. Whitmont is extreemly intellectual and wrote this book for people like him that thirst for inner knowledge. The text is written AS IF you already happen to know a number of words used only by depth psychologists. So be prepared to learn literally a text book of data per every page. This work is hailed as the next generation of Jungian thought written by Jung's prodigy student and spiritual heir apparent. And cannot be expected to be instantly readable by everyone, especially those already angry with Jung in general.Yet with each new concept integrated into your understanding of Jungianism, there will be a definite reward in terms of personal growth. I promise you a rose garden!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By JG on May 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much more than a primer or a simple introduction to Jung,this carefully written book expresses itself succinctly in capturing key Jungian concepts within it's proper framework and the crucial formulation of it's historical underpinnings(showcasing where appropriate the differences with Freud and at times with Adler,analyzing in detail the immense philosophic background and depth of Kant,idealism,phenemonologyy) as a vehicle in which Jung crafted his philosophy turning him into one of the major pillars not only of psychology but of thought in general whose ideas and insights reverberate throughout today's climate despite the obvious shift away from traditional psychoanalysis into medicinal therapy.

You will walk away understanding Jung after reading this book but it is no simple read.

Its text is eloquent and is not a simple beach book.

Its pages are woven carefully by a Jungian scholar and rather than diminish the ideas of Freud and others, the author, a top ranking Jungian, explains Freud and others to the reading public within a framework of understanding not only about Jung but after reading the book the major concepts and ideas of the psychoanalytical movement in general and specifics.

Another wonderful read on Jung but more suited for actual case studies and in a more relaxed style is June Singer's Boundaries Of The Soul, but for the seriousness that Jung deserves Whitmont's book can't be beat.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By S. Mirell on February 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Whitmont presents the basic concepts of Jungian psychology in prose which is, indeed, intricate (one of the less pejorative meanings of "convoluted"); but there is no better overview and summary of Carl Jung's astonishingly broad and comprehensive theories. This is not and is not meant to be a "popular" book but does seek - and reaches - a general reader who is willing to learn. The Redwood City reader takes the allegedly incomprehensible sentence out of the context in which it is embedded. On the page previous to it, active thinking is contrasted with passive thinking and thinking is contrasted with feeling. With that in mind - a "translation":
"Active thinking brings a representation (i.e. a likeness or image rising from perception) to a process of ordering and sequencing which establishes a cause-effect relationship between a given event and that which appears to [but does not necessarily] follow it."
Whitmont's next sentence points out that this interpretation [i.e. the assignment of a cause-effect relationship] is "imposed" upon the facts and because of this may or may not be a true and valid interpretation of them. "Pretentious" can mean "making demands on one's skill" - though I doubt that is what Redwood City reader means to say. In the sense of "unjustified claims of value" - which is probably what was meant, he is in error; but in the former sense, it is true, the book makes demands and offers great rewards.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Rose VINE VOICE on November 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read Whitmont's work in the late 70s after an intense spiritual awakening which was first expressed in Christian fundamentalism in the early 70s. During a time of study at the C.G. Jung Foundation and the New School (New York City) I began to discover the spiritual meaning and personal potential of the Christian myth. The work continues to this day, and I am thankful to Whitmont and others (Edinger, Neumann, Jacobi, Von Franz,) who extended the insights of Jung for pioneers along the path of individuation.
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