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Ego and Archetype

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Ego and Archetype [Paperback]

Edward Edinger
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 25, 1992
This book is about the individual's journey to psychological wholeness, known in analytical psychology as the process of individuation. Edward Edinger traces the stages in this process and relates them to the search for meaning through encounters with symbolism in religion, myth, dreams, and art. For contemporary men and women, Edinger believes, the encounter with the self is equivalent to the discovery of God. The result of the dialogue between the ego and the archetypal image of God is an experience that dramatically changes the individual's worldview and makes possible a new and more meaningful way of life.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Edward F. Edinger, M.D., a founding member of the C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology in New York, is the author of many books on Jungian psychology, including The Eternal Drama and Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Reissue edition (August 25, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087773576X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877735762
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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101 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A naturalistic book about God March 28, 1999
Ego and Archetype emphasizes that (1) God is directly experienced within, at the core of the human psyche, that (2) spiritual maturation requires a radical shift away from narrow ego focus and towards subordination of the ego to God-within and that (3) maturation is accomplished only if the individual squarely faces and confesses the almost unbearable inadequacies, pretensions and selfishness of the unguided ego. While Ego and Archetype deals with the themes of sin, repentance and atonement, the theories advanced are naturalistic and not religion-bound. Edward Edinger elaborates on these themes masterfully, and any reader who considers them to be at the heart of the human condition will cherish this book.
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81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Dr. Edinger explains the Jungian concept of individuation as both a psychological and spiritual phenomenon. Although the author does not explicitly acknowledge the underlying spirituality of Jung's concept of the self/ego relationship, it is apparent that he feels there is a metaphysical and spiritual basis to human development. Edinger, it seems to me, posits that the ego is a temporal construct rooted in a trascendental, timeless Self (soul). The text is filled with insightful accounts of many hermetic and esoteric concepts which appear in the Jungian corpus. Those who have read Jung's works on alchemy will find Edinger's interpretations illuminating. This is a wonderful secondary work on Jungian theory.
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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful & illuminating November 7, 2002
I first read this book as a teenager 30 years ago. At the time I was a little overwhelmed by its richness & depth, gleaning only a little of its wisdom. But after three decades of reading it many times over, I've grown enough to truly appreciate the soul-nourishing food for thought to be found in its pages. I've seldom come across an elucidation of Jungian & spiritual thought with such clarity & poetry! Even more than Jung's own work, this book gave me my first understanding of the reality of the Psyche, as well as providing me with a new perception of God & the Sacred which went far beyond the either/or simplicity of Literal vs. Illusion. It helped me to grasp that what goes on inside is just as real as the experience of the exterior universe -- in some ways, perhaps even moreso. And each new reading reveals more layers of understanding for me. Most highly recommended!
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85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book really did change my life December 23, 2004
Format:Textbook Binding|Verified Purchase
I was a young well educated military aerospace engineer and a devout right-wing Christian when a senior engineer handed me this book and asked me if I listened to the content of my dreams.

I would have never thought this man, an "engineer's engineer," was interested in anything outside of the scientific reality taught to us in engineering school, let alone the psychology of human beings and especially one's dreams.

I have read this book through at least three times, each time marking-up new insights I learn with a different color pen, just as I had done in analyzing my scriptures. It took awhile to learn the language of psychology, but once mastered I was able to have revealed to me the wonders of the human psyche and for that I thank Edinger for producing this masterpiece.

Edinger attracts his audience by revealing the genius of the teachings of the New Testament biographers of Jesus and other biblical writers. He shows how the Beatitudes taught by Jesus form the foundations of depth psychology, 2000 years before the field develops. He opens up a whole new interpretation of the story of Job, ties in the teachings of Jesus as regarding the process of Individuation, touches on Alchemy and metaphysics, and discusses the symbology found in the Christian religions, especially the Trinity. He includes wonderful related classic artworks along the way.

Edinger teaches the processes of Jungian psychology throughout the text. This introduced me to the field of psychology and the major contributions of Carl Jung.

The transformations I went through occurred during each reading of this book. While painful, my level of self-awareness has risen to new levels I feel not achievable had I relied on my religious teachings alone.

I now describe myself as a liberal agnostic college educator that seeks spirituality from where Jesus said it lies: the human heart. Thank you Dr. Edinger.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I am proud to say I read this book in hardbound, probably around 1975 (or when it first came out). I am reading it again after seeing it out in paperback. It opened my eyes 20 years ago when I was just a teen-ager reading the collective works of Jung and it contributes still today. E.F. Edinger and this book have never received the recognition they deserve. This book symbolizes the relation of religion to humankind in such a way as to make the trials of individuals in the Bible come to life in a way that affects every person who must deal with being a conscious being in a complicated universe on a complicated planet. Edinger takes the ego-self axis, inflation and alienation and explains it in religious, but symbolic terms on the way to finding that difficult concept or place of being called individualization. He takes religious themes and explains them in eye opening secular terms, as the story behind the one we missed in the traditional source. I read this book in the past along with Jourard's The Transparent Self, R.D. Laing's The Divided Self, and Alvin Toffler's Future Shock. I thought I was living in a special time with a special future waiting around the corner. Perhaps we have now finally emerged from the intellectual and spiritual desert created in the 1980s. We can't turn back and change history, but we can build on foundations of the past as made possible by people like Dr. Edinger. Great ideas take years to digest. This is a book that helps to launch one on a vast experience and helps one gain a deeper understanding of those great ideas and connects us to other great minds that add to this work in a way steps lead us up.
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