- Series: Collected Works of C.G. Jung (Book 27)
- Paperback: 467 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; 2nd ed. edition (October 1, 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691018316
- ISBN-13: 978-0691018317
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.12) 2nd ed. Edition
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"Readers . . . who believe that medieval and early modern alchemy was only a misguided effort to transform base metals into gold, or at best a crude preparation for scientific chemistry, will experience a great and probably bewildering surprise." (Thought)
From the Back Cover
In this present study of alchemy the author has taken a particular example of symbol-formation, extending in all over some seventeen centuries, and have subjected it to intensive examination, linking it at the same time with an actual series of dreams recorded by a modern European not under his direct supervision and having no knowledge of what the symbols appearing in the dreams might mean.
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1st Edit: Just from my reading, I will state this bold opinion: This book is probably best read backwards. In other words, instead of reading sequentially Part 1 -> Part 2 -> Part 3, do Part 3 -> Part 2 -> Part 1. This way you understand where Jung is getting his ideas from, and you may be able to form your own opinion of the dream symbols as you go.
The first part of the Book is a series of 70+ dreams all showing clearly alchemical symbolism. The rest is a psychological analysis of alchemical symbolism itself but shies away from being a book that spends a great deal of time explaining the alchemical opus exhaustively. I spend a lot of time dealing with dreams from myself, friends, and family; and this book along with Jung's "Psychology and Religion: East and West" really facilitated diving far deeper into the amplification part of dream analysis. (using comparative myth and dream material for deeper information in dream interpretation)
To fill in the gaps and have an easier time with the followup material in Alchemical Studies and Mysterium Coniuncionis I suggest having the alchemical opus well understood as well as an understanding of western spiritualism. A read through the Corpus Hermeticum (Supposedly written by Hermes Trismegistus) for the western spiritualism and a book by Mircea Eliade called "The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structure of Alchemy" are both great resources.
I don't think anyone who plans to do psychoanalysis with a strong dreamer should be without this priceless introduction to the alchemical symbolism that occurs in dreams. I highly recommend.
On the other hand, I do highly recommend the print version, which I also own. I've been studying the work of Dr. Jung since 1987, and this work contains many new and useful insights into his thinking about psychology. This is not the place to start with a study of Dr. Jung's work, which is highly complex, very broad, and very deep into the study of the psyche, but it is an important piece of the overall oeuvre.