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The Portable Jung

It has been awhile since I first read 'The Portable Jung' by Joseph Campbell. I had almost forgotten how important this book was in helping me understand Jungian thought. If you have not read the book I recommend highly that you do. Joseph Campbell is the best primer for those interested in Jung and this book punchuates Campbell's brillant ability to articulate Jung's philosophies. Some of the chapters you will find in the book are:

Chapter 1: The Stages of Life
Chapter 2: The Structure of the Psyche
Chapter 3: Instinct and the Unconscious
Chapter 4: The Concept of the Collective Unconscious
Chapter 5: The Relations Between the Ego and the             Unconscious

and that is only the beginning. Other chapters include 'Psychological Types', 'Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchelmy' & 'The Difference Between Eastern & Western Thinking'. These are taken from Jung's comprehensive colection of writings and edited by Campbell. It comprises Jung's pioneering study of the psyche, including dreams, spirituality and creativity. If you are a true Jungian and have not read this book,,,,,waste no time and get it.

Here is a link to Amazon's site that previews the book.

Gerard

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Re: The Portable Jung

Book recommendations are always appreciated - thank you!

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Re: The Portable Jung

This is a wonderful book and I'm still reading it. I'd just like to add that I thoroughly enjoyed "On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry." This chapter contains excellent material for anyone who strives to create any kind of art, especially through the use of the written word.

And I understood many of these chapters better the second time I read them!

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Re: The Portable Jung

Pryzm,
Joseph Campbell was a master when it came to articulation. But I agree completely with what you said about understanding it better the second time around. This is deep stuff and even though what was written seems to connect with the first reading, I often had ah! ha! moments when I read it again. Campbell, and Jung, expose many inner secrets about the human pysche, and the universal psyche. I believe it can best be compare to what Jesus said in the 108th verse of the The Gospel According To Thomas which were a part of the Gnostic Gospels. And accordingly it is the second and seemingly less important part of the verse that really states the fact:

Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him."

Of course Jesus was addressing the spiritual aspect. The underlying message from Campbell and Jung was there are hidden things with the metaphysical, an aspect that Jung expounded even though his body of work was scientific. Campbell's hero of myth, as exampled by the search for the Holy Grail, discovered within themselves the spiritual/creative aspect which is Jung's formula for a balanced, harmoneous life {the Holy Grail being a metaphor for the soul, or the true Self, grounded in the spiritual/creative aspect of the psyche}.

I found the best way to really grasp what Campbell was saying was to listen to the audio book version. I don't remember if The Portable Jung was available in this form but if it is I recommend getting it. In Nashville I always found Davis-Kidd to have the best selection of audio books {I live in Murfreesboro}.

Gerard

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Re: The Portable Jung

Hi Gerard,

You are so right about Campbell! I believe that he was one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century. And so articulate - his prose is beautiful, yet carries great depth at the same time; I don't know anyone who writes the way he does.

I have some audio lectures by Campbell too, and they're terrific. He is also very entertaining! Once he was asked to give a talk at Esalen about Psychosis and the Mystical_Experience with psychologist John Perry (he talks about this story in Myths to Live By). Anyway, even though he wasn't a psychologist, he delivered a lecture that I thought completely overshadowed Perry's very competent treatment. Campbell was a true synthesist of the deepest principles of art, religion, and psycholgy.

To tell the truth, it's Jung I understand particularly better the second time around. It's not so much the Latin but his expressions (a little removed from English as it's spoken today) that give me some pause. But he is no less brilliant for that! I feel a deep debt to both of these great men.

Pryzm

P.S. Have you read Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore? He studied under James Hillman, who studied under Jung. I think it is a masterpiece too.

:-)

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Re: The Portable Jung

Pryzm,
Yes, I read Care of the Soul many moons ago. Hillman has a lot to add to Jungian thought. Robert Johnson is another. Of course my favorite is Marion Woodman. Her Dreams: Language of the Soul is a must for all Jungians {it is available on audio cassette}.

On the subject of Campbell. There was a series of interviews of Campbell by Michael Toms on New Dimensions Radio that gives real insights to Campbell's personality. They are available on audiobooks
The Wisdom of Joseph Campbell



These audiobooks are great companions in understanding the insights of this most insightful man.

In one of the interviews {one I remember because it seems to apply to my own life and the struggle to live the hero pattern} Campbell made the statement about following the hero path in today's world. He said that it was getting more difficult to do because of the demands of the 'social dragon'. Be mindful this was a man whose life opened up at every turn when he needed 'the helping hands'. I guess we can take comfort in knowing that Campbell recognized the difficult task it is to live the hero life in the present day.

Gerard

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Re: The Portable Jung

One more thought about the social dragon. Those who read Campbell may remember his remarks about Nirvana. His discription of Nirvana {simplified} was 'the psychological stance where one is indifferent to fear, desire and social duty'. Most people see social duty as a necessity, so what chance do they have to be indifferent to fear and desire?

Gerard

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