Sunday, May 16, 2021
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Erich Neumann: The Origins and History of Consciousness

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Author: Erich Neumann
Title: The Origins and History of Consciousness
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Rated: * * * * *

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This is one of the first of Erich's works to be translated into English. As a student of Carl Jung, with an introduction by the same featured in the book, it is obvious that not only did Erich manage to fully grasp the concepts of Jungian depth psychology but Jung himself declares that his student has surpassed and compiled his works. This book is broken up into two main sections in which we first step through the evolution of 'myth' utilizing the archetypes contained therin. Erich makes it very clear that he utilizes multi-cultural aspects from various world myths from differing timeframes. However one can easily see the basic development of myth that is used throughout all of mythology. The second portion of the text takes us again through the same basic steps only this time we are tracing the evolution of consciousness and the ego. One begins to readily understand how mythology works as a symbol to understand our own conscious development not only individually from the womb but also as a collective consciousness and culture in general. While some may view the Jungian perspectives as be patriarchal I personally find anyone who does so to be limited in their thinking and trivial as it is obvious that while we are speaking of a collective we can see the obvious turn our world's religions and cultural societies have taken toward patriarchy. I believe the growth will continue and turn toward feminism again. Not only that but if you think Erich is patriarchal in his views then why would he have even taken the time to write The Great Mother. About a year ago this month I was reviewing Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth. In reading books like Neumann's Origins.. it becomes very easy to see where mythologists like Campbell get their ideas from. Jung is recommended and practically required reading for anyone interested in the study or elevation of consciousness regardless of the method used. You will find many modern metaphysical works with obvious influences from Jungian depth psychology as well. Neumann can simply save one a lot of time reading all the collective works of Jung with his summation and extensions.

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