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September 2021

Desert wanderings: pathways for whole, broken and shattered psyches

Journal/Book: J Anal Psychol. 2000; 45: 108 Cowley Rd, Oxford Ox4 1Jf, Oxon, England. Blackwell Publ Ltd. 385-408.

Abstract: This paper challenges an implicit assumption of analytical psychology that centred, mandalic images express psychical wholeness in an optimal fashion across cultures and eras. I suggest that liminal, bardo-like eras, such as our 'post-modern' one, constellate complex, antithetical and ec-centric images, which are process-oriented and which encompass wholeness and fragmentation, conjunction and disjunction, thus holding and expressing actual individual and collective experience. In our era, we inhabit unfolding states of wholeness, brokenness and fragmentation. Images of wholeness, emerging spontaneously from the unconscious, may reflect part or all of these contradictory realities. Examples of such antithetical Self-images are developed from the ancient midrashic traditions of the rabbis; from Jung's contemporary exposition of Pauli's 'worldclock' dream; from Kepler's discovery, at the dawn of modernity, that the planets circled the sun in ellipses rather than circles; and from a clinical illustration.

Note: Article Joseph SM, 1140 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley,CA 94707 USA

Keyword(s): bardo; brokenness; fragmentation; midrash; process; wholeness


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