SEEING THROUGH THE VISIBLE WORLD: Jung, Gnosis, and Chaos by June Singer


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Jungian psychologist Singer (Energies of Love, 1986; Androgeny, 1976, etc.) explores the mysteries beyond the ""visible"" or consciously knowable world--in a responsible but uneven conjoining of cognitive and spiritual insights. If she is most at home in the idiom of analytic psychology (where Self, representing wholeness, transcends ""visible"" ego), Singer is most intellectually enterprising when she reaches out to the philosophical frontiers of science: Kuhn's notion of a ""paradigm shift"" (e.g., from determinism qua model to chaos) becomes a new working metaphor for the ""revolution in consciousness."" Here, Singer ""hear[s] the voice of the scientist. . .begin to resemble the voice of the mystic""--and she does have a predisposition: ""The belief that there is only the visible world can be disheartening to the point of despair."" The key to seeing ""the marvelous in the mundane"" is release from the illusion of one's own self-importance--a claim that some will find hard to reconcile with the emphasis on therapy to balance the Eros and Logos within (per two ongoing case histories). Before initiating us into the secular numena where her real excitement builds, however, Singer labors through gnostic and messianic religious cosmologies and bogs down in Hesse's fictional Castalia; then, in a case of maladroit pacing, she whizzes through more salient theoretical psychosystems (experimental, developmental, transpersonal, etc.). Popular metaphysics with substance but none of the resonance of Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth, to whose audience this seems targeted.

Pub Date: July 30th, 1990
Publisher: Harper & Row