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Jung and the Occult: Between Archetypes and Spirits

The therapeutic psychology of Carl Jung emerged from fin-de-siècle Europe, a culture rife with spiritualism, mesmerism and magnetism.

In his early career, Jung himself researched spiritualism with an apparently mediumistic cousin, Helene Preiswerk. Such experimental contexts have marked the writing of post-Jungian authors such as Charet, Goodheart and Zumstein-Preiswerk. Against the backdrop of Jung’s “spirit hypothesis” of the archetypes, Simon Thomas revisits key debates thrown up by such studies, illustrating his discussion with dream material. He argues for an “occult fantasy” of post-Jungian therapeutic space, where there is said to be formed an interface between the estranged worlds of clinical psychology and occultism. This is done by evoking depth psychology as a practice in which the boundary between the so-called “natural” and “supernatural” realm is traversed, and in which the professional threshold insulating “clinical” process from “paranormal” is challenged. Simon Thomas is a Ph.D. student at University of London, working on the “schizopoetics” of Friedrich Holderlein (1770–1843). from a background in European philosophy, poetry and Jungian psychology.


Simon Thomas | talks


Date and Time:

14 June 2007 at 7:15 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



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