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Ego and Archetype: Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  960 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews

Edinger has written a provocative book which is a lucid survey and synthesis of Jung's psychological concepts based on a fascinating mix of mythic tales. A penetrating attempt to show the reader the archetypal images of God that reside in his unconscious." ~Publishers Weekly

This book is about the individual's journey to psychological wholeness, known in analytical psycholo

Paperback, 1st edition C.G. Jung Foundation Books, 304 pages
Published August 25th 1992 by Shambhala (first published January 28th 1972)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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John Kulm
Jul 25, 2009 John Kulm rated it it was amazing
A Jungian therapist I talked with about this book encouraged me to pay special attention to the "Ego-Self Axis" concept that it presents. I can see the importance. Having just finished, though, my mind is still into the last section: a study from ancient alchemical texts about the philosopher's stone - kind of esoteric and intriguing.

Some of these Jungians I've been talking with (I'm not even sure if they like being called "JungIANS") get annoyed at the suggestion that the system is "mystical."
Erik Graff
Dec 06, 2013 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jungians
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
My initial attraction to Jung and the Jungians was twofold. First, Jung himself seemed to intelligently address what I was experiencing under the influence of psychedelic drugs. Second, he seemed to offer some insight into religion, the Christian versions of which had surrounded and confounded me since childhood.

In fact, Jung has much to offer in both of these regards. He was, in the old C.I.A. phrase, "experienced" as regards hallucinagens and he did have a hermeneutical talent for translating
Jun 15, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
What a rich reading! Edinger really breaks down individuation and integrates powerful support direct from various texts of Jung. What stands out to me is Edinger's examination at what the individual faces in dreams, the shadow, and through symbols/archetypes. Through the use of examples of patient's dreams, he both shows us the richness of the psyche and how to begin to understand the images it brings to us. I read this for my class on Jungian psychology. I highly recommend it to anyone interest ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Nicholas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This is not one of the beginners guides that throw all the theories at you in a short space of time resulting in information overload.It is a more lucid attempt at getting to the core of the matter in hand, concerning itself with the development of the relationship between the Ego and the Self which lies at the heart of the problems that manifest themselves psychologically.
The text is illustrated not only with quotations from Jung but other scholars such as St Augustine,Elias Ashmole as well a
Feb 17, 2013 Tristy rated it liked it
This is definitely a classic in Jungian Studies, but in re-reading it, I am struck by what a completely patriarchal and masculine view Edward Edinger takes. This is of course, due in large part to the time it was written, but it's also due to the fact that when he discusses "religion" he almost completely means Christianity with a dash of Greek Mythology. It's a good primer (if a bit dense), but definitely explore other more feminist authors to get a wider perspective.
Every few months, my boyfriend and I pick a book we've liked for each other to read. This was his pick. I'm a fiction reader (almost exclusively), so philosophical analysis was definitely a unique read for me!

This is a description and analysis of Jung's philosophical work. The focus is on ego and Self (i.e. man and God) and how this pair interplays in Christian, ancient Greek, alchemical and other archetypal images, stories, and symbols. The book also features a lot of analysis of patients' drea
Jul 26, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Fucking-a, this book blew me away, dude! Although, I dunno if I could follow it if I hadn't already had coursework that involved Jung's idears. Yeah, man. I dunno. But, it was really cool to see, in a book, idears that I'd already been thinkin' 'bout in my own head, that had bubbled up from my unconscious and presented themselves to my li'l ole NANOWRIMO novels. Idears about alchemy and how the psyche evolves over the course o' a lifetime. It's been a while since I've read the thing, though, so ...more
Eleanor Cowan
Jul 24, 2014 Eleanor Cowan rated it it was amazing
The etymolgy of the word 're-ligion' is 're' meaning 'again' and 'ligament' meaning 'attachment' (just as ligament adheres to bone.

Jungian scholar Marion Woodman says that life is a series of births, and in the same light, Edinger shares that we earn our own individuation and our own autonomy.

For example, when we disagree with a commonly held point of view and posit our own, we take a step closer to our unique energy within.

Just as we were first attached to our mother's womb, now, by toleratin
Mark Smith
May 18, 2010 Mark Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: determinant
Incredible, Way. Jung's collective unconscious is like sci-fi. Understand myth, and much of humanities images and stories. Think adventure. Read, Inquire, Explore, Open, and Grow. Unavoidable and powerful.
Feb 06, 2012 Regi rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books on Jungian thought weaved with inner spiritual paths. Edinger is brilliant at reaching your psyche as if the book were explaining itself to you.
May 29, 2015 Cameron rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book by Edinger, though the read was in-depth and a portion of it beyond my understanding. One would need to be a fan of the symbolic nature of life as this book focuses on archetypal representations and extends the idea to nearly everything. I thought one interesting chapter was when the author took on the teachings of Christ in the New Testament of the Bible and even showed how the teachings were all symbolic. There are a lot of photographs of images to help represent wh ...more
Jānis Kļaviņš
Oct 25, 2014 Jānis Kļaviņš rated it liked it
Somehow I am not entirely satisfied with this book. I was hoping that after reading the book I will better understand something or another about the process of individuation that I might have left out or misunderstood after reading Jung.

I guess the summary at the back of the book is a bit misleading.

Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like my time was lost while reading this - I would still recommend it to anyone who is interested in analytical psychology. Just maybe don't start your journey with
P.S. Carrillo
Jun 03, 2014 P.S. Carrillo rated it it was amazing
This is my third reading of this amazing book. The revelations that depth psychology via Carl Jung have to offer the individual are startling beginning with ego - Self awareness and the process of individuation. The analysis of Christ as both ego and Self (God) are awesome and life changing. A basic understanding of Freud and Jung along with early Christian theology is necessary for a thorough comprehension of this book, and the last 100 pages are slightly obscure. I look forward to a fourth rea ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Isaac rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Isaac by: Lynn Bell
I just started reading this book and am only up to page 51 but I am absolutely loving it so far!! It really breaks down our growth process in a way that is very relateable and understandable. In my opinion its theory's fit so well with the dysfunction of some people that I know and I love that it pinpoints exactly what part of the growth process went awry and may have become stuck.

It also helped me on a personal level be more accepting of my attempts of separation from ego. Right from the get go
Wesley Fox
Nov 23, 2013 Wesley Fox rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
This book is meant for upper level college psychology or philosophy courses. It is not accessible for the general audience. Even in the sections where I was able to follow him, Edinger writes in a vague, flowery manner that threw up some serious red flags. His words sound deep and profound, yet say very little. He used the terms the Self, the ego, individuation, and the One thousands of times each. After a while they all lost their meaning.

The beginning of the book is informative, well-written,
Mar 20, 2016 Jordan rated it it was amazing
A wonderful application of Jungian ideas to Christian thought and concept. A turning point in my own thinking about these two subjects, and ultimately in my understanding of the human narrative. Dense at times but worth reading.
Jul 13, 2008 Angella rated it really liked it
Edinger draws from both Greek and Christian mythology, religion, and art to explain the individuation process and development of the Ego. He claims that through this journey to psychological wholeness one can bring meaning back to one's life.

I found his references to Christianity fascinating. Never had I thought of Christ as the paradigm of an individuated ego. I also enjoyed his explanation of the development of consciousness and how it follows a cycle. It mapped perfectly with my own experienc
Jun 16, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Fascinating book on Jung's idea of individuation. Edinger argues that the ego is our subjective identity while the Self is our true identity and is transpersonal in character. The unconscious Self manifests itself through religion and myth. Images such as mandalas or themes such as wholeness, the union of opposites, the elixir of life, etc. all refer to the Self. Individuation, psychological development, or perhaps better described as self realization comes from the changing relationship between ...more
Nov 02, 2008 Richard rated it really liked it
Edinger has an interesting work here - it seems to lack a coherent thesis, but it actually isn't a collection of essays - So it basically consists of 3 or 4 stand-alone works. It is provocative material, especially his thoughts on Inflated Ego, Alienated Ego, Christ as a paradigm of the individuated ego, and Teh Trinity Archetype. I wish I understood his stuff on the Blood of Christ Archetype and the Philosopher's Stone better. Its a good work, and a good reccomendation for anyone interested in ...more
Vrinda Pendred
Jan 10, 2014 Vrinda Pendred rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a really beautiful interpretation of our creation stories, and the meaning of life / search for identity, from a Jungian perspective. It's more accessible than Jung himself, and I feel a much better starting point for people who are new to the subject.
Bob Couchenour
Jul 03, 2013 Bob Couchenour rated it really liked it
Edward F. Edinger takes a few steps deeper into the world of C. G. Jung. Going beyond preliminary introductions into explanations of Christian symbolism seldom considered or systematically ignored by standard Church teaching. For and in the 'faith' desiring to delve deeper into the world of the mind and the Spirit, this makes a great read.
Dec 17, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
So far an amazing book. Great discussion about "The fall of man", actually the coming to consciousness from a state of unconsciousness. The activation, or splitting of the ego from the Self. This process causes an unhealing wound from which we experience all throughout our conscious lives. Awesome read, one of my favorites.
John Kennedy
Dec 25, 2014 John Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Among the very best books I have read.

Tautly written, insightful, substantive, and enormously constructive.

It is not easily accessible, and is likely to require close reading (and re-reading), but is probably the book I've benefited the most from.
Dec 11, 2012 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: depth psychologists
Recommended to Sandy by: Bob Mannis
Edinger's depth and clarity are amazing. I'm grateful for this work that elucidates Individuation in a spiritual way.
Jul 22, 2010 Bridgett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This is a detailed book on Jungian psychology, focusing on the relationship between the ego and Self.
Elizabeth LaPrelle
Aug 06, 2012 Elizabeth LaPrelle rated it it was amazing
This book is freakin incredible. Quite poetic at times, insightful, humanist, clearly written. Loved it.
Stevie Lynne
Dec 07, 2007 Stevie Lynne rated it it was amazing
one of the best elucidations of jungian psychology that i've found. really interesting & beautiful.
Jarno Häkkinen
May 07, 2014 Jarno Häkkinen rated it really liked it
Fine introduction on Carl Gustav Jung's psychology and timeless mysteries of Self.
May 26, 2008 Brian rated it it was amazing
This book will most likely change your life, it changed mine.
Dec 11, 2008 Rick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
Excellent dive into the vast, mysterious & powerful unconscious.
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Dr. Edward F. Edinger, M.D., was a leading Jungian psychoanalyst and a founding member of the C.G. Jung Foundation, in Manhattan, as well as the C.G. Jung Institute of New York. He was the institute's president from 1968 to 1979, when he moved to Los Angeles, where continued his practice for 19 years and became a senior analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. He previously served as a m ...more
More about Edward F. Edinger...

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