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Depth Psychology and a New Ethic
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Depth Psychology and a New Ethic

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  58 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The modern world has witnessed a dramatic breakthrough of the dark, negative forces of human nature. The "old ethic," which pursued an illusory perfection by repressing the dark side, has lost its power to deal with contemporary problems. Erich Neumann was convinced that the deadliest peril now confronting humanity lay in the "scapegoat" psychology associated with the old ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published June 10th 1990 by Shambhala (first published 1963)
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Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psych
At the core of the argument is a claim: If we accept a psychoanalytic account of the unconscious (in this case a Jungian one), then both personal and social ethics need to address unconscious as well as conscious actions and their consequences. In itself, I find this claim provocative and worth considering. Unfortunately, Neumann's argument doesn't really do much to support it. His sketch of change in societies' ethics, which takes up much of the book, is far too general and occasionally really ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
Now I would probably find this book sophomoric. At the time I first read it, however, I was impressed and suspect that many persons who haven't done much reading in ethics or depth psychology yet might be impressed as well.
John B.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Valuable resource for understanding the underpinnings of our Western duality-based ethical system, which of course is problematic. The problem is the facility with which individuals and the collective can easily split their psyches into opposites (good-evil, light-dark, pleasure-pain, etc). What is the remedy? The Jungian system of coniunctio, or the integration of the opposites in the personality. Easier said than done, but Neumann brilliantly captures the theoretical talking points of this nec ...more
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I do like reading about the shadow, but this book has dated quite a bit. Written just after the second world war by an Israeli, I imagine it was viisonary, even momentous at the time - a crucial explanation for the deep psychological causes of the holocaust and the conflagration around it. Much of the language was quite technical and I found it a bit inaccessible for this reason. I don't really know how significant Neumann has been for modern psychology. A Jungian analyst, many of his ideas abou ...more
Eric Windhorst
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This profound book speaks to the problem of the psychological shadow in human life. Neumann suggests that a new ethic is needed to address the problem of evil in the world. Rather than repressing our 'negative' sides (i.e., our shadows) and trying to be perfect, Neumann holds that we must become aware of our darker sides, integrate them, and move toward wholeness--not perfection. The consequences of not integrating our shadows is that we project them on to others, which results in devastation bo ...more
Jun 14, 2008 marked it as to-read
Shelves: archetypes
Keep an eye out for other titels of his that deal with archetypal development
R. Saroja
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I changed and grew as I read this book. One of the things I clutched on to as my beloved country was sinking into madness.
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Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Picked up Neumann's work as per Jordan Peterson's recommendation on a good introduction to ethics. I really read it.

Neumann describes the solution for the deepening moral crisis experienced by the individual and the collective. This is a response to the acts of evil in the 20th century. For Neumann, whose teacher is Jung, the total ethic is the new method of incorporating the deep layers of the psyche that are instinctual and ugly with the ego, the values which we consciously identify with. Many
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Erich Neumann was a psychologist, writer, and one of Carl Jung's most gifted students.
Neumann received his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin in 1927. He practiced analytical psychology in Tel Aviv from 1934 until his death in 1960. For many years, he regularly returned to Zürich, Switzerland to give lectures at the C. G. Jung Institute. He also lectured frequently in England, France and the Neth
More about Erich Neumann...
“The psychological analysis of any normal development will make it clear that, if he is to grow up, it is not merely unavoidable but actually essential that the individual should do and assimilate a certain amount of evil, and that he should be able to overcome the conflicts involved in this process. The achievement of independence involves the capacity of the ego not only to adopt the values of the collective but often also to secure the fulfilment of those needs of the individual which run counter to collective values – and this entails doing evil.” 0 likes
“The ego will receive the reward of moral recognition by the collective to the exact extent to which it succeeds in identifying with the persona, the collectivized façade personality – the simple reason being that this façade personality is the visible sign of agreement with the values of the collective.” 0 likes
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