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Alchemical Active Imagination

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Although alchemy is popularly regarded as the science that sought to transmute base physical matter, many of the medieval alchemists were more interested in developing a discipline that would lead to the psychological and spiritual transformation of the individual. C. G. Jung discovered in his study of alchemical texts a symbolic and imaginal language that expressed many o ...more
Paperback, Revised, C.G. Jung Foundation, 160 pages
Published December 2nd 1997 by Shambhala (first published January 1st 1979)
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Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: psychotherapists
This one was a little more dense than her other works; nevertheless, Marie-Louise explained Jung with clarity. Take this quote, for example, as a way to express the purpose of individuation:
"Whenever this (the individuation process) occurs positively, it brings about a union of consciousness with the collective unconscious instead of an explosion of consciousness: it means an enlargement of consciousness together with a decrease of intensity in the ego complex. When this happens, the ego retires
Ricche Khosasi
there are some authors Franz used in writing this book. If someone is willing to follow all the authors, and study is thoroughly, it is possible new culture and new languages also could be learnt.
Feb 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a challenging read. It starts out fairly normally in that she discusses much of what Dr. Jung thought and practiced in the way of Active Imagination. However, about 1/3 of the way through it, it becomes more of a commentary on Mr. Dorn's thoughts and ideas in this area. As interesting as it was, it was very difficult to follow as this was mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries and their thought patterns and ideas were very different.

However, it was very interesting and well worth the w
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This is a considerably less convoluted treatise on Alchemy and its modern day psychological relevance,than the one produced by Carl Jung.After a couple of chapters explaining the concepts and tracing the history of Alchemy back to Egyptian mummification and the rites of Osiris,the author proceeds to dissect some of the more relevant and more lucid parts of a sixteenth century text written by Gerhard Dorn,a student of Paracelsus.The active imagination referred to in the title concerns the imagin ...more
Trebha Cooper
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Marie-Louisse von Franz, one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century....
Mary Overton
As scientists today “enrich” or process uranium to transform it into a more “pure” metal for industrial/bomb-making purposes, so the 16th century alchemist believed that any metal, sufficiently “enriched” or processed, would transform into a metal’s purest form: gold.
Von Franz explains the theories of alchemist Gerhard Dorn:
“... gold, now really understood as a metal, is the perfect state of every metal. Iron, copper, and alloy, and so forth, are just not - yet - completed metals, hampered by st
This book was really cool. It helped me understand the psychological nature of alchemy--essentially active imagination, or the projection of the unconscious into outer material--whose purpose it is to unify the mind with itself, the mind with the body, and the body with the world. It also gave me a way of thinking about unlikely or seemingly supernatural events--as synchronicity that unites an inner state of mind with an outer event.

However, I'm still unwilling to go with the Jungians and say th
Apr 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: jung, at-library
Disclaimer 1: This is less of an objective review than a series of personal thoughts. I guess I could argue that from a Jungian perspective, there is no such thing as an objective review. However, this is just extremely subjective and I don't think it will help very many people decide if they want to read this book.

Disclaimer 2: 3 stars is likely an unfair review because I am still wrapping my brain around alchemy. I've been reading "Psychology and Alchemy" from Jung's Collected Works, and I got
Matt Dowdy
some interesting ideas, the authors voice was a little annoying to me though
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book, combined with James Elkins' "What Painting Is", are the bedrock upon which much of thinking about painting is based. ...more
Olivier Goetgeluck
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Door studie krijgt men kennis; door kennis liefde, die toewijding schept; toewijding schept herhaling en door de herhaling vast te leggen schept men in zichzelf ervaring, deugd en macht, waardoor het wonderbaarlijke tot stand wordt gebracht en dit is de aard van het werk in de natuur.

Dorn was van mening dat een evenwichtig levenspatroon de beste manier was om lichamelijk gezond te blijven. Niet te veel slapen, niet te weinig of te veel eten, de juiste hoeveelheid beweging nemen, enzovoort. Het i
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Of all the books I've picked up so far about Jung and alchemy, this one has been the most immediately readable. The author focuses on a single alchemical treatise and walks you through a Jungian analysis of it in a style that doesn't require the reader to be neck-deep in psychology studies (or alchemical lore) to follow. ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Was my introduction to jung and alchemy, absolutely amazing! Writing is concise and easy to follow but she still manages to delve into to the depths of a jungian/alchemical idea. Her selections of which dialogues of the manuscript to interject into the lecture were perfect.

Overall extremely focused and relatively short book that encouraged me enough to order her other book on alchemy.
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
While this gave me a new perspective on alchemy, I did not enjoy it. I think I do not have enough background in psychology. I had a hard time following several parts and kept losing interest. I did enjoy looking at alchemy from a spiritual and introverted perspective though. The book has its merits, its just not for me.
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Marie-Louise von Franz was a Swiss Jungian psychologist and scholar.
Von Franz worked with Carl Jung, whom she met in 1933 and knew until his death in 1961. Jung believed in the unity of the psychological and material worlds, i.e., they are one and the same, just different manifestations. He also believed that this concept of the unus mundus could be investigated through research on the archetypes

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