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  • Psychology of Religion x

David G. Barton


In The Lament of the Dead, James Hillman quotes Foucault as saying there are two ways to escape ‘the box of contemporary thinking’. One path lies through erudition, the other through the indigenous experience. While the history of Jung's ideas has been thoroughly explored, we understand little about his encounters with indigenous people in the American Southwest. For example, the literature on his visit to Taos Pueblo is riddled with misleading information. Part of the problem begins with Jung's own confusion regarding his contact at Taos with Antonio Mirabal. Not only did Jung wrongly believe that Mirabal was an ‘Indian chief’; he misspelled and mistranslated his Tiwa name, Ochwiay Biano. Although the encounter could be described (at one level) as superficial, Jung refers to it as one of the most important experiences of his life. This paper will explore what Jung seems to have encountered in Taos, and the ways his experience were orchestrated by the unseen presence of others (including Mabel Dodge Lujan, D.H. Lawrence, and Jaime de Angulo). Archival records and news accounts from the 1920s show that although Jung imagined he was meeting face to face with a ‘primitive' who still lived in the world of ‘participation mystique’, Mirabal was a gifted Native American impresario who later visited one American president and turned down an invitation to visit a second. I argue that the complex of colonialism surrounding Jung's relationship with Mirabal has infected subsequent encounters between the Jungian tradition and indigenous people.

Paula A. Monahan

‘What Jung called “complex” was originally nothing but the equivalent of Janet's “subconscious fixed idea”’, says Henri Ellenberger in his magisterial book The discovery of the unconscious, the work which first resurrected Pierre Janet's memory after decades of virtual oblivion. My purpose in this article will be to discuss the influence of Janet, with whom Jung studied in Paris in the winter semester of 1902–1903, upon the overall development of Jung's thought, and in particular upon his complex theory. Whilst the groundbreaking work of John Haule has gone some way to highlighting the importance of Janet's influence upon Jung, I hope to demonstrate that a further analysis of Janet's thought in the Jungian corpus gives promise of yielding many more insights into Jung's own thought, insights which might also contribute to the burgeoning research into dissociative disorders that has been taking place in recent decades.

Matthew A. Fike


Jung explained the possible plagiaristic relationship between Henry Rider Haggard’s She and Pierre Benoît’s L’Atlantide as either cryptomnesia or archetypal inspiration, but he was misinformed about the case and unfamiliar with Benoît’s life. This essay critiques Jung’s statements about Benoît and then considers the case for plagiarism that was published in The French Quarterly in 1919–1920. Neither the typical reply – that L’Atlantide reflects the author’s African experience and historical knowledge – nor the reading of the novel that arose from Jung’s 1925 seminar adequately refutes the plagiarism charge. A depth-psychological reading of L’Atlantide shows the danger of seeking the anima archetype itself rather than experiencing the anima in a relationship with an available woman. But even if literary analogies, including the Circe myth, suggest that Haggard and Benoît may have tapped into the same archetypal vein, the novels’ similarities and verbal echoes cannot be dismissed outright.

Luigi Zoja

It can be argued that psychoanalysis was one of the most import revolutions of the twentieth century. It arose out of the person's need to reflect on his/her inner space. Essentially, the psychoanalytic technique is talking, an ancient human skill that locates the person as both the subject and the author of history, culture and society. Analytical psychology, with its specific sensitivity to cultural issues, cannot claim that it is a scientific discipline, in the sense that it has developed technical knowledge according to natural sciences; however, it has contributed substantially to developing a unique field of study within which one can reflect on individual and collective phenomena as they interact with each other and within their sociohistorical contexts. This article offers a reflection on our contemporary globalised world, with its subjective and changed sense of time and space; it is argued that a return to a Jungian humanism may enable us to grasp the complexities of people's interrelationship with the sociocultural realities within which they live.

John Launer

The aim of this article is to give an accurate account of the relationship between Sabina Spielrein and Carl Gustav Jung, based on a close reading of the available documentary evidence. I challenge many of the commonly held assumptions about their relationship. These include the belief that Spielrein was Jung’s first analytic patient, that they had a long and mutually passionate affair, and that Spielrein was the inspiration behind Jung’s conception of the ‘anima’. I argue that there is little evidence for these and a number of other beliefs that have been passed down through successive cultural iterations without careful documentary analysis.