This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: Towards a Kabbalistic Psychology: C. G. Jung and the Jewish Foundations of Alchemy Sanford Drob Sanford L. Drob, Ph.D., holds doctorates in both philosophy and psychology and is a clinical and forensic psychologist in practice in New York City. His recent publications include “Fragmentation in Contemporary Psychology: A Dialectical Solution”(Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Fall 2003); Symbols of the Kabbalah: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives, and Kabbalistic Metaphors: Jewish Mystical Themes in Ancient and Modern Thought (both Jason Aronson, 2000). He is currently completing books on Jung and the Kabbalah and on Jewish mysticism and postmodern thought. I n October 1935, over a year after Erich Neumann had emi- grated from Germany to Palestine, Neumann wrote Jung about his fear that his absorption in Jungian psychology would place him in “danger of betrayal to [his] own Jewish founda- tions.” Neumann further wrote of his realization that analytical psychology “stands on its own ground...Switzerland, Germany, the West, Christianity,” and that Jewish individuation must be based “on our own archetypal collective foundations which are different because we are Jews” (Neumann, M., 1991, p. 280). Jung in his response wrote that analytical psychology “has its roots deep in Europe, in the Christian Middle Ages, and ulti- mately in Greek philosophy,” adding, “the connecting-link I was missing for so long has now been found, and it is alchemy” (Jung, 1973, vol. 1, p. 206). Neither Neumann nor Jung would allow that analytical psychology as it then stood was rooted in anything Jewish, a fact that was troubling to Neumann, who had thought of Jung as his spiritual teacher (Neumann, M., 1991, p. 279), but who chided Jung for “lacking knowledge and understanding of Judaism.” Although later in his life Jung was more than happy to acknowledge Jewish, specifically Jewish-mystical, precursors to his own work (Jung, 1977, pp. 271-2), during the 1930s, at a time when he sought to distinguish analytical psychology from the “Jewish” psychologies of Freud and Adler, Jung was unlikely to acknowledge any Jewish sources of his own think- ing. There is a certain irony here, because what Jung failed to realize, or mention, at the time of his letter to Neumann (though he would later openly acknowledge it) was that alche- my, the “connecting-link” to analytical psychology, was itself imbued with Jewish mystical symbols and ideas. Around the time of his letter to Neumann, Jung was speaking pejoratively about Freud and Adler’s “Jewish” psy- chologies, which on Jung’s view were inapplicable to the “Aryan” mind. In 1934 Jung wrote, “It has been a grave error in medical psychology up till now to apply Jewish categories......
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 03/06/2011 for the course PSYCH 212 taught by Professor Dansullivan during the Spring '11 term at NYU.
- Spring '11