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Michael J. Horne » Papers » There is no ‘truth’ outside a context: implications for the teaching of analytical psychology in the 21st century

There is no ‘truth’ outside a context: implications for the teaching of analytical psychology in the 21st century

Journal of Analytical Psychology, 2007, 52, 127142
Michael Horne, Seattle, USA

Abstract: Humans are from birth embedded in a historical and contemporary context of meanings. This always constrains their theoretical and practical activities. In this paper, I will be suggesting that there are no guiding ‘truths’ outside such contexts. In order to understand the foundations of any concept or new idea, it is important to comprehend the context in which it is embedded. Candidates and some of their teachers have very little knowledge of the intellectual context in which Jung or any other analytic theorist wrote. As a result, the analytic ‘founders’ are often believed to have discovered ‘truths’ transcending the context of history and of everyday life. They were, however, as much creative synthesizers as pure originators.

I propose that the components of all analytic theories emerge from their embeddedness. I contend, therefore, that the understandings of these components such as psychic causality, epistemology and identity formation were quite differently conceived at the time the analytic founders were working than they are today. I will give examples to show how the acceptance of this attitude is useful in inculcating a discerning approach in candidates towards traditionally accepted analytic theories and practices. This can provide them with a method to promote their individual creative development.


Does any one person know the ‘truth’? Did Jung know the ‘truth’? In this paper I will suggest one cannot discover an absolute truth about people, cultures, morals, political structures, or religion. Furthermore, there is no ‘truth’ embedded in the concepts of analytical psychology, particularly those concerning psychic causality, epistemology and identity formation, outside of the context in which these constructs appear. I think that truths about such matters are temporary, beneficial only in regard to the practical issues at hand, and relevant only in the cultural and historical context from which they arise (Wittgenstein 1969; Heidegger 1977; Derrida 1978; Foucault 1981).

We humans are from birth embedded in a culturally derived context of meanings, which always constrains our theorizing, our daily activities, and our professional practices (Foucault 1972a). Therefore it behoves us to be aware that any assertion that is made about the ‘truth’ of a situation, of an event, or of a theoretical proposition, is always provisional. I think that an appreciation of this in regard to the pronouncements of the founders of analytic theories, as well as contemporary analytic theorists, including ourselves, is especially useful when we are teaching and supervising analytic candidates.

I will begin by exploring the relevance of this process in the origination of an analytic theory. Jung, for example, read a great deal, listened to the thoughts of his colleagues, especially Freud, but also ‘listened’ to numerous thoughts in the intellectual milieu of his culture that were not always directly spoken by an identifiable author (Barthes 1977; Foucault 1984). For instance, he was consciously influenced by the philosophy of Kant (Jung 1898), but he also made extensive use of phenomenological ideas (Brooke 1993, 2000) that were part of his zeitgeist, although he never seems to have read the work of Husserl, or of the other phenomenologists (Shamdasani 2003).

All events, including the development of analytic ideas, occur in contexts that we are accustomed to describe literally. For instance, many accounts of Jung’s life, or that of any of the other psychoanalytic founders, tend to focus on the presumed impact of events upon them. However, only those present can feel the impact of an event, as only they can articulate the significance of its physical setting, and of the make up of the overt actions and of the linguistic and other meaningful signs, such as gestures and facial expressions articulated by the participants (Geertz 1973).

Take, for example, something as ordinary and familiar as a meeting of the training committee of an analytic institute.We note that all the members except Mary were present. Bob arrived 15 minutes late and the meeting started without him. Since the conference room was occupied, the meeting was moved to Joan’s office in which there is a picture window that gives a beautiful view of a lake.

Since the meeting has been moved from its usual location and one member is absent and another late, several meaningful elements are absent that would ordinarily be there. For example, Mary’s absence will make her contribution invisible to the other members of the committee. Bob’s lateness and the change of venue also alter the usual context of the meeting. However, these absences,

late arrivals, as well as the change of venue may be full of meaning for this committee. For example, some of the remaining members may think that Mary is expressing her objection to holding the meeting at all. Someone else may decide that Bob is communicating some reticence about participating because of hostility towards the chairperson.

As a result of these variations and of the constantly shifting viewpoints of these or any potential participants, the context of the meeting is altered in relation to previous ones that were held in the conference room, and at which Mary and Bob were present at the outset. Therefore, even though the committee might be engaged in a discussion of a topic they talked about at the last meeting, when Mary and Bob were present from the outset, the meanings, particularly those that are in the form of feelings and sensations (Damasio 1999), of what emerges from the committee’s reflections will change. In the light of this, any claims to ‘truth’ or definitive ‘insight’ that the committee might generate as a result of any of its deliberations would be misleading. Of this we are often implicitly aware, but unless this realization becomes explicit we can easily make the assumption that we have discovered the ‘truth’ of a human situation or of a conceptual proposition.

The intellectual setting in which Jung wrote his ideas is a larger version of the background presumptions which individual members of the training committee bring to their discussions. From this dialogue will emerge new proposals for the training programme, just as Jung’s analytic concepts emerged from the context of his time. Candidates are rarely given sufficient knowledge of the context of the ideas from which his writings emerged, which can therefore become ‘invisible’, as did Mary’s contribution to the training committee’s deliberations when she missed the meeting. The invisibility of context leads to the assumption that Jung was the sole originator of the ideas he was proposing. Rather, as ‘finder’ he reveals the ideas that are already in the intellectual zeitgeist and weaves an imaginative synthesis from which emerges a new belief (Cambray 2006).

If the milieu of notions from which any one of Jung’s concepts emerges is invisible to candidates or analysts, he is likely to be called an originator and the particular concept under discussion is then perceived as being ‘foundational’. As a result, Jung, and many of the other proponents of psychoanalytic theories, may be given an authority similar to that bestowed upon religious prophets such as Moses, Jesus or Mohammed, the exponents of ideologies such as Karl Marx or Adam Smith or even to proponents of scientific theories such as Einstein (Lyotard 1979; Kuhn 1962). As a consequence of this, candidates and their teachers can argue that Jung’s concepts are immune to revision and are, especially, not open to outright abandonment.

The following exchanges with candidates exemplify the de-contextualization of a concept. A candidate and I were discussing how Jung used a teleological approach to psychic causality, and I mentioned that Jung had borrowed this idea from Aristotle (Jung 1928). The candidate, looking surprised, said, ‘I thought Jung invented the idea of teleology’. In another example, a candidate taking a class on Buddhism and analytical psychology said that he was agnostic with regards to religion. His instructor replied in a shocked tone, ‘Don’t you believe in Jung?’. In the first example, Jung is put in the role of an idealogue who is in isolation from his context and in the second example he is given the status of a prophet.

The theoretical pronouncements of a faculty member of any analytical psychology institute, who is confident that his/her personal reading of Jung expresses his intent, can be given the same decontextualized authority by his/her peers and the candidates as the pronouncements of Jung himself. For a time the group is relieved of the confusion that is created by contextual thinking. Eventually, since Jung is dead and cannot speak for himself, other analysts come to the fore and claim that their reading of Jung is still more accurate than that of their colleague. Impasse and dysfunction are often the result (Eisold 1994).

The faculty and candidates of analytical psychology institutes are often isolated both literally and intellectually from other analytic schools and from academic disciplines (Eisold 1994; Kirsner 2004). Therefore, a broader context within which to evaluate the truth claims of authoritative pronouncements is lacking and they often go unchallenged. Camps of followers form, resulting in an even more extreme unawareness of context (Eisold 2001; Stevens 2001; Covington 2005). This removes the possibility of open dialogue with those from whom one differs, just as Mary’s absence from the training committee meeting removed the possibility of dialogue between her and her fellow members. That which is missing always has a powerful effect on the context.

Texts emerging from contexts

Not only is the ‘truth’ that emerges from a context of ideas provisional, our very identity is also impermanent. It is not a consequence of our own making, nor is it singular. Like the ideas that emerge from an intellectual setting or from the views being exchanged by the members of a meeting, it too is a function of a context of the historically created cultural milieu in which we are embedded.

The ideas that constitute any cultural or intellectual context are called texts. An example of a text in the analytical psychological context would be the concept of the collective unconscious.  Interestingly the word context originally referred to the texts that surrounded a particular text that was under examination (OED 1990).

From the moment we take our first breath, we are inevitably and unwittingly immersed in the context of our micro-culture, about the nature of the world, and the correct practices with which to engage it. As children, our most omnipresent micro-culture is that of our family whose adult protagonists take power over us by claiming to have indubitably established the ‘truths’ of its texts. We’ve all had the experience of hearing our parents say, ‘This is how we do things in this family’ or ‘It’s natural for little boys/girls to do things in this way’. The details of these texts vary somewhat from house to house in a particular micro-culture, but their underlying assumptions are remarkably stable and largely invisible. It is only as we grow older and begin to have experiences of texts that are foreign to the contexts of our micro-culture that we begin to see their provisional character and, therefore, their fallibility.

In my case, this encounter with a foreign cultural text began when I was 16. It was a typical autumn Sunday and we had just sat down to dinner, or the evening meal as my mother called it in her proper faux English way. I was home on leave for the day from the Anglican boys’ boarding school, called King’s School, that I had attended since the age of 12. Its curriculum and organization were modelled on the English private school, and it was one of a group of similar schools that educated the children of the Australian upper middle class.

My school had an English headmaster, we played the English sports of rugby and cricket, learned English history with the only mention of Australia being its relationship to the mother country, sang the English national anthem, as Australia did not have one of its own, and prayed for the Queen and all the members of the Royal family every Sunday in chapel. I was unwittingly embedded in the English cultural text even to the degree that I enjoyed tales of English colonial oppression. I was oblivious of the contexts in which these acts had occurred and of their consequences for the colonized peoples involved.

About a block from my school was a Catholic parochial school where boys of mostly Irish ancestry were educated. Its buildings were run down and most of its pupils seemed to me to wear patched old clothes. They would yell insults at us as we walked past their playground, the tarred surface of which was full of potholes and cracks. We looked straight ahead as we passed the school but when we turned the corner to head downtown we would exclaim, in a contemptuous tone, ‘bloody Micks’. I had inherited this epithet, and the attitude of disgust towards ‘Micks’, from the older pupils when I had entered first grade.

This autumn evening my mother was to reveal contextual information that for me put the dominance of the English cultural text forever in question. She said, vaguely associating to her preference for Irish tenors, that my grandfather, who was of English/Welsh origin, had said in a fury when he found out that she had named me Michael, ‘What in the world were you doing giving him that wild Irish name’. Mum went on to say, ‘You know that your grandmother was of Irish descent and that she was a Catholic and had to become a Presbyterian before your grandfather would marry her’. Mum was silent for a while and then, with a sad expression, said, ‘You know she never got over having to give up her faith, and that’s why I think she died so young’.

My dad and my brother had left the table and were watching the news in the living room. I could hear the newscaster speaking with an English upper class accent. Mum and I remained at the table. The sun was now setting and neither of us moved to put on a light. For several minutes, she looked sadly through the open French doors into the garden that was now devoid of summer flowers. Suddenly she said quietly, ‘You know there were two Irish convicts in our family’. That night mum had voiced the invisible Irishness that was hidden in the Australian-English middle class cultural context and in the micro-cultural context of my own family.

From this time on, the signifiers that gave evidence of the unacknowledged Irish cultural text that surrounded me became visible by virtue of my noticing that many of the more passionate and forthright politicians that I liked had Irish surnames, and that my favourite pub in the old waterfront district of Sydney was called the Pride of Erin. However, it was not until I was in my second year of college, when there was a re-discovery of Australian folk music, that I became more fully aware of a vital aspect of the Irish colonial cultural text. On my first visit to a folk music pub called the Shamrock, I heard the Australian Irish Declan Affley sing the ‘Australian’ folk songs I had learned in music class in elementary school. On hearing Declan’s rendition, I realized that these songs were about the suffering of Irish men and women at the hands of the English colonial authorities, set to Irish folk tunes. I can still see him closing his rousing set with ‘The Wild Colonial Boy’, a song about Jack Doolen from Castlemaine, a Robin Hood like outlaw, who met his end on a dusty dry outback road in a hail of English police bullets.

However, my personal immersion in the Irish colonial cultural text was to come to pass a year later when I played my first game in my University’s rugby team. I was sitting on a wooden bench in the locker room waiting for the start of the game, breathing in the pungent smell of eucalyptus massage oil that the trainer had just rubbed into my legs. He left for a moment, and then came back with a bunch of programmes and tossed one into my lap. I eagerly opened it at the centre page and found my number and my surname. However, with shock I saw that I had a new first name. I was no longer Michael Horne. I was now Mick Horne. I had become a ‘Mick’, as there was no place in the wild micro-culture of University rugby for someone called Michael.

The elimination of texts

Cultural contexts are unstable and impermanent as their texts are, in varying degrees, constantly being established, modified, and discarded as a result of textual interaction by direct discussions between the groups or individuals in the micro-cultural contexts or, most commonly, via ‘discussions’ that occur autonomously in a variety of communicative media such as radio, television, and print (Chandler 2002a; Burr 2003a).

In analytical psychology, or any other professional or academic discipline, the context is the overall subject matter of the discipline and its texts are the concepts out of which it is fashioned. Examples of texts in the analytical psychological professional context would be those dealing with the collective unconscious, individuation or typology.

When any text that was an integral part of the development of a professional context is made invisible, it becomes significantly de-textualized. Likewise the context is de-textualized if a newly proposed text in the professional field remains invisible. Most destructive is the failure to incorporate texts that are seminal to any analytic context of ideas such as those concerning psychic causality, epistemology and identity formation, that are being successfully used in related professional or academic contexts. When any of these states of affairs occur, we often sense that the context has lost its ‘life’. Different forms of detextualization are illustrated by the examples of the candidate who thought that Jung invented teleology and of my unawareness of the ‘Irishness’ in my micro and macro cultures.

When a context of ideas becomes significantly de-textualized and hermetically sealed off from potentially relevant ideas present in other intellectual contexts, its overall meaning appears to have been established. Once this occurs, its protagonists and/or supporters can make the claim that they have established its ‘truth’. Such a context becomes ‘naturalized’, in that it is assumed to be a description of something that is as stable and incontrovertible as the laws of nature that govern the operations of the material world (Barthes 1972). Naturalization occurs when we assert that we have determined the context that provides the final explanation for a given phenomenon (Chandler 2002b).

Examples of this are the claims made by various religions that their ethical pronouncements comprise a ‘natural’ law (Simon 1992), and the belief in the incontrovertibility of Jung’s declarations, implied by the instructor’s question ‘don’t you believe in Jung?’ to the candidate who expressed his agnosticism with regard to religion.

‘Naturalized’ ideas can range from the trivial, such as my mother’s demand for me to eat my spinach because it would make me strong, to the egregious, such as the assertion that homosexual orientation is unnatural. The trivial contexts are what we call common sense. The ‘naturalized’ context of ideas concerning homosexual orientation is both ideological and/or revelatory because its protagonists claim that it has an indubitable rationality and/or that it is based on divine revelation.

The ‘naturalization’ of contexts creates ‘outsider’ groups whose texts are deemed ‘unnatural’. This gives the ‘natural group’ the licence to ignore, shun, or in the worst cases, persecute them (Foucault 1965). For instance, persons who have a homosexual orientation have been seen as ‘diseased’ or ‘unnatural’, and regarded as ‘infectious’ as were the ‘Micks’ in colonial Australia.

The ‘naturalization’ of the initial contexts and some of the texts of analytical psychology that were not always developed exclusively by Jung seems to have followed the same process. Jung’s original followers, as did those of Freud and other analytic founders, seemed to have quickly ‘naturalized’ many of the foundational texts in analytical psychology, especially those dealing with the numinous. This appears to have produced a ‘religious’ reverence for these texts, epitomized by the example of the instructor’s immoderate response to the candidate’s assertion of his agnosticism.

After this initial ‘standardizing’ period, texts which were originally excluded, such as a paper by Robert Moody (1955) on the clinical utility of countertransference, were ‘revealed’ and are now part of the analytic canon. Of note is that, at the time, texts on this topic were also being ‘discovered’ by the Kleinians (Heimann 1950). This countertransference text eventually joined with other ‘naturalized’ texts to form a ‘naturalized context’, which led to the formation of a rival ‘camp’ and to eventual estrangement between the warring parties. Until recently, little dialogue has occurred between the two contexts and in some cases the animosity has become as intense as that which is seen in the clashes between the adherents of political ideologies, or between fundamentalist religious groups (Stevens 2001). In some cases these, and conflicts between texts on governance and on training methods, have led to ruptures of the organizational structure of several analytical psychology institutes (Eisold 2004).

De-naturalizing contexts

When the texts that comprise a context remain visible, attempts to establish its ‘naturalization’ can be called into question. This can lead to a reformulation or a discarding of texts that are no longer relevant to the overall context and an introduction of ones that might increase the complexity of its meaning and clinical utility.

In recent years an academic field called cultural studies(1) has arisen whose members use traditional ethnological methods, but also different forms of critical theory(2), to demonstrate how certain texts are made invisible and others remain dominant in the cultural contexts, which its practitioners call discourses, of different Western countries.

One of the classic studies using critical theory is Foucault’s expos´e of the varieties of texts used from the renaissance to the present time to justify the marginalization of the mentally ill in European cultures (Foucault 1965). From this and other studies Foucault (1972b) has shown that once discourses become ‘naturalized’ they have the power to exclude those groups that are created by the texts in question. In addition, Derrida (1997) has proposed that all texts have surplus meaning and, as a result, are always already more or less ‘naturalized’. Using this concept he has elaborated a method called deconstruction for exposing the sub-texts within the linguistic structure of any text. More far-reaching than Derrida’s work, Bakhtin (1981), using the example of the novel, has proposed that some of the texts that compose any discourse are always already losing their relevance while, simultaneously, ‘novel’ texts that alter the meaning of the whole are emerging from a variety of discourses within cultures and are being incorporated into the discourse under study. This process has come to be called ‘dialogism’ (Bell 1998).

Examples of dialogism in the contemporary analytical psychological discourse are the proposed reformulations by several authors of the text concerning archetypes based on challenges from texts from other scholarly fields (Knox 2001, 2003, 2004; Hogenson 2001; Saunders & Skar 2001). In addition, there have been proposals to abandon entirely the established analytical psychology texts on psychic causality in the light of new ones that are based on the recently attained visibility of those that have been developed by theorists from both other academic disciplines and other schools of psychoanalysis (Horne 2004; Skar 2004; Cambray 2006).

Teaching candidates in a de-naturalized context

Since we are immersed in the discourses of our culture from birth, we are often unaware that they have become ‘naturalized’. However, once we become personally apprised of this, in the way I was when my Irishness became visible, the reality of the process of ‘naturalization’ becomes totally convincing. This same awakening occurs when candidates discover that important texts in analytical psychology have become ‘naturalized’. The candidate who thought that Jung had invented teleology had been immersed in a ‘naturalized’ discourse called Jungian psychology until I apprised him of Aristotle’s causal theory. He was at first very astonished and somewhat agitated. However, once I made Aristotle’s text visible to him by outlining its details, he was persuaded both of the ‘naturalization’ that had occurred and, more importantly, the reasons for Jung’s inability to develop an open-ended version of individuation.

Aristotle used the example of the natural process of the growth of an oak tree from an acorn to claim that there were four causal influences: a pushing influence or deterministic cause, a pulling influence towards a purpose in nature called a telos that was termed the teleological cause, a blueprint for development or formal cause, and a substance that was changed or material cause (Aristotle [1995]). After the advent of scientific thinking in the 17th century all causal influences except determinism fell into disfavour. However, during the late 19th century psychologists began to formulate views of human mental development that relied on teleological or formal causality (Horne et al 2000). These aspects of Aristotle’s text were visible to Jung and allowed him to develop his theory of individuation (Jung 1928).

However, because Jung used only the Aristotelian text on causality, he could not form an open-ended concept of individuation since teleology led him to the idea of wholeness, which he described as the full expression of human psychological potential or ‘natural purpose’, and formal causality led him to the concept of individuality, the fulfilling of one’s unique destiny (Fordham 1958). Jung repeatedly said that his concept of individuation was not teleological or formal, but, because open-ended texts on psychic causality that were in the zeitgeist were invisible to him, he could not realize this intuition.

These open-ended texts are now fully visible in both the humanities and the sciences and some analytical psychologists have begun to use them to reformulate the concept of individuation. One of these texts is emergentism, which is the notion that once a discourse reaches a certain degree of textual complexity it undergoes a change to a new discourse that cannot be explained in terms of the original texts from which it emerged (Cambray 2006; Skar 2004). This is analogous to what occurs in a complex natural chemical or biological system when it undergoes a state change (Prigogine & Stengers 1984). Another open-ended causal text is dialogism that says that any discourse, no matter how ‘naturalized’, is always already being surreptitiously undermined by unnaturalized texts that arise spontaneously within its matrix (de Peuter 1998).

Despite the appearance of these new texts on individuation, candidates are usually only familiar with those composed by Jung, as most of their prior reading of analytical psychology has been from the discourse of his complete works. As a consequence of this, the elements of Jung’s texts on causality can be difficult to comprehend as they are often immersed in his original analytical psychology discourse as though it was a cultural discourse on a preferred way-of-life rather than a practical text concerning the relief of psychological suffering. Many candidates derive a large part of their personal identities from this cultural immersion and so it is important to make the relevant texts on causality and other concepts visible to them with sensitivity.

When I attempt to show the candidates the limits of Jung’s original texts and present new texts that will develop the text’s practical and theoretical utility, they are somewhat confused and often wonder aloud if these texts are ‘Jungian’. This is usually a good point to begin as I can point out Jung’s disquiet about his own concepts of individuation and show how, when we are discussing causality, the emergentism and dialogism texts solve many of the problems with which he struggled. My task is made easier by a prior class, given for all candidates at the Seattle Analytical Psychology Institute in their first quarter of training, on the contextual background from which Jungian and the other analytic texts emerged (Ellenberger 1970; Shamdasani 2003; Hinton 2006).

The work we do together on the incorporation of the ‘missing’ texts on psychic causality that solve the very problem that Jung was aware of in his individuation text, that in one sense is a text on ‘knowing’, prepare the candidates for a study of the texts that were missing from Jung’s text on epistemology. I start with an outline of what Jung called his ‘empirical’ method of inquiry (Clarke 1992). Modern day readers are often confused by Jung’s use of this term as we take empiricism to mean the use of the scientific experimental method to discover the processes that govern natural phenomena. However, what Jung meant by empiricism was the phenomenological method of apprehending and explicitly describing the impact of one’s encounters with objects and people in the world and the contents of our minds (Husserl 1970). Jung was unaware of this text, even though he was using some of its methods (1914). I bring the text on phenomenology up to date for the candidates by introducing them to existential phenomenology (Heidegger 1962) and embodied phenomenology (Damasio 1999; Todes 2001).

Despite the contemporary characteristics of these phenomenological texts, I try to illustrate to the candidates how Jung was intuiting the existential embodied phenomenological text in his emphasis on the clinical importance of the word association test (1904/07) and on his text on symbolic amplification (1945/48), methods that revealed the significance of words and images and were highly germane to his subsequent text on individuation (1950). We do an abbreviated version of the word association text and some initial amplification of personal images to demonstrate the sensate/feeling impact that signifiers create, the apprehension of which is the basis of the embodied phenomenological method of understanding (Horne 2004). We then read contemporary writings to show how the use of the amplification of the embodied impact of both words and images, by both the analyst and the analysand, opens up the symbolic analytic discourse (Moody 1955; Stone 2006).

Finally, we study identity formation by introducing the text of contemporary semiotics(3). We start with the text of Jung’s complex theory (1934) and show that, in the text of semiotics, complexes can be understood as fictional texts that describe a range of conscious and unconscious identities (Harr´e 1998; Burr 2003b). In analysis, the text of the ego complex is ‘novelized’ by the ‘invisible’ texts of the ‘shadow’ and a dialogical matrix materializes out of which emerges a new text of identity (de Peuter 1998; Cambray 2006). This textual version of the self is difficult to accept for the candidates, used as they are to a substantive and internalized text on identity. However, when we work together on the process notes of their analytic work the voices in the analysand’s discourse becomes audible.

Most importantly, in my class I endeavour to create a human context in which no one becomes invisible. To this end, I assign two readings of either a paper or a book chapter for each class and ask two candidates to do a brief summary of one of the readings. By doing this I am hoping to propel the personal text of each reader into greater visibility. These presentations by the candidates usually stimulate an animated dialogue that allows me to briefly become less visible. Removing me from my pedestal opens the context and gives the more reticent candidates the confidence to become more visible and so enter the dialogue and appreciate its significance.


In order to keep analytical psychology or the various versions of psychoanalysis relevant to the instigation of psychological transformation in members of contemporary cultural contexts, it seems that analysts need to take advantage of relevant current texts. Over the years many texts used in analytical psychology have become ‘naturalized’ and have lost their efficacy. They have not been replaced by new texts that have been created in the disciplines of the humanities or other branches of psychoanalysis due to the self-marginalization of analytical psychologists from these discourses.

In my paper, I have shown that when contemporary texts on these subjects are incorporated into analytical psychology, they can solve clinical and theoretical problems that Jung intuited but could not remedy due to the absence of the appropriate texts during his lifetime. I have suggested ways that these texts can be introduced to candidates that minimize disruption of their ‘Jungian’ identities.

Throughout the paper I have emphasized the destructiveness that develops in analytical psychology institutes, in the form of the marginalizing of alternative texts by those who live in the established texts. The success in teaching these new texts to candidates by using them to improve the clinical and explanatory utility of those that are established in the analytical psychological context may be a means of mitigating some of the schisms that have arisen in contemporary analytical psychology. Such an approach also avoids the marginalization of Jung’s original context of texts.


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I would like to thank Ladson Hinton for his stimulating participation in the development of the texts expressed in this paper and to the candidate and ex-candidate who gave me permission to quote their responses.


1 Cultural studies combines political economy, sociology, social theory, literary theory, media theory, film/video studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in industrial societies. Cultural studies researchers often concentrate on how a particular phenomenon relates to matters of ideology, race, social class, and/or gender.

2 Critical theory is oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it. It has two branches, one based on neo-Marxist social theory and another based on the analysis of texts and text-like phenomena.

3 The study of signs, which includes words, images, sounds, gestures and objects.

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