The central matter of this book is Jung’s exigesis of the illustrations to the “Rosarium Philosophorum,” in keeping with his psychological reading of medieval alchemy. The sequence of illustrations with their original captions is worth sustained attention in its own right. Jung’s explanations are sometimes mildly incoherent—a fact which he recognizes and excuses on the grounds that he is attempting to address inherently unconscious processes.
He is right to note that the “transference” process is not unique to the analyst-analysand relationship, but is common to the vast majority of spousal scenarios, and in a more general way to the experience of “objective” reality as a whole. And yet, despite his prefatory digression that “The Church would be an ideal solution for anyone seeking a suitable receptacle for the chaos of the unconscious, were it not that everything man-made, however refined, has its imperfections,” (par. 392) he constrains his discussion of psychological projection in religious contexts to the doctrinally hypostasized figures of myth and doctrine, rather than treating the actual relationships among worshippers and religious officials. Perhaps he balked (unconsciously?) at making so plain the sacerdotal role of the psychoanalyst! [via]
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