Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Colin Wilson has written fine and entertaining works on the occult (Mysteries and The Occult), as well as popular compilations of crime and serial killers. I found his Jung bio for a few bucks via Alibris.com, and thought: what the hell? I'd just read his protege's bio, after all.

What I get primarily from Wilson's take is that Jung wrote convoluted and punishingly dense works because: A) in his thinking he had already ruptured with Freud but did not want to publicly express that fact yet, and B) he was a mystic and a philosopher of history and a literary critic and anything but a scientist, but his persona as a scientist and doctor had to be carefully shored up in his published works. These two motivations made it difficult for him to honestly and simply express his thinking.

Lord of the Underworld is rather hostile to Jung. Wilson, whose keen psychological insight is that people are robots 90% of the time and that we hand over control of ourselves to a secondary personality which goes through the motions far too often, claims that Jung's system is unnecessarily complex. But Wilson approves of play therapy, and to a degree he likes archetypes, and he thinks active imagination is just peachy.

While I don't disagree that Jung can be overly complex, I think Wilson's idea is underly so. But I admire many of his books nonetheless, including this slim volume.


Shelley said...

I don't know what the Jungian take on this might be, but I wanted to mention that in today's HuffPo, Al Franken has an alarming article on how the FCC is now making rulings that threaten net neutrality for getting sites like this on mobile broadband devices. The FCC is also not banning "paid prioritization" that lets corporate blogs buy the fast lane, leaving our sites in the slow.

The outcry from independent websites was crucial yesterday in improving the FCC ruling. But we need to stay alert and inform each other as new threats come up. We need a community of Paul Revere web bloggers.

Nyarlathotep said...

Only fancy cars allowed on the information superhighway from now on, alas...