Carl Jung

“Synopsis

Carl Jung was born on July 26, 1875, in Kesswil, Switzerland. Jung believed in the “complex,” or emotionally charged associations. He collaborated with Sigmund Freud, but disagreed with him about the sexual basis of neuroses. Jung founded analytical psychology, advancing the idea of introvert and extrovert personalities, archetypes and the power of the unconscious. Jung published numerous works during his lifetime, and his ideas have had reverberations traveling beyond the field of psychiatry, extending into art, literature and religion as well. He died in 1961.

Early Life

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung was born July 26, 1875, in Kesswil, Switzerland. The only son of a Protestant clergyman, Jung was a quiet, observant child who packed a certain loneliness in his single-child status. However, perhaps as a result of that isolation, he spent hours observing the roles of the adults around him, something that no doubt shaped his later career and work.

Jung’s childhood was further influenced by the complexities of his parents. His father, Paul, developed a failing belief in the power of religion as he grew older. Jung’s mother, Emilie, was haunted by mental illness and, when her boy was just three, left the family to live temporarily in a psychiatric hospital.

As was the case with his father and many other male relatives, it was expected that Jung would enter the clergy. Instead, Jung, who began reading philosophy extensively in his teens, bucked tradition and attended the University of Basel. There, he was exposed to numerous fields of study, including biology, paleontology, religion and archaeology, before finally settling on medicine.

Jung graduated the University of Basel in 1900 and obtained his M.D. two years later from the University of Zurich.

Career Beginnings

While attending the University of Zurich, Jung worked on the staff at Burgholzli Asylum, where he came under the guidance of Eugene Bleuler, a pioneering psychologist who laid the groundwork for what is now considered classical studies of mental illness.

At the hospital, Jung observed how different words elicited emotional responses from patients, which he believed represented subconscious associations around immoral or sexual content. These observations led the way for Jung to develop the term “complex” to describe the conditions.

Working with Freud

Jung’s growing reputation as a psychologist and his work dealing with the subconscious eventually led him to the ideas of Sigmund Freud and, later, to the man himself.

Over a five-year period beginning in 1907, the two men worked closely together, and Jung was widely believed to be the one who would continue the work of the elder Freud. However, viewpoints and temperament ended their collaboration and, eventually their friendship. In particular, Jung challenged Freud’s beliefs around sexuality as the foundation of neurosis. He also disagreed with Freud’s methods, asserting that the elder psychologist’s work was too one-sided.

The final break came in 1912 when Jung published Psychology of the Unconscious. In it, Jung examined the unconscious mind and tried to understand the symbolic meaning of its contents. In the process, the work also took head-on a number of Freud’s theories.

Analytical Psychology

But breaking with Freud had consequences for Jung. Freud closed off his inner circle to the younger psychologist, and others in the psychoanalytic community also shunned him. In 1914, he resigned from the International Psychoanalytic Society and continued undaunted in the development of his ideas.

Seeking to further distinguish his work from Freud’s, Jung adopted the term “analytical psychology” and delved deep into his work. His most important development from this early period was his conception of introverts and extroverts and the notion that people can be categorized as one of the two, depending on the extent to which they exhibit certain functions of consciousness. Jung’s work in this area was featured in his 1921 publication Psychological Types.

During this period he also allowed himself to explore his own mind, eventually proposing the idea that there was not only a personal unconscious but also a collective unconscious from which certain universal symbols and patterns have arisen throughout history. At the heart of analytical psychology is the interplay of these with the ego, a process he labeled individuation, by which a person develops into his or her own “true self.”

Later Work

For much of his later life, Jung traveled the globe to study different cultures. He published extensively on his findings, authoring some 200 works on his theories, including Modern Man in Search of a Soul (1933) and The Undiscovered Self (1957). He also held professorships at the Federal Polytechnical in Zurich and the University of Basel.

Jung’s ideas continue to resonate today, in fields as varied as archaeology, religion, literature and even pop culture.” (biography dot com)

Erik Davis

“Erik Davis (born June 12, 1967) is an American writer, scholar, journalist and public speaker whose writings have run the gamut from rock criticism to cultural analysis to creative explorations of esoteric mysticism. He is perhaps best known for his book Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information, as well as his work on California counterculture, including Burning Man, the human potential movement, and the writings of Philip K. Dick.

Born in Redwood City, California in 1967, Davis grew up in Del Mar before attending Yale University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English. He wrote a senior thesis on science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, and has since written a number of articles in the popular press about Dick and his unusual religious experiences. Davis would go on to co-edit The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, which was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011.

While at Yale, Davis began writing for Nadine, an on-campus magazine that turned out a number of rock critics and pop culture writers in the 1980s and 1990s. Soon after graduation in 1988, Davis pitched his first story to the Village Voice, a review of the Swiss heavy metal band Celtic Frost.

Writing for the Village Voice throughout the early 1990s, Davis also contributed to Spin, Details, Rolling Stone, and Wired magazines, writing about music, art, film, pop culture and technology.

In July 1995, Davis published a piece in Wired magazine called “Technopagans”, which was one of the precursors for Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information, a dense cultural history of the mystical, magical, and apocalyptic dreams and fantasies that haunt modern technoculture. Published by Harmony Books, the book is a cult classic of media studies and was eventually translated into five languages. It was re-released in paperback by Serpent’s Tail in 2004 with a new afterword.

Throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, Davis continued to write for both popular magazines and scholarly publications, and also expanded his speaking career, where his eclectic interests in subject ranging from music, art, popular culture and esoterica led to speaking engagements at such diverse venues as Stanford University, the British Museum, Burning Man, the Boom Festival, the Houston Jung Center, the Ojai Foundation, and Esalen.

In 2000, Davis won a Maggie Award for his profile of UFO contactee and Silicon Valley mogul Joe Firmage.

In 2005, he released his second book, Led Zeppelin IV, a monograph on the signature album from one of rock’s most celebrated bands, published by 33⅓. In 2006, Blender magazine included it in their list of the 40 Greatest Rock ‘N Roll Books.

In 2006, Davis cemented his reputation as a seminal writer of California counter-culture when he released The Visionary State: A Journey Through California’s Spiritual Landscape, a coffee table book of pictures and rich essays about California’s alternative spiritual movements and architecture. With photographs by Michael Rauner, the book was published by Chronicle Books. A prolific blogger for his site Techgnosis.com, Davis also released a fourth book in 2010, a collection of essays and journalism entitled Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica, published by Yeti Publishing.

In early 2006, Davis started working with composer Mark Nichols on the libretto for a rock opera inspired by Burning Man. The resulting production debuted in October of 2009 and was entitled How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera, in which Davis also performed as the bunny-suited, bullhorn-wielding narrator. Davis also wrote extensively about West Coast festival culture in photographer Kyer Wiltshire’s 2009 book Tribal Revival.

In 2010, Davis began pursuing a PhD in Religious Studies at Rice University in their Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism program. He has taught courses at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Rice University, Pacifica, and CIIS.[citation needed]

Davis has appeared in a number of documentaries about technology and countercultural topics, including DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Electronic Awakening, and The Source Family. Along with Maja D’Aoust, he hosts a weekly podcast devoted to the “cultures of consciousness” called Expanding Mind, which is part of the Progressive Radio Network.” (Wikipedia)

Valentin Tomberg

“Valentin Tomberg was born in St Petersburg on 27 February 1900. His parents, of Baltic German extraction, taught him their Lutheran faith. While still an adolescent, he was drawn to Theosophy and the mystical aspects of Russian Orthodoxy and attracted to the visionary teachings of Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900), who helped to revive the Orthodox reverence for Sophia, the hypostasis of Holy Wisdom. Tomberg knew Shmakov’s Tarot book, and in 1920 he encountered some members of Mebes’ group. They befriended him and tutored him in Mebes’ use of the Tarot as an encyclopedic system of occultism.

During the Bolshevik Revolution and the subsequent civil war (1917-23) Tomberg’s mother was fatally shot by marauders as she ventured into the streets. Valentin fled with his father and elder brother to Reval (modern Tallinn) in Estonia. He worked sporadically as a farmer, apothecary and teacher. In 1924 he gained steady employment with the Estonian postal service and began to study comparative religion and languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, English, Dutch and German) at Tatu University.

In 1925 Tomberg joined the Anthroposophical Society founded by Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925); Otto Sepp was the Secretary General of the Estonian branch. By 1930 Tomberg was promoting Anthroposophy through lectures and essays, and the Society named him to succeed Sepp when the latter died in 1931. Steiner had specified 1933 as the year of Christ’s Second Coming, which would occur in the ‘etheric realm’. Believers would then be able to advance their spiritual growth by immediate revelations from the ‘Christ-Being’. Tomberg clung to this belief. His series of essays, Anthroposophical Studies of the Old Testament, was privately printed in 1933. Tomberg was encouraged in his spiritual aspirations by his wife, Marie Demski, a French-Polish woman who had lived in Russia. They met during their mutual exile in Estonia. Their only child, a son named Alexis, was born in 1933.

Immediately before the Second World War, Tomberg was invited to address Anthroposophist groups in Swanik, Bangor and Rotterdam. During the war years, however, his story becomes confused. He was forced to resign from the Anthroposophical Society. But was the expulsion because he was elevating himself over Rudolph Steiner, or because he was elevating Christianity over Anthroposophy? He moved to Amsterdam, where some say he was pursued by Nazis. He can next be traced to Cologne, either having been taken there by the Nazis, or having been spirited there to escape the Nazis (or to escape the Allied offensive against the Nazis in Holland). By the end of the war, he was either in a refugee camp or studying the law at the University of Cologne while Allied bombs fell on that city. We can say with certainty that he had left Holland for Germany, and that he had left Anthroposophy for Roman Catholicism.

Tomberg no longer desired a public role. In 1948 friends in England persuaded him to work as a translator at the BBC; based in Reading, he helped to monitor Soviet broadcasts. He retired at the first practical opportunity, in 1960, to write and study, and lived in seclusion with his wife and son. He died on the island of Majorca on 24 February 1973. Marie Demski Tomberg died not long after. His unfinished book, Covenant of the Heart, was posthumously printed. It includes discussions of Christ’s miracles, the Ten Commandments, and the Cabalistic Name of God.

Tomberg wrote Meditations on the Tarot, a Journey into Christian Hermeticism (Amity House, Warwick, New York, 1985). It was published anonymously and posthumously, as he had requested. The book uses the Tarot de Marseille as a pretext for teaching Tomberg’s theosophy, which he says is a living tradition, namely the esoteric church of St John (the ‘heart’ of the Church), as distinct from the exoteric church of St Peter (the ‘head’ of the Church). According to Tomberg, Hermeticism is not a sect or a school, but a mystical predisposition, which he hopes already connects him to his readers. Their shared destiny is to nurture esoteric Christianity until the Second Coming of Christ is complete. The book is primarily inspirational and exhortatory. Tomberg is sympathetic to non-Christian mysticism, notably yoga, Sufism and Cabalism. He avoids Rosicrucianism, perhaps because one of its seminal manifestos — the Confessio — is hostile to Catholicism. He slights all Protestant faiths, and ignores Swedenborg. He condemns dualism, whether Zoroastrian, Manichaean or Gnostic. Each of the Tarot trumps, from le Bateleur to le Monde, occasions a ‘letter’ to the `dear Unknown Reader’. The Fool (le Mat) is discussed in the twenty-first position, immediately before le Monde, still using the placement established by Levi. The French magus is sometimes cited, along with other occultists, in a wide range of mystics, theologians, philosophers and scholars. In his meditation on the Death card, Tomberg includes favourable remarks about Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Meditations on the Tarot has been well received by Tarotists: it is praised by Antoine Faivre, the noted French historian of esoterism: ‘There is perhaps no better introduction to Christian theosophy, to occultism, to any reflection on esoterism than this magisterial work, not that of a historian but of an inspired theosopher — a rather rare occurrence — one who is careful to respect history’.”

from pp. 209-210, Ronald Decker and Michael Dummett’s A History of the Occult Tarot (Duckworth, 2002)

Aleister Crowley

“Aleister Crowley (/ˈkroʊli/; born Edward Alexander Crowley; 12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.

Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Crowley rejected this fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he focused his attentions on mountaineering and poetry, resulting in several publications. Some biographers allege that here he was recruited into a British intelligence agency, further suggesting that he remained a spy throughout his life. In 1898 he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Allan Bennett. Moving to Boleskine House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he went mountaineering in Mexico with Oscar Eckenstein, before studying Hindu and Buddhist practices in India. He married Rose Edith Kelly and in 1904 they honeymooned in Cairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, The Book declared that its followers should “Do what thou wilt” and seek to align themselves with their True Will through the practice of magick.

After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga and a visit to India and China, Crowley returned to Britain, where he attracted attention as a prolific author of poetry, novels, and occult literature. In 1907, he and George Cecil Jones co-founded a Thelemite order, the A∴A∴, through which they propagated the religion. After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), rising to become the leader of its British branch, which he reformulated in accordance with his Thelemite beliefs. Through the O.T.O., Thelemite groups were established in Britain, Australia, and North America. Crowley spent the First World War in the United States, where he took up painting and campaigned for the German war effort against Britain, later revealing that he had infiltrated the pro-German movement to assist the British intelligence services. In 1920 he established the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily where he lived with various followers. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, and the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He divided the following two decades between France, Germany, and England, and continued to promote Thelema until his death.

Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic. He was denounced in the popular press as “the wickedest man in the world” and a Satanist. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counter-culture, and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the seventy-third greatest Briton of all time.” Wikipedia

Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson

"Wilson was born on 26 June 1931 in Leicester, England, the first child of Arthur and Annetta Wilson. His father worked in a shoe factory.[6] At the age of eleven he attended Gateway Secondary Technical School, where his interest in science began to blossom. By the age of 14 he had compiled a multi-volume work of essays covering many aspects of science entitled A Manual of General Science. But by the time he left school at sixteen, his interests were already switching to literature. His discovery of George Bernard Shaw's work, particularly Man and Superman, was an important landmark. He started to write stories, plays, and essays in earnest – a long "sequel" to Man and Superman made him consider himself to be "Shaw's natural successor."[citation needed] After two unfulfilling jobs – one as a laboratory assistant at his old school – he drifted into the Civil Service, but found little to occupy his time. In the Autumn of 1949, he was drafted into the Royal Air Force but soon found himself clashing with authority, eventually feigning homosexuality in order to be dismissed. Upon leaving he took up a succession of menial jobs, spent some time wandering around Europe, and finally returned to Leicester in 1951. There he married his first wife, (Dorothy) Betty Troop, and moved to London, where a son was born. But the marriage rapidly disintegrated as he drifted in and out of several jobs. During this traumatic period, Wilson was continually working and reworking the novel that was eventually published as Ritual in the Dark (1960).[7] He also met three young writers who became close friends – Bill Hopkins, Stuart Holroyd and Laura Del Rivo.[8] Another trip to Europe followed, and he spent some time in Paris attempting to sell magazine subscriptions. Returning to Leicester again, he met Joy Stewart – later to become his second wife and mother of their three children – who accompanied him to London. There he continued to work on Ritual in the Dark, receiving some advice from Angus Wilson (no relation) – then Deputy Superintendent of the British Museum's Reading Room – and slept rough (in a sleeping bag) on Hampstead Heath to save money.[9]

On Christmas Day, 1954, alone in his room, he sat down on his bed and began to write in his journal. He described his feelings as follows:

"It struck me that I was in the position of so many of my favourite characters in fiction: Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov, Rilke's Malte Laurids Brigge, the young writer in Hamsun's Hunger: alone in my room, feeling totally cut off from the rest of society. It was not a position I relished . . . Yet an inner compulsion had forced me into this position of isolation. I began writing about it in my journal, trying to pin it down. And then, quite suddenly, I saw that I had the makings of a book. I turned to the back of my journal and wrote at the head of the page: 'Notes for a book The Outsider in Literature' . . ."" (Wikipedia)