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Thomson, J. (2001). BROOKE, ROGER (ed.) Pathways into the Jungian World. Phenomenology and Analytical Psychology. London & New York: Routledge, 2000. 272 pp. Hbk. £50.00; Pbk. £17.99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 46(2):384-387.

(2001). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 46(2):384-387

BROOKE, ROGER (ed.) Pathways into the Jungian World. Phenomenology and Analytical Psychology. London & New York: Routledge, 2000. 272 pp. Hbk. £50.00; Pbk. £17.99.

Review by:
Jean Thomson

It was with some trepidation that I accepted to review this volume, for the title suggested a focus with which I was not familiar, yet looking through it I could see that it was written in a very accessible style and that the editor intended ‘phenomenology’ to be more widely read about and understood.

In fact, the collection of essays opens up questions about how analytic work enables patient and analyst to be in touch with primordial, lost consciousness. My review focuses on the implications when analysis seeks as yet unseen consciousness rather than bringing the unconscious, repressed or collective, to light. For example, there are implications for the phenomena of transference. This must become more a matter of non-verbal intuitions than an attempt to explain behaviour in the repressions of infant development which produce changing perceptions of the analyst. Implicitly, the focus is not ‘reality testing’, but a recognition that much of what is known has not been perceived, let alone become available for thinking. Having read the papers in this book, I am left with a major preoccupation. Phenomenology demands attention to consciousness, otherwise what we learn may be distorted by splitting, projective identification and repression, which then have to be laboriously made conscious again. But is the (Jungian) phenomenologists' concept of ‘collective consciousness’ really different from that of ‘the unconscious’ as a tool for analysis?

In his introduction, Roger Brooke, the editor, vividly pictures the book's thirteen short papers as forming a discussion across continents by a number of distinguished academics and clinicians sharing a desire to give an explanation and critique of Jungian psychology.

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