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Lambert, K. (1977). Analytical Psychology and Historical Development in Western Consciousness. J. Anal. Psychol., 22(2):158-174.

(1977). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 22(2):158-174

Analytical Psychology and Historical Development in Western Consciousness

Kenneth Lambert

The Present Celebration of Jung's centenary has so far concentrated upon the psychology of the individual, particularly in respect of his childhood, his experience of death and rebirth, his individuation, integration and the emergence of the self. Jung's concern with these processes was indubitable and yet his description of the archetypes behind them emphasises that their nature is collective in the sense that their potential is shared by all men. Accordingly, after 45 years of work upon them, Jung began to turn his attention to changes in human consciousness regarded as a collective developmental process discernible in the psycho-history of Western culture during the past two and a half thousand years.

Jung'S Later Work And Psycho-History

It is well known that, in 1944, at 69 years of age, Jung suffered a serious emotional loss, broke his foot and fell seriously ill after a heart attack. He reports in Memories, dreams, reflections that, during a period of semi-unconsciousness, when others thought he was at the point of death, he experienced a series of ecstatic visions expressing a thematically consistent preoccupation (JUNG 9).

In one, from a vantage point above the world, he could see the globe nearly as a whole—silvery coloured and bathed in glorious blue light. To the south he saw a dark block of stone containing a temple. Now he was down inside it, where he met his real-life physician, appearing, however, as a Prince of the island of Kos—the birth place of Hippocrates and the site of a temple of Asclepios. This figure gave him a message from the earth: that he ‘had no right to leave the earth and must return’ (Ibid., p. 272).

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