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Ulanov, A.B. (1991). Aziz, Robert, C. G. Jung's Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity. Albany, New York, State University of New York Press, 1990. Pp. 166. $14.95.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(3):416-417.
(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(3):416-417
Aziz, Robert, C. G. Jung's Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity. Albany, New York, State University of New York Press, 1990. Pp. 166. $14.95.
Review by: Ann Belford Ulanov
Is what Jung calls the ‘God within’ what theologians call the ‘God without’, the deity outside us? We all remember Jung's fierce defence against attacks that accused him of psychological reductionism: ‘How can any man in his right senses imagine he could subtract anything from or add anything to God? … How can any man replace God? I can't even create a lost button with my imagination but have to buy myself a new real one!’ (Letters, 1, p. 487).
Robert Aziz enters the fray from the vantage-point of synchronicity, and offers his reader a discussion of Jung's psychology of religion in the provocative setting of Jung's thinking about coincidence and simultaneity. Aziz answers ‘yes’ to both questions about Jung on religion: yes, he is reducing and yes, Jung is saying, finally, that the God within is the God without (pp. 180, 182, 183).
The book took eight years to write, Aziz tells us, and it shows its long preparation. It is often dense to read, but it is packed with substance, and worth the effort. Aziz takes us on excursions beyond his centre of interest, moving to discuss Freud and telepathy (pp. 100ff.), shamanism and therapy (pp. 11ff, 170ff.), synchronicity and transference, and Jung's eschewal of the couch (p. 169), synchronicity and dêjà vu phenomena (p. 175), the shadow (p. 195), participation mystique (p. 190), and the place of synchronicity in society (pp. 200ff.).
Jung's two models of the psyche have their different but related implications for his psychology of religion.
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