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Brooke, R. (1991). Psychic Complexity and Human Existence: A Phenomenological Approach. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(4):505-518.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(4):505-518

Psychic Complexity and Human Existence: A Phenomenological Approach

Roger Brooke, Ph.D., C. Psychol.

If complexes have an archetypal core it is also true that archetypes are manifest as complexes, as the archetype, like the axial system of a crystal (Jung 16, p. 79), is filled out with the material of personal and cultural experience. Although this point was frequently made by Jung, and is implicit in his theoretical distinction between the archetype as such and the archetypal image, it does seem that he fell into a muddled inconsistency at times and neglected some of its implications. For one thing, Jung perpetuated his early distinction between the personal and collective levels of the unconscious to differentiate his contribution from Freud's. However, since Williams's well-known paper (34), this distinction between the personal and the collective has become less sharp, not only theoretically but also in clinical practice (Samuels 30, p. 45; Whitmont 33, pp. 242-3). This integration has had the effect of focusing Jungian work on the domain of the complexes. However, most of the literature in analytical psychology (at least in English) has been concerned with the archetypal foundations of psychological life, the developmental contexts in which archetypal processes and images are realised, and clinical issues. Each of these areas bears directly on the complex which, as a concept, seems to have been rather neglected. Perhaps part of the reason for this neglect is that the complex has been discussed by Jung and by so many secondary sources, that it is now clearly understood, with no real points of debate, and to enquire again into the complex might seem superfluous or obsessional. Nevertheless, such an enquiry is the topic of this paper, for there are several features of the complex and Jung's work on it which, it seems to me, have not been clearly expressed.

My

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