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Brieger, J. (1992). ZIEGLER, ALFRED J. Bilder einer Schattenmedizin. (Pictures of shadow medicine.) Schweizer Spiegel Verlag, Raben-Reihe, 1987. Pp. 175. n.p.. J. Anal. Psychol., 37(1):115-116.

(1992). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 37(1):115-116

ZIEGLER, ALFRED J. Bilder einer Schattenmedizin. (Pictures of shadow medicine.) Schweizer Spiegel Verlag, Raben-Reihe, 1987. Pp. 175. n.p.

Review by:
Johanna Brieger

This book, which the author calls an anthology, comprises lectures, articles, discussions, and seminar material amassed by him over a period of many years. His title is enigmatic. Literally translated, Schattenmedizin, means ‘Shadow medicine’, which the author elucidates in an introductory sentence as a form of healing that falls within the shadow area of conventional medicine, with its seldom questioned authority. ‘Examined from this vertex’, the author writes, ‘health and illness are the actors on this morbistic stage.’

Fascinated by the title, by William Blake's painting of Hecate on the dust cover, and by a few snippets here and there as I dipped into the book, I then read it from cover to cover, an experience which left me intoxicated and confused, and wondering whether it was the product of a disordered mind or of a man of genius. It is undoubtedly disturbing, even to an unconventional mind, and Ziegler does not hesitate to bring his well-stocked ‘toolbag’ to his task, which left me in little doubt of the necessity of scrutinizing mine.

Schattenmedizin, the product of a particular philosophical orientation of mind, is an art and requires faith rather than belief. Amplifications can be drawn from many disciplines and can both extend and confuse, and support and oppose. There is no chapter in which the importance of the mysterium coniunctionis, and hieros gamos do not feature, and with them Jung's transcendent function. And throughout the book run the author's own reflections, drawn from all levels of the psyche, and making for a kind of frustrated delight.

But does this anthology facilitate or hinder our idea of illness as performing a healing function? While Heraclean and Apollonian drives rule the helping professions.

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