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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Haule, J.R. (2005). Kugler, Paul. Raids on the Unthinkable: Freudian and Jungian Psychoanalyses. New Orleans: Spring Journal Books, 2005. Pp. xvii + 160. Pbk. US$20.00.. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(4):540-541.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(4):540-541

Kugler, Paul. Raids on the Unthinkable: Freudian and Jungian Psychoanalyses. New Orleans: Spring Journal Books, 2005. Pp. xvii + 160. Pbk. US$20.00.

Review by:
John Ryan Haule

This brief volume presents a series of statements averaging about 400 words, each evidently constituting one of the ‘raids’ alluded to in the title. Paul Kugler tells us he wishes to rethink the basic tenets of depth psychology while holding the tension between Freud and Jung, so as to enrich our clinical perspectives.

The first chapter reviews 2500 years of philosophical reflection on the nature of the psychic image, from Plato to the present, in thirteen short, pointed salvos. Our Western heritage comes off as a long rollercoaster ride in which the value of the image has been, by turns: a pale reflection of the object, derivative of the subject, the source of all creativity, misleading illusion, etc. In the end the tension is lost and Jung wins the battle; for psyche is image, and image points beyond subjectivity—not to the object but to the ‘sublime’ (p. 20).

In Chapter Two, the ‘unthinkable’ becomes the unconscious, that which is unknown to the ego but not to a mythic figure like Khidr, Islam's Angel of Interpretation, ‘the personification [of] … unconscious meaning’ (p. 27). Although the unconscious ‘defies’ our efforts to know it, theories to dig out the truth of a text have flourished in the twentieth century. Kugler's historical reprise highlights the extent to which the various schools of interpretation have failed to lead us to some Khidr-like certainty. Khidr's God is hidden; our conscious lens is ‘always clouded’ by our figures of speech.

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