A Jungian Approach to Engaging Our Creative Nature Imagining the Source of Our Creativity
Embracing our creative nature as the heritage of all, this book seeks to foster the creative imagination by nurturing a fertile relationship with its source. Robert Sandford offers an alternative approach, taking up Jungian theory as arising from and embodying this sort of relationship. In the middle ground of imagination, we can engage creativity’s source on its own terms in image, metaphor, symbol, myth and dream.
This book demonstrates how Jungian and archetypal psychologies, by treating image and imagination as central, can foster our creativity and bridge the gap between a Jungian understanding of art and creative processes. Created works incarnate the engaged, relational, imaginal acts that birthed them. This approach also yields invaluable insights for art therapy. Sandford seeks to heal the collective ailments that alienate us from our creative nature, such as the hegemony of literalism and our relationship with things, the body, the archetypal feminine, nature and cosmos. Uniquely, he brings together theory and practice by taking theorizing as a creative practice and, rather than offering procedures, opens an imaginal landscape where the creative impulse can arise and we can respond. Emphasizing the relational value of ideas, he draws from Jung and Hillman in a way that spans the work of both.
This unique and innovatively interdisciplinary book will be essential reading for academics and students of Jungian and post-Jungian studies, creativity, expressive arts, embodied transformation, archetypal studies and arts therapies. It will be of immense interest to Jungian psychotherapists, analytical psychologist, Jungian art therapists and sandplay practitioners.
Invocation; Chapter 1: Clearing the Way: Literal & Metaphorical; Chaper 2: An Ethic of Empathy: Dreams and the Creative Impulse; Chapter 3: What Lives in the World ; Chapter 4: Creativity and the Symbol ; Chapter 5: The Collective Unconscious: Archetypes; Chapter 6: The Idea of Archetypes– a Mythic Tale of Origins; Chapter 7: Originality and Origin-ality; Chapter 8: Logos and Creativity: Four Meditations; Chapter 9: Hephaistos the Twice-Born: Tales of Creative Origins; Chapter 10: Apprentices of Fire; Chapter 11:. The Dream-ego in the Dream, the Waking-ego in Creativity; Benediction; References; Index
"A Jungian Approach to Engaging Our Creative Nature: Imagining the Source of Our Creativity is an astonishing book for digging into what creativity is, and what it means with the support of Jungian and Archetypal psychology. This book fills a gap in Jungian literature between the works on the creativity of the psyche for healing and clinical applications and the Jungian addresses of art, including van den Berk’s Jung on Art. It shows the daimon of creativity at the heart of every human being.
Uniquely, Imagining the Source of Our Creativity draws from Jung and Hillman to create something that spans the work of both. This is rarely done and in itself of huge value to the Jungian field. This book is a psychological revelation of creativity. It is particularly impressive because it brings together aesthetics, philosophy and depth psychology in ways that enhance all three. As a teacher of depth psychology, creativity and the arts, I would use this book a set text, and recommend it to all students of Jung. It is moreover important to all those, artists, educators, students and clinicians that care about fostering the creative imagination." - Susan Rowland Ph.D. is Chair of MA Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California and formerly Professor of English and Jungian Studies at the University of Greenwich, UK. She is author of a number of books on literary theory, gender and Jung including Jung as a Writer (2005); Jung: A Feminist Revision (2002); C. G. Jung in the Humanities (2010) and The Ecocritical Psyche: Literature, Evolutionary Complexity and Jung (2012). She also researches detective fiction with a book, From Agatha Christie to Ruth Rendell (2001) and in 2015, The Sleuth and the Goddess: Hestia, Artemis, Athena and Aphrodite in Women’s Detective Fiction. Her new books are Remembering Dionysus: Revisioning Psychology and Literature in C.G. Jung and James Hillman.
"In its style Sandford’s book is a creative expression of its content. Reading it, one gets glimpses of the ‘other’ who, in the many guises of the figure of the poet, tends the fires of the creative imagination. A richly woven tapestry much needed in our time with its addictions to a deadening literalism of the collective mind." - Robert D. Romanyshyn, Ph.D.; author of Victor Frankenstein, the Monster and the Shadows of Technology: The Frankenstein Prophecies (Routledge) and Technology as Symptom and Dream
"A Jungian Approach to Engaging Our Creative Nature: Imagining the Source of Our Creativity has transformed the way I address creativity in myself and others. This archetypal meditation on creativity is itself a product of the creative imagination it depicts. Sandford, a musician and a craftsman—with other creative endeavors of which I do not know—knows the psychology of creativity from the inside out. If there be one word I would select to describe this book, it would be hospitality. The writing invites a hospitable presence to ego and image, sky and earth, dream and waking life. There is a deep embodied feel to the writing, as Sandford weaves together the literal and the metaphorical, the imaginal and the real, spirit and matter. The style of imagining called empathy features prominently, so that nowhere does "opposite" come to mean "opposition." There are no strawmen set up and slain, and overall, there is a pacific tone to the writing. Creativity turns out to be a "communal act," involving the psyche as a whole, embracing the source of creativity and the ego—among others. Numerous examples help to ground the work, which is, indeed, also a significant theoretical contribution to archetypal psychology."- Dr. Robert Kugelmann, Professor of Psychology at the University of Dallas, USA