1st Edition

Act and Image The Emergence of Symbolic Imagination

By Warren Colman Copyright 2021
    330 Pages
    by Routledge

    330 Pages
    by Routledge

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    How did humans develop the capacity for symbolic imagination?

    In this ground-breaking book, Warren Colman provides a reformulation of archetypal symbols as emergent from humans’ embodied and affective engagement with their social and material environment. Beginning with the oldest known figurative image in the world, the 40,000-year-old Lion Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel in Germany, he traces the emergence of symbolic imagination through the origins of language, the growth of human sociality and co-operation, and the creative use of material objects, from the earliest stone tools through the cave paintings and figures of Upper Paleolithic Europe and beyond. This leads to a consideration of how the imaginal world of the spirit may have come into being, not as separate from the material world but through active participation within a world alive with meaning.

    Acknowledgements. Introduction. Prologue. The Archetypal Hypothesis. Expanding the Mind. From Ape to Human I. From Ape to Human II. Constitutive Symbols and the Imaginal Realm. The Emergence of the Spirit World. Two Kinds of Thinking. Participation Mystique Revisited.


    Warren Colman is a training and supervising analyst at the Society of Analytical Psychology in London and a former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. He teaches, lectures, and supervises internationally and has published many articles on the theory and practice of couple psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and analytical psychology.

    "Integrating research and thinking from neighbouring fields, including developmental psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and social anthropology, Colman effectively brings up the fundamentals of analytical psychology up to date. It is rare for a book to be philosophically rigorous and at the same time accessible, clear, and empirically grounded. I hope this book will have the influence it deserves." – Roger Brooke, Professor of Psychology, Duquesne University; author of Jung and Phenomenology

    "With characteristic lucidity, Colman draws together a wealth of material from psychology, philosophy and anthropology to both challenge and enlarge our understanding of the basic elements of C. G. Jung’s system. Essential reading for anyone venturing into the ongoing discussion of the theory of archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the nature of symbolism." - George B. Hogenson, PhD, LCSW; Jungian analyst; author, Jung’s Struggle with Freud

    "Drawing on ideas from an impressively wide range of disciplines, Colman deconstructs the Cartesian view of the psyche and instead sees it as emergent from out of our embodied, relational, and cultural nature. His argument is audacious, layered, complex, and thought-provoking; it challenges readers to see themselves through fresh eyes." – Daniela F. Sieff, DPhil; author of Understanding and Treating Emotional Trauma: Conversations with Pioneering Clinicians and Researchers

    "Act and Image is a rich and vital addition to the Jungian literature and an intellectual tour de force which will reverberate throughout the field of analytical psychology. Highly recommended!"- Mark Winborn, PhD; Jungian psychoanalyst; clinical psychologist; author, Deep Blues: Human Soundscapes for the Archetypal Journey and Shared Realities: Participation, Mystique and Beyond