C. G. Jung and the Alchemical Imagination Passages into the Mysteries of Psyche and Soul
Winner of the 2021 American Board & Academy of Psychoanalysis Annual Book Prize for Best Theoretical Book in Psychoanalysis!
Stanton Marlan brings together writings which span the course of his career, examining Jungian psychology and the alchemical imagination as an opening to the mysteries of psyche and soul.
Several chapters describe a telos that aims at the mysterious goal of the Philosophers’ Stone, a move replete with classical and postmodern ideas catalysed by prompts from the unconscious: dreams, images, fantasies, and paradoxical conundrums. Psyche and matter are seen with regards to soul, light and darkness in terms of illumination, and order and chaos as linked in the image of chaosmos. Marlan explores the richness of the alchemical ideas of Carl Jung, James Hillman, and others and their value for a revisioning of psychology. In doing so, this volume challenges any tendency to literalism and essentialism, and contributes to an integration between Jung’s classical vision of a psychology of alchemy and Hillman’s Alchemical Psychology.
C.G. Jung and the Alchemical Imagination will be a valuable resource for academics, scholars, and students of Jungian and post-Jungian studies, Jungian analysis, and psychotherapy. It will also be of great interest to Jungian psychologists and Jungian analysts in practice and in training.
1. Jung’s Discovery of Alchemy and Its Development in the Jungian Tradition 2. Jung and Alchemy: A Daimonic Reading 3. Fire in the Stone: An Inquiry into the Alchemy of Soul Making 4. Salt and the Alchemical Soul: Freudian, Jungian, and Archetypal Perspectives 5. The Metaphor of Light and Renewal in Taoist Alchemy and Jungian Psychology 6. The Metaphor of Light and Its Deconstruction in Jung’s Alchemical Vision 7. Facing the Shadow: Turning toward the Darkness of the Nigredo 8. The Black Sun 9. From the Black Sun to the Philosophers’ Stone 10. A Critique of Wolfgang Giegerich’s Move from Imagination to the Logical Life of the Soul 11. What’s the Matter with Alchemical Recipes: Philosophy and Filth in the Forging of Jung’s Alchemical Psychology 12. The Philosophers’ Stone as Chaosmos: The Self and the Dilemma of Diversity 13. The Azure Vault: Alchemy and the Cosmological Imagination 14. Divine Darkness and Divine Light: Alchemical Illumination and the Mystical Play Between Knowing and Unknowing
Stanton Marlan’s essays movingly mirror the steadily burning passion of the alchemists for their opus. With these critical ventures into alchemical psychology Marlan has forged an opus of his own that is more than an amalgam of other thinkers’ insights. It is a singular work of creative scholarship and imagination and is thus another link in the golden chain of engagement with the mysteries of the human psyche.
Murray Stein, Ph.D., author of Jung’s Map of the Soul
To use an alchemical metaphor, in this collection of his writings, we find Stan Marlan having "taken another round in the container." That is, he works his material again and again, with it each time becoming more refined, sophisticated, and qualitatively transformed. The result is a series of deep insights and psychological wisdom, richly evolved and well worth the reader’s time. I highly recommend this intellectually clarifying and emotionally satisfying book!
Pat Berry, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst
Over the years my own understanding of Jung has been deepened by Stan Marlan’s own original and insightful essays on the pivotal place of alchemy in Jung’s psychology. What a joy now to have the fifteen essays gathered in this volume. For the reader the book itself becomes an alchemical vessel whose fire attests to the radical depths and reveals the expansive reach of Jung’s Alchemical Psychology beyond the narrow confines of what his psychology has become. Marlan’s scholarship and elegant writing display Jung’s alchemical imagination as a necessary and much needed recovery of the erotic coupling between psyche and nature, that dark desire of spirit to matter and for matter to be inspired. Read Marlan’s book and learn to trust and to love the brilliance of the soul’s dark light that illuminated the alchemists of old and beckons us to be with them today.
Robert D. Romanyshyn, Ph.D., author of Victor Frankenstein, the Monster and the Shadows of Technology: The Frankenstein Prophecies