In From Vision to Folly in the American Soul Thomas Singer collates his investigations into soul both in its personal and collective manifestations.
With selected essays from twenty years of writing about American politics in the context of contemporary cultural trends, the book as a whole depicts an ongoing exploration of the complex relationships between individual and collective psyche in which reality, illusion, vision, and folly get all mixed up in overlapping political, cultural and psychological conflicts.
This text is a valuable resource for academics and students of Jungian and post-Jungian ideas, politics, sociology, and American studies as well as for anyone interested in the current state of the US.
Table of Contents
1. A Personal Meditation on Politics and the American Soul 2. The Meshugana Complex: Notes from a Big Galoot Galut 3. Trump and the American Selfie: Archetypal Defenses of the Group Spirit 4. If Donald Trump Had a Selfie Stick, We’d All Be in the Picture 5. Op-Ed Pieces 6. The Analyst as a Citizen in the World 7. A Fool’s Guide to Folly
Thomas Singer, MD, is a psychiatrist and Jungian psychoanalyst who trained at Yale Medical School, Dartmouth Medical School, and the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. He is the author of many books and articles that include a series of books on cultural complexes that have focused on Australia, Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Far East Asian countries, in addition to another series of books featuring Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche. He serves on the board of ARAS (Archive for Research into Archetypal Symbolism) and has served as co-editor of ARAS Connections for many years.
"Dr. Thomas Singer is among a handful of psychiatrists who widen the focus of the psychic eye. His writings place the distressed person into the cauldron of the greater communal stress. Because Dr. Singer is an honest American, he lets you track him working through the puzzle of his nation – of his own self in that nation and his place in it as a doctor of souls. Singer’s humility and vision throw light on forces shaping conflict and shaping the United States. The Great Unconscious America maddens people. Can anyone turn on the lights? What is the cure? Can there be a cure to folly? For the truth is, this is the Age of Folly, playing out from the steps of the White House to the ends of the world. Singer’s book analyzes this maddening thing: this folly – this Age of Anxiety. Attend to him." – Craig San Roque, Sydney, Australia, analytical psychologist.
"C. G. Jung was an introverted religious man, a homo religiosus, but as a homo politicus he was not so successful in his time. However, his groundbreaking ideas about the Self and the collective unconscious in relation to the psyche of the group, as further developed here by Thomas Singer, provide insight into the turmoil of our times. Especially useful is the concept of the cultural complex in helping decipher the cultural and political world of today, particularly after the collapse of the Eastern Block, and in the psychological earthquakes of our current ecological crisis. This book is a must for anyone who wants to see deeper than what is visible in the daily news." – Joerg Rasche, Berlin, Jungian analyst, honored with the Golden Cross of Merit by the President of Poland for his work in reconciling the peoples of Europe.
"This brilliant and pioneering book, filled with erudition and passion, is the fruit of decades of exploring the relationship between myth and politics through the medium of the psyche. And not just the personal psyche, but also the collective psyche we share as members of our own particular culture and, further, the archetypal psyche that we all inherit as members of the human race – expressed in myth and dreams and our instinctive responses to the world. As Tom Singer puts it: ‘perhaps one of the greatest prerogatives of being human is the right to take up unanswerable questions, posed by the facts of our lives.’ Singer pursues these questions by summoning the different voices of the psyche – distinguishing, for instance, the cultural complex from the personal complex, so both may be more clearly heard. The aim – luminously achieved in this book – is that life may be lived with more understanding and compassion and, of course, with more joy and laughter." – Jules Cashford, England, mythologist and Jungian analyst.