1st Edition

The Cartesian Split A Hidden Myth

By Brandon D. Short Copyright 2020
    232 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Cartesian Split examines the phenomenon of Cartesian influence as a psychological complex in the Jungian tradition. It explores the full legacy of Cartesian rationality in its emphasis on abstract thinking and masculinisation of thought, often perceived in a negative light, despite the developments of modernity.

    The book argues that the Cartesian creation of the Modern Age, as accompanied by a radical dualism, is better understood as a myth while acknowledging the psychological reality of the myth. The Cartesian myth is a collective dream, and the urgency of its rhetoric suggests that an important message is being left unheeded. This message may lead us to answers in the most unexpected place of all. The book brings forth the Cartesian myth in a new context and shows it to have potential meaning for us today.

    The book will be of great interest for academics, researchers, and post-graduate students in the fields of analytical psychology, mental health, comparative mythology, and Jungian studies.

    List of figures



    1 Introduction

    The allure of the error

    The split in the middle

    Approaching the split

    The complexity of complexes

    Cogito ergo non sum

    A complex offering

    Outline of chapters

    2 The initial sessions

    Body as machine

    Ecological crisis

    Feminist challenge

    Subjective difficulties


    Limitations in expression

    Reduction and isolation

    Pairs of opposites

    The dominant paradigm

    Old versus new

    Heroic transcenders

    Tragic transcenders

    Charged images

    First evaluation

    3 The depth sessions

    The great revolt

    The ghost in the machine

    The masculinization of thought

    Cartesian disenchantment

    The Cartesian mirror

    The Cartesian theater

    The turning point

    The murder of the world soul

    Further evaluation

    4 Confronting the legend

    The dawn of awareness

    The problem of interpretation

    The problem of caricature

    The reality of the problem

    Descartes’ dualism

    The legend

    The two worlds view

    Critiquing the legend

    Finding truth in myth

    5 Ancient memories

    Tales of the mirrored world

    The first mirror

    The dark mirror

    The original split

    The Gnostic two worlds

    The chief archon

    The splitting of the demiurge

    A terrible world order

    The first machine

    Feminism and ecology

    Solipsism and materialism

    Gnostic transcenders


    6 Psychological interpretation

    Interpretation of the mirrored worlds

    Becoming conscious of consciousness

    Differentiation of opposites

    Crossing the threshold

    Mutual causation

    The one world of certainty

    The creation of consciousness

    Death at the threshold

    Interpretation of the split worlds

    Gnostic consciousness

    Atomic consciousness

    Inside the split

    The splitting of the ego

    The splitting of consciousness

    Modern dismemberment

    7 Cultural memories

    The Anglo-split


    A new look at olde times

    Dismemberment on stage

    The sudden shift

    The splitting of ritual

    The splitting of the play

    The splitting of cultural consciousness

    Faustus’s internal split

    The residual memory

    A penny for the Guy

    Religious dualism

    The splitting of substance

    Substantial epochs

    8 The alien text

    Descartes’ disclaimer

    The evil genius

    Cogito and consciousness

    Meditations on split consciousness

    Internalizing doubt

    The process of doubt

    A singular truth

    A single sapling


    The one small part

    The religious problem

    Meditations on God

    Divine substance

    Mysterious substance

    Altered substance

    Altered meditations



    Brandon D. Short is a mechanical engineer with an interest in psychology. He holds a doctorate of depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. He lives in Portland, Oregon, USA.