1st Edition

Vision, Reality and Complex
Jung, Politics and Culture

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 8, 2020
ISBN 9780367538187
November 8, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
144 Pages

USD $60.00

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Book Description

Vision, Reality and Complex brings together a rich selection of Thomas Singer’s scholarship on the development of the cultural complex theory and explores the relationship between vision, reality and illusion in politics and psyche.

The essays in this book discuss the basic principles of the cultural complex theory in various national and international contexts that span the Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump eras. Each chapter grounds this theory in practical examples, such as race and healthcare in the United States, or in specific historical and international conflicts between groups, whether they be ethnic, racial, gender, local, national or global. With chapters on topics including mythology, leadership, individuation, revolution, war and the soul, Singer’s work provides unique insights into contemporary culture, activism and politics.

This collection of essays demonstrates how the cultural complex theory applies in specific contexts while simultaneously having cross-cultural relevance through the reemergence of complexes throughout history. It is essential reading for academics and students of Jungian and post-Jungian ideas, politics, sociology and international studies as well as for practicing and trainee analysts alike.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to The Vision Thing  2. The Cultural Complex and Archetypal Defenses of the Collective Spirit: Baby Zeus, Elian Gonzales, Constantine’s Sword, and Other Holy Wars  3. Unconscious Forces Shaping International Conflicts: Archetypal Defenses of the Group Spirit from Revolutionary America to Conflict in the Middle East  4. The Cultural Complex: A Statement of the Theory and Its Application 5. Playing the Race Card: A Cultural Complex in Action  6. Snapshots of the Obamacare Cultural Complex  7. Extinction Anxiety: Where the Spirit of the Depths Meets the Spirit of the Times, or Extinction Anxiety and the Yearning for Annihilation

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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.


 "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.

"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.

"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.