The Creation of Consciousness: Jung’s Myth for Modern Man

Drawing on a variety of disciplines, the author attempts to create a world-view which brings together science and its search for knowledge with the religious search for meaning.  The focus of the book is on the life of the individual set against modern threats to the global community.

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Author: Edward F. Edinger
No. Pages: 128
ISBN: 9780919123137

Using religious and alchemical texts, mythology, modern dreams and the concepts of depth psychology, the author proposes nothing less than a new world-view – a creative collaboration between the scientific pursuit of knowledge and the religious search for meaning.

The first chapter traces the outlines of a “new myth” emerging from the life and work of the Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung – not another religion in competition with all the others, but rather a psychological standpoint from which to understand and verify the essential meaning of every religion.

Chapter two discusses the purpose of human life and what it means to be conscious, “knowing together with an other.” In religious terms the “other” is God: psychologically it is the Self, archetype of wholeness and the regulating center of the psyche.

Chapter three examines the implications of Jung’s master work, Answer to Job, in which Jung demonstrates that God needs man in order to become conscious of His dark side.  Depth psychology, the “new dispensation,” finds man’s relation to what has traditionally been called God in the individual’s experience of the unconscious.

The final chapter explores Jung’s belief that “God’s moral quality depends on individuals,” which translates psychologically into the pressing need for man to become more conscious of his own dark, destructive side as well as his creative potential.

This is an important book, written in the shadow of ominous global forces.  Its basic focus on the quality and meaning of individual human lives reflects an underlying concern for the continuation on earth of any life at all.