• What is Soul

Wolfgang Giegerich

What is Soul

Studies in Archetypal Psychology Series

350 pages, ISBN 978-1-935528-19-7

The latest book in the Studies in Archetypal Psychology Series Series Editor: Greg Mogenson In this brilliant new book, Wolfgang Giegerich, the renowned author of The Soul's Logical Life tackles psychology's more essential question: What is soul? Rooted in the metaphysics of bygone times, the notion of soul in our Western tradition is packed with associations and meanings that are incompatible with the anthropological and naturalistic thinking that prevails in modernity. Whereas treatises of old conceived of the soul as an infinite, immaterial substance which was the ground of man's hope for eternal salvation, modern psychology has for the most part discarded the concept in favor of more tangible touchstones such as the emotions, desires, and attachments which characterize man as a finite, bodily-existing positive fact. An exception to this trend has been the analytical psychology of C.G. Jung. Against the positivistic spirit of his times, Jung insisted upon a "'psychology with soul,' that is, a psychology based upon the hypothesis of an autonomous mind."

In this volume, Wolfgang Giegerich once again takes up the Jungian commitment to a psychology with soul. Agreeing with Jung that the soul concept is indispensable for a truly psychological psychology, he supplements and re-orients the Jungian approach to both this concept and the phenomenology of the soul by means of a whole series of nuanced discussions that are as rigorous as they are thoroughgoing. The result is nothing short of a tour de force. Giegerich's particular contribution resides in his showing the movement against the soul to be the soul's own doing. In self-negating moments of itself, consciousness in the form of philosophy and Enlightenment reason turned upon itself as religion and metaphysics. Far from abolishing the soul, however, these incisive negations were themselves negated. As if dancing upon its own demise, the soul came home to itself, not as an invisible metaphysical substance, but more invisibly still as the logically negative evaporation of that substance into the form of subject, or better said, into psychology.


Praise for What is Soul?

"Among contemporary Jungian writers, Wolfgang Giegerich stands out for the scope and depth of his insights into the historical and philosophical foundations of Jung's work and their implications for the future of psychology as a domain of human experience and investigation. With the publication of What Is Soul? he presents the most comprehensive discussion of his position since The Soul's Logical Life. What Is Soul? demonstrates once again how Giegerich's exceptional command of the philosophical tradition can inform our understanding of Jung. Encountering Hofmannsthal's Letter of Lord Chandos, to take but one example, in a discussion of modern psychology provides a moment of pure intellectual pleasure, while at the same time reminding the reader of the time of crisis within which Jung worked. Jungians of all persuasions often speak of soul work, but Giegerich gives us a picture of the work of soul. His is a complex, but always stimulating voice that deserves our continued attention."

GEORGE B. HOGENSON, PH.D., CHICAGO SOCIETY OF JUNGIAN ANALYSTS, AND AUTHOR OF JUNG'S STRUGGLE WITH FREUD


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction: What Is Soul?


PART 1: THE CONCEPT OF SOUL

Psychology with or without soul?

The corpse and life

Shared meanings. Or: life and the soul

The soul as speaking and production

The corpse and the perceiving mind and the soul as sublated "corpse"

The spark

Retroactive fetishization of the corpse

Why is it the corpse that ignites the spark?

The historical continuity of the soul's life. Soul as historicity

Psychology's "not not." From the most general concept of soul to psychology's specific concept of soul


PART 2: THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SOUL (1): THE EXPERIENCED OR OCCURRING SOUL. VERTICALITY, INCURSION

The opposition between events of soul and ordinary human existence

A preliminary touchstone: "Intrusion." "The exceptional"

The soul sense of "exceptional"

The relativity of what is exceptional

The difference between "the psychic" and "the psychological"

Difficulties concerning the psychological difference

Human emotions versus the soul's archetypal truths

Excursus on "staged spontaneous event" and "systematically employed cryptomnesia"

The soul's coldness

The twofoldness of what we call soul

Practical gain versus blessedness

A historical complication

Avertedness of the I versus blindness of the modern ego

The fundamental deficiency of the imaginal mode outweighed by premodern man's unbornness

Born man's inevitable blindness to the soul

Psychology as ersatz for soul

The psychological difference absorbed into the one side of itself

The new psychological difference

Ordinary human existence surrounded by the soul

"From below"

Excursion on "the sick soul"

No "immediate experience." Mediated immediacy!

Modern versus premodern experience

The historicity of soulful feelings

The objectivity of the objective soul: works of culture and cultural institutions

Beyond imagining and fantasizing

"From above"

The difference in modern psychological life between authentic and simulated soul phenomena

Excursus on two fundamentally different concepts of "amplification"

Excursus on emotions and "the numinous" in therapy

PART 3: THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SOUL (2): THE SOUL AS SUBJECT, STYLE, AND WORK (SOUL-MAKING)

The otherness and absence of the subject during premodern times

The subject as an "it": the soul substance

Enlightenment philosophy falsely blamed

The soul's home-coming. From substance to subject

Modernity (1). The irreducible externality and otherness of the other

Modernity (2). From "soul" and early-modern I to "psychology"

Regressive resubstantiation of the already achieved form of subject. Ego-psychology

The psychological difference within the soul-as-subject

The psychological I


PART 4: THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SOUL (3): THE TWO OPPOSITE PURPOSES (DIRECTIONS, TELEOLOGIES) OF THE SOUL

*****

About the Author:

Wolfgang Giegerich is a Jungian analyst, now living in Berlin, and the author of numerous books, among them The Soul's Logical Life (published by Peter Lang) and four volumes of his Collected English Papers: The Neurosis of Psychology, Technology and the Soul, Soul- Violence, and The Soul Always Thinks (all published by Spring Journal Books).

Giegerich, Wolfgang

What is Soul

  • ISBN: 9781935528197
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