The Origins and History of Consciousness draws on a full range of world mythology to show how individual consciousness undergoes the same archetypal stages of development as human consciousness as a whole. Erich Neumann was one of C. G. Jung's most creative students and a renowned practitioner of analytical psychology in his own right. In this influential book, Neumann shows how the stages begin and end with the symbol of the Uroboros, the tail-eating serpent. The intermediate stages are projected in the universal myths of the World Creation, Great Mother, Separation of the World Parents, Birth of the Hero, Slaying of the Dragon, Rescue of the Captive, and Transformation and Deification of the Hero. Throughout the sequence, the Hero is the evolving ego consciousness. Featuring a foreword by Jung, this Princeton Classics edition introduces a new generation of readers to this eloquent and enduring work.
Erich Neumann (1905-1960), a psychologist and philosopher, was born in Berlin and lived in Tel Aviv from 1934 until his death. His books include The Fear of the Feminine, Amor and Psyche, and The Great Mother (all Princeton).
Translator's Note vi Note of Acknowledgement vi List of Illustrations xi Foreword by C.G. Jung xiii Introduction xv Part I: THE MYTHOLOGICAL STAGES IN THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS A: THE CREATION MYTH I The Uroboros 5 II The Great Mother 39 III The Separation of the World Parents: The Principle of Opposites 102 B: THE HERO MYTH I The Birth of the Hero 131 II The Slaying of the Mother 152 III The Slaying of the Fater 170 C: THE TRANSFORMATION MYTH I The Captive and the Treasure 195 II Transformation, or Osiris 220 PART II: THE PYSCHOLOGICAL STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONALITY A: THE ORIGINAL UNITY Controversion and Ego Formation 261 The Ego Germ in the Original Uroboric Situation 266 Development of the Ego out of the Uroboros 275 Centroversion in Organisms on the Uroboric Level 286 Centroversion, Ego, and Consciousness 293 Further Phases of Ego Development 306 B: THE SEPARATION OF THE SYSTEMS Centroversion and Differentiation 315 The Fragmentation of Archetypes 320 Exhaustion of Emotional Components: Rationalization 321 Secondary Personalization 335 The Transformation of Pleasure-Pain Components 342 The Formation of Authorities within the Personality 349 The Synthetic Function of Ego 356 C: THE BALANCE AND CRISIS OF CONSCIOUSNESS Compensation of the Separated Systems: Culture in Balance 363 The Schism of the Systems: Culture in Crisis 381 D: CENTROVERSION AND THE STAGES OF LIFE Prolongation of Childhood and Differentiation of Consciousness 397 Activation of Collective Unconscious and Ego Changes in Puberty 407 Self-Realization of Centroversion in the Second Half of Life 409 APPENDICES I The Group and the Great Individual 421 II Mass Man and the Phenomena of Recollectivization 436 Bibliography 445 Index 461
"There can be no doubt that [Neumann] has brought to his task a remarkable ... knowledge of classical mythology, some considerable acquaintance with the comparative study of religion, and a deep understanding of those psychological views and theories evolved by C. G. Jung."--The Times Literary Supplement "A welcome source of information for all those who are touched by the relationship between man and his myths."--The New York Times "No better exposition has come to us of the two Jungian themes: the evolution of consciousness in the history of mankind and the development of personality in the individual."--The Personalist
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