C. G. Jung and the Crisis in Western Civilization: The Psychology of Our Time

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In this book author John Cahman traces the history of Western Civilization as a developmental process and shows how our time marks a great turning point in that story as we leave an age of sexism, racism, and hierarchy and enter one of individuation.

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The partisan split in American politics is the result of a major transformation of the West, as the psychology of the past based on hierarchy and privilege is being replaced by a psychology of equality. The status of women and minorities is at the center of this.

The West’s long history of inequality is gradually changing. When women’s equality is considered symbolically, it represents the feminine rising to parity with the masculine, a status it has not held since prehistory. Minority groups have carried the projected shadow of the White majority for centuries; that is gradually ending. Integration of the feminine and the shadow are core concepts of C.G. Jung’s psychology of individuation. The emerging equality of women and minorities indicates that our group psychology is entering a period of individuation. This is a huge change, at least as profound as pagan Rome becoming Christian or medieval Europe transitioning into the modern West.

The turmoil of our time is because of the great historical change as we leave what has been the modern West. The turmoil is the widespread appearance of the same conflicts that Jung saw in his patients a century ago. The same answer still applies, the path Jung realized at the time, individuation, and it is already beginning to shape our future.

In this book author John Cahman traces the history of Western Civilization as a developmental process and shows how our time marks a great turning point in that story as we leave an age of sexism, racism, and hierarchy and enter one of individuation.

Table of Contents

1 The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Bob Dylan) 1

2 A Case History of the Western World 13

3 Shadow Psychology 25

4 Symbols of Our Time 39

5 The Research Evidence 51

6 Stage One and the Prehistoric World 75

7 Stage Two and the Ancient World 93

8 Stage Three and the Medieval World 107

9 Stage Four and the Western World, Part 1 121

10 Stage Four and the Western World, Part 2 129

11 Stage Four and the Western World, Part 3 141

12 Symbols of Development – Symbols of History, Part 1 147

13 Symbols of Development – Symbols of History, Part 2 159

14 The Self and Development 169

15 “Things fall apart…” 177

16 “…the centre cannot hold” (W. B. Yeats) 195

17 A Myth of Our Time: Aliens and Flying Saucers 209

18 The Task of Luke Skywalker and Frodo Baggins 229

19 Harry Potter and the Problem at Hogwarts 253

20 “Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.” (Leonard Cohen) 269

21 Civilization in Transition 283

22 C.G. Jung and the Destiny of the West 295

23 Development and Religion 303

24 The West and the Future 311

25 Postscript: The Dream of the Twentieth Century 319

About the Author 325

Endnotes 327

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