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The Screen and the Soul: Virtual Reality, Real Reality, and How Things Are

The Screen and the Soul: Virtual Reality, Real Reality, and How Things Are

Christopher Hauke

The Covid pandemic has required us to keep a broader social distance from one another and where possible to work from our homes. For psychotherapists this should be less of a problem, but it seems that taking up an alternative (using online technologies such as Zoom and Skype) to meeting clients in person has not been an easy transition for all psychotherapists to make.

With reliable broadband making a session online as clear and uninterrupted as if you were together in a consulting room, why do so many people still find that the online session (or any meeting for that matter), falls so far short of meeting in person? Many would say it is because one is ‘real’ and the other is an electronic screened version of the session and by implication not (as) ‘real.’

I have to add the ‘as’ because a computer screen and audio speakers are as solid, material and real as a person in front of us. And the image and voice of the person on the screen is an accurate version of the reality it has mediated and delivered to us through the software and broadband into the computer itself. Our senses are responding in exactly the same way to the audio signal and the screen image as our eyes would respond to the sight and voice of the person in front of us.

If we class the in-person meeting between two people in the same physical space as ‘reality,’ we need to call the online meeting a ‘virtual reality.’ What do we mean by the word ‘virtual’ when pairing it with ‘reality’?  The word virtual has had the meaning of ‘being something in essence or effect, though not actually or in fact’ since the mid-1400s and the term ‘virtual’ has been used in the computer sense of ‘not physically existing but made to appear by software’ since 1959. (Wikipedia 2021).

In discussing the difference between the two types of session, so far I have been broadly in line with that second definition—the software allows the client and the session to appear to our senses when it is not physically in front of us. The first and older definition is more interesting: although the person and session is not present ‘actually or in fact,’ what is present is something in essence or effect.

Given that most of us have switched to working in this way and by and large are still delivering effective psychotherapy (or indeed other activities, like teaching), the question arises as to how this can possibly work? How come an activity belonging to the field of personal human relations, specialising in the emotional, psychological, and symbolic understanding between two people and the internal understanding that accompanies this, can be conducted in any equivalent way if the two people do not physically encounter one another and have a dialogue for fifty minutes in the same space? Is the ‘virtually real’ as good a version as the ‘real’ one? If not and it is less good, in what way is it inferior and why? If the ‘virtual’ is as good, and maybe sometimes better, than the ‘real’ conditions, why might that be?

Psychotherapists are keen to banter this question around and find all sorts of reasons for one side or the other, with the gold medal usually going to the ‘real’ in-person session. But maybe we are asking a redundant question. Maybe our assumption that there is a ‘real’ version and there is a ‘virtual’ version (let alone that one is ‘better’ than the other) is wrong to begin with.

I would like to lay out three approaches to this question. These go broadly beyond the rather parochial arguments around what is needed for a psychotherapy session to work, but they will still have a certain bearing on how online work in general is seen.

The first derives from the philosophical implications arising from quantum physics and other fields as analysed by David Deutsch in his book The Fabric of Reality (Deutsch, 1997). The second approach digs further into philosophical implications around the nature of what is real and discusses the idea that material reality is not an objective fact but is only known through being rendered in consciousness and therefore consciousness is all there is. This is known as metaphysical idealism. Here I rely mainly on Bernardo Kastrup’s (Kastrup 2020, 2021) work especially his understanding of both Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation and of Jung’s metaphysics.

Lastly, when involved in our ‘virtual’ session we need to remember we are watching a screen and listening to those appearing on it in front of us. Of course this is what we do when we watch a film or documentary which have long been delivering ‘reality’ to us in this form. And yet no one is saying we should abandon this activity and seek out the ‘real’ version as the only authentic one. No, far from it. We enjoy immersing ourselves in these ‘virtual realities’ So I will finish with discussing the bio-evolutionary ideas around visual perception, meaning and affordance (Gibson, 1979) in relation to the film experience. In doing so I will bring us back to that definition of virtual which flagged it as something in essence or effect. This may put the idea of the ‘real reality’ and the ‘virtual reality’ in a new perspective.

The Criteria for Reality
We are starting with the idea that the in-person session where our senses experience another person directly is actually real, while the session experienced through software and a computer screen is not real, or, at least, not as real. This judgement requires us to have criteria for reality.

In his book The Fabric of Reality (Deutsch, 1997) David Deutsch, a researcher in quantum computing, recalls an episode in Boswell’s Life of Johnson where he and Dr Johnson are ‘discussing Bishop Berkeley’s solipsistic theory of the non-existence of the material world.’ (ibid.: 86).  Kicking a large stone with his foot, Johnson says, as his foot rebounded, ‘I refute it thus!’ Dr Johnson’s point was that ‘Berkeley’s denial of the rock’s existence is incompatible with finding an explanation of the rebound that he himself felt’ (ibid.) From this, Deutsch establishes his first criterion for reality, namely: ‘if something can kick back, it exists’ (ibid.: 87).

Moreover, ‘It is not how hard something kicks back that makes the theory of its existence compelling. What matters is its role in the explanations that such a theory provides… Dr Johnson’s criterion tells us to regard as real those complex entities which, if we did not regard them as real, would complicate our explanations’ (ibid.: 90-91).

‘For instance, we must regard the planets as real, because if we did not we should be forced into complicated explanations of a cosmic planetarium, or of altered laws of physics, or of angels’ (ibid.: 91); in fact anything that would give us the illusion that there are planets up there in space! This leads Deutsch to his next level of criterion for reality:

If, according to the simplest explanation, an entity is complex and autonomous, then that entity is real (ibid.).

Deutsch then discusses the computer and so-called virtual reality with these criteria in mind. He introduces us to the idea of complexity in computing, which asserts that the more complex an operation the more is required in computing power, storage, memory, length of programme and so on. Turning again to the planets and the idea of a planetarium created by complex computing power accurately controlling the projectors, Deutsch asserts:

 To do this authentically, the computer has to use the formulae provided by astronomical theories; in fact the computation is identical to one that it would perform if it were calculating predictions of where an observatory should point its telescopes to see real planets and stars… those two computations, one describing the night sky, the other describing the planetarium—are largely identical (ibid.: 92, Emphasis added).

This leads to the third level of criterion for reality:

If a substantial amount of computation would be required to give us the illusion that a certain entity is real, then that entity is real (ibid.).

If at this point you would like to object that computers and their activities are all man-made and of human design and as such do not appear in nature without a human being conceiving of them, inventing and making them: you would be right. But Deutsch points out a very important way of seeing that begins to bridge what is natural and real and what is human made, or artificial and only real in a certain way. Bear in mind, we are fumbling around with the idea that our psychotherapy session in-person is radically different (More natural? More real?) compared to the psychotherapy session online mediated through a computer screen.What Deutsch points out is that ‘some parts of physical reality (such as symbols, pictures or human thoughts) resemble other parts. The resemblance may be concrete, as when the images in a planetarium resemble the night sky’ (ibid.: 96). They may also be abstract:

There are mathematical symbols in physical reality. The fact that it is we who put them there does not make them any less physical. In those symbols—in our planetariums, books, films and computer memories, and in our brains—there are images of physical reality at large, images not just of the appearance of objects, but of the structure of reality…. To the extent that these symbols, images and theories are true…their existence gives reality a new sort of self-similarity, the self-similarity we call knowledge (ibid.: 95-96).

I will have more to say about this later on, but let us track what this way of thinking about reality has to say about virtualreality.

The fact that virtual reality is possible is an important fact about the fabric of reality’ (Deutsch, 1997: 122).

Deutsch summarises that computers are physical entities and they can compute the behaviour of interesting physical and abstract entities, and as such are part of the self-similarity of physical reality. ‘Any virtual-reality generator must be able to manipulate our senses, overriding their normal function so that we can experience the specified environment instead of the actual one’ (ibid.:99). So when we look at the screen in our online session we need to feel we are looking at the other person and not just at our rectangle of glass with an image on it and maybe some MacBook icons along the bottom. But Deutsch points out this is not new and ‘all techniques of representational art and long-distance communication may be thought of as “overriding the normal functioning of the senses”’ (ibid.: 99). Well, movies—which I will come to later—certainly do; but Deutsch points out ancient forms such as cave paintings are also depicting events, creatures and activities that are not happening in front of the viewer now (they are looking at a cave wall) but depict a reality that is relevant and interesting (especially to those hunters nearer that time) albeit of another time and place.

These days the term virtual reality is reserved for apparatus which is impacting a good range of the user’s senses and which above all offers ‘interaction (‘kicking back’) between the user and the simulated entities.’ This is now sounding much more like our online work in that the psychotherapy session definitely offers a kick back with responses going between therapist and client in either direction. Deutsch’s main example of virtual reality is that of the flight simulator used to train pilots: ‘The pilot may experience flying the aircraft through a storm, and hear the thunder and see the rain driving against the windscreen, though none of these things are there in reality. What is outside the cockpit in reality is just a computer, some hydraulic jacks, television screens and loudspeakers, and a perfectly dry and stationary room’ (ibid.:101).

So the question arises whether this invalidates Dr Johnson’s criteria for reality? Deutsch says ‘No’ as the Boswell-Johnson conversation could have been held inside a flight simulator: ‘“I refute it thus,” he [Johnson] might have said, opening the throttle and feeling the simulated engine kick back. There is no engine there. What kicks back is ultimately a computer, running a programme…’ (ibid.: 101-2). But these processes in the computer (itself a real physical object) are no less real for Dr Johnson than the processes in a jet engine. As far as the argument against solipsism goes it does not matter whether it is a real engine!

After all, Deutsch says, Johnson’s rock could have been a holographic image. ‘So long as its response was complex and autonomous, Dr Johnson would have been right to conclude that it was caused by something real, outside himself, and therefore that reality did not consist of himself alone’ (ibid.:102).

A virtual reality flight simulator is designed to give the user external experiences (engine kicking back, sight and sound of the rain) which can be programmed. The user will also experience internal processes such as arousal, anxiety, tension, relief, anticipation, assumptions about the result of their actions and so on. These internal experiences however cannot be programmed in the same way. The programmer might anticipate some internal experiences arising as the result of what is programmed but definite, predictable internal experiences are not programmable.

The comparison between virtual reality and the activity of human minds is pursued further when accuracy of a virtual reality is defined as ‘the closeness, as far as is perceptible, of the rendered environment to the intended one’ (ibid.:117). And, just as accurately rendering an environment depends on the knowledge of its physics, in a reverse way, ‘discovering the physics of an environment depends on creating a virtual-reality rendering of it’ (ibid.: 118). However, instead of using more programming and hardware, our human minds, operating in scientific ways with their own tools, use our own brains to do this!

The explanation of an eclipse, for example, can be printed in a book; ‘the symbols [words, diagrams, theories] evoke in the reader’s mind some sort of likeness of the predicted effects of an eclipse, against which the real appearance of that effect will be tested’ (ibid.: 118). The ‘likeness’ thus evoked is interactive in the same way as the virtual-reality, in that the symbols and words can be tested against sensory experience: i.e., witnessing the eclipse from many points of view and with many different tools of observation. Now here is the crunch of Deutsch’s argument:

The connection between the physical world and the worlds that are renderable in virtual reality is far closer than it looks. We think of some…as depicting fact, and others as depicting fiction, but the fiction is always an interpretation in the mind of the beholder (ibid.:119).

I will pick up on that last point when we discuss our experience of film realities, but for now we need to round off the application of Deutsch’s view of reality—virtual and otherwise—by thinking about the human elements in our psychotherapy session. I ask the question again: how is it possible to conduct a psychotherapy session with no one there? No one except in the form of an electronic image of a person far reduced in size, and witnessed through a small window hardly bigger than a book? How do we get over the sense impressions we are receiving to render the virtual reality of a session with another human being like ourselves?

We do it through our imagination! Not only this, but we must remember that there is no ‘direct’ experience of the world; everything we witness—whether we think there is a real world ‘out there’ or not—and more on that in a minute—ends up as an internal impression and internal experience. As Deutsch puts it:

Imagination is a straightforward form of virtual reality. What may not be so obvious is that our ‘direct’ experience of the world through our senses is virtual reality too…every last scrap…And every last scrap of our knowledge…mathematics and philosophy, and of imagination, fiction, art and fantasy—is encoded in the form of programs for the rendering of those worlds on our brain’s own virtual-reality generator (ibid.: 120-21).

So, in our discussion of the reality value of in-person therapy versus the virtual, online version let us consider our journey so far. We have started with a definition and a criterion for reality, followed this up with the computer generated simulation of reality, and have arrived at a point where it seems that what we once thought of as ‘merely’ virtual is not an alien reality after all. It is already a typically human reality. As a metaphysical understanding of both psyche and material realities it sounds similar to the idea of archetypes, which we will think about in a minute. It sounds like we have to take seriously the idealist view of there being no reality other than what consciousness is in itself. 

Biologically speaking, the virtual-reality rendering of their environment is the characteristic means by which human beings survive…Virtual reality is not just a technology in which computers simulate the behaviour of physical environments… It is the basis of…human imagination and external experience, science and mathematics, art and fiction (Deutsch, 1997: 121-22).

Metaphysical Idealism: Is This How It Is?

The myth of the Fall in Genesis, where Eve eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and persuades Adam to do the same, strikes us as a story of how human beings first came to self-consciousness. Not just consciousness but reflective consciousness or meta consciousness. We need to be clear about these two terms when considering an idealist metaphysical worldview such as we find in Jung and Schopenhauer (who was quite an influence). Every animate being is conscious to some extent in that they experience. A humble fly, even a microbe, experiences their environment and responds to that experience along the lines of its instinctive behaviour. The bible story of Adam and Eve says that once they had eaten of the Tree of Knowledge they ‘knew’ they were naked. They knew they were naked before that in that they experienced themselves as naked. But they did not reflect on this and imagine there was something else they could do like find a fig leaf, even less feel ashamed that their genitals were on show. In their original state (of knowledge or no knowledge) they knew they were naked in the sense that they experienced themselves like this.

They only ‘knew they were naked’ in the sense of ‘as opposed to being clothed’ or ‘dressed as donkeys’—or anything else the reflective mind could make up—after they ate of the Tree of Knowledge, which gave them reflective consciousness or meta-consciousness.

This distinction is important as the term consciousness is used by Jung and many others in a loose way so that meta-consciousness (the reflective awareness only humans possess, it seems) gets mixed up with consciousness as experience, which every living thing possesses. It is this consciousness as experience that is being referred to in metaphysical discussions of reality called idealism. Idealist philosophies point out there is no guarantee a material world exists at all as such a world is only ever known through perceptual experience, with the conclusion: consciousness is all there is.

Jung helps us with this way of thinking as, by and large, instead of ‘consciousness’ he uses the term psyche. (When he does use the term ‘consciousness,’ he tends to mean our meta- or reflective consciousness). As Jung says:

the only form of existence we know of immediately is psychic. We might as well say…that physical existence is merely an inference, since we know of matter only in so far as we perceive psychic images transmitted by the senses. (Jung, Psychology and Religion: 12, Para.16. emphasis added).

Two more ideas at the basis of Jung’s psychology and worldview contribute to our understanding of the relationship between material ‘reality’ and psychic experience. These are: synchronicity and the archetypes of the collective unconscious. These days we tend to have a rather parochial view of both and overlook the implication of these powerful ideas which are also empirical experiences. Synchronicity accounts for meaningful but acausal links between objects and events in the so-called material world and mental events—dreams or cognitions—in the human psyche. From a narrow point of view, archetypes are defined simply as part of the unconscious psyche, which, acting rather like the collective DNA we all have in common, forms our understanding in a typical human fashion. The archetypal image emerges when this archetypal tendency encounters an environmental stimulus. But such a simplified understanding falls far short of what Jung meant and what is implied by the archetypes.

Let us briefly take the human mind and how we operate: this is ‘largely through cognitive associations based on similarity.’ (Kastrup, 2021: 67). When discussing the levels of knowing and reality we can perceive through not only our senses but also through symbols, images, maths, we learned from David Deutsch that our minds allow for the similarity between forms of representation and the perceptual experiences delivered through the senses. You would have no difficulty understanding what I meant if I showed you, say, a picture of a dog. The image is flat, two-dimensional, visually similar but otherwise nothing like the actual dog which ‘in reality’ would be a moving three-dimensional creature and object of our vision and other senses.

We are also afforded similarity between the picture and the real dog and the three letters in the English word DOG. If you know the French word CHIEN you can associate these five different letters and still have the same image in your imagination and the same intended meaning. Not only are the letters totally unlike a ‘real’ material dog, they are totally unlike each other! It is their associated meaning that links them all together, not direct correspondences of form.

Discussing this further with his own example, Bernardo Kastrup makes the same point:

Hence, what these things have in common—the basis for their association—is the similarity of what they evoke, not their particular form. …a correspondence of meaning is just an instance of similarity, so defined. (Kastrup, 2021: 67).

Synchronicity is defined as a meaningful coincidence between an inner psychic state and an outer physical event ‘that are similar in the broad sense just discussed (ibid.).’ But can this be extended to the acausal coinciding of two physical events alone? It is no surprise that Jung himself extends the definition of synchronicity in this way:

Synchronicity could be understood as an ordering system by means of which ‘similar’ things coincide, without there being any apparent ‘cause’… I see no reason why synchronicity should always just be a coincidence of two psychic states or a psychic state and a nonpsychic event. There may also possibly be coincidences of this kind between nonpsychic events. … For the connection of psychic states to each other and to nonpsychic events, I use the term ‘meaning’ as a psychically appropriate paraphrasing of the term ‘similarity.’ In the coincidences of nonpsychic events, one would naturally use the latter term’ (Jung and Pauli, 2001, Atom and Archetype: 60, original emphasis).

Jung’s work with the theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli meant that he could use the discoveries of quantum mechanics to leverage his metaphysical conclusions in an empirical fashion without being accused of speculative philosophising:

since no individual quantum event is causally determined, the implication is that all quantum events…must be structured according to some global pattern of similarities…. It follows from this that synchronicity—insofar as it defines the structures or tendencies underlying all quantum events—is the only metaphysically real ordering principle in nature (Kastrup, 2021: 69).’

What Jung has done is extrapolate the basis for naturally occurring ‘cognitive associations in the psyche to a universal basis for the organization of all events in nature (ibid.).’ And Jung himself brings together psyche and archetype into one metaphysical system of non-material idealism when he writes that it is

fundamentally impossible to prove that the law of nature is actually based on something toto coelo [i.e. totally] different from what we in psychology call archetype (Jung and Pauli, 2001, Atom and Archetype: 70).

The unavoidable conclusion is that psyche is not ‘in here’ in our heads; equally, the archetypes are not, like DNA, simply part of our physiology that is manifesting through the psyche. But neither are psyche and the archetypes ‘out there.’ We are seeing it the wrong way round and starting from the wrong assumption. There is no ‘in here’ and ‘out there’: what we imagine to be the material world is only ever psyche:

The psyche is the world’s pivot: not only is it the one great condition for the existence of a world at all, it is also an intervention in the existing natural order, and no one can say with certainty where this intervention will finally end (Jung, On the Nature of the Psyche: 217. Para: 423).

Jung experienced for himself, as have many, a profound sense of connection with his environment—the world apparently ‘outside’ ‘himself,’ ‘the transpersonal ground beyond ourselves as an extension of the psychic ‘substance”’ (Kastrup, 2021: 88) linking all living beings as well as the inanimate and inorganic world. Jung describes the collective unconscious as:

a boundless expanse…where I experience the other in myself and the other-than-myself experiences me (Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious: 22. Para: 45).

Jung’s emphasis on the scope of the collective unconscious could not be clearer:

No, the collective unconscious is anything but an incapsulated personal system; it is sheer objectivity, as wide as the world and open to all the world…. There I am utterly one with the world, so much a part of it I forget all too easily who I really am. ‘Lost in oneself’ is a good way of describing this state. But this self is the world, if only a consciousness could see it. That is why we must know who we are (Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious: 22. Para: 46).

We are getting to the point where we need to reflect hard upon our assumption that the real version of events of a psychotherapy session are owned solely by the material version of two people in a three-dimensional room. There is plenty to be said for the online version and its ‘virtual’ reality. There is also plenty to be said for looking into what is really happening and the meaning created and how—for psyche and hence for ‘ourselves’—the material conditions are not nearly so important after all.

Experiencing Film: How Much Reality Can We Afford…

To finally bring this home, let us take a brief look at that other experience of reality that has been pleasing and convincing us for over a hundred years now. It is flat and odourless; it consists of light moving across a two-dimensional surface while audio signals are sent to our ears. How can this seem like ‘reality?’ Well, films do seem real and they can sweep us along with an experience that may move and influence us like any event in the so-called ‘real world.’

You recall how David Deutsch gave us the example of how virtual reality offered an experience as real as it gets with the computer-generated pilot-training experience? Similarly, James Gibson, a young psychologist previously used to studying visual perception in the lab, noticed how pilots moving rapidly through the air process visual information against a visual world rushing past at speed. ‘Clearly, problems of perception were subject to one’s relationship to one’s environment (Anderson et al, 1996: 349, emphasis added).’ In visual perception, the light information is always changing in what Gibson called the ‘ambient optic array (Gibson, 1979)’ but there are what he called invariants that specify objectsin the world and which inform actionor inform emotion where action not possible, as in cinema.

From an evolutionary point of view, landing planes and watching films is using a visual system developed in another time for other purposes, such as seeking food and avoiding danger. Put simply, the goal of a visual system is to detect light, and then patterns of light; the intention or telos of this is to extract meaning and to inform action. This process must be accurate and fast enough to promote survival, hence: in itself, visual perception need not involve higher level processes (like schemas and representations). After all, flies and jelly-fish can do it!

We have to pose this: if the goal of the perceptual system is to inform action in the world and information is in ‘the patterns of electromagnetic radiation, molecular disturbances in the air…and the like, then it is reasonable to ask how the information, which exists out there in the world, comes to inform the internal actions of an organism (ibid.: 352. Emphasis added).’ For Kastrup or Jung, the answer would be that they are of the same stuff! There is an archetypal ordering that makes the signal and the receiver—the stuff being perceived and the stuff doing the perceiving—all the same stuff. All are psyche.

The Concept of Affordance 

Gibson not only offers a metatheory of perception consistent with what we know of biological evolution, but he also offers us the vital concept of affordance, which connects the perception of objects with their meaning.The affordances of an environment are what it offers the animal…it implies the complementarity of animal and environment (Gibson, 1979, quoted in Anderson and Anderson, 1996: 361).’ For example: the ground affords walking on, an overhanging ledge affords shelter, and an apple object affords something to eat. No higher level of meaning is required: affordance is defining meaning as a relationship between the perceiver and the object of perception. In other words, whether we are encountering something we regard as the real reality, with two people experiencing being in a room doing therapy, or whether this is mediated through a computer screen and audio, our perceptual system delivers meaning, before (and in spite of) any higher level cognition taking place. Just as it does when we are convinced of the meaning we experience watching a film screen.

The Curtain (and What’s the Meta…?)

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s dog Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal what is behind the whole world she has been experiencing: it is an old man pulling the levers. He looks a bit like Jung!

I started with the presenting problem of how some find the use of the screen and computer technology less real than the ‘real thing’ of two people meeting in a room for a therapy session. This led me on to consider David Deutsch’s views on how our ‘direct’ experience of the world through our senses is virtual reality too. And the fact that we live in a world where virtual reality is possible is an important fact about the fabric of reality itself.

This led me on to metaphysics and the true nature of things as implied in Jung’s ideas and Bernardo Kastrup’s metaphysical idealism.

I have raised the idea that psyche and the archetypes of the collective unconscious are neither in our minds nor out there in the world. They are all that there is and—in themselves—beyond our ‘knowing’ beyond that which we can know using the perceptual apparatus we have. The whole distinction between material reality and the perception of reality in sentient creatures’ minds is a falsehood and at best a necessary illusion by which psyche or the Will (for Schopenhauer) or God, if you like, might know itself.

Lastly, we considered how the artefact of film (an earlier virtual reality, you could say) is so convincing. Thinking about this leads us back to thinking about how ‘reality’ itself can be so convincing and how meaning, which arises from perceiving, might be understood. The meaning that arises within the therapy session in-person or one conducted online is not dependent on the material form or context in which the session is conducted.

It strikes me that meaning is what counts when it comes to what is real; and meaning will transcend the conditions or contexts within which it arises. 

Christopher Hauke is a Jungian analyst in private practice and Senior Lecturer emeritus at Goldsmiths, University of London interested in the applications of depth psychology to a wide range of social and cultural phenomena including film. His books include Jung and the Postmodern: The Interpretation of Realities, (2000); Human Being Human. Culture and the  Soul  (2005) Visible Mind. Movies, Modernity and the Unconscious (2013). He has co-edited two collections of Jungian film writing: Jung and Film. Post-Jungian Takes on the Moving Image (2001) and Jung and Film II – The Return (2011).

His short films, documentaries One Colour Red and Green Ray and the psychological drama Again premiered in London venues and at congresses in Barcelona, Zurich and Montreal. In addition to new film projects, he is now researching the limits of rationality, and the place of the irrational in our lives.


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