C. G. Jung insisted that there could be no consciousness without an ego, and accordingly he expressed scepticism about the desirability and even the possibility of experiencing pure consciousness or egoless awareness—a view seemingly at odds with worldwide mystical experience as well as much Asian philosophy. In his presentation Roderick will re-examine Jung’s position on this issue in light of Jung’s own mystical experiences in 1944, some late developments in his thinking about the relationship between the ego and the self, and the case for his being viewed as an implicit panentheist. He will argue that Jung’s thought can provide a much richer and more socially relevant account of mystical experience, including of the experience of egoless awareness, than is often supposed and than some of his own comments might lead one to expect.
August 27 - September 2
Mundane and Mystical: A Panentheistic Perspective on C. G. Jung’s Late Thoughts About Consciousness, Ego, and Self
Roderick Main holds a BA and MA in Classics from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Religious Studies from Lancaster University. He now works at the University of Essex, where he is Professor in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies and Director of the Centre for Myth Studies. His books include Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal (1997); The Rupture of Time: Synchronicity and Jung’s Critique of Modern Western Culture (2004); Revelations of Chance: Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience (2007); Myth, Literature, and the Unconscious (2013); Holism: Possibilities and Problems (2020); and Jung, Deleuze, and the Problematic Whole (2020).