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The Heart of the Matter : Individuation as an Ethical Process
Becker, Christina
Chiron Publications / Softcover / 2004-08-01 / 1888602279
Archetypal (Jungian) Psychology / Toronto Authors
price: $25.75 (may be subject to change)
208 pages
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The Heart is the meeting place of the individual and the divine, the inner ground of morality,
authenticity and integrity. The process of coming to the Heart and of realizing the person
we were meant to be is what Carl Jung called 'Individuation'. This path is full
of moral challenges for anyone with the courage to take it.

Using Jung's premise that the main causes of psychological problems are conflicts of
conscience, Christina Becker takes the reader through the philosophical and spiritual
aspects of the ethical dimensions of this individual journey toward wholeness. This book is
a long overdue and unique contribution to the link between individuation and ethics. --- from the publisher


Reading The Heart of the Matter was like sitting at a feast, having the opportunity to be fed from many sources. There is much that feeds us both intellectually and emotionally in this work. It provides a systematic and scholarly grounding toward the understanding the fundamental ethical urge/need within each human being." -Shirley Halliday, Jungian analyst and president of the British Columbia Association for Analytical Psychology

"The Heart of the Matter is a thoughtful and thought-provoking work that provides a philosophical and psychological ground upon which archetypal images of the heart dance with conscious and unconscious attitudes, actions, vulnerabilities, oversights, and professional infractions of individuals and the collective" -Brenda Weinberg, psychotherapist and president of the Canadian Association of Sandplay Therapists


Introduction 9
Part I - Individuation as an Ethical Process
1 Ethics, Morality, and Conscience: Philosophical and
Mythological Perspectives 19
Definitions 21
Morality and Judea-Christian Religion 24
Origins of Ethics, Morality and Conscience: The Debate 26
Freud’s Superego 29
Moral and Ethical Instincts: Psychological and
Mythological Perspectives 30
Moral Relativism 35
Ethics and the Discovery of the Unconscious 37

2 Jung’s Exploration of Morality and Conscience 41
Jung’s Western Influences 43
Jung’s Eastern Influences 46
Jung’s Views on Morality 50
Good and Evil 52
A Psychological View of Conscience 53

3 Moral Development and Psychopathology 57
Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg 60
Carol Gilligan and Gender Differences 62
Erik Erikson’s Ethical Orientation 63
Neuman’s Ethical Development of Consciousness 69
Moral Psychopathology 72

4 The Heart: The Ethics of Integrity and Authenticity 75
Integrity and Authenticity 76
The Symbol of the Heart 81
The Heart As Morality and as the Centre of the Personality 88

5 Individuation and the Ethical Confrontation with
the Unconscious 91
Nature of the Unconscious 93
Jung’s Confrontation with the Unconscious 94
Individuation 96
Shadow and Psychological Development 97
Integrity as the Opus 98
Psychological Experience of Integrity and Conscience 99
Ethical Confrontation with the Unconscious and the
“New Ethic” 103

Part II - Ethics in Analysis
6 Integrity of Analysis: Boundaries 109
Analytic Boundaries and Maintaining Integrity in Analysis 112
Archetypal Basis of the Analytic Relationship 114
Analytic Boundaries: Flexibility or Violation? 119

7 The Analyst’s Shadow and Boundary Violations 125
The Analyst’s Shadow 125
Boundary Violations and Ethics in Analysis 127
Early History of Boundary Violations 129
Common Features of Boundary Violations 131
Analytic Boundaries: Flexibility or Violation?
Three Case Studies 134
Issues Raised by the Case Studies 139

8 Ethics in Analysis: Survey of Attitudes of Jungian Analysts 143
Survey of Analyst Attitudes and Beliefs: Methodology 143
Results 145
Conclusions and Recommendations from Survey 158

Part III – The Ethical Attitude
9 Suffering and the Ethical Attitude 163
Our Attitude toward Suffering 165
Meaningful Suffering and the Transcendent Function 169
The Ethical Attitude for Individuation 173
The Ethical Attitude in Analytic Practice 176

Closing Reflections 183
Bibliography 189
Index 195
Appendix: Ethics Survey Questionnaire and Results 201

About the Author:
Christina Becker is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in Toronto. She graduated from the C.G. Jung Institut in Zurich, Switzerland, and also has a degree in music and a Masters in Business Administration. Prior to going into training, she had a successful career as a manager, teacher, and consultant to cultural and voluntary sector communities. Read more at

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