No organized study of Jung’s ethics has been accomplished until now. Drawing on direct quotes from all of his collected works, interviews, and seminars, psychoanalyst and religious scholar Dan Merkur provides a compendium of Jung’s thoughts on various topics and themes that comprise his theoretical corpus—from the personal unconscious, repression, dreams, good and evil, and the shadow, to collective phenomena such as the archetypes, synchronicity, the psychoid, the paranormal, God, and the Self, as well as his contributions to clinical method and technique including active imagination, inner dialogue, and the process of individuation and consciousness expansion. The interconnecting thread in his approach to the subject matter is to read Jung’s work through an ethical lens.
What comes to light is how Merkur systematically portrays Jung as a moralist, but also as a complex thinker who situates the human being as an instinctual animal struggling with internal conflict and naturalized sin. Merkur exposes the tension and development in Jung’s thinking by exploring his innovative clinical-technical methods and experimentation, such as through active imagination, inner dialogue, and expressive therapies, hence underscoring unconscious creativity in dreaming, symbol formation, engaging the paranormal, and artistic productions leading to expansions of consciousness, which becomes a necessary part of individuation or the working through process in pursuit of self-actualization and wholeness. In the end, we are offered a unique presentation of Jung’s core theoretical and clinical ideas centering on an ethical fulcrum, whereby his moral psychology leads to a cure of souls.
Jung’s Ethics will be of interest to academics, scholars, researchers, and practitioners in the fields of Jungian studies and analytical psychology, ethics, moral psychology, philosophy, religious studies, and mental health professionals focusing on the integration of humanities and psychoanalysis.
"Dan Merkur was a scholar of religious studies who knew Freud better than almost anyone else in the discipline. In mid-career he left the discipline to become a professional psychoanalyst. In his final years he turned to Jung. In Jung’s Ethics, Merkur ties ethics to the whole of Jung’s psychology. Where most writers on Jung are in no position to match up Jung with Freud, Merkur does so handily. Jung's ethics prove to be another effort at achieving individuation. An exhilarating book." - Robert A. Segal, Sixth Century Chair in Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen; editor of Jung on Mythology and The Gnostic Jung.
"A strong, determined, sensitive exploration of Jung’s writings on ethics and the role it plays in the quality and work of consciousness. Merkur’s final book gives detailed exegeses of Jung’s texts with extended suggestions of the importance of God and ethics in human experience and nature of the self. In so doing, he furthers the Freud-Jung dialectic, opening rich perspectives for reflection. Thanks to Jon Mills for completing the edit of this volume after Merkur passed away, receiving the manuscript on the latter’s deathbed. A compendium of rich and committed thought profoundly affirming the human spirit." - Michael Eigen, author of The Psychoanalytic Mystic and Faith.
"It is sadly perplexing how the late Dan Merkur’s extensive and ingenious contributions to both religious studies and psychoanalysis have not received the attention they most certainly deserve. In his final book on Jung’s ethics, Merkur explores the clinical significance of Jung’s shadow work and forges an original rapprochement with Freudian and ego psychological approaches. True to style, the work is insightful, erudite, and far reaching." - Keith Haartman, author of Watching and Praying.
Table of Contents
Jung’s Moral Psychology
Cure of Souls
The Creativity of Dreams
Having it Out with the Unconscious
Jung’s Individuation Process
Consciousness and its Expansion
About the Author & Editor
About the Author/Editor
Dan Merkur, PhD was a psychoanalyst and religious studies scholar in private practice and a faculty member at the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Living Institute. He was also a visiting scholar in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto and had taught religious studies at five universities in the United States and Canada prior to his clinical training. His principle publications are in various areas of psychoanalysis, the psychology of religion, and the history of religion. This is his fifteenth and final book.
Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, and clinical psychologist. He is Professor of Psychology & Psychoanalysis at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto and is the author of many works in philosophy, psychoanalysis, psychology, and religion including seventeen books. He runs a mental health corporation in Ontario, Canada.