With the evolution of human consciousness, nature has finally become conscious of itself. It has taken eons of time, this lumbering progress through the minds of reptiles, mammals, and primates, and it is still working its purpose out in the archetypes of the collective unconscious encoded in the most ancient parts of the human brain. The recent evolutionary history of our species, which Jung personified as "the two million-year-old human being in us all," is still active in our dreams, myths, psychiatric symptoms, traditional healing practices, and typical patterns of behavior. And it is still struggling to help us survive in the often alienating conditions of the modern world.
Through a wide-ranging review of developments in anthropology, ethology, sociobiology, neuroscience, psycholinguistics, and Jungian psychology, Anthony Stevens explores the nature of the two million-year-old Self and examines ways in which the contemporary world both fulfills and frustrates its basic needs and intentions.
Drawing on his experience as an analyst, Stevens evokes dreams and psychiatry to reveal a compelling and challenging view of the two million-year-old Self as embodying no less than the will of nature, providing ancient wisdom that we neglect at our collective peril. By granting close attention to nature's mind, Stevens argues, we not only further personal wholeness but help redress the gross imbalances of our culture, which are threatening the destruction of the earth. For the ecologically concerned, this book offers a dramatic new perspective on our future relations with our planet. --- from the publisher
". . . With exemplary clarity of exposition he shows how Jung's concept of archetype is the missing link between the evolved process and subjective experience."--Paul Gilbert, author of Human Nature and Suffering
" . . . beautifully written . . . introduce[s] the reader to a vitally important area of psychology which is only recently beginning to receive widespread recognition. There is admirable breadth in his coverage of anthropology and ethology, and also depth in his account of dreams and of the process of therapy. . . . deserve[s] to be widely read."--John Price
" . . . a mind-stretching update of the Jungian world view. Anthony Stevens integrates the best of what is known from the past with current perspectives of the future. This book takes significant steps toward the creation of a new archetypal psychology."--Ernest Lawrence Rossi, author of The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing
About the Author:
Anthony Stevens is an internationally known Jungian analyst and writer from England. He is a graduate of Oxford University in both psychology and medicine. He holds a doctorate in medicine from Oxford and is an affiliate of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.