Psychoanalysis Mysticism and the Problem of Epistemology

“Dr. Alice Bar Nes' book, Psychoanalysis, Mysticism and the Problem of Epistemology: Defining the Indefinable, is an impressive work that brings the reader into an area of psychoanalytic thinking that has been much-maligned over the ...

Psychoanalysis  Mysticism and the Problem of Epistemology

This book presents key psychoanalytic theories from a fresh perspective: that of the mystical element. The author explores the depth-structure of central assumptions in psychoanalytic theory to uncover the mystical core of conventional analytic thinking. Exploring authors from Freud and Ferenczi, through Bion and Winnicott, to contemporary voices such as Ogden, Bollas and Eigen, the book shows that psychoanalysis has always operated on the assumption of psychic overlap, a "soul-to-soul" contact, between patient and analyst. Surprisingly, the book shows how this "magical" facet goes hand in hand with a pragmatic worldview that explores the epistemological complexities of psychoanalysis in search of a way to join the subjective, even the mystical, with the practical aim of serving as a validated mental health discipline. This is accomplished through an interdisciplinary and intertextual encounter between psychoanalysis and the innovative pairing of William James’ pragmatic philosophy and Martin Buber’s dialogic thought. The author's paradoxical stance surrounding the nature and role of psychoanalysis and its mystical facet resonate the great challenge embedded in Winnicott's insistence on tolerating paradox and Bion's demand to respect all parts of the (psychoanalytic) truth, in this case, the practical and mundane alongside the mystical and magical. The book’s broad, interdisciplinary outlook will captivate both psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic therapists as well as scholars of philosophy.

Psychoanalysis Mysticism and the Problem of Epistemology

Defining the ineffable : what is the mystical?

Psychoanalysis  Mysticism and the Problem of Epistemology

This book presents key psychoanalytic theories from a fresh perspective: that of the mystical element. The author explores the depth-structure of central assumptions in psychoanalytic theory to uncover the mystical core of conventional analytic thinking. Exploring authors from Freud and Ferenczi, through Bion and Winnicott, to contemporary voices such as Ogden, Bollas and Eigen, the book shows that psychoanalysis has always operated on the assumption of psychic overlap, a "soul-to-soul" contact, between patient and analyst. Surprisingly, the book shows how this "magical" facet goes hand in hand with a pragmatic worldview that explores the epistemological complexities of psychoanalysis in search of a way to join the subjective, even the mystical, with the practical aim of serving as a validated mental health discipline. This is accomplished through an interdisciplinary and intertextual encounter between psychoanalysis and the innovative pairing of William James' pragmatic philosophy and Martin Buber's dialogic thought. The author's paradoxical stance surrounding the nature and role of psychoanalysis and its mystical facet resonate the great challenge embedded in Winnicott's insistence on tolerating paradox and Bion's demand to respect all parts of the (psychoanalytic) truth, in this case, the practical and mundane alongside the mystical and magical. The book's broad, interdisciplinary outlook will captivate both psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic therapists as well as scholars of philosophy.

The Enigma of the Oceanic Feeling

Revisioning the Psychoanalytic Theory of Mysticism William B. Parsons ... comparativist literature, culture studies, philosophical issues in mystical epistemology, and debates over mysticism as experience and process.

The Enigma of the Oceanic Feeling

This study examines the history of the psychoanalytic theory of mysticism, starting with the seminal correspondence between Freud and Romain Rolland concerning the concept of "oceanic feeling." Providing a corrective to current views which frame psychoanalysis as pathologizing mysticism, Parsons reveals the existence of three models entertained by Freud and Rolland: the classical reductive, ego-adaptive, and transformational (which allows for a transcendent dimension to mysticism). Then, reconstructing Rolland's personal mysticism (the "oceanic feeling") through texts and letters unavailable to Freud, Parsons argues that Freud misinterpreted the oceanic feeling. In offering a fresh interpretation of Rolland's mysticism, Parsons constructs a new dialogical approach for psychoanalytic theory of mysticism which integrates culture studies, developmental perspectives, and the deep epistemological and transcendent claims of the mystics.

The Arabic Freud

Far from being simply an epistemological question, knowledge of the nafs could never really be an abstract ... sought to engage mysticism in conversation with psychoanalysis while preserving its ontological and epistemological stakes.

The Arabic Freud

Omnia El Shakry challenges the notion of a strict divide between psychoanalysis and Islam by tracing how postwar thinkers in Egypt blended psychoanalytic theories with concepts from classical Islamic thought in a creative encounter of ethical engagement. Drawing on scholarly writings as well as popular literature on self-healing, El Shakry provides the first in-depth examination of psychoanalysis in Egypt and reveals how a new science of psychology - or "science of the soul," as it came to be called - was inextricably linked to Islam and mysticism. She explores how Freudian ideas of the unconscious were crucial to the formation of modern discourses of subjectivity in areas as diverse as psychology, Islamic philosophy, and the law.

Psychic Reality and Psychoanalytic Knowing

psychology should equally reflect upon the representational character of its own epistemological process, by which mental life is made known. ... And specifically, why should we emphasize the problem of unconscious mental contents?

Psychic Reality and Psychoanalytic Knowing

How do we know our mental life, and how is our mental life altered by our efforts to know it better? Originally published in 1984, this title attempts an epistemological and ontological discourse concerning the understanding of human mental processes, and it aims toward a definitive thesis on the dialectics of knowing and being in this work of psychological understanding. What this work reconfronts are questions pertaining to all psychology and to all human sciences. Yet much of its focus is on the understanding of unconscious mental contents, on the question of knowing and being in Freud’s psychology.

Psychoanalysis and the Mind Body Problem

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 59 (2), pp 139–188. Bateson, G. (1972). ... Lectures on the History of Philosophy. ... In Mysticism and Logic, Penguin Books Ltd, Great Britain, pp 95–119. von Bertalanffy, L. (1968).

Psychoanalysis and the Mind Body Problem

In this volume, internationally acclaimed psychoanalysts, philosophers, and scholars of humanities examine the mind-body problem and provide differing analyses on the nature of mind, unconscious structure, mental properties, qualia, and the contours of consciousness. Given that disciplines from the humanities and the social sciences to neuroscience cannot agree upon the nature of consciousness—from what constitutes psychic reality to mental properties, psychoanalysis has a unique perspective that is largely ignored by mainstream paradigms. This book provides a comprehensive exploration of the mind-body problem in various psychoanalytic schools of thought, including philosophical and metapsychological points of view. Psychoanalysis and the Mind-Body Problem will be of interest to psychoanalysts, philosophers, neuroscientists, evolutionary biologists, academics, and those generally interested in the humanities, cognitive science, and the philosophy of mind.

Freud and Religion

Further, they offered a few new strategies that will add to our revised psychoanalytic tool kit. ... “marks” of mystical experience – “noesis” (i.e., mystical claims to knowledge) – framing it as the central problem of mysticism.

Freud and Religion

Offers a revised psychoanalytic theory of religion by sifting through the history of psychoanalytic models in dialogue with their multidisciplinary critiques.

Routledge Library Editions Psychoanalysis

And specifically , why should we emphasize the problem of unconscious mental contents ? ... If we bypass the several claims of philosophical mysticism , we find that our very notion of knowledge is necessarily grounded on some personal ...

Routledge Library Editions  Psychoanalysis

Routledge Library Editions: Psychoanalysis brings together as one set, or individual volumes, a series of 8 previously out-of-print titles, originally published between 1923 and 1993. Written by international authors from a variety of backgrounds, this set looks at psychoanalysis in a number of different areas including, culture, religion, sociology, postmodernism, literary criticism and others.

The Mystery of Personality

the British Psycho-Analytical Society and served as president of the International Psychoanalytic Association from ... Silberer took up the problems of mysticism and its symbolism and gravitated toward an analysis of the symbols of the ...

The Mystery of Personality

In The Mystery of Personality: A History of Psychodynamic Theories, acclaimed professor and historian Eugene Taylor synthesizes the field’s first century and a half into a rich, highly readable account. Taylor situates the dynamic school in its catalytic place in history, re-evaluating misunderstood figures and events, re-creating the heady milieu of discovery as the concept of "mental science" dawns across Europe, revisiting the widening rift between clinical and experimental study (or the couch and the lab) as early psychology matured into legitimate science. Gradual but vital evolutions form the heart of this chronicle: the ebb and flow of analytic theory and practice, the shift from doctor-centered to client-centered therapy, the movement from exclusionary to multidisciplinary, the evolving role of the therapist. And as can be expected from the author, there is special emphasis on the sublime in psychology: the philosophy/psychology fusion of the New England transcendentalists, the battle between spiritualism and science in 1880s America, and early versions of today’s spiritually-attuned therapies. Pivotal concepts and key individuals covered are: Charcot, Janet, and the origins of dynamic personality theory in the so-called French, Swiss, English, and American psychotherapeutic axis. Person and personality: William James’s "radical empiricism" The rise of psychoanalysis: Freud, the Freudians, and the Neo-Freudians Adler and Jung, who were never "students" of Freud: Toward, within, and beyond the self Murray, Allport, and Lewin at Harvard in the 30s Culture and personality, pastoral counseling, and Gestalt Psychology in New York in the ‘40s and ‘50s An Existential-humanistic and Transpersonally oriented depth psychology in the 60s The current era: "science confronts itself", as neuroscience enters the picture. Students of psychology and its history will find in this inspiring narrative both possibilities for further study and a new appreciation of their own work. The Mystery of Personality: A History of Psychodynamic Theories is a stimulating course conducted by a master teacher.

The Freudian Paradigm

Psychoanalysis and Scientific Thought Md Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Mohammed Mujeeb-ur-Rahman ... Yet the problem for epistemology is a real one . ... and the early Wittgenstein's logical positivism terminates in the silence of the mystic .

The Freudian Paradigm


Relating to God

Reprinted in Essays on ego psychology: Selected problems in psychoanalytic theory (pp. 113-141). ... Psychoanalysis and the sciences: Epistemology ... Mysticism, reality, illusion, and the Freudian critique of religion.

Relating to God

In Relating to God: Clinical Psychoanalysis, Spirituality, and Theism, Dan Merkur conceptualizes religious discourse within psychoanalysis. He proposes that God be treated as a transferential figure whose analysis leads to a reduction of the parental content that is projected onto God. Merkur notes that religious conversion experiences regularly involve theological intuitions that are either rational or, owing to morbid complications, have undergone displacement into irrational symbolism. Analysis renders the religiosity more wholesome. Traditionally, psychoanalytic thought has been dismissive of religion. Freud is on record, however, as having called psychoanalysis a neutral procedure. He argued that religion, with its dependency on a providential God who punishes disobedience, imagines spirituality on the model of human parents and fails to approach spirituality in an appropriately scientific manner. He wrote little of spiritual phenomena, but mentioned both the rationality of the universe and the parapsychological occurrence of thought transference. Occasionally, later psychoanalysts used different language in order to contrast wholesome and morbid forms of religion. Erich Fromm distinguished authoritarian and humanistic religions, while D. W. Winnicott condemned fetishistic behavior while approving of playful illusions that require “belief-in.” These formulations constructed a middle position for clinicians, neither categorically opposed to religion as classical psychoanalysis was, nor do they embrace cultural relativity as “spiritually oriented” psychotherapists are currently advocating. What sorts of spiritual practices does psychoanalysis find unobjectionable? As examples of humanistic religion, Fromm named Zen Buddhism, Buddhist mindfulness meditation, and the via negativa or “way of negating” that some Christian and Jewish mystics have followed. Because the Bible-based approaches are little known, Merkur discusses their histories, procedures, and psychoanalytic understanding.

Psychoanalysis and the Sciences

Epistemology--history André Haynal ... The field of so - called sexology is confined to the " anomalies ” of sexuality , while psychoanalysis tries to integrate an understanding of the " tenebrous depths of the heart ” , no matter in ...

Psychoanalysis and the Sciences

The relationship existing between science and psychoanalysis has long been tense, critical, even hostile. Andr Haynal addresses this relationship by examining three questions: how is psychoanalytic "knowledge" established? what methodology and epistemology underlie psychoanalytic theory? and what are the historical circumstances that have shaped psychoanalysis? Haynal is familiar with the full spectrum of analytic thought and begins with a systematic discussion of analytic theory. The second part of the book covers a series of historical topics and includes discussions of Freud and his relations with his followers. A chapter on Freud and his "favorite disciple," Sandor Ferenczi, is an engrossing account of the complex intellectual and personal connection the two men shared. The relationship existing between science and psychoanalysis has long been tense, critical, even hostile. Andr Haynal addresses this relationship by examining three questions: how is psychoanalytic "knowledge" established? what methodology and epistemology underlie psychoanalytic theory? and what are the historical circumstances that have shaped psychoanalysis? Haynal is familiar with the full spectrum of analytic thought and begins with a systematic discussion of analytic theory. The second part of the book covers a series of historical topics and includes discussions of Freud and his relations with his followers. A chapter on Freud and his "favorite disciple," Sandor Ferenczi, is an engrossing account of the complex intellectual and personal connection the two men shared.

A World Made Safe for Differences

As worldview becomes a matter of personality , so culture becomes merely a matter of consciousness . ... Roszak traces the revolt against the scientific worldview through the rise of psychoanalysis , mysticism , and psychedelic drugs ...

A World Made Safe for Differences

In A World Made Safe for Differences, Christopher Shannon examines how an anthropological definition of culture shaped the central political and social narratives of the Cold War era. In the middle decades of the twentieth century, American intellectuals understood culture as a whole way of life and a pattern of values in order to account for and accommodate differences between America and other countries, and within America itself. Shannon locates the ideological origins of current debates about multiculturalism in the pluralist thought of consensus liberalism. The emphasis on individualism in contemporary identity politics, Shannon suggests, must be understood as a legacy of the Cold War liberalism of the 1950s rather than the counter-culture radicalism of the 1960s. A World Made Safe for Differences is a highly original and controversial book that will be of great interest to students and scholars of twentieth century American history.

Objectivity and Human Perception

In this radical examination of psychological and philosophical theories of perception, M.D. Faber synthesizes significant aspects of both.

Objectivity and Human Perception

In this radical examination of psychological and philosophical theories of perception, M.D. Faber synthesizes significant aspects of both. Treating such diverse subjects as mysticism, economics, epistemology, politics and the rearing of children, Faber links innovative psychoanalytic concepts to the mainstream of modern philosophical thought.

Carl Jung and Maximus the Confessor on Psychic Development

A Study of Husserl's Transcendental Philosophy, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. Chodorow, J. (2006) 'Active Imagination', in HJP. ... Eigen, M. (2001) 'Mysticism and Psychoanalysis', Psychoanalytic Review 88, 3: 455–81.

Carl Jung and Maximus the Confessor on Psychic Development

In what ways does psychological development differ from spiritual development and psychological experience from spiritual experience? Bringing together two disparate theories under a trans-disciplinary framework, G. C. Tympas presents a comparison of Carl Jung’s theory of psychic development and Maximus the Confessor’s model of spiritual progress. An ‘evolutional’ relationship between the ‘psychological’ and the ‘spiritual’ is proposed for a dynamic interpretation of spiritual experience. Carl Jung and Maximus the Confessor on Psychic Development offers a creative synthesis of elements and directions from both theories and further explores: - Jung’s views on religion in a dialogue with Maximus’ concepts - The different directions and goals of Jung’s and Maximus’ models - Jung’s ‘Answer to Job’ in relation to Maximus’ theory of ‘final restoration’. Tympas argues that a synthesis of Jung’s and Maximus’ models comprises a broader trans-disciplinary paradigm of development, which can serve as a pluralistic framework for considering the composite psycho-spiritual development. Constructively combining strands of differing disciplines, this book will appeal to those looking to explore the dialogue between analytical psychology, early Christian theology and Greek philosophy.

General Catalogue

General Catalogue


Repair of the Soul

Metaphors of Transformation in Jewish Mysticism and Psychoanalysis Karen E. Starr ... He dismissed the role of intuition in epistemology, describing the Weltanschauung of psychoanalysis, which he considered to be a branch of the ...

Repair of the Soul

Repair of the Soul examines transformation from the perspective of Jewish mysticism and psychoanalysis, addressing the question of how one achieves self-understanding that leads not only to insight but also to meaningful change. In this beautifully written and thought-provoking book, Karen Starr draws upon a contemporary relational approach to psychoanalysis to explore the spiritual dimension of psychic change within the context of the psychoanalytic relationship. Influenced by the work of Lewis Aron, Steven Mitchell and other relational theorists, and drawing upon contemporary scholarship in the field of Jewish studies, Starr brings the ideas of the Kabbalah, the ancient Jewish mystical tradition, into dialogue with modern psychoanalytic thought. Repair of the Soul provides a scholarly integration of several kabbalistic and psychoanalytic themes relating to transformation, including faith, surrender, authenticity, and mutuality, as well as a unique exploration of the relationship of the individual to the universal. Starr uses the Kabbalah’s metaphors as a vivid framework with which to illuminate the experience of transformation in psychoanalytic process, and to explore the evolving view of the psychoanalytic relationship as one in which both parties - the analyst as well as the patient - are transformed.

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy

... principle REICH psychoanalysis , philosophical problems of REICHENBACH science , history of the philosophy of REID common sense ; English philosophy ; Scottish philosophy REINCARNATION Buddhist philosophy ; death ; immortality ...

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy

Written by outstanding scholars of modern philosophy, a comprehensive, one-volume encyclopedia covers all aspects of philosophy from ancient times to the present in more than two thousand authoritative entries, including bibliographies and illustrations. UP.

Jungian Psychoanalysis

... contains a full blown ontology, epistemology, and philosophy of history's unfolding. It describes what is, how what is is known, and the direction history takes consequent to the answer to the problem of being and knowing.

Jungian Psychoanalysis

Jungian Psychoanalysis or Analytical Psychology has evolved in unexpected and exciting ways, exploring new paths in the spirit of Jung. The openness and diversity of the Jungian approach are captured in this collection of bold new essays by some of today's most outstanding Jungian analysts. Jungian Psychoanalysis explains what Jungian Psychoanalysis is all about, how it relates to other types of contemporary therapy, and what it can contribute to the debates now taking place among psychotherapists all over the world, as dissatisfaction grows with the limitations of both drug treatments and cognitive-behavioral therapies. This book vividly depicts where Jungian Psychoanalysis has been, where it stands today in relation to a wide array of clinical issues, and where it is headed as it moves into its second century. "In the thirty-six chapters of Jungian Psychoanalysis we meet some of the leading thinkers and therapists who embody the living spirit of Jung's work in action. This is a fascinating and indispensable book, not only for anyone who practices within the spirit of Jung's thought but also for anyone who takes up that spirit as a way of conducting their own life."-Robert D. Romanyshyn, author of The Wounded Researcher: Doing Research with Soul in Mind "Jungian Psychoanalysis is an indispensable resource. Each chapter brings together Jung's ideas, multidisciplinary sources, other psychologies, case illustrations, and the author's own reflections. This combination results in exciting new directions for clinical practice. The book skillfully balances erudition with respect for the mysterious workings of the psyche."-Lawrence R. Alschuler, author of The Psychopolitics of Liberation: Political Consciousness from a Jungian Perspective "Jung urged his students to work in the spirit rather than the letter of his depth-psychological theories. In Jungian Psychoanalysis, Jungian analysts from six continents present a contemporary review of post-Jungian goals, methods, analytic process, and training. Their essays provide compelling accounts of the revelations and insights encountered by those who experience what it means to be human through a twenty-first-century Jungian lens."-Beverley Zabriskie, President, Jungian Psychoanalytic Association, New York "The analytic tradition initiated by C.G. Jung continues to evolve and develop new insights. Jungian Psychoanalysis is essential reading for therapists, analysts, and scholars who want to understand the most contemporary thinking in this dynamic field"-George B. Hogenson, author of Jung's Struggle with Freud Murray Stein is the author of The Principle of Individuation (2006), Jung's Map of the Soul (1998), and Transformation: Emergence of the Self (1998). Dr. Stein is President of the International School of Analytical Psychology, in Zurich.

Meaning Mind and Self Transformation

mysticism: transformations. in. “O”. In Attention and Interpretation, Bion (1970) went beyond the Grid, which appears as the frontispiece to that book, and considered, in depth and detail, the epistemology of psychoanalysis, ...

Meaning  Mind  and Self Transformation

Interpretation is the primary intervention of psychoanalysis. Until now it has been discussed almost exclusively from a technical standpoint, rather than its relationship to the mind, human life, and how it affects the personality. This book explores the intrinsic nature of interpretation in psychoanalysis. For that purpose, two streams of thought are brought into dialogue with one another: Anglo-American psychoanalysis and Continental European philosophical hermeneutics, the study of meaning and interpretation. This book celebrates and makes explicit the value of interchanges between the paradigm of science and philosophical hermeneutics. It is divided into three sections, preceded by a discussion of the relationship between psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and the sciences, with psychoanalysis at a crossroads seeking a new path. Part 1 starts with a consideration of Freud's methodology in The Interpretation of Dreams, moving to a review of ancient, romantic, and modern theories of interpretation as they relate to psychoanalysis.