Henderson, D: Analytic Time(s): Jung, Deleuze, and a critique of continuity


David Henderson


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This paper attempts to clarify the relationship between the archetypal, the archetypal image and the historical subject as these present themselves in the clinical analytic process. It proposes that each of these instantiates a different order of time and that each time implies a distinct ethical demand. It associates the archetypal with the present, the archetypal image with the past and the historical subject with the future. The paper draws on Deleuze's concept of the three syntheses of time and his discussion of Spinoza's three ethics. The paper limits itself to an amplification of the clinical analytic process and does not venture generalized metaphysical claims. In Deleuze's thought, according to Williams (2011), "There are different times according to the singularities of the individual process at work… We must avoid any general spatial representation of time as something pre-existent that things can be placed on or in. There is no general line of time and no space-time continuum." (pp. 4-5) This puts into question the notion of seamless psychological development that informs much contemporary clinical practice. Deleuze (1997) states that on first reading, Spinoza's Ethics "can appear to be a long, continuous movement that goes in an almost straight line, with an incomparable power and serenity, passing again and again through definitions, axioms, postulates, propositions, demonstrations, corollaries, and scholia, carrying everything along in a grandiose course." (p. 138) Greater familiarity with the text, however, reveals "three elements, which are not only contents but forms of existence… three kinds of knowledge, which are also modes of existence and expression." (p. 138) The archetypal, the archetypal image and historical subjectivity are, it is argued, distinct modes of existence and expression. There is "an emptiness that separates them." (p. 151) The analyst must attend to the "leaps, lacunae and cuts" (p. 150) between these singularities, rather than relying on a notion of a continuous uninterrupted individuation process

Presenter Bio:

David Henderson, PhD, is a lecturer in Jungian Studies in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. He is a psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice in London. He is a member of the British Jungian Analytic Association and the International Association for Analytical Psychology. He is a convenor of and contributor to the Jung/Lacan Dialogues. Research interests include, apophasis and psychoanalysis, comparative psychoanalytic theory, Jung and Deleuze, cultural homelessness, and psychoanalysis and religion, Recent publications include, ‘Jung as a symptomatologist,’ in Jung, Deleuze and the Problematic Whole, edited by R. Main, et al., 2020, Routledge; ‘Apophasis and Psychoanalysis,’ in Depth Psychology and Mysticism, edited by T. Cattoi and D. Odorisio, 2018, Palgrave; and ‘Staying alive: anima and objet a,’ in Re-encountering Jung: Analytical psychology and contemporary psychoanalysis, edited by R. Brown, 2017, Routledge.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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