Hinds, S: The Dual Archetypal Legacy: A Fork in the Road Beyond Descartes


Sam Hinds


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The archetypal psychology of James Hillman, in elevating the archetypal image as the primary and foundational datum of psychological life, takes as its primary source and model the analytical psychology of C.G. Jung. Hillman, however, diverges from Jung in a number of significant ways. Hillman, an outspoken critique of Rene Descartes’ enduring influence upon western thought, particularly with respect to the assumptions underlying modern psychology, repudiates the dualistic notion of an ontological disjunction between subject and object. The style of this repudiation results in a specific differentiation between Hillman’s and Jung’s psychologies, as Jung is generally understood as having retained central elements of the dualistic legacy tracing from Descartes through Kant. It has been argued, however, that Jung’s later work, particularly with respect to his introduction of the idea of synchronicity, likewise transgresses the western dualistic legacy as it is typically conceived. The present paper presents the argument that two diverging interpretations of the Jungian and Hillmanian streams of psychology present two alternate pathways beyond the Cartesian-Kantian legacy, both archetypally saturated. One stream, following the late work of Jung as taken up by Richard Tarnas, could be described as participatorily representational. The other, following Hillman’s legacy read from a phenomenological standpoint as taken up by Michael Sipiora, could be described as ecstatically nonrepresentational.

Presenter Bio:

Sam Hinds received his M.A. in philosophy, cosmology and consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is currently working toward his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He is presently training in psychedelic-assisted therapy at Sage Institute in Oakland, California—a clinical training site aiming to engage the present psychedelic renaissance through an approach integrating Jungian, archetypal and social justice theoretical frameworks. Sam’s doctoral research will focus on the dynamic and challenging relationship between the concepts of synchronicity and projection, with a view toward clarifying the ambiguous ontological status of the archetypal psyche in relation to the lived experience of private subjectivity in light of Jung’s later thought.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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