Karnac Books, London
For all of the advance of science in modern times, it tells us virtually nothing about the human psyche, upon which that advance has entirely depended. Yet there is a great deal that can be known. Carl Jung spent years in depth psychology, delving into peoples’ psyches, including his own, and he schooled himself in the realms of myths, fairy tales, Gnosticism, Mithraism, alchemy, and Eastern mysticism. Out of that work came a wide span of writings that, taken together, develop a coherent theory.
It is difficult for the layman to obtain a reliable perspective on psychology in the broad sense. Carl Jung, Darwin of the Mind, in scanning the whole of Jung’s corpus, affords such a perspective from the Jungian point of view and demonstrates that point of view to be entirely consonant with the scientific holdings of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, sometimes called neo-Darwinism.
When viewed in terms of evolutionary theory Jung’s theory of archetypes and the collective unconscious is powerfully persuasive. But what of consciousness, itself?
Unlike that of the much older collective unconscious, consciousness cannot trace an evolution through Darwinian natural selection. Yet, as Jung put it respecting the psyche generally, consciousness can’t be the only thing in the world to have no history. Building on Jung and his brilliant follower, Erich Neumann, the bookCarl Jung, Darwin of the Mind advances a theory of the non-genetic evolution of consciousness.
Finally, it is hoped that, following the insights of Jung, readers in a spiritually deprived world might come upon a unique path to spiritual orientation, an attitude Jung deemed essential to life.