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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Lashed to the mast: The search for the aural tradition in analytic psychology
by Bell, Joel, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012, 259; 3551591
Abstract (Summary)

This is a depth psychological study of sound in analytic psychology. The study arose from a question directed at depth psychotherapy: If we've been listening to others for the last one hundred years, why is sound so absent in the literature of our work? Using a heuristic approach toward some familiar texts, this study explores the sound that has been muted in the literature of analytic psychology in an attempt to amplify an aural tradition that has been "over-looked." The research suggests that archetypal energies emerge when sound engages the psychologist's attention and that listening itself occurs as a unique complex.

A study of sound is also a study of listening. This study examines psychoanalysis, spiritual traditions, and mythology to explore varieties of listening and how we direct our attention to others and the world and how there are different, embodied positions from which one listens, as well—in the same way a veteran of war hears a car back-firing much differently than a mechanic. This study engages with the presence of imaginal figures as a result of paying attention to the metaphors of sound in the correspondence between C. G. Jung and Victor White, the disruptive effect of sound in Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and the ecology of sound in the recently published Red Book.

As implied in the title, the mythologem of Odysseus listening to the Sirens serves as a fundamental archetypal structure, the presence of which, in disparate texts and in uncanny moments, serves as an image of our difficulty with listening and the challenges of sound. Sound presses into the gap between sensation and thought because of the inherently paradoxical nature of sound: we are swimming in an acoustic world made up of vibrations, both subtle and coarse, structural and ephemeral at the same time. The study suggests that this paradoxical nature of sound undermines the epistemological preference of vision as a way of sorting out experience and the world, creating a point of contact with the irrational, passive, and insecure aspects of living.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Katsky, Patricia
Commitee: Cosgrove, Serena, Slater, Glen
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychotherapy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Archetype, Jung, Carl, Listening, Odysseus, Sirens, Tacit knowing
Publication Number: 3551591
ISBN: 978-1-267-89466-3
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