Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Two souls dwell within my breast: The encounter with shadow and the problem of the missing fourth, a Jungian interpretation of Goethe's “Faust”
by Luschei, A. Gabriela, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2009, 276; 3406157
Abstract (Summary)

Goethe's masterpiece, Faust, was an essential source for both Freud and Jung, and it played an important role in the foundation of depth psychology. The present study introduces Faust, explains its influence on the work of Freud and Jung, and offers a Jungian interpretation which emphasizes Jung's psychology of religion. A tension of opposites is evident throughout Faust, particularly in Goethe's juxtaposition of the Eternal-Empty and the Eternal-Feminine. The researcher correlates these paired, archetypal opposites with the characters Mephistopeheles and Gretchen, analyzing their relationship with Faust using several Jungian constructs including the shadow, the anima, the quaternity image, Jung's personality types, and the inferior function.

Jung and Goethe shared a conception of the devil as Lucifer, the light-bearer who stimulates mankind to creative activity, as well as an understanding of God as a fourfold deity containing both good and evil. This study investigates the problem of evil in the context of Faust, which Goethe modeled in part on the book of Job. The researcher also examines Jung's approach to evil as outlined in his controversial books Answer to Job and Seven Sermons to the Dead. Jung postulated the devil as the "missing" fourth that completes the Trinity image, associating evil with the feminine which has long been suppressed within Western culture. Jung suggested that by recovering the feminine, the individuating Self redeems the shadow side of God, an idea that accords with the teachings of Kabbalah although Jung's work differs in several respects. The researcher presents the theological critique of Jung's concept of the divine shadow as well as the feminist challenge to Jung's association of the feminine with evil.

Jung struggled to counteract the modern experience of nihilism, advocating the direct experience of God as a way to construct meaning and revitalize the Western religious tradition. The researcher explores the Gnostic dimension of Jung's work and elaborates upon Jung's hopes for the future of Western religion through restoration of the feminine. The research method draws on contemporary approaches to direct experience following in the Jungian tradition, advocating the realization of the Self and the restoration of Sophia as Wisdom.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Raff, Jeffrey
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 71/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Womens studies, Personality psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: C. G. Jung's Answer to Job, Evil, Faust, Feminine, Goethe's Faust, Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Individuation proc, Jung, C. G., Repressed feminine, Shadow side, Sophia as wisdom
Publication Number: 3406157
ISBN: 978-1-109-72824-8
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