Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Under the black sun
by Papacostaki, Maria, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2010, 75; 1486189
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines the phenomenon known as the “dark night of the soul.” Utilizing a combination of heuristic and hermeneutic methodologies, this work seeks to give meaning to a psychological state of loss that referred to as “a dark night of the soul.”

A combination of autobiography, mythology, and depth psychology are used as tools for analyzing this condition of deep soul loss. This synthesis sheds light both on the nature of this condition as well on the nature of human beings and their susceptibility to such stormy events. Myths of descent, which might be understood as ancient manifestations of the “dark night of the soul,” are means of anchoring as well as comprehending these events. In addition, new research on the brain helps answer some questions of human behavior, specifically, how the brain works when humans are in relationship, by demonstrating the biological need for human bonding.

More specifically, this thesis enumerates psychological and emotional causes that might lead to the “dark night of the soul,” reveals experiences of suffering during such time, addresses the clinical theories that attempt to define this condition, and refers to the transformative gifts that potentially emerge from this type of soul journey.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pye, Lori
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Dark night of the soul
Publication Number: 1486189
ISBN: 9781124224466
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