The Living Reality of an Archetype
Edited by Thomas Kirsch, Virginia Beane Rutter, Thomas Singer
Routledge – 2007 – 224 pages
This book builds on the vast clinical experience of Joseph L. Henderson, who became interested in initiatory symbolism when he began his analysis with Jung in 1929. Henderson studied this symbolism in patients' dreams, fantasies, and active imagination, and demonstrated the archetype of initiation in both men and women's psychology. After Henderson’s book was republished in 2005 Kirsch, Beane Rutter and Singer brought together this collection of essays to allow a new generation to explore the archetype of initiation.
Initiation: The Living Reality of an Archetype demonstrates how the archetype of initiation is seen clinically today. Divided into distinct parts, the book explores the archetype of initiation in Dr Henderson’s own life, as well as suggesting its importance in:
The chapters in this book amplify and extend the archetype of initiation from the earliest historical periods up to the present day. The editors argue that initiation symbolism often underlies contemporary phenomena, but is rarely recognized; Initiation helps to bring a new understanding to these experiences.
This book will be of interest to psychotherapists with an interest in psychoanalysis and analytical psychology, as well as those training at analytic institutes.
Preface. Introductions. Singer, Purpose of this Book. Kirsch, History of Initiation Scholarship. Beane Rutter, Women and Initiation. Structure of this Book. Part I: The Archetype of Initiation and Joe Henderson. Singer, In the Footsteps: The Story of an Initiatory Drawing by Dr Joseph Henderson. Russack, Sitting With the Old Master. Part II: The Archetype of Initiation in Clinical Practice. Beane Rutter, The Archetypal Paradox of Feminine Initiation in Analytic Work. Stein, Initiation as Surrender: A Twelve Year Analysis. Part III: The Archetype of Initiation in Culture. Stein, On Modern Initiation into the Spiritual – A Psychological View. Sherwood, The Traditional Plains Indian Vision Quest: Initiation and Individuation. Beebe, Hitchcock’s Rite of Passage: A Jungian Reading of ‘North by Northwest’. Part IV: The Archetype of Initiation in Aging and Death. De Shong Meador, Separation, Sorrow, and Initiation. Tresan, A Meditation on Death "Cast a Cold Eye".
Thomas Kirsch is a Jungian Analyst who trained at the San Francisco Jung Institute. He is author of The Jungians and has been president of the CG Jung Institute of San Francisco and of the International Association for Analytical Psychology.
Virginia Beane Rutter is a Jungian Analyst who trained at both the Zurich and the San Francisco Jung Institute. She is the author of three books, including Woman Changing Woman, that bring art history, archaeology, and psychology to bear on the relevance of this archetype for modern men and women.
Thomas Singer is a Jungian Analyst who trained at the San Francisco Jung Institute. He has written four books including The Vision Thing and The Cultural Complex.