by Wolfgang Giegerich
"All steps forward in the improvement of the human psyche have been paid for by blood." Further to this statement from C.G. Jung, Giegerich shows that the soul is not merely the innocent recipient or victim of violence; it also produces itself through violent deeds and expresses itself through violent acts. Beginning in primordial times with the ritual spilling of blood in animal and human sacrifice, a light was kindled within the darkness of what would otherwise have been mere biological existence, the light of consciousness, mindedness, and "the soul." And following upon this, in the clearance thus created, the soul attained new statuses of itself on the historic battlefields of war and revolution. First order killings gave way to second order killings, the killings of metaphysics and philosophy. Turning around upon itself (even as it violently engaged those adversarial others through whom its self-relation was mediated) the soul learned to self-critically cut into itself. It was in this way, as the inwardness of the blood that was paid out for it, that psychology emerged. Topics include ritual slaughtering as primordial soul-making, shadow integration and the rise of psychology, blood-brotherhood and blood-revenge, the alchemy of history, Kafka's "In the Penal Colony," child sacrifice, Islamic terrorism, and the animus as negation with special reference to Bluebeard.
About the author:WOLFGANG GIEGERICH, Ph.D., is a Jungian psychoanalyst in private practice in Woerthsee near Munich, Germany, who has lectured and published widely. A speaker at the Eranos conferences, he has taught as Visiting Professor at Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, and is the founding editor of GORGO, a German journal of archetypal psychology. His most recent books available in English are The Neurosis of Psychology, Dialectics & Analytical Psychology: The El Capitan Canyon Seminar (co-authored with David L. Miller and Greg Mogenson) and The Soul's Logical Life: Towards a Rigorous Notion of Psychology.