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Man And Time * Joseph Campbell (editor) (1957)

A while ago I was looking for a new title of Mircea Eliade. I ran into “Man and Time”, a title with essays of a variety of authors including Eliade. My eye fell on the names Gilles Quispel and Gerardus van der Leeuw, which made the title even more interesting. Oh yes, Carl Gustav Jung is also in it. Oh well. When I received the book I saw that it has been published in a series (number 3) as English versions of the famous Eranos Jahrbücher, so certainly Jung was in it! I never knew that these Eranos books were available in English. “Man And Time” contains texts from the meetings of 1949 and 1951.
The Eranos group was a group of scholars who came together once a year. I always thought that these meetings took place in the house of Jung and that the scholars were psychologists with a black sheep here and there. Actually it was a group of scholars of a varried breed, meeting in the house of Olga Froebe-Kapteyn with as goal to get to know each other’s disciplines and learn from each other’s insights. A good initiative!
“Man and Time” contains lectures of Henry Corbin, Erich Neumann, Henri-Charles Puech, Louis Massignon, Helmut Wilhelm, Helmuth Plessner, Max Knoll, Adolf Portman and the authors that I already mentioned. You get very different views on the concept of time. From the concept of time in different religions/currents (Gnosticism, Puech; Patristic Christianity, Quispel; Islam, Massignon; Mazdaism and Ismailism, Corbin; Indian thought, Eliade and the I Ching, Wilhelm), relations between time and art (Neumann) and time and death (Plessner) and a highly scholarly scientific history of Knoll. The latter is so technical that I have not even read it entirely, but Knoll perfectly shows what the Eranos group is all about when he flies from psychology to biology to mythology to meteorology.
I personally prefer the Eliade approach with mythological time and Gerardus van der Leeuw at the end has a very nice lecture of primordial time. A thing to note is that this book contains Jung’s famous text On Synchronicity and I must say that in most essays the psychological undertone is quite heavy, so my prejudice was not entirely unfounded. Nonetheless an interesting book to read when you are interested in scholars who threw away their blinders.
1957/1983 Bollingen, isbn 0691097321

Van Anima Tot Zeus * Maarten Timmer (isbn 9056373528 * 2001)

A book only for the Dutch-speaking among you, sorry.

“Van Anima Tot Zeus” is an encyclopedia for anyone interested in the subjects that you can find in these pages and more. 885 Pages, almost countless words and symbols varying from alchemy to psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, mythology, etc., etc. Even short biographies of persons, photos, images, explanations, cross-referances, etc., etc. Paging through the book learned me that is isn’t entirely all embracing, (but I suppose that would take several of such books), but there is a lot to be found here. Sometimes the writer and contributors took several pages to explain something, sometimes a few lines.

However expensive (almost E 66), this is actually a must-buy for anyone interested in the named subjects. <3/12/02>

Northern Gnosis * Greg Mogenson (2005 spring journal books * isbn 1882670906)

It doesn’t happen to me often that I do such a grave bad book-buy that I don’t even manage to finish the book. I saw this book in a New Age shop and thought it would be funny to learn a bit about Freudian and Jungian psychology (on which I am a complete layman) using Northern mythology. To be frank, I totally miss the connection between the two subjects! I can’t understand or find myself in the theories and ideas posed by Mogenson and I don’t have a clue why a certain tale is combined with a certain text by either psychologist. Mogenson (for example) gives the tale of Thor’s stolen hammer and then follows a text that Mjölnir represents the human fantasy and Thor the psyche. Or in another tale Odin plunching his sword in the Barnstock tree of the Volsungs has something to do with higher incest…. The quotes of Jung and Freud usually don’t even vaguely hint towards Northern mythology, but it is Mogenson who tries to combine two texts. If it wasn’t for the great wood-cuts by Hans Gerhard Sørensen, this book would have been a complete waste of money.
For those of you who are interested in Freudian and Jungian psychology, supposed links are made between the theories of these two and Thor and his hammer, the tale of Utgarda Loki, the Volsungasaga and Balder’s death (the development of individuality??).