The Descent of the Soul and the Archaic explores the motif of kátabasis (a “descent” into an imaginal underworld) and the importance it held for writers from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on its place in psychoanalytic theory.
This collection of chapters builds on Jung’s insights into katabasis and nekyia as models for deep self-descent and the healing process which follows. The contributors explore ancient and modern notions of the self, as obtained through a “descent” to a deeper level of imaginal experience. With an awareness of the difficulties of applying contemporary psychological precepts to ancient times, the contributors explore various modes of self-formation as a process of discovery. Presented in three parts, the chapters assess contexts and texts, goddesses, and theoretical alternatives.
This book will be of interest to scholars and analysts working in wide-ranging fields, including classical studies, all schools of psychoanalysis, especially Jung’s, and postmodern thought, especially the philosophy of Deleuze.