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Spiritual Emergency/Emergence/Counseling
Record Type: Review   ID: 653

Demons of the Inner World: Understanding Our Hidden Complexes

Ribi, Alfred

 The author is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst on the faculty of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. In this volume he shows how to transform demons (complexes, in Jungian terms); or irrational fears or compulsions into helpful spirits. Several chapters are devoted to the history of demons and demonic possession, starting with the demons of the saints and early Christianity, early studies of dissociation, spirits or possession, shamans and medicine men, sorcery and magic, possession by the animus and anima (Jungian concepts), ancestral spirits (e.g., father or mother complex); the healing symbolism of the stone; Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings of demons, the alchemical search for spirit in matter; apparitions and voices of the dead; hauntings, encounters with evil. In all these cases Ribi discusses specific forms of possession or unconscious participation, but the only purely general chapter, and so perhaps the most important one in the book, is entitled "The Relationship Between Subject and Object." In it he discusses the nature of the unconscious and the psychodynamics of possession. The key to changing our unconscious demons from negative forces to helpful ones lies in our attitude toward them. The relationship between conscious and unconscious, from the Jungian viewpoint, is complementary. Some of what Ribi has to say about "demonic" complexes may well apply to EHEs that are frightening or ominous. The first step, which Ribi has successfully taken, consists in recognizing them and honoring them.
Publisher Information:Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1990. 232p. Bibl: 215-223; Chap. bibl: 197-213; 6 figs; Index: 225-231; 1 map
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