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EHE Process/Spiritual Path
Record Type: Review   ID: 117

Transforming Depression: Egocide, Symbolic Death, and New Life

Rosen, David H.

 The author is a psychiatrist, holder of a chair in analytical psychology and a professor of psychiatry at Texas A & M. Although in this book he deals specifically with the transformation of depression into new life through symbolic ego death, which would place it under Nadir/Desolation Experiences, we list it here because it is also be useful to persons who are making the move from EEers to EHEers. Rosen teaches his clients how to use the arts to explore the inner depths. He encourages the conscious symbolic death of the false self, which he calls egocide, by means of drawing, writing, pottery, painting, and other art forms. When the ego self is allowed to die, a mourning process is initiated that is analogous to what we call the EHE process. Once the mourning for the old self has taken its course, the person experiences a rebirth and renewal of a sense of purpose and awareness of deep meaning. This process is carried forward by the art work, which can give rise not only to imagery of the mourning process but rebirth imagery, especially what Jung called the symbol, which heralds the activity of the transcendent function. Rosen shows how outgrowing life stages as well as divorce and death and other forms of crisis can serve as opportunities for ushering in the new and letting go of the old. They also are conducive to exceptional and exceptional human experiences. The spontaneous imagery of phenomena that can arise at such times can serve as the seed of an EHE. This is a useful book for EHEers and for anyone in a situation where they must let go of the old and embrace the new. Making use of various artistic techniques, along with techniques such as writing an EHE autobiography or amplifying the meaning of an EE/EHE by associations of self and others, can all help us find the path not only through depression but through boredom to increased meaningfulness and the sense of living the EHE process. This takes us down the long road away from identification with a separate ego-self to a sense of connection and identity with the self that is all things, such that all beings, including oneself, are honored in a sense the way the ego always wanted. Paradoxically, the ego must die before enlightenment can come.
Publisher Information:New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1993. 263p. Bibl: 243-254; Chap. notes: 227-241; Ind: 255-263
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