With the evolution of human consciousness, nature has finally become conscious of itself. It has taken eons of time, this lumbering progress through the minds of reptiles, mammals, and primates, and it is still working its purpose out in the archetypes of the collective unconscious encoded in the most ancient parts of the human brain. The recent evolutionary history of our species, which Jung personified as "the two million-year-old human being in us all," is still active in our dreams, myths, psychiatric symptoms, traditional healing practices, and typical patterns of behavior. And it is still struggling to help us survive in the often alienating conditions of the modern world. Through a wide-ranging review of developments in anthropology, ethology, sociobiology, neuroscience, psycholinguistics, and Jungian psychology, Anthony Stevens explores the nature of the two million-year-old Self and examines ways in which the contemporary world both fulfills and frustrates its basic needs and intentions. Drawing on his experience as an analyst, Stevens evokes dreams and psychiatry to reveal a compelling and challenging view of the two million-year-old Self as embodying no less than the will of nature, providing ancient wisdom that we neglect at our collective peril. By granting close attention to nature's mind, Stevens argues, we not only further personal wholeness but help redress the gross imbalances of our culture, which are threatening the destruction of the earth. For the ecologically concerned, this book offers a dramatic new perspective on our future relations with our planet.
Anthony Stevens is an internationally known Jungian analyst and writer from England. He is a graduate of Oxford University in both psychology and medicine. He holds a doctorate in medicine from Oxford and is an affiliate of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Stevens is the author of Archetypes: A Natural History of the Self (1982), Withymead: A Jungian Community for the Healing Arts (1986), The Roots of War: A Jungian Perspective (1989), and On Jung (1990).
What Readers Are Saying:
". . . Dr Stevens explores how evolution is both a source of species specific social strategies and, at a subject level, of our passions, dreams, imaginations, creativity and needs. With exemplary clarity of exposition he shows how Jung's concept of archetype is the missing link between the evolved process and subjective experience. . . . There are few works that succeed in tracing these links successfully and yet remain accessible. Dr Stevens achieves both. . . . I recommend this as a deeply illuminating volume."--Paul Gilbert, author of Human Nature and Suffering
"Stevens continues his important contributions to understanding archetypes in the balanced perspective of biology, ethnology and analytical psychology. Don't miss this book!"--Harry A. Wilmer
"Those who wish to get the latest synopsis of the way our evolution has shaped our mentality can do no better than read Anthony Stevens' book. . . . What is so informative and also encouraging is that the book . . . show[s] just how the new bio-anthropological perspective has brought significant improvements in psychological therapeutics. . . ."--M. R. A. Chance, editor of Social Fabrics of the Mind
" . . . a thoroughly intelligent tying together of ideas, insights and experience. . . . His flashes of wit and humor, combined with case histories, illuminate the . . . landscape which is laid out before us with Stevens' usual clarity and organization." --Gary Eberle, director of the Insignis Program, Aquinas College
"Anthony Stevens provides a clear, concise reading of the evolutionary perspetive in Jungian psychology. . .. Steven's is an intelligent and erudite voice."--Journal of Analtyical Psychology