The International Society for Psychology as the Discipline of Interiority

Concept Wall


Articles

1. The Tautological Presupposition

    The Tautological Pressupposition (Spanish Translation)

2.  Giegerich on his Relationship to Archetypal Psychology

3.  Notional Practice

     Notional Practice (Spanish Translation)

4.  The Psychological Difference

     The Psychological Difference (Spanish Translation)

5.  Absolute Negative Interiorization

6.  Psychology's Misery: The flight from thought (in Spanish)

The Uroboros or "Tail-Eater"

The Uroboros or "Tail-Eater"

A symbolical image that has come down to us from alchemy, the uroboros is exquisitely figurative of psychological interiority. As Giegerich writes, “If psychology is essentially the work of interiorizing phenomena into themselves, it is clear that psychological phenomena have the form or structure of self. The symbolic image for the form of self is the uroboros, a ‘tail-eater, which is said to beget, kill, and devour itself’ (Jung CW 16: 454). The form of self in this sense needs no other, is without any other, it even knows no other. It has everything it needs within itself, does everything to, and experiences everything from, itself. It is absolutely self-sufficient. If it begets (or gives birth to itself) and kills itself, and both in one and the same act, it is self-contradictory, dialectical; it exists as self-contradiction. The problem of how to get into psychology as a thinking in terms of the form of self involves us therefore in the question of how to deal with, what to do with, where to put ‘the other.’ Because only if psychology succeeds in truly freeing itself from the other altogether, truly freeing itself from it so completely that it is no longer bothered by it and does not have to keep it out, not even be vigilant and self-defensive with respect to it, will it come into existence.” C.E.P. vol. III, pp. 3-4.

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“The substantial difference between a psychological and unpsychological mode of being-in-the-world is explained by Jung with the notions 'inside' and 'outside.' Especially since Jung emphasizes the notion of two 'sides,' these words foster a spatial imagination: 'inside' as in us, 'outside' as the world out there, around us, the physical or cosmic dimension. This would be a very preliminary, imperfect way of conceiving of this difference. We would do better to comprehend psychology as the discipline of interiority or inwardness, not in a spatial, but a logical or methodological sense. Interiority here does not refer to containment in something else, in a kind of vessel, e.g., ourselves. It means the process or work of interiorizing a phenomenon into itself, into its concept as its soul. 'External' and 'exteriority' would consequently refer primarily to that mode in which phenomena are not inwardized into themselves, but taken as how they appear, in their first immediacy, as empirical facts, as positivities.”

Wolfgang Giegerich, CEP,III p. 3

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