Episode 13

Confrontation with the Unconscious: Part Two — Psychosis in Jung’s Psychology


June 12th, 2024

1 hr 19 mins 43 secs

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About this Episode

In this episode, we conclude our two-part discussion on Scott Hill’s book, Confrontation with the Unconscious. Last episode we discussed Chapter 7 from Hill’s book, titled “Psychedelic Experience and Psychosis”. Chapter 8, the subject of this episode, concerns itself with an exploration of psychosis in Jungian Psychology.

We altered mates find ourselves now almost at the end of a deep dive into the intersession between psychedelics and psychosis, and at this point is seems to be that what is happening in both psychotic episodes and psychedelic trips are what Scott Hill refers to as a “confrontation with the unconscious”, or in other words — an overwhelming of the conscious ego by the archetypal forces of the unconscious.

According to Jung’s ideas, the archetypal forces of the unconscious, or just the archetypes, “live in a world quite different from the world outside— in a world where the pulse of time beats infinitely slowly, where the birth and death of individuals count for little. No wonder their nature is strange, so strange that their irruption into consciousness often amounts to a psychosis. They undoubtably belong to the material that comes to light in schizophrenia.”

Jung argues that our alienated condition is manifested in symbolic messages from the unconscious that express themselves in a strange and incomprehensible language, which cries out for interpretation. As Jung puts it, “in insanity we do not discover anything new and unknown; we are looking at the foundation of our own being, the matrix of those vital problems on which we are all engaged.” The terrors of the psychotic are merely extreme forms of our common human condition.

Perhaps we should consider our own sanity to be traversing a knife’s edge—for anyone who's engaged in high dose psychedelic experience, this may well be a regular thought…

As mentioned in the introduction: A Glimpse of Eternity by Alejandro Tuama

  • Purchase the novel here.
  • Listen to the serialised audiobook here.



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Music for the show by Si Mulumby