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Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism

Herbert Silberer


Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism, by Herbert Silberer - click to see full size image

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Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism by Dr. Herbert Silberer was first published in 1914, and republished later under the title Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts. The author was a psychoanalyst who was one of Sigmund Freud's trusted fellow psychoanalysts - a circle that also included Carl Jung, among others. This book was Silberer's magnum opus, and it starts with an allegorical text known as the Parabola Allegory. This allegory, which is a Rosicrucian text from the seventeenth century, is in the same vein as The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. In his book, Silberer discusses how the allegory can be interpreted using Freud's methods of analysis. He then goes on to compare this with other symbolism of mystic traditions such as alchemy, hermeticism, and Kundalini Yoga, exploring the notion that by descending into the psyche, one can access great spiritual treasures. The conclusion being that whilst Freudian methods go so far, they can not fully interpret the meaning nor the process of dream spirituality or creative output. The range of the book means that not only does it encompass the scientific and psychological aspect, but also becomes a book of mysticism itself as it discusses the transmutation of the soul.

Both Silberer and Jung were eventually rejected by Freud, and Jung later spoke of the massive psychological effect that this had on him, and he believed the same was true for Silberer who took his own life 9 years after the split with Freud.

This book has 191 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1914. This translation by Smith Ely Jelliffe was first published in 1917.

Production notes: This ebook of Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism was published by Global Grey on the 29th September 2021. The artwork used for the cover was taken from a poster painted by Franz von Stuck.

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