Summary and Reflections on “The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead”

In this paper I summarise then reflect on a book by Stephan Hoeller entitled The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead. Hoeller’s book is a Gnostic interpretation of Jung’s sermon-poem, Seven Sermons to the Dead, found at the end of his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. In my opinion, the author does a remarkable job in elucidating the meaning of the enigmatic symbols found in the tract and the significance of Jung’s message. His well reasoned contention is that Jung’s approach to psychology is based on the truths of Gnosticism and is, in fact, a Gnostic psychology and a path of knowledge of the heart. Although I appreciate Hoeller’s presentation, I argue that Jung’s mature approach to psychology is based on alchemy even more than Gnosticism. In fact, perhaps his psychology is ultimately a synthesis of seeds strewn by both alchemy and Gnosticism.

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