Modern Man in Search of a Soul is a great introduction to Carl Jung’s theories of analytical psychology. The book is broken down into eleven essays dealing with topics of dream analysis, Freudian psychology, spirituality, and religion. Some consider Jung’s ideas radical because they take into account the soul. While many people believe that the soul exists, it’s impossible to prove it either way and thus begin the arguments. Taking this stance introduces an element of metaphysics into treating mental illness. Eighty years later, the school of psychiatry is still hesitant about treading in the dark forest of spirituality. Jung goes deep inside this forbidden territory and brings to light the nature of our darkness.
Much of this book deals with the subterranean part of our mind, the subconscious. The subconscious is a total mystery because it has either been ignored as irrelevant or purposefully avoided for being an ultimate source of our knowable. But it can only be ignored at the price of damaging our soul. This is reflected in the ever growing number of people seeking out psychiatric help, suicides committed, wars waged, and other forms of violence. Until we can bring a balance between the two half of our minds, the dark and light, we’ll suffer the spiritual decay that has become a cornerstone of modernity.
Jung keeps a complicated subject as straightforward as possible. The humility of this book is commendable. It invites conflicting points of views and inspires exploration into the unconscious for the good of humanity. Modern Man in Search of a Soul combines elements of psychology, philosophy, religion, spirituality, and metaphysics. Looking at today’s world, approximately eighty years after this book was written, Jung’s theories take on a prophetic tone which urges us to embrace the shadow part of our mind, for that is where the healing light will be found.