Evolution, Jung, and Theurgy:

I. Introduction

This paper explores the rich cross-connections between Neoplatonism, Jungian psychology, and evolutionary neuroethology, which provide three mutually consistent perspectives on human nature, each illuminating the others.  My emphasis in this article is on the insights that Jungian psychology and evolutionary neuroethology can bring to Neoplatonism; in particular, I will use them to explicate theurgical practices.

Since I will be appealing to evolution, genetics, and neuroscience, it might be supposed that I am advocating a materialist reduction of Jungian psychology and Neoplatonism, but I am not.  Rather, I will adopt the ordinary neuropsychological perspective that the phenomenological reality of psychological states and processes is not negated by their correlation with neurological processes.  Therefore, it does not contradict the reality of the archetypal Ideas to propose evolutionary neurophysiological explanations of them.  In this way we may begin to integrate physical, psychical, and spiritual phenomena into a comprehensive theory.

In this paper I proceed by the dialectic method, beginning with certain common notions, ascending thence to first principles, and then redescending with conclusions drawn from these principles.

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Last updated: 2006-04-21.