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Emptied Soul: On the Nature of the Psychopath by Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig

Series: Classics in Archetypal Psychology (Book 1)

Paperback: 116 pages

Publisher: Spring (October 1, 1999)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0882143719

ISBN-13: 978-0882143712

This is the new edition of the book first published as „Eros on Crutches. Reflections on Psychopathy and Amorality„. They are both translations from original German edition „Seelenwüsten. Betrachtungen über Eros und Psychopathie”, which came out in 1980.

Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig needs no introduction. In this book he presents, in his own typical and for some readers also controversial and provocative way, his original reflection on the nature of psychopathy. One does not need to agree with Guggenbühl-Craig to recognize the thought-provoking quality of his concepts regarding this as fascinating as terrifying character constellation. He assumes that there is a kind of basic emptiness, „empty space in our own soul”, at the core of psychopathy. The author takes the issue somewhat away from the perspective of moral deficiencies, so much at the center of many reflections on the subject matter.

He points how hard it is to read the book without locating those pieces of experience onto the others, the without; but then without possibility, or perhaps without courage, to relate those empty, Eros-devoid, psychic spaces internal spaces to oneself. And then, in introductory thought, he refers to exquisite quotation from Michael Fordham who said that „analysis ends when when one reached the pathological core of the psyche„. Then Guggenbühl-Craig rephrases it: „no analysis is finished until we clearly recognize our empty or at least half-empty spaces; our inner deserts„.

This book seem to be worth reminding in times when we may be again facing the threat of psychopathy on the collective level. It reminds of the tragic cataclysms of the past century and provokes the reflection upon the significance of psychopathy in them. Even though Guggenbühl-Craig leaves the field of morality, his book set an important moral obligation of not relegating those internal areas out there and thus also to make better effort of taking common responsibility for the world soul.


Emptied Soul: On the Nature of the Psycopath

Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig

Adolph Guggenbühl-Craig (1923 – 2008) was a Jungian analyst, lecturer and author. He received his training in psychiatry and psychotherapy in the United States and studied at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich.

In addition to his work as a psychotherapist Adolf Guggenbühl was a training analyst and teacher at the Jung Institute in Zürich. He was the President of the Curatorium of the Jung Institute for over a decade, President of the Swiss society of Analytical Psychology, and served as President of the International Association of Analytical Psychology (IAAP). He is an author of many articles, lectures and book on analytical psychology.

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