Saturday, April 23, 2011

Edward Edinger on the centrality of analogy to the analytic process

"Analogy is a process of relationship, a making of connections by"as if." [The alchemical] texts tell us that analogy corporifies or coagulates the spirit. This is what makes alchemy so valuable for depth psychology. It is a treasury of analogies that corporify or embody the objective psyche and the processes it undergoes in development. The same applies for religion or mythology. The importance of analogy for realization of the psyche can hardly be overestimated. It gives form and visibility to that which was previously invisible, intangible, not yet coagulated. Concepts and abstractions don't coagulate....The images of dreams and active imagination do coagulate. They connect the outer world with the inner world by means of proportional or analogous images and thus coagulate soul-stuff." (p. 100)

Edward Edinger (1985). Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy, La Salle, IL: Open Court Press.


  1. Hi Mark, the images of dreams and active imagination coagulate, and so do words--like in a good interpretation, especially if embedded in the stuff of yesterday and today...

    Thanks for your blog, I'm enjoying reading it.

  2. Thanks for the comments Anna. I agree that interpretations, like dreams and images, coagulate and, I would add, also corpify - often bringing thoughts and images into soma experience as well.