"Know Thyself" ~ For all the Fellow-Laborers in The Vineyard of the Human Soul
For the first time in history, the works of Freud, Adler and Jung have been distilled into a single, easy-to-read, 458 A4-page practical guide, designed specifically for the 21st century man and woman. For anyone who has a yearning deep in their very genome to become who they truly feel they should be, this guide is utterly indispensable.
"All Knowledge is Remembering"
This manual is the distillation of over 40 years of front-line clinical work in the psychotherapy service-provision, in the UK's National Health Service and in Private Practice: itself set within the context of a life-time of personal-experience, of the psyche.
To realize our fullest potential, to ‘know who we are’ and more importantly, ‘who we can become’ has been a goal of the human spirit, from time immemorial.
People are driven by instinct to create: each act of novelty that brings something new into the world, each new engagement with life, every new horizon sought, every fresh idea, work of art, or endeavour: all of this, is the handiwork, of the very essence of our being.
But to be the artisan of our own life?
This drive, too, is innate, and arises, out, from our unfolding genome, across the arc of our life‐span development.
We are a psychic process which we do not control, or only partly direct.
Consequently, we cannot have any final judgment about ourselves or our lives. If we had, we would know everything‐but at most that is only a pretence. At bottom we never know how it has all come about. The story of a life begins somewhere, at some particular point we happen to remember; and even then it was already highly complex. We do not know how life is going to turn out. Therefore the story has no beginning, and the end can only be vaguely hinted at”.
Our task here is to offer a practical approach to understanding and working with your own Personal Myth.
"Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world"
Although Carl Jung is at the core of the Personal Myth approach, it is nevertheless informed by developments since his time, notably, in this context, the fields of film making, screenwriting, art, music, biology, medicine, clinical psycho‐physiology, neuroscience and neuropsychoanalysis.
2021 is cultural context far removed from the time of the 'grand masters' of psychotherapy, and with a new environment comes new challenges. The modern 'epidemic' of:
Addiction (incl. for men, internet pornography)
Poor sense of 'self'
Low relationship success
and everything else that individuals spend years upon years trying to solve through the internet is usually the result of a divergence from your Personal Myth timeline - at a point in time, a psychobiological complex was formed, which shapes one's Anima/Animus, leading to maladaptation and a version of you which you intuitively 'feel' is not you.
At the core of your being, behind all the ego-fictions, neurotic alibis, gurus and 'collective myths' that mask your perceptions of yourself and the world, is your own unique genetic code, which remains untouched beneath these complexes. This includes everything needed, in a pre-programmed fashion, to form you in the most optimally adapted/adaptable form.
As a preliminary, ask yourself:
What is my innate character and value-set?
What career am I built for?
Who should I have been, independent from the influence of my parents?
What have my dreams, visions and 'active imaginations' been pushing me towards?
What is 'me', and what is my 'complex'?
Away from collective myths and transferences, what is my story?
These questions can only be answered, properly and in their entirety, through depth psychology. That is the field's proper place, not 'exploring your psyche' or 'connecting to the hero archetype'.
Those are for little boys and girls, splashing about in a playground with buckets and spades, waiting for a Father (usually through transference) to come and direct them.
To truly utilise the work of the Grand Masters (Freud, Adler and Jung) is to grow up, and step into the trenches of adulthood, in its proper Darwinian/Genetic context.
This guide is broken into 4 sections.
Your journey begins, and ends, here.
Summarized in 12 key points, that can be referred back to, once the deeper theory and practical skills in the later sections have been absorbed, this section is your omnipresent guide to navigating every memory, emotion and character trait that has crafted you over the years.
This section of the guide is essential for developing a framework of theoretical understanding to immerse yourself in.
It requires deep and contemplative study: you won't find a 'quick fix' here. That would be an insult to you, everything you've been through, and your myth. Readers of this guide are usually, by virtue of the material, not naive subjects - your complexes will inevitably twist and distort what you learn to suit their own agenda. Take your time with it.
The full listing of the content, written in practical prose, is as follows:
The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche (Jungian, at core)
The Biopsychosocial Model (How 'information' exists simultaneously in your biology, psychology and psychosocial relationships)
The Genomic Self (Jung's 'Self' updated with modern genetics)
Panksepp's 7 Basic Emotional Systems (Instincts, emergent from the genome)
How Personality Develops over Lifespan development
Shadow (including a step-by-step breakdown on how to 'integrate' it)
Tracing the Shadow (the interplay between Anima/Animus and Shadow)
Tracking your Anima/Animus across your life, and in real-time
Distilling your Anima/Animus type
Typology, in the context of the Anima/Animus
Capnography as a diagnostic measure for Complexes/SDMLBs
“What is it, about you, that when you look inside, you could not give‐up, without giving‐up being 'you’?”
This section is the full Personal Myth process, built upon the practical theory from Part 2. It takes what you have learned so far, and applies it to the 5-stage biopsychosocial lifespan confirmation model, broken down into its Freudian, Adlerian, and Jungian stages, to either work with your katabasis (enforced descent) or begin your anabasis, through anamnesis, all in a gentle, step-by-step process, to discover 'who you are'.
Even Carl Jung - author of over 20 volumes of psychological research - had his own personal myth.
His mother, father, relationship with Freud and front-line clinical work all shaped the subjects he was drawn to study, creating The Red Book along the way, and eventually culminating in Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self.
This final section demonstrates that Jung discovered some of the most useful clinical concepts in the entire psychotherapeutic canon, but also, as Jung himself stated in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, that his collected works were his own Personal Myth.
Resistance to recognising this is demonstrable proof, in real-time, that complexes will fight to keep one trapped - as you are, rather than moving you towards who you should be, on the lifespan of your genome, rather than a 'disciple' of another.
The Personal Myth of Alexander the Great, arguably the most accomplished man in history, is also examined in full, and then the section closes up with a special contribution from James P Dowling on the part played by Jung’s work: Aion, Researches into the Phenomenology of The Self, in Jung’s own Personal Myth.
A guide in all senses of the word! With a tough world to navigate, with everyone offering non pressure-tested solutions, (Steve and/OR) the JTLB team present us with the golden standard of personal development.
Anti-idolatry, this guide is a well-orchestrated work for those who strive for authenticity. Can't thank you enough
- Andre Silva (IPSA STUDENT)
After yers of searching the internet for quality Jungian material for personal development, this is by far the most in depth, and more importantly, most practical guide I've discovered. Combining Jungian material with up-to-date biology, this propels Jung into the 21st century. If you've
ever felt that Jungian material was "Woo-Woo" or "impractical", you're not alone; 99% of the sources you or I will come across these days will never help with self
development on a deep, instinctive level. Steven Richards is an excellent author; very knowledgeable, and walks you through the process in a very methodical manner. If you're interested in Jungian development updated for the 21st century, look no further. For me, The Holy Grail has been found!
- Josh Silver (Musician/Graphic Designer)
"Become Who You Are"
If you're ready to embark on your own, personal, Grail Quest - the artisan work of a lifetime - then only one final question remains:
"What is the secret to the Grail?"
"You and the land are one"
We Wish You Well On Your Journey.
See you on the other side.
Steve, Pauline and James