This revolutionary new book, The Way of the Image, brings us the foundation for an incredibly rich and profound approach to the psyche – one based on objective knowledge of how to translate the meaning of images (dream images, fantasy images, images from film, literature, art, and even the latest newspaper headlines) into language we can all use to understand ourselves and our world. Readers will discover the stunning viewpoint brought to us by one of the greatest psychologists of our era, and a whole new vista of the human psyche will open up. The revolutionary propositions in this book have astounding implications. Everyone who is interested in knowing about themselves, about their dreams, about how therapy can and should work, and about the way the world of our psyche works, will find this fascinating book to be a guide for the rest of their life.
Morgan Stebbins, MDiv, LMSW Certified Jungian Analyst – This short and direct little book has profound implications for personal and professional development in the realm of psychology and in the quality of lived life. However, let me say that like most things in life, being simple does not make the contents of this book easy. In fact probably the case is just the opposite. This book consists of the working model of Jung’s method of symbolic interpretation as practiced by one of the preeminent Jungian analysts of our time. Although regrettably brief in its philosophical outline, this allows the reader to jump right in to the big-ticket items. Dr. Kaufmann does not hesitate to say that he espouses an essentialist view of symbology – that is, images mean what they mean regardless of what we think, just like all other bodily symptoms and physical phenomena. They are, as Jung said repeatedly “natural emanations of the human organism.” (Kaufmann was originally trained as a physicist, and his no-nonsense style comes through quite clearly).
I found it important, especially if one has a philosophical background (as I do even though I’m a clinician), to suspend questioning and jump in to the application of the ideas. It quickly becomes clear that this method and approach is very subtle, very nuanced, and not at all reductive. In fact, it begins to help us move beyond the subjective/objective debate that has always left me exasperated – one side of the debate understands all symbols to be culturally determined and individually flexible, the other thinks of them as so rigid that one could (and many have) write a book of so-called dream symbols. Both of these approaches leave out what Dr. Kaufmann calls the orientational approach to a dream (and it’s not just dreams – one can approach any manifestation of unconscious dynamics in this way).
Through the use of many examples from dreams of sharks to symphonies, Dr. Kaufmann shows how to examine symbolic content from a particular perspective that reveals what he calls the orient. The orient is the basic vector of meaning, the most essential take-away, if you will, of a particular dream. The orient is then grounded in ones daily existence – that is, one thinks about all the places in which the theme is relevant. At this point one can choose to change something (this is the hard part) or not. The latter choice is fraught however given Jung’s dictum that “whatever unconscious dynamic that we do not become conscious of appears in our lives as fate.” This is typically not a good thing.
One of the great things about this approach is that, once one has wrestled with it a bit, one can practice it without being a psychoanalyst. That is, everyone can discuss the orient of any aspect of life using these principles. What is the orient of medicine? Of war? Of marriage? This approach becomes a way to investigate life as well as a powerful tool in the practice of formal Jungian psychoanalysis, and is the only method I know that is able to cross that divide. I feel this is because this book represents the first small foray into the new age that Jung envisioned – not a new age of easy answers and banal explanations, but a new age of clearer choices based on careful and caring exploration, deeper understanding and the payoff from hard work. I can’t recommend it enough.
By Michael T. Bauza, Columbus, Ohio – I happened upon Yoram Kaufmann’s “The Way of the Image” two years ago, at that time published as a monograph by the Assisi Foundation. Over those two years, I’ve had the opportunity to read Dr. Kaufmann’s short, yet treasure-filled monograph a number of times, each time finding in it something that I had missed in earlier readings or that called for further reflection or deeper engagement. The author takes the view, originally espoused by Carl Jung, that in an age in which subjectivity is paramount, there is an objective psyche, and that its knowledge and wisdom are indeed accessible and corrective for the individual, whether in a therapeutic setting or in the context of reading the daily newspaper.
Aryeh Maidenbaum, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst Director New York Center for Jungian Studies – The newest edition of “The Way of the Image” contains, in addition to the title monograph, new essays which both amplify and clarify the original material, including, “The Way of the Image II,” “Angels,” and segments on the dreams of Gilgamesh and on analysand dreams in which the analyst appears. This is a book well worth owning for anyone seriously interested in the life and wisdom of the psyche. 3. A giant of a book – delivered in a concise package! The Way of the Image is a unique and pioneering contribution to working with dreams from a true Jungian perspective- true to Jung’s original ideas and true to the pioneering work Dr. Kaufman brought to the analytical setting- combining clinical rigor with the spirit of staying true to the symbols and messages our dreams carry.
Bruce F. Woodruff, New York, NY – “The Way of the Image” is a little gem of a book by Yoram Kaufmann, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst and clinical psychologist. A series of essays on Jungian analysis and dream interpretation, it is so very articulate that I needed to take it in bite-sized chunks because there was so much material to chew on.
In ‘The Way of the Image I,’ Dr. Kaufmann, who died last summer, paints himself as a tough, no-nonsense ‘head shrinker.’ He calls upon the skepticism born of his more than thirty years of experience to warn the reader that, “…no matter what our intelligence, when it really matters, our capacity for self-deception is truly monumental.” Ever skeptical, Dr. Kaufmann warns the analyst against taking the analytic process to depths that perhaps meet his own ambitions, “…but are disastrous from the viewpoint of the analysand.”
In ‘Angels,’ Dr. Kaufmann warns again, this time offering a cautionary tale about approaching analytic material in a very careful way rather than in a careless manner: “The former can throw a clarifying light on a difficult case, guiding the analyst to a helpful and healing approach, whereas the latter is liable to mire the analysis in confusion and lead to an unfavorable outcome.”
I most highly recommend ‘The Way of the Image’ to anyone truly interested in examining the human psyche.