The Mystery of Personal Identity: Coniunctio Lecture at the California Institute of Integral Studies
In this lecture (audio only – 1hr, 23 min.), Dr. Michael discusses the new addition of his prize winning book that was the first to integrate astrology and depth psychotherapy.
Coniunctio Lecture at the California Institute of Integral Studies: Feb 5, 2013.
Audio: 1hr, 23 min.
Dr. Mayer discusses the new addition of his prize winning book, The Mystery of Personal Identity (1983,2012), which was the first to integrate astrology and depth psychotherapy. It contains a theoretical perspective on astrology that may be palatable even to skeptics.
More about the updated version of The Mystery of Personal Identity Book, upon which this lecture is based:
Psychology meets astrology in this exploration of that ancient question, “Who am I and what does my life mean?” The author leads readers on a journey beginning with his own forty-night vision quest in the woods alone, to Native American and other ancient and modern traditions of identity formation. The first edition of this book was written between 1973 and 1977 as a doctoral dissertation called, A Holistic Perspective on Meaning and Identity: Astrology as a Language of Personality in Psychotherapy. It won the astrology prize from the Astrological Association of Great Britain for being the most valuable contribution to astrology in 1979. The book was then turned into this popular book, called The Mystery of Personal Identity, now in this updated 2nd edition. Those who criticize astrology, describe this book as one of the few books that makes astrology palatable even to skeptics.
Why did this book win the World Astrology Prize from The Astrological Association of Great Britain?
1. The Mystery of Personal Identity sets forth a new theoretical basis for astrology which makes astrology palatable even to skeptics. Unlike those who proclaim a scientific relationship between cosmos and personality, here there is an emphasis on astrological metaphor’s ability to transform the meaning of our lives, to awaken wonder and to heal
2. The book was the first to show how astrological metaphor can function as a tool in depth psychotherapy. It includes a case illustration of 75 pages.
3. The book shows psychotherapists how to use astrological symbols to help a client explore his life’s meaning, and shows astrologers how to use psychological methods to deepen astrological counseling.
4. Much criticism has been leveled against psychology for labeling people with a pejorative language; less emphasis has been placed on offering a viable alternative. Here is such an alternative. In this book the reader is led on a journey beginning with the author’s forty night vision quest in the woods alone, to Native American and other pre-modern traditions of personality description that offer a positive alternative to the medical model of personality description. The book reveals how modern psychotherapy’s lost lineage is from an ancient tradition of “name givers”, and how reconnecting with this tradition can revitalize our relationship with the wider whole of which we are a part.
5. This Mystery of Personal Identity book re-visions astrology into an astro-poetic language so that the essence of astrology can be used without speaking a word of astrological language. The book, therefore, is written to a much broader audience than most other astrological works. It is helpful to anyone who wants to become more aware of how their own quest for self knowledge is effected by the language through which their identity is described.
In this new second addition, the author gives the reader more information on his personal background, and how as a sceptic he reluctantly came to be moved by the power of astrological symbols. He shows why over three decades he has continued to believe “the meaning reorganization point of view” for astrology can make astrology palatable even to skeptics. Dr. Mayer then applies that viewpoint to the current circumstances of our political world.
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