jungian therapy jungian analysis new york

Participation mystique

Jungian analysis jungian therapy new york city


Participation mystique. A term derived from anthropology and the study of primitive psychology, denoting a mystical connection, or identity, between subject and object. (See also archaic, identification and projection.)

[Participation mystique] consists in the fact that the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity. . . . Among civilized peoples it usually occurs between persons, seldom between a person and a thing. In the first case it is a transference relationship . . . . In the second case there is a similar influence on the part of the thing, or else an identification with a thing or the idea of a thing.[Definitions,"CW6, par. 781.]

[Identity] is a characteristic of the primitive mentality and the real foundation of participation mystique, which is nothing but a relic of the original non-differentiation of subject and object, and hence of the primordial unconscious state. It is also a characteristic of the mental state of early infancy, and, finally, of the unconscious of the civilized adult.[Ibid, par. 741.]