Last Updated on Sunday, 27 October 2013 20:37
Written by Dolores E. Brien
Robert Romanyshyn On Technology as Symptom & Dream
A Conversation with Dolores E. Brien
Robert Romanyshyn's book Technology as Symptom and Dream is an original, pioneer work in the interpretation of modern technology from a psychological perspective and from within a cultural and historical context. Although published ten years ago, its message is, if anything, more relevant and urgent today. Our warmest thanks to the author for his generous and enthusiastic willingness to discuss his ideas with us as we launch this new section of the Jung Page.
Dolores Brien, Editor, Psychology and Technology, CGJungPage.org
Dolores: At the heart of your work is the idea that psychological life is not an interior reality divorced from the cultural-historical world. This idea will seem startling to many people who assume that psychology is purely about the personal, about what goes on in one's interior, private life. Can you elaborate on this point?
Robert: You are correct in pointing out that a central idea in my work is that the world--natural, cultural, and historical--is the landscape of psychological life, and that this idea is a radical challenge to the notion that psychology is about the personal which is private and interior. It is the theme which is explored from various perspectives between my first book, Psychological Life: From Science to Metaphor (1982), and my second one, Technology as Symptom and Dream (1989), as well as in some two dozen chapters and articles between these two books.
Dolores: Why is it so central in your work?
Robert: It is central because I am a phenomenologist. As a phenomenologist, I start with the notion that soul reveals and conceals itself in and through the landscapes of experience we build individually and collectively. A person says whom he or she is, for example, in the clothes that are worn, in the books that are read, in the ways in which the house is furnished and made into some kind of home. Well, the same is true on a collective level. The church architecture of an age, for example, tells us how that period manages the relations between the human and the divine. A fourteenth century Gothic church sets in stone the psychological spirit of the age in a way which is radically different from a Renaissance church.
My approach to depth psychology is shaped, therefore, by phenomenology's critique of the Cartesian metaphysics which underlies modernity and the appearance of an ego-consciousness which regards itself as separate from not only the world but also from the body.
Dolores: Can you say something briefly about Cartesian metaphysics?
Robert: In the seventeenth century Descartes laid the philosophical groundwork for a change in consciousness which began approximately in the fifteenth century with the artistic invention of linear perspective drawing. Linear perspective drawing is a technique for representing three dimensional space on a two dimensional plane which imagines the self to be a spectator behind a window who takes the world's measure with the eye and with the eye alone. Keeping an eye upon the world , the spectator now makes sense of the world as a spectacle for observation, measurement, and calculation. Quantity now eclipses quality as the world becomes increasingly mapped by the equations of mathematics.
Moreover, compared with other senses like touch, taste, or smell, the eye favors distance over intimacy. The spectator behind the window, therefore, begins to lose touch with the world and is increasingly unmoved by it. In fact, the body's sensuous entanglements with the world become an obstacle to this vision which favors neutrality and detachment. Thus the animate body, like the natural world which now matters only as a spectacle, now matters only as a specimen. For the spectator on the other side of the window, this specimen body is well on its way to becoming an anatomical object on the dissecting table.
Perhaps this is enough to suggest that the technique of linear perpsective drawing inaugurated a change in human consciousness which separated the eye of distant vision from the matter of the world and the body. In any case, the details of this story are given in the second chapter of my book, and in subsequent chapters I show how the invention of linear perspective drawing became a cultural convention, a habit of mind which eclipsed the Christian, medieval world, organized as a sacred cosmology, and gave birth to the modern scientific world, organized as a secular universe. Descartes' philosophy, belongs to this tale. In a sense, he transformed a technique into an epistemology. The spectator with an eye upon the world became the mind separate from matter. The spectator behind the window became the interior, private, subjective space of the rational mind.
Dolores: Does phenomenology deny the subjective? Isn't there a real sense in which we are private, and have an interior life?
Robert: It does not deny the subjective, and there is a sense in which we are private and do have an interior life. Phenomenology only challenges the identification of the subjective with an interior space that is literalized as a real place which is split off from the objective, public space of the material world. In other words, it challenges the Cartesian assumption that we are first thinking beings whose ego- minds have no relation to nature, including the body.
The ego is not a ghost in a machine. The mind is not located up in our heads, somewhere between our eyes, ultimately to be identified with and reduced to the brain. We need the brain to think, just as we need eyes to see. But there is more to seeing than what meets the eyeballs, just as one's thought can not be reduced to the condition which makes that thought possible. The mind, for a phenomenologist is flesh, and flesh is the embodied mind in the world.
Let me try to summarize these points with an amusing image from the poet E.E. Cummings. He says that since you and I have lips for kissing and to sing with, he who knows only the syntax of things will never wholly kiss you. Well, in this example the syntax of lips would tell us that they are mucous membranes, and then one might go on to describe a kiss as pressure contact between two pair of mucous membranes. If your lover were to kiss you with that attitude, the relation would be in some danger.
Dolores: Are you saying that your reflections on culture and history are for the sake of restoring soul to the world, and that this work has become necessary because of cultural-historical events which took place five hundred years ago?
Robert: Yes, I am. But I would make one small correction here. I would say that this reading of culture and history is not about restoring soul to the world. Soul is never without world, world is never without soul. To put this another way, soul and mind are a part of nature and not apart from it. Soul and world mirror each other. Scientific-technological consciousness pretends that this relation of mirroring does not exist. In the name of objectivity it breaks this reciprocity between soul and world.
What happened in the fifteenth century was that we broke the mirror, withdrew from our immediate presence to the world, and became an observer looking at it from a distance. We exchanged the immediacy of the world as a mirror which reflects, deepens, and re-figures who we are for a window behind which we became spectators of the world.
In my first book I dealt with the breaking of the mirror and in the second with the creation of the window. Both events have led to the interiorization of the soul which still haunts Jung's psychology, and to a much greater degree Freud's psychology.
Dolores: You refer to technology as a shared cultural dream. What are some of the consequences of this dream?
Robert: Because we are living these events as a continuing dream, we forget that linear perspective vision and the scientific-technological mind set which it makes possible is a perspective. We take this idea of a mind divorced from nature literally, as the truth of what is and has always been. We become prisoners of our own creations, prisoners in our own dreams. A key consequence is that behind the logic and rationality of science, there lies this largely unconscious vision of the mind in flight from matter, and as an additional consequence in flight from mortality and death.
Dolores: What do you mean when you say that technology is a symptom?
Robert: It refers to what is abandoned and left in the shadows of this flight by mind from nature and the body. On one hand what is left behind is the notion of nature as animate. As a spectacle for our observation and exploitation, nature, including animals, becomes inanimate. We wind up, then, with an interiorized soul without a world, and an in-animate world, a world without soul.
On the other hand, the body, scoured of its passions, becomes an anatomical object, a mechanism, a thing. Phenomenology reminds us that this is not the body as we live it. The lived body is an erotic relation with the world. The eye of anatomy located in the skull is not the painter's eye which embraces and is embraced by what it sees. This lived body, this animate flesh, this ensouled body is abandoned.
Dolores: In the chapter "The Abandoned Body and its Shadows," you give a kind of cultural history of this abandoned body from the witch in the fifteenth century to the anorexic today. All of them are feminine images. Who are these figures and why are all of them feminine?
Robert: The spectator mind behind the window which keeps an eye upon the world, which takes the world's measure from a safe distance, is a masculine form of consciousness characterized by power over nature as its chief value. And the nature which is dominated is associated with the wild, unruly feminine which needs to be tamed. All of these figures are the shadows which haunt the spectator mind which has taken leave of its senses.
In the sixteenth century Francis Bacon captured this spilt of the masculine mind of science and feminine nature when he said that the task of the new science was to put nature on the rack and torture from her secrets. The abandoned body is the return of this tortured nature, the return in symptomatic form of the split off feminine. These feminine figures from witch to anorexic are the images of soul who haunt the dream of reason, the body as passion which refuses to stay repressed by the ego-mind. They are the bastard daughters of Descartes, the return of animate matter, mater, mother earth, the living feminine which re-appears in the therapy rooms of Freud and Jung.
Dolores: Are you making a connection between the fifteenth century rise of technology and the birth of the therapy room in the late nineteenth century?
Robert: Absolutely! Whatever else it might be, or whatever else it has become, depth psychology in its origins is about the animation of the dispassionate mind, the restoration of soul to mind. The hysteric, who belongs with the witch, the anorexic, and others to a sisterhood of sufferers, carries for the masculine mind what it has forgotten, repressed, marginalized, or otherwise mistreated. When she crosses the threshold of the therapy room, she brings a radical challenge to a mind which equates reason with power, domination, control, and which splits thinking and feeling, mind and heart.
Dolores: But it seems that the therapy room has not been so successful in attending to this historical dimension of the symptom. Hasn't it remained primarily focused on the individual, the personal psyche, to the exclusion of this dimension?
Robert: Yes! But it is important to make a distinction here between Freud and Jung, the two giants of depth psychology. Jung remained much closer to the cultural and historical aspects of the psyche and her symptoms. Jung's psychology is not about the ego; it's about the soul. Furthermore, it is about the soul not only in its cultural and historical dimensions, but also about its cosmological dimensions. Jung, I believe, understood that the soul belongs to a sacred cosmology which was lost when soul was eclipsed by a mind which took flight from matter.
But I am drifting away from the question here. So just let me say that this is the focus of the book which I am currently writing. I am trying to show in this book how phenomenology and Jung's psychology converge toward an alchemical style of consciousness which re animates mind and situates it within nature and the cosmos. The book also shows how quantum physics shares a fundamental truth with alchemy. Both of them implicate the knower with the known. The observer is part of the equation.
Dolores: Can you say more about the therapy room, about this historical connection between it and scientific-technological consciousness?
Robert: The irony of the therapy room is that it is the place where the soul returns in symptomatic form to engage the mind which has been split off from nature. It is ironic because it is also the place which has largely maintained the fantasy of the psyche as something which is interior, private, personal, and apart from nature. The very same cultural-historical conditions which have made the soul a symptom, maintain it in the guise of treatment. Those early hysterics, whom I see as the shipwrecked survivors of this cultural dream of technological vision, are treated as neurotics whose repressions are intrapsychic. In this respect, psychotherapy is always in danger of serving the status quo, of adjusting the individual to the existing social, political, and economic norms. Think of managed care as an example.
Dolores: So we have not heard the appeals of the soul. Is that what you are saying?
Robert: Yes, that and a little more! The ante has been raised so to speak. The early hysteric lived a miserable existence, but as far as I know no one died of hysteria. It wasn't fatal. Today, however, the sister of the hysteric is the anorexic, and that is fatal. She is the ironic, symptomatic reminder of how we have transformed the human activity of eating, with its rituals of communion and community, into a technical function which obsesses about calories. She is also the denied, forgotten sister of the astronaut, the undernourished feminine left behind by the astronautic mind in its departure from the earth and matter.
My point is that while we stay in the therapy room to deal with our private neuroses, the world is daily becoming an increasingly dangerous place. We can't afford much longer to believe that our suffering has to do only with our families, with our personal histories, with Mom and Dad, and forget that they also concern the soul's cries about the world we have built.
Dolores: In Technology as Symptom and Dream you dealt with space flight and nuclear weapons. What about the more recent developments in technology, like cyberspace and the internet? Do these technologies signal another shift in psychological life?
Robert: When I wrote the technology book ten years ago, my focus was on space flight and the potential for nuclear disaster for a very good reason. We were in the middle of the most expensive arms buildup in history, and we were wiring the planet for destruction. At the time I was working in therapy with many adolescents and young adults, and I saw in their dreams a real sense of despair about the future, a kind of hopeless resignation. I also had two teenage sons, and so my work had an immediate and deeply personal motive.
There was for me a connection between these two technologies. We could wire the planet for destruction to the degree that we were increasingly capable of leaving it for the stars. I felt it was necessary to get at the fantasy material at the root of these events, to understand these events from the perspective of the soul and not just the rational mind. These events were not just facts subject to rational interpretation. They were also images with a symbolic depth, and I was looking for the collective psychological patterns and themes they revealed and concealed.
Dolores: Why is it so important to attend to the symbolic depths of events?
Robert: To the extent that we ignore these depths, we get trapped on the surface of events. Then they become literal facts and we treat them like destinies which already determine our fate. Or we react and become politically reactive in opposition to them. We protest the buildup of nuclear weapons, and we tremble with rage at the stupidity of our politicians who justify the enormous expenditure of resources on weapons and Star Wars defenses by labeling the other as the "Evil Empire." But we don't get to the dream behind all this, and we don't stop long enough to ask what the collective soul wants in all this. We walk around in a collective sleep while thinking we are awake. It is a terribly dangerous situation.
But have I strayed too far from your question?
Dolores: No. But let's talk a bit about these newer technologies. What is their symbolic content?
Robert: A few years ago I published an article in Psychological Perspectives entitled "The Dream Body in Cyberspace." I took the same symptomatic approach to this technology which I had used in the technology book. What is the collective dream expressed in this technology? What does it reveal and conceal about the collective life of the soul?
If you enter cyber-reality, which I have done, you realize that phenomenologically the experience is a lot like being awake while dreaming. It is a curious place where dream and wakefulness blend and are confused. I tried to describe this experience in that article, and I suggested that cyberspace might be the soul's way of reclaiming and returning us to the legitimate reality of the dream but now with a waking awareness of it.
Dolores: Cyberspace as a waking dream? Can you say more about what you mean?
Robert: An historical analogy might help here. In the Homeric world of ancient Greece human consciousness was organized more or less as a mythic way of experiencing the world. With Plato and the subsequent development of western consciousness, mythic ways of knowing and being are replaced by rational and empirical styles of consciousness. The latter pretends to an objectivity which the former supposedly lacks. But rational and scientific modes of consciousness also have a mythic depth to them. Jung and Von Franz are especially good at making this point, and I increasingly lean on both of them in my work.
Now it seems to me that the singular and radical importance of Freud's and Jung's discovery of the unconscious was and is the possibility of moving us out of mythic consciousness, including its rational and empirical styles, to a kind of consciousness which knows that it is in a myth, or dream, or perspective, even when it does not know the myth, or dream, or perspective it is within. I call this style of consciousness metaphorical consciousness, and I describe it as a reflexive mythical consciousness, that is a consciousness which is always aware of its perspectival character.
Dolores: So the technology of cyberspace is another shift in human consciousness, a shift from mythic to metaphorical awareness? What is a metaphoric style of consciousness?
Robert: In mythic consciousness, one lives in an animate world without any doubt or question. The world is alive and we participate in that cycle of vitality in a kind of unreflective fashion. Now the rational mind of scientific-technological consciousness has disturbed that way of being in the world. The rational mind begins with doubt. Metaphoric consciousness returns us to the animate world. But having left the mythic world, we cannot return to it as we once were, naive and unreflective. Now we have to live in an animate world with the recognition that its animation is in relation to a consciousness which knows it is animated. It is no longer the case that the world is animated. Now it is the case that the world is animated in relation to and as a relation with a consciousness that recognizes the world's animation. This a subtle but important difference with major consequences.
Dolores: What are some of those consequences?
Robert: Well, one major consequence is that consciousness now becomes a radically ethical issue. In metaphoric consciousness we have to take responsibility for how we participate in continuing the work of creation. A metaphor, by its very nature, implicates the knower in what is known. What a metaphor envisions reflects who envisions it and how that one is.
If, for example, you ask me what I think of aging, and I say to you that old age is the evening of life, I tell you as much about who and how I am as I do about what aging is. And on a collective level, if we say that energy and matter are interchangeable, that e=mc squared, then we are helping to bring that world into being, with all its consequences including nuclear weapons.
You see, metaphoric consciousness does not let us off the hook. We cannot say that e=mc squared is a fact of nature simply waiting to be discovered, and that, therefore, the bomb has nothing to do with us.
Dolores: So metaphoric consciousness makes us partners in the creation of reality, and challenges us to take responsibility for it.
Robert: Yes! and if this sounds too philosophical, then consider that quantum physics brings up the same challenge. It clearly indicates that consciousness is inherent in nature, and that the consciousness of the observer participates in shaping what is observed. Quantum physics presents consciousness as an ethical issue.
Dolores: What, then, are we helping to create with the technology of cyberspace. And are we doing it responsibly?
Robert: Well, before I answer this question, let me make one other point about the ethical dimension of a metaphoric style of consciousness. When I said earlier that a metaphoric style of consciousness means that we are partners in the continuing act of creation, I was thinking of Jung's Answer to Job. That is a terribly important book where Jung makes it clear that we assist God in becoming conscious. That is our ethical responsibility.
I think Jung was dealing here with the theological dimension of this issue which I am describing epistemologically, and which quantum physics describes from the point of view of nature. And what these convergences suggest is that our epistemologies have a sacred character to them, that in studying nature we are revealing the hidden face of the divine. Being responsible partners in the on going work of creation, we make God more aware of him/herself! I wonder sometimes if God, including his/her shadow, is in cyberspace.
Dolores: Can you say more about that?
Robert: No, not really. It's just a wild thought at the moment. But I can say that cyber-reality is that kind of consciousness which asks us not only to be aware that we are always dreaming, even while awake, dreaming as it were with eyes wide open, but also challenges us to take responsibility for what our dreams create. And I think it is terribly important that we take this opportunity, because we missed an opportunity earlier with the origins of Freud's and Jung's work.
Dolores: How did we miss an opportunity then?
Robert: The origins of their work challenged us to become more ethical by being responsive to the callings of the soul, by allowing our conscious minds to be addressed by the larger and deeper wisdom of the soul and its dreams. But, in turning that opportunity into a method of treatment for the individual person to which we attached our theories of pathology and development, we missed the chance to become more ethical human beings by becoming more receptive and responsive to something which is larger than our own ego-minds. The dream is a nightly humiliation of the ego-mind, a humbling of it. But we seem not to have learned that lesson The technology of cyber-reality might be another occasion.
Dolores: But what about the dangers and the risks of failing again?
Robert: If you look at the way in which cyberspace and the internet are going, there is good reason to fear that we will fail again. And the dangers in this failure are enormous. The major danger in these technologies is the eclipse of the body. In this respect both of them continue the flight from matter which lies at the origins of modern technology. The danger is that as we sit at our computers we will suffer "terminal identity."
I borrow this fine phrase from the title of Scott Bukatman's book. For me it has a double meaning. On one hand, our sense of self will become digital, as we float in the empty seas of electronic energy and lose touch with each other even as we are in contact. Recently I saw an article about cell phones which makes this point. It was in the L.A. Times, written by Anne Taylor Fleming. She says that even while we are more connected via our cell phones, we are more alone. I believe she is right. On the other hand, our terminal identity might be the penultimate act in the Cartesian drama of mind over matter, the penultimate triumph of reason over the body and its animal passions. But then who or what will be there typing away at the computer? Eventually no one, because in the final act we will have downloaded our minds into a computer.
Dolores: Isn't that a rather grim and pessimistic scenario? And must it come to that?
Robert: Yes, it is grim and even nightmarish. But we need to face up to this possibility. Right now it haunts our pathologies. It is at the core of our depressions, for example. Collectively we know something is terribly awry. We know we have lost and are continuing to lose something that is vital to our being fully human, a kind of birthright of the soul. And that makes us terribly sad, as it should.
Dolores: In the last chapter of your book, you said depression is a legitimate and sane response to the technological deprivation of the soul. Can you say more about that?
Robert: Depression slows us down. It's the soul's way of saying "Stop!Take account of what you are doing, where you are going." I saw this in many of my patient's dreams throughout the eighties, especially in the dreams of adolescents and young people.
I think that at the core of much of that depression was a hunger for grownups to take some responsibility for the terror, for them to admit that things were getting out of control. The depression of these young people was a plea to stop the manic pursuit of pleasure in a materialist culture addicted to increasing levels of consumption. The soul does not want to shop until it drops. It hungers for a sense of belonging, for a sense of spirit, and for the presence of beauty. It is not nourished on the meretricious substitutes provided by designer clothes.
Dolores: But to stay with one's depression is difficult.
Robert: Yes, it is! Staying with depression would force us to face up to the deep core of a collective sorrow over how much we have squandered in pursuit of the dream of building a technologically engineered Utopia. Think of it: in the midst of material plenty, we are spiritually starving. The soul, both individually and collectively, slowly dies of a broken heart in this ruptured place where the material world, the world of nature, no longer in-spires us and spirit no longer matters.
Dolores: A broken heart in this place where spirit and matter are torn apart. Is this your image of our technological culture?
Robert: In many ways it is. I remember reading a book long ago by the architect Louis Kahn in which he said that the sun realizes its beauty when it lights up a room. That is for me a wonderful image of how spirit matters, and it seems to me that in saying this Kahn understood that building is for the sake of dwelling in a way which is responsive to the natural order.
This sentiment is the opposite of a technological attitude which focuses first and perhaps only on function, utility, technique. The French author Albert Camus wrote that those who lack character need a method. It is a pithy way of expressing the core of technological consciousness. We are addicted to our methods and techniques, as much as we are addicted to our drugs. Methods and techniques divorced from context and content; the quick fix, the simple solution, the next program funded by a bureaucratic mentality which has no vision. "Just say No!" Forest Gump sits on a bench muttering his moronic slogans, "Gumpisms," about life and chocolates. And sitting beside him, if we dare to look, are "Natural Born Killers." Gump gets the academy award and Oliver Stone is vilified.
Dolores: Are you saying that depression is the other face of the technological dream of a perfectly engineered and managed care society?
Robert: Yes! Where is the wildness in perfection? Where is there a place for the odd and the strange, the peculiar and the different in a managed care society? The odd now becomes the outsider, and the strange one becomes the terrorist living next door.
You see, what I am saying is that depression might be the last refuge of difference in a society hell bent on engineered conformity. But depression terrifies us. It might even be un-American insofar as it goes against the values of efficiency, productivity, and happy, mindless cheerfulness. A few years ago I published an article defending our right to melancholy, which I now think is the better term. It appeared in Psychological Perspectives as "The Orphan and the Angel: In Defense of Melancholy."
Dolores: This seems an important point. Why have you switched to the term melancholy?
Robert: It is ten years now since I wrote the technology book, and in that time I have become increasingly convinced of the positive value of and necessity for depression. But I have also learned how necessary it is to free depression from its overly pathologized and medicalized stigma. I would say now that much of our depression, individually and collectively, exists because we do not allow ourselves to grieve.
Dolores: Why don't we allow ourselves to grieve, and what is the relation of grief and melancholy?
Robert: Grieving is dangerous because its presence attests to a love that has been lost. We grieve because we have dared to love, and we can love again because we have allowed ourselves to grieve. This is the central core of my new book, The Soul in Grief: Love, Death, and Transformation..
In this book I offer a poetics of the elemental forces of the grieving process, and I show how melancholy, which I describe as the result of grief endured, is the deep wisdom of the soul which recognizes that life is about loss, and that love tempered by grief allows one to cherish the ordinary, simple moments of everyday life, even as we know they are passing away.
Dolores: Doesn't your defense of grief and melancholy border on becoming anti-technology?
Robert: My symptomatic approach to culture and history is not anti-technology. We can't disinvent what we have created, nor should we even try or want to. Smashing the machines like some modern day Luddite won't allow us to hear what the soul of these visions and dreams is asking us to remember. It also won't allow us to acknowledge our part in making the world as it is.
What I am trying to do in my work is speak for and to the soul's perspective on technology. In the last chapter of Technology as Symptom and Dream, I hinted at how the loss of a spiritual sense in our lives saddens the soul, how a loss of the sacred sense of the world is a grievous matter. So grief is for me a path into the soul of technology. Without a soulful presence to technology, we become passive, or worse whiny victims of some plot or conspiracy. But I guess it is easier to believe in a conspiracy, because then we can make believe that someone is in charge, knows what is going on. But suppose no-one is in charge. Suppose none of our problems can be adequately addressed by willful political action, for example, without a significant transformation in our collective consciousness. That's scary. And it asks each of us to take charge, to become responsible by taking up in our own small daily acts the job of speaking up on behalf of the soul.
© Dolores E. Brien and Robert Romanyshyn 2000.
This is the end of the first part of this conversation. Check the Jung Page for the concluding part to be posted in late October.
Robert D. Romanyshyn, Ph.D. is a teacher, writer, and psychotherapist trained in phenomenology and depth psychology who applies his therapeutic experience to an analysis of contemporary cultural and historical issues. Since 1991 he has been a core faculty member in the Clinical and Depth Psychology programs at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA. His latest book to be published in October, The Soul in Grief: Love, Death and Transformation, is a poetics of the grieving process which explores the relations between personal grief and its cultural and collective dimensions. He is also working on two other books. Notes of A Witness is a reflection of his more than twenty-five years of experience as a psychotherapist. In the Shadows of the Reasonable Mind: Of Monsters, Angels, and other Anomalies of the Imaginal Life is an exploration of the problems of human consciousness in relation to nature. Drawing on the developments in physics, mathematics, and biology as well as on the ancient wisdom to be found in alchemy and gnosticism, this work offers a way of knowing and being which situates consciousness as part of the ecology of all creation.
The Soul in Grief: Love, Death, and Transformation. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1999
Technology as Symptom & Dream. London, New York: Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 1989.
Psychological Life: From Science to Metaphor. Austin: University of Texas Press, Spring, 1982.
"The Despotic Eye and Its Shadow: Media Image in the Age of Literacy," in Modernity & The Hegemony of Vision, David Michael Levin (ed.), Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
"Technology and Homecoming: Wilderness as Landscape of Soul," in Jung in the Context of Southern Africa, Graham S. Saayman (ed.), Boston: SIGO, 1990.
"Psychology and the Attitude of Science," in Existential-Phenomenological Perspectives in Psychology, 2nd Ed., R. Valle and S. Halling (eds.), New York: Plenum, 1989.
"The Attitude of Science and the Crisis in Psychology," in Duquesne Studies in Phenomenological Psychology: Vol. I, A. Giorgi, et al. (eds.), Pittsburgh, Duquesne University Press, 1971.
"The Dream Body in Cyberspace", Psychological Perspectives, No. 29, 1994. Reprinted in Magical Blend, 45,58-64,1995.
"Galileo's Dream." A television pilot script on the history of science, written and produced December, 1984. Televised ICTN, October, 1985.
Towards the end of Part One of his conversation with Dolores Brien, Robert Romanyshyn spoke about depression as a necessary response to the technological deprivation of the soul. He continues with this theme in Part II with a discussion of his new book The Soul in Grief: Love, Death and Transformation .