Steven Herrmann engages us with the story of two great explorers of human psyche, taking us beyond ordinary conscious experience: William James, Harvard Professor of Philosophy and the Founder of the academic discipline of Psychology in America, and, C.G. Jung the Swiss psychiatrist who introduced Freud to the world and then broke with him. Each went beyond conventional beliefs about what was possible. Herrmann uncovers ways that the younger man, Jung, was influenced by James.
Based on historical research and a nuanced reading of their works, Steven Herrmann elucidates their reflections on the streams of consciousness, psychophysics, pragmatism, pluralism, yoga, spiritual democracy, vocational dreams, synchronicity, transmarginal fields, and the Self.
Doorways to the Self is not a mere metaphor but an invitation to recognize the living spiritual reality that exists in every person. This book is an important contribution to the history of psychology in America and the influence of James on C. G. Jung, as well as a fascinating exploration of what it means to be fully human.
Steven Herrmann PhD, MFT a Jungian literary critic and a scholar in the fields of American poetry, Jamesian pragmatism, analytical psychology, and spirituality. Dr. Herrmann has presented papers at the C. G. Jung Institutes of San Francisco, Chicago, and Zurich, and he has published five books that have been well received, nationally and internationally.
His analytic research has focused on the subject of vocational dreams as doorways to the self, an idea that came to him while he was meandering through the hallways of Yale Divinity School, before delivering a talk entitled, “C. G. Jung’s Vision of Spiritual Democracy,” during the Summer of 2015―at the same University, coincidentally, where William James and C. G. Jung both lectured.
His interest in James began while he was a teaching assistant at the University of Santa Cruz, where he first read James’s 1902 book The Varieties of Religious Experience. It is not theology, doctrine, or religious dogma that interests Steven most as an author, but similar to James and Jung, it is the phenomenology of spiritual experience, plain and simple: the pragmatic, analytic, scientific view of the psyche, and its self-path towards health, healing, wholeness, and human love.
Steven Herrmann is also a Jungian analyst practicing in Oakland, California, and an analyst member of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. He has lived and worked in the Bay Area his whole life. Steven is the father of a son and a husband. He loves to garden, cook, hike, swim, run, write, and water redwood trees.
“Steven Herrmann is one of those rare individuals who can brilliantly bring intellectual prowess and visionary depth together in a graceful dance of prose and poetry. In this work he presents the many cross-overs and parallels between two similarly gifted thinkers, C.G. Jung and William James. A comparative study of these two giants of modernity is long overdue, and Steven Hermann is perfectly prepared to cover this match in all its splendor.”
--Murray Stein, Ph.D., author of Transformation: Emergence of the Self (1998), President of the International School for Analytical Psychology (ISAP) in Zürich, and Past President of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP).