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My Uncle, Dr. Edward F. Edinger (1922-1998)

May 11, 2015

I dedicate my service to my uncle, Dr. Edward F. Edinger, a leading Jungian analyst whose books on the interplay between symbols and psychology carried the concepts of Carl Jung to a new generation of American analysts. He died on July 17, 1998 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 75. Colleagues said he was the most influential Jungian analyst in the United States from the 1950's until his death. I am his only nephew.

My uncle Edward believed that many neuroses were associated with the decline of religion and the dominance of science. He thought it was important for the afflicted to grasp elements of religion, philosophy, literature and even alchemy to heal and thrive. Edward F. Edinger systematized and extended Jung's interpretation of the Hebrew - Christian god image, particularly in his book Ego and Archetype. Noteworthy are sections on "Christ as Paradigm of the Individuating Ego" and "The Trinity Archetype and the Dialectic of Development".

I have recently noted that there is a significant amount of audio text available thanks to the Friends of Jung in San Diego. I am grateful for this and anticipate spending as much time with him this way in the time that I have left, as I ever did in life. Both of us were born into and raised through the most formative years of our lives in a small mid-west town, into a family of Jehovah's Witnesses. They did more damage to me than they did to my uncle Edward, who was already reading higher criticism of Christianity and religion by the age of 13. It took me much longer, until my early twenties to even get interested in such things. On the final occasions in which I did get to spend some time with my Uncle Edward, I had become something of a guerrilla historian working in Central America in the late 1980s. He told me quite frankly that he feared that I might get shot. I didn't. 

The conversations that I had with him were few, but I am grateful for those few special moments that we were able to share. He was a wicked chess player and after I resigned the game at 13 he turned the board around and beat me. Older, in my twenties, he would tell me that Jesus' suggestion that the Kingdom of God is "among you" or "within you" was entirely ambiguous, a matter of interpretation. He would chide me that for me it was "among you" and that for him, of course, it was "within you." The older I get the more I tend to agree with him. I was wrong. It is within you! I miss you Uncle Edward.

Dr. Robert F Edinger, guerrilla historian of religion in Latin America

Dianne Cordic, I remember you well and would love to say hello if you are out there somewhere in cyberspace, a big hug!
 
 

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