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Silberer's examinations of alchemy and the occult, and his attempts to correlate the two crafts to the pursuit of psychoanalysis, is published here complete with the original illustrations.
First published in 1917 under the title Problems of Mysticism and its Symbolism, this text represents the extensive investigations Herbert Silberer undertook in order to map occurrences in the occult with the ascendant psychoanalytic disciplines present in the Vienna School of which he was part.
This text is marked by its depth of research, with sources such as Hermes Trismegistus, Flamel, Lacinius, Michael Meier, Paracelsus, and Boehme quoted and drawn upon in service of Silberer's thesis. The support of alchemy as a spiritual movement, on the same level as the yoga traditions of the Indian subcontinent, is also notable.
For his part, Silberer believed that Freudian psychoanalytic theory did not venture far enough to uncover the mental workings of a patient. He therefore delved into literature to investigate material to do with various alchemical and occultist phenomena, and how such may prove useful as a supplement to Freud's methodology.
Together with the three original illustrations, this edition also contains the extensive bibliography and notes of Silberer. Unfortunately, the author died in 1922: at his time of death, Herbert Silberer had continued to unearth further knowledge of the arcane to support his beliefs, which would later prove influential on figures such as the psychiatrist Carl Jung.