Foreword to "The Power of Polarities":
It has been said of C.G. Jung, that he didn't want disciples sitting at his feet, but colleagues standing on his shoulders. John van der Steur has his feet firmly planted on the shoulders of this patriarch of modern psychology, C.G. Jung.
The author uses Jung's theory of psychological types as a launching device for understanding the personal and collective psyche. He wisely discerns that the theory of opposites, or the facts of life's polarities, hold many resources for the expansion of consciousness, decision making, self-understanding, and healthy relationships.
The integration of opposites is a necessary conscious pursuit in order to find a balanced mental health. The "non-dual" mind is able to find meaning in holding the tension between polar opposites. It knows this leads to necessary transformation and higher consciousness. Such practice can arrive at the wisdom of understanding that the worst thing that ever happened to me was the best thing that ever happened to me.
The major contribution John van der Steur’s interpretation of Jung’s typology is that it expands innovates and explains the dynamic of psychological types. Further, in this study, one receives an excellent summary of the history of Jung's thought in his school of analytical psychology. From historical references to personal anecdote, the author makes complicated material very understandable.
His approach to polarities has the potential to function as an antidote to the poison of division and polarization in society today. In that sense this book is very timely.
This book is a valuable study and an excellent resource for understanding the human personality, but more importantly, a resource for understanding oneself.
J. Pittman McGehee
Austin, Texas, 2017.
J. Pittman McGehee, INFP, is a Jungian analyst and Episcopal priest in private practice in Austin, Texas. He is widely known as a lecturer and educator in the field of psychology and religion, as well as a published poet and essayist. He is the author of The Invisible Church: Finding Spirituality Where You Are, Raising Lazarus: The Science of Healing the Soul, Words Made Flesh, and The Paradox of Love. In college, he played Forward on the 1966 Oklahoma State Cowboys basketball team.