Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Transcendent Function

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_705

Transcendent Function is a term that first appears in a paper Jung wrote in 1916 where he states it is neither mysterious nor metaphysical but is, instead, a psychological function “comparable in its way to a mathematical function of the same name, which is a function of real and imaginary numbers. The psychological ‘transcendent function’ arises from the union of conscious and unconscious contents” (Jung 1960, p. 69). As Jung states, the unconscious behaves in a compensatory or complementary manner to consciousness and vice versa. If consciousness is too one-sided, the unconscious may break through via slips of the tongue.

The transcendent function is so called because it enables the transition of contents from the unconscious to consciousness as well as the other way around. In analysis, the analyst can mediate the transcendent function for the analysand through the transference, and in this way, the patient experiences the analyst as indispensable. Jung defined his approach to...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.British Jungian Analytic AssociationLondonUK