About the Book
There are moments in a person's life when a portal opens into an unknowable, unseen, unidentifiable "Other" — a place both strange and extraordinary, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. In this imaginal world, ordinary language no longer suffices. This is the place of image, poetry and art, wild beasts and helpful animals, expansions and contractions, flying and falling, paradox and wisdom. Anyone who accepts the invitation has a uniquely transformative experience. And then the portal closes again.
The experience of an Other is impossible to describe — visionary, journey into the underworld, dark night of the soul, rebirth, spiritual awakening — yet all speak of a timeless dimension, outside the ordinary material world, that is both numinous and difficult to traverse. If things turn out, the hero or heroine returns home a changed person.
For three years, Croft was ushered into an animated hidden dimension, both ecstatic and terrifying, and captured the poetic voice she found there. And then the portal closed again.
Croft struggled for two decades to decipher its meaning — discovering uncanny similarities in the writings of Sufi, Christian, Hebrew, Buddhist, and Hindu mystics. But not until she found the writings of C.G. Jung and Toni Wolff could she begin to unravel what it meant psychologically. Although her final manuscript preceded the publication of Jung's Red Book, it followed a similar pattern — bringing together voices from the archetypal realm, symbols and images that bespeak the psyche, and a psychological understanding of the relationship between human consciousness and the untamed, primordial world of the archetypal unconscious.
"One only understands what one tames." — said The Fox to The Little Prince
Follow Diane's unique inner journey as she describes how it began, the alchemical stages that followed, and what was trying to be revealed, personally and collectively. Her living account demonstrates that we live in both a material world and an imaginal realm simultaneously.
*Image: Harmony of Creatures by Margret Hofheinz-Doring
Book Review by Peggy Funk Voth, September 2016
Dare I say that Diane Croft has produced a modern-day Red Book? That's how The Unseen Partner: Love & Longing in the Unconscious strikes me, for it records and then translates, through image and language, the activity of the author's psyche. In Jung's Red Book, he wrote down his dialogues with the unconscious, drew pictures that caught the essence of those encounters, and spent the rest of his life building his theory of analytical psychology.
Croft has done something similar. Her transcendent experience broke through in the form of poetic verses, delivered by her unconscious over a three-year period. Unaware of what was taking place, she sought out images to illuminate the verses, and eventually proceeded to uncloak the poetic messages by relating them to Jungian theory. Her book offers an experiential unveiling of the process of individuation--a concept at the heart of Jung's work.
The art gracing the book's cover evokes response from the psyche, revealing Psyche to herself. Similar to Narcissus, seeing her reflection draws Psyche forth with curiosity. The images throughout the book move Psyche beyond mere fascination with her watery likeness. She becomes embodied . . . she becomes real to herself, to the author, and to the reader.
Croft's dedication to her inner world models what it means to take the life of the unconscious seriously, what it means to engage it and befriend it. The Unseen Partner calls each of us to discover for ourselves the riches and mysteries lying dormant in our own psyches, yearning to be unmasked with respect and devotion.
I love this book! It does not teach or theorize, but provides an experience of the feminine principle that is always present in the flow of life. Its meditations bring me into communion with my soul. I come away sensing that I carry a treasure trove of my own deep within myself.
If you are open to a journey into the hidden world lying within yourself, I suggest this book. It offers up gentle, intriguing and sometimes shocking revelations. What Diane Croft has done is courageous and counter-cultural: she has shown us that our inexpressible desires not only originate in the unconscious but also move us toward fulfillment, if we but listen. She makes visible the feminine side of the great duo that generates the spark of life.
Peggy Funk Voth is a Jungian analyst in Calgary, Canada. She recently presented a paper "Eve's Gift to Us, Adam's Gift to Eve" at the Jungian Society of Scholarly Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2016).