Black holes, uncanny spaces and radical shifts in awareness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The 'black hole' is a signifier that pervades contemporary experience, conveying the 'gaps' and 'voids' in Western culture and psyche. Depth psychology stemmed from the growing uncanniness of city and psychic spaces during the 19th century. There was an emerging fascination with the 'dark Thing' - the 'It' of many names. Like a pandemic, depictions of the 'black hole' experience have continually emerged in the tragic events and cultural malaise of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Art, philosophy, science, psychoanalysis, literature, and cultural studies have variously articulated this frighteningly potent, yet endlessly elusive signifier. A many-sided, dialogical process best provides acquaintance with such a complex phenomenon. Multiple examples and perspectives, as well a detailed case study, will delineate some of its dimensions. They will show that such 'black hole' encounters are not merely negative, but are often the enigmatic source of new awareness and creation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-447
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Analytical Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Black hole
  • Consciousness
  • Discourse
  • Embeddedness
  • Panic
  • Signifier
  • Space
  • Uncanniness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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