chapter  Chapter 12
16 Pages

“… On the side of the inner voice and against the conscience of his time”

Depth Psychology and a New Ethic in the context of the Jewish reception of Nietzsche
WithAngelica Löwe

The personal shock caused by the “collective outbreak of evil” during World War II prompted Neumann to reflect on the possibilities remaining for contemporary ethics, from which his Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, published in 1949, emerged. He believes that only the Great Individual possesses the power and the capacity to bring about the ethical transformation of the collective. His thinking ties in with the Jewish tradition of Jewish Nietzscheanism, first called like this by Achad Ha’am. The Zionist reading of Zarathustra encouraged the young Jewish generation to “break old tablets.” Neumann’s ethics can be read as a transposition of his Nietzsche reading into a depth-psychological and philosophical score: The individual’s “inner voice” has more weight in this context than the collective authority of conscience. The confrontation with the “shadow,” with instinctual nature, is inevitable. Finally, one of Neumann’s central demands is “reconciliation with the dark brother of the human race.”