CITE: Rank, O. Beyond Psychology. New York: Dover Publications. 1945


In this book, Otto Rank offers a philosophical exploration of the human condition, drawing on his background in psychology and psychoanalysis to explore topics such as death, spirituality, and the meaning of life.


  • Rank argues that creativity and imagination are central to human experience, and that they allow individuals to transcend the limitations of objective reality.
  • He suggests that the artistic process is a means of accessing the unconscious and tapping into the creative power of the psyche.
  • Rank argues that the fear of death is a fundamental aspect of the human experience, and that acceptance of mortality is necessary for true psychological and spiritual growth.
  • He also explores the idea of the “daimonic,” a concept he uses to describe the forces that shape human destiny and drive our creative impulses.
  • Rank’s ideas about the importance of creativity and imagination, the meaning of life and the role of the individual in the cosmos have been influential in existential and humanistic psychology.


  • “Death is a biological fact, but it is not a psychological necessity.” (p. 12)
  • “The creative imagination is the greatest power in the universe.” (p. 17)
  • “To accept life is to accept death; to be afraid of life is to be afraid of death.” (p. 35)
  • “The creative process involves a tension between the subjective and the objective, the individual and the collective, the conscious and the unconscious.” (p. 52)
  • “The artist creates a new reality, one that transcends the limitations of objective reality and expresses the deepest truths of the human psyche.” (p. 79)
  • “The daimonic is that unconscious force within the individual that compels him toward the fulfillment of his destiny.” (p. 101)
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