I find this man quite amazing – how he opened up the world of dreams, synchronicity, symbols and moved beyond the concepts of Freud to develop his own views on analytical psychology.
I was interested, therefore, to see that the Red Book is being published, which was written by Carl Jung from 1913 on and off for about 16 years. In those years he went through a personal crisis, but managed to continue functioning, while putting his writings and artwork into his journal, the Red Book.
I’m going to quote from the article as it gives a good outline of Jung and his inner life:
“In order to grasp the fantasies which were stirring in me ‘underground’ “, Jung wrote later in his book Memories, Dreams, Reflections, “I knew that I had to let myself plummet down into them.” He found himself in a liminal place, as full of creative abundance as it was of potential ruin, bleieving it to be the same borderlands travelled by both lunatics and great artists.
Jung recorded it all. First taking notes in a series of small, black journals, he then expounded upon and analysed his fantasies, writing in a regal, prophetic tone in the big red-leather book. The book detailed an unabashedly psychedelic voyage through his own mind, a vaguely Homeric progression of encounters with strange people taking place in a curious, shifting dreamscape. Writing in German, he filled 205 oversize pages with elaborate calligraphy with richly hued, staggeringly detailed paintings.”
Apparently Jung’s family has refused to publish these writings and artwork until now. But the Red Book has now been scanned, translated and footnoted and finally published. I did have ideas of purchasing this book as I find Jung a powerful, fascinating figure but sadly the book is being published at the grand price of AU$300, so it may be awhile – if ever – before this book graces my bookcase!
However, if any of you take the fancy and your bank balance can stand the strain, the Red Book should be fascinating and inspirational reading.