An Excerpt from Carl Jung

A bit of Carl Jung. Click to enlarge. Right-click on the photo – click View Photo. Carl Jung, The Red Book (Liber Novus) 1989.

Carl Jung in addition to being a great psychologist, was also a fantastic thinker and a brilliant writer. Check out this prose. I’m not sure where this is from. Isn’t that some gorgeous prose? His books are a delight.

I have never read Liber Novus, but it looks really cool! The Red Book was not published until long after his death when his estate allowed it to be published. It consists of Jung’s notebooks from 1915-1930 when he was 40-65 years old, but most of it was written between 1913-1917 when he was 38-42 years old. That is the age of life when many novelists are at their creative peak. Some say that The Red Book is the most important book that Jung ever wrote.

The book consists of a series of mystical visions Jung encountered by exploring his unconscious. Hence the book can appear dreamlike or even like the description of a psychosis or a psychedelic drug trip. From Wiki:

From December 1913 onward, he carried on in the same procedure: deliberately evoking a fantasy in a waking state and then entering into it as into a drama. These fantasies may be understood as a type of dramatized thinking in pictorial form…

In retrospect, he recalled that his scientific question was to see what took place when he switched off consciousness. The example of dreams indicated the existence of background activity, and he wanted to give this a possibility of emerging, just as one does when taking mescaline.

Jung’s own statement on the book:

The years…when I pursued the inner images were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time and the later details hardly matter anymore.

My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, scientific elaboration, and integration into life. But the numinous beginning which contained everything was then.

A photo of Carl Jung at age 35 in 1910. Most photos I have seen of him are from when he was much older, often with white hair. I would not even recognize him as a young man. Click to enlarge.
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