The new arrival Red Book new arrival (Philemon) online

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Product Description

The most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology. When Carl Jung embarked on an extended self-exploration he called his “confrontation with the unconscious,” the heart of it was The Red Book, a large, illuminated volume he created between 1914 and 1930. Here he developed his principle theories—of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation—that transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with treatment of the sick into a means for higher development of the personality.

While Jung considered The Red Book to be his most important work, only a handful of people have ever seen it. Now, in a complete facsimile and translation, it is available to scholars and the general public. It is an astonishing example of calligraphy and art on a par with The Book of Kells and the illuminated manuscripts of William Blake. This publication of The Red Book is a watershed that will cast new light on the making of modern psychology.
212 color illustrations.

Review

"This is a volume that will be treasured by the confirmed Jungian or by admirers of beautifully made books or by those with a taste for philosophical allegory."
Michael Dirda, Washington Post

About the Author

Sonu Shamdasani, a preeminent Jung historian, is Reader in Jung History at Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. He lives in London, England.

From The Washington Post

From The Washington Post''s Book World/washingtonpost.com Reviewed by by Michael Dirda Starting in 1912, Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), a specialist in the treatment of schizophrenia, began to experience strange dreams and frightening visions. Once when returning home on a train, the 38-year-old Swiss psychologist hallucinated that everywhere he looked he could see nothing but "rivers of blood." In one enigmatic dream a bird-girl hauntingly announced, "Only in the first hour of the night can I become human, while the male dove is busy with the twelve dead"; in another he encountered a wise old man, with wings, holding four keys. After a while, Jung began to carry on conversations with the winged "Philemon" during his daytime walks. Was he going mad? After World War I broke out in 1914, Jung decided with relief that his disturbed imagination had actually been sensing the coming conflict. He also concluded that he had entered what we would now call a midlife crisis, a period in which he was being compelled to reexamine his life and explore his deepest self. To do this, he recorded some of his dreams and visions in what were later called his "Black Books" (which have been available for some while). But he also began a remarkable visionary text, illustrated with his own bizarre paintings: "The Red Book" or "Liber Novus." This he composed during a state of "active imagination" -- that is, of reverie or waking dream. As he said, he wanted to see what would happen when he "switched off consciousness." To the modern reader, the result recalls an allegorical-mythological amalgam of Nietzsche''s "Also Sprach Zarathustra," Blake''s illuminated poems, Renaissance Neoplatonic dialogue, Eastern scripture, Dante''s "Inferno," Yeats''s "A Vision" and even the biblical book of Revelation. Jung''s pictures sometimes resemble simplified versions of Georgia O''Keeffe''s flower paintings and sometimes the symbol-laden images in treatises about alchemy (a subject that Jung was soon to study intently). Throughout, one finds illuminated capitals, interlaced roundels that call to mind stained-glass windows, stars, half moons, swords, crosses, dying animals. Jung also drew circular patterns that he later recognized as versions of the mystical shape called the mandala. "The Red Book" was never published during the psychologist''s lifetime, though a few friends and disciples were allowed to examine it. Apparently Jung felt it was not only too personal and quirky for publication, but also that he had already mined the text for the insights set forth in his later writings. As editor Sonu Shamdasani stresses, "The overall theme of the book is how Jung regains his soul and overcomes the contemporary malaise of spiritual alienation. This is ultimately achieved through enabling the rebirth of a new image of God in his soul and developing a new worldview in the form of a psychological and theological cosmogony." After Jung''s death, "The Red Book," was safely locked away in a bank deposit box. But, as happens, Jung''s heirs and disciples have now decided to bring out this facsimile edition (with English translation), as well as mount an exhibition about "The Red Book" at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (through January). The resulting volume is certainly one of the most distinctive gift books of the upcoming holiday season. With a rich crimson dust jacket, thick cream-colored paper and calligraphied pages, this huge tome is the size of a lectern Bible and looks like the kind of spell book a wizard might consult. During the initial period covered by "The Red Book" -- mainly 1913 through the 1920s -- Jung broke permanently with the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, and resigned from his teaching position at the University of Zurich. When Jung emerged from this period of crisis, he brought with him the first inklings of his most important contributions to psychology -- positing the existence of a collective unconscious common to all human beings. This primordial ocean within us affects our lives through various universal "archetypes" -- forces or situations that represent our inmost needs, desires and fears. To the most common archetypes, Jung assigned names: anima and animus, the wise old man, the shadow. The anima, for instance, represents the feminine side of a man, his idealized woman, his fatal type. The shadow embodies everyone''s dark side, the impulses we suppress, the immoral and evil aspects of our personality. The good Dr. Jekyll''s "shadow" was the wicked Mr. Hyde. Gradually, Jung also shifted the focus of psychoanalytic therapy. Early on he had speculated that our libidinal energies are either outer-directed or inner-directed, i.e., people are primarily extroverts or introverts. But this was just a beginning. Where Freud emphasized early childhood and sexuality in his explanation of human neuroses, and Alfred Adler focused on the drive to be superior to others, Jung soon directed his clinical attention to the second half of life and to the process he called individuation. According to editor Shamdasani, "The Red Book" presents "the prototype of Jung''s conception of the individuation process." In Jung''s view a successful life was all about balance, wholeness. If our lives erred too much in one direction, our unconscious would compensate for the inequality. Thus, in the film "The Blue Angel," the ultra-rationalist professor played by Emil Jannings readily succumbs to naughty Lola, the showgirl played by Marlene Dietrich. Above all, in midlife, a person is called upon to achieve an authentic and balanced self, one that acknowledges every aspect of his or her character. By the age of 40 or 50, one has established a career and nurtured a family, and it is time to turn from the external public life to the needs of the inner man or woman. The process of individuation is essentially the psychological harmonizing of all aspects of the self. When successful, the result is an inner concord, the achievement of a personal serenity that prepares us to accept aging and death. Symbolically, Jung said, the outline of our lives may be glimpsed in the so-called "hero''s journey" -- birth in obscurity, various ordeals, confrontation with and defeat of a dragon or similar monster, return home, happy marriage, sacrificial death. This now famous mythic pattern was later elaborated by such Jung-inspired scholars as Otto Rank ("The Myth of the Birth of the Hero"), Lord Raglan ("The Hero") and Joseph Campbell ("The Hero With a Thousand Faces"). As it happens, one must be something of a hero to actually read all of "The Red Book." At times, Jung sounds spiritually anguished: "I am weary, my soul, my wandering has lasted too long, my search for myself outside of myself." At other times, his writing resembles the directions in some fantasy video game: "I am standing in a high hall. Before me I see a green curtain between two columns. The curtain parts easily. . . . In the rear wall, I see a door right and left. . . . I choose the right." At still other times, there are philosophical and religious dialogues of self and soul, or conversations with various mythic characters like Philemon. In short, this is a volume that will be treasured by the confirmed Jungian or by admirers of beautifully made books or by those with a taste for philosophical allegory. Anyone merely interested in Jung''s ideas would do better to start with one of the several anthologies of his writings now available. The one compiled by Anthony Storr is particularly good, as is Storr''s concise "Modern Masters" guide to the psychologist''s thought. bookworld@washpost.com
Copyright 2009, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.

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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Thanks Peter!
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2019
I was not a Jung fan. I bought this book to better understand the book Catafalque written by Peter Kingsley. The Red Book is a monolith of a book that could take a lifetime to study. It easily replaces all sources of entertainment social media and even work... It''s like a... See more
I was not a Jung fan. I bought this book to better understand the book Catafalque written by Peter Kingsley. The Red Book is a monolith of a book that could take a lifetime to study. It easily replaces all sources of entertainment social media and even work... It''s like a new kind of Bible. Each sentence...every word...maybe even every letter is harvested into mulch to be tilled under into the dark humus of soul. I''m not sure anymore if it''s me reading it... Like with inspired writing I don''t think when I read this book instead I feel it in every fiber of my being but there''s no understanding it. The only thing you''ll ever regret about this book, besides it''s size, is not being able to spend every waking moment with it.
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DV2
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Review of ‘The Red Book (Philemon)''
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2017
Absolutely beautiful drawings, a true ART book. Purchased because I cannot read German. I had bought the smaller ‘American edition’, and was very disappointed because it only has a few of Jung’s drawings and those look like they were done by a 3 year old. The book... See more
Absolutely beautiful drawings, a true ART book. Purchased because I cannot read German.
I had bought the smaller ‘American edition’, and was very disappointed because it only has a few of Jung’s drawings and those look like they were done by a 3 year old. The book itself is worth reading.
After I found out that that edition did not have Jung’s drawings I decided to go ahead and spend the books for the true edition. I found out that it does include the ‘American’ translation as well.
The drawings, They are fantastic, so beautiful. Read how he created his own colored inks, by grinding.
I’m astounded by the drawings and his ability to come up with a totally new type of psychology.
It amazes me how much time it must have taken to just create this book with its drawings and yet, work as a psychologist, go to conferences, write for publications, have a family, as well as having interests in other things such as Alchemy and Spiritual Paranormal.
Well, I’ll end with saying the book is amazing as well as the man behind it.
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Victoria J. Dennison
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Print quality.
Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2020
Chinese Medical Qigong I returned it. Believe it or not I returned the book due to its printing quality. The quality just wasn''t there. I guess they had to print it at the cheapest place possible. The colors were off just enough to let you know it was an... See more
Chinese Medical Qigong

I returned it. Believe it or not I returned the book due to its printing quality. The quality just wasn''t there. I guess they had to print it at the cheapest place possible. The colors were off just enough to let you know it was an inferior product. My father was a lithographer printer counting those dots and I am a photographer/ photo editor who knows what a pixil is. I expected better.
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Sandy
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Stunning Book - A must for artists, therapist, collectors, and everyone on a spiritual path
Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2020
This was a birthday gift I bought myself at the suggestion of a friend. It is a very large red book with the most exquisite artwork. Carl Jung wrote in beautiful calligraphy and illustrated it. It is a large illuminated manuscript of Jung''s spiritual and psychological... See more
This was a birthday gift I bought myself at the suggestion of a friend. It is a very large red book with the most exquisite artwork. Carl Jung wrote in beautiful calligraphy and illustrated it. It is a large illuminated manuscript of Jung''s spiritual and psychological journey into the mind. The artwork is a spiritual adventure in itself. The detail, colors and symbolism take my breath away. The book is in German, and the second half is the English translation. It''s one of the best purchases I''ve ever made. The printing and paper stock is of the finest quality. This book is a MUST for artists, therapists, collectors, and everyone on a spiritual path.
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TheHappyGentleman
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C.G. Jung''s personal masterpiece is a work worth studying
Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2015
This is a massive book in size. It''s a two hander that gives you the feeling of holding an illuminated manuscript. It''s beautiful as a book above and beyond its content. You will need a special shelf, special place to spend time exploring this book. Because this book was... See more
This is a massive book in size. It''s a two hander that gives you the feeling of holding an illuminated manuscript. It''s beautiful as a book above and beyond its content. You will need a special shelf, special place to spend time exploring this book. Because this book was personal, meant to be read/reviewed by the author C.G. Jung, himself, it''s a bit inaccessible at first. I recommend Madness and Creativity (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology) and Lament of the Dead: Psychology After Jung''s Red Book as side-by-side reading. Some might say this book is not for the lay person. I disagree, but this is a book that requires time, reflection and perhaps a little outside study. But then aren''t those always the best books in our lives?
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appleroc
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Delighted!
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2020
I have wanted this version of The Red Book Liber Novus for about 15 yrs. I''m so delighted to finally have it. I thought this photo gives a better view of how brilliant the artwork and how large this book is. It was shrink wrapped and carefully packaged. The... See more
I have wanted this version of The Red Book Liber Novus for about 15 yrs. I''m so delighted to finally have it. I thought this photo gives a better view of how brilliant the artwork and how large this book is.

It was shrink wrapped and carefully packaged. The person that delivered it, ensured that it arrived carefully on my doorstep and even sent a photo.
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Thomas J. Farrell
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The Importance of Jung''s RED BOOK
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2014
In the Homeric epic the ODYSSEY, Odysseus visits the underworld. In Virgil''s AENEID, Aeneas visits the underworld. In Dante''s DIVINE COMMEDY, the character named Dante visits the underworld with Virgil as his guide through the Inferno and Purgatory. Figuratively... See more
In the Homeric epic the ODYSSEY, Odysseus visits the underworld. In Virgil''s AENEID, Aeneas visits the underworld. In Dante''s DIVINE COMMEDY, the character named Dante visits the underworld with Virgil as his guide through the Inferno and Purgatory.

Figuratively speaking, C. G. Jung, M.D. (1875-1961), the Swiss psychiatrist and psychological theorist, could be described as visiting the underworld of his psyche periodically over a number of years as part of his mid-life crisis. In his self-experimentation, he visited the underworld of his psyche through self-induced hallucinations - visual and auditory hallucinations.

Self-inducing hallucinations is a potentially dangerous practice, and I do not recommend it. Instead of doing it for ourselves, we can read Jung''s elaborate report of his experiences.

In 2009, Norton published Jung''s RED BOOK: LIBER NOVUS, expertly edited by the historian Sonu Shamdasani, translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani. It is a handsome over-sized book that includes many informative footnotes by Shamdasani. Jung''s RED BOOK contains many of his works of art based on his visual hallucinations and the "fair" copies of the texts he produced in calligraphy based on his auditory hallucinations. In addition, some other material Jung recorded in connection with his encounter with the unconscious is included in three appendices.

In addition to the over-sized book, Norton also published the regular-sized book THE RED BOOK: LIBER NOVUS; A READER''S EDITION (2012). Both books contain the same textual material, but arranged differently. However, Jung''s paintings are not reproduced in the READER''S EDITION.

Everybody can remember having dreams when they were asleep. The psychological and neurological processes that are involved in producing dreams when we are asleep, are also involved in producing hallucinations when we are awake - visual and/or auditory hallucinations.

By the time when Jung undertook this extraordinary self-experimentation, he had a well-developed mystique about the so-called unconscious and about dreams. As a result of this mystique about the unconscious, he styled his extraordinary self-experimentation as his encounter with the unconscious. As a result of the mystique about dreams, he understood the visual and auditory hallucinations as dream-like experiences.

But at a certain juncture in his so-called encounter with the unconscious, he had a crisis. For help, he turned to a former patient of his named Antonia ("Toni") Wolf (1888-1952). She was somehow able to help him get through the crisis he had experienced as a result of his extraordinary self-experimentation. As a result of her helping him through that crisis, the two of them were close the rest of her life.

In the course of his extraordinary self-experimentation, Jung encountered an enormous number of visual and auditory hallucinations. He wrote out his recollections of many of those experiences. But then he transcribed many of his written accounts into "fair" copies in calligraphy - which look like medieval illuminated manuscripts. In addition, he used his artistic talents to make painting of some of the imagery in his visual hallucinations.

In short, Jung used three different ways to process and work through his self-induced hallucinations:

(1) he talked about them with Toni Wolff;

(2) he wrote out a rough draft and then made a fair copy of the same material in calligraphy; and

(3) he also made works of art representing certain key imagery from his visual hallucinations.

Jung may have also written about some of his experiences during his encounter with the unconscious in letters to Toni Wolff. But if he did, those letters have not come down to us.

In any event, because of the extent of Jung''s self-experimentation over a period of years, he had a lot of material to work through.

In 1925, Jung discussed his encounter with the unconscious in connection with his body of work up to that time. See the book INTRODUCTION TO JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY: NOTES ON THE SEMINAR ON ANALYTIC PSYCHOLOGY GIVEN IN 1925 BY C. G. JUNG, edited by William McGuire (1989); revised 2012 edition edited by Sonu Shamdasani (both editions published by Princeton University Press).

Years later, Jung himself experienced a breakthrough in his understanding of his own encounter with the unconscious when he read Richard Wilhelm''s German translation of THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER: A CHINESE BOOK OF LIFE and wrote a commentary on it. The 1929 German edition included a commentary by Jung. The entire 1929 German edition was translated into English by Cary F. Baynes (1883-1977). The English edition was published in 1931. Sadly, Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930) had died on March 2, 1930.

Subsequently, in the 1930s, Jung drew on his own understanding of his experiences in his encounter with the unconscious as he perceptively interpreted Friedrich Nietzsche''s THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA. In Jung''s commentary on Nietzsche''s book, Jung sees Nietzsche composing this work as part of Nietzsche''s own proverbial mid-life crisis. In effect, Jung draws on his own understanding of his encounter with the unconscious to elucidate certain aspects of Nietzsche''s book. I say "In effect" here because Jung does not explicitly advert to his own experiences in his protracted encounter with the unconscious - or explicitly advert to his understanding of his own experiences. Nevertheless, he is "In effect" drawing on his own hard won understanding of his own experiences in certain points he makes about Nietzsche''s experiences.

See the two books titled NIETZSCHE''S ZARATHUSTRA: NOTES OF THE SEMINAR GIVEN IN 1934-1939 BY C. G. JUNG, edited by James L. Jarrett (Princeton University Press, 1988). Jarrett also edited the 1998 abridged edition.

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF JUNG''S RED BOOK

Now, in the book THE ORIGINS OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BICAMERAL MIND (Houghton Mifflin, 1977), Julian Jaynes argues that our human ancestors experienced auditory and visual hallucinations. If he is right about this, then Jung''s self-experimentation involved re-awakening the capacity of the human psyche to have auditory and visual hallucinations comparable to the hallucinations of our ancient ancestors.

But to what extent, if any, is the bicameral form of thinking still active and alive in educated people in Western culture such as Jung? If this bicameral form of thinking is still active and alive in educated people in Western culture today, then it is presumably involved in producing dreams when we are asleep, and in producing visual and auditory hallucinations when we are awake.

Let me now set forth a different framework for considering the breakdown of the bicameral form of thinking and the historical emergence of consciousness that Jaynes discusses. In the book RUIN THE SACRED TRUTHS: POETRY AND BELIEF FROM THE BIBLE TO THE PRESENT (Harvard University Press, 1989), Harold Bloom makes the following observation that is relevant to Jaynes''s discussion: "Frequently we forget one reason why the Hebrew Bible is so difficult for us: our only way of thinking comes to us from the ancient Greeks, and not from the [still residually bicameral] Hebrews" (page 28). Bloom explicitly refers to "Greek thinking and Hebrew psychologizing," and suggests that the two modes of thought and expression seem irreconcilable because they represent two antithetical visions of life. But I would say that the thought and expression in the Hebrew Bible represent what Jaynes refers to as the bicameral mind.

In the book JESUS AND YAHWEH: THE NAMES DIVINE (Riverhead Books, 2005), Bloom further elaborates his point about how deeply Greek thinking permeates the thinking of educated people in Western culture today:

"Whoever you are, you identify necessarily the origins of your self more with Augustine, Descartes, and John Locke, or indeed with Montaigne and Shakespeare, than you do with Yahweh and Jesus. That is only another way of saying the Socrates and Plato, rather than Jesus, have formed you, however ignorant you may be of Plato. The Hebrew Bible dominated seventeenth-century Protestantism, but four centuries later out technological and mercantile society is far more the child of Aristotle than of Moses" (page 146).

Basically, I agree with Bloom that educated people in Western culture today are dominated by the Greek tradition of thought. As he says, the origin of our Western sense of self is dominated by the Greek tradition of thought. However, if Jaynes is right about the bicameral mind of our human ancestors, including, I contend, the residually oral ancient Hebrews and early followers of the historical Jesus, then the bicameral mind that Jaynes discusses represents a deeper layer of the human psyche today. But does this make any difference? If it does, what difference does it make?

In the book ORALITY AND LITERACY: THE TECHNOLOGIZING OF THE WORD (Methuen, 1982), the American cultural historian and theorist Walter J. Ong, S.J. (1912-2003), perceptively discusses Jaynes''s theory of the bicameral mind:

"[T]he early and late stages of consciousness which Julian Jaynes (1977) describes and relates to neurophysiological changes in the bicameral mind [involving the right and left hemispheres of the brain] would also appear to lend themselves largely to much simpler and more verifiable description in terms of a shift from orality to literacy. . . . The `voices'' [of the Gods supposedly coming from the right hemisphere of the brain, according to Jaynes''s theory] began to lose their effectiveness between 2000 and 1000 BC. This period, it will be noted, is neatly bisected by the invention of the alphabet around 1500 BC and Jaynes indeed believes that writing helped bring about the breakdown of the original bicamerality [involving the two hemispheres of the brain]. The ILIAD provides him with examples of bicamerality in its unselfconscious characters. Jaynes dates the ODYSSEY a hundred years later than the ILIAD and believes that wily Odysseus marks a breakdown into the modern self-conscious mind, no longer under the rule of the `voices.'' Whatever one makes of Jaynes''s theories, one cannot but be struck by the resemblance between the characteristics of the early or `bicameral'' psyche as Jaynes describes it - lack of introspectivity, of analytic prowess, of concern with the will as such, of sense of difference between past and future - and the characteristics of the psyche in oral cultures not only in the past but even today. . . . Bicamerality may mean simply orality. The question of orality and bicamerality perhaps needs further investigation" (pages 29-30).

As far as I know, the question of orality and bicamerality has not been further investigated since 1982. For example, it is not investigated in the essays gathered together in the book REFLECTIONS ON THE DAWN OF CONSCIOUSNESS: JULIAN JAYNES BICAMERAL MIND THEORY REVISITED, edited by Marcel Kuijsten (Julian Jaynes Society, 2006).

In effect, Jung''s auditory hallucinations can be used to support Jaynes''s theory about the voices in the bicameral mind. As I have suggested, all of us have human psyches similar to Jung''s. Therefore, all of us have the latent potential for experiencing voices as Jung did and, according to Jaynes, as our pre-literate ancestors did.

Now, Ong never tired of referring to Eric A. Havelock''s perceptive book PREFACE TO PLATO (Belknap Press/ Harvard University Press, 1963). In this book Havelock works with the contrast between the Homeric mind and the Platonic mind. In addition, Havelock aligns the Homeric mind with oral culture and the Platonic mind with distinctively literate culture. In the passages quoted above from Bloom, Bloom in effect aligns educated people in Western culture with the Platonic mind that Havelock discusses. In other words, formal education in Western culture for centuries have provided the cultural conditioning in the distinctively literate mind that Havelock refers to as the Platonic mind.

However, as Ong mentions, Jaynes finds examples of the bicameral mind in the ILIAD. So the bicameral mind as discussed by Jaynes can be aligned with the Homeric mind as discussed by Havelock.

Havelock describes the Homeric mind as using imagistic thinking. Jung''s paintings in THE RED BOOK make it clear that his visual hallucinations involved imagistic thinking.

Next, because Ong himself was a Jesuit priest, I want to point out here that Jesuits make two 30-day retreats in silence (except for daily conferences with the retreat director) following the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, made two such 30-day retreats as part of his Jesuit training.

The instructions in the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES instruct people of how to proceed to carry out certain spiritual exercises (also known as meditations or contemplations) that involve using imagistic thinking to imagine, say, well-known biblical scenes.

If people follow the instructions in the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES, then they are engaging in a form of meditation that I will style here as guided meditation - at least up to a certain point. But there is a culminating instruction to cap off the meditation by carrying on a conversation with the figure involved in the relevant biblical scene - say, Jesus, or Mary. Of course we have no way of knowing how this culminating instruction worked out for Ong when he made his two 30-day retreats, nor do we know how this worked out for all the other Jesuits such as Pope Francis who made two 30-day retreats following the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES as part of their Jesuit training.

Now, Jung''s self-induced hallucinations did not involve using guided meditations. So we can describe his self-experimentation as involving unguided imagistic meditations. (Of course we should note that there are also forms of meditation that do not involve imagistic thinking. Those forms of meditation involve non-imagistic meditation.)

From Jung''s reports in THE RED BOOK, it appears that at times he did indeed engage the figures in conversations - and they carried one their side of the conversations with him. But did St. Ignatius Loyola and perhaps other Jesuits experience conversations with biblical figures in which the biblical figures carried on their side of the conversations?

After all, the grieving followers of the deceased historical Jesus had visual and auditory hallucinations in which the deceased Jesus spoke with them. St. Paul famously experienced a visual and auditory hallucination in which the figure known as Jesus the Christ spoke to him. In the history of Christianity, there are also examples of visual and auditory hallucinations in which a figure speaks to the person.

Now, would making two 30-day retreats following the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES lead people to conjoin the Above (ego-consciousness) and the Below (the unconscious) as discussed in Jung''s RED BOOK (page 370 in the over-sized edition; page 577 in the READER''S EDITION)? Not necessarily, but it could happen to certain people because 30-day retreats following the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES involve each retreatant in introspection about his or her life.

I said above that self-inducing hallucinations is a potentially dangerous practice. But so are Ignatian guided meditations and non-imagistic forms of meditation. For an approach to meditative reflection and introspection that is not potentially dangerous, I recommend the daily practice of awareness that Anthony de Mello, S.J. (1931-1987), advocates in his posthumously published book THE WAY TO LOVE: MEDITATIONS FOR LIFE (2012) and elsewhere. Practiced daily over an extended period of time, this practice of awareness can help engender the conjoining of the Above and Below.

For an accessible discussion of auditory hallucinations, see Daniel B. Smith''s book MUSES, MADMEN, AND PROPHETS: RETHINKING THE HISTORY, SCIENCE, AND MEANING OF AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS (Penguin Press, 2007).

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, we can all be grateful to Jung for preparing his elaborate report about his visit to the underworld for us. By engaging in the potentially dangerous practice of self-inducing hallucinations and then preparing such an elaborate report of his visit to the underworld, he saved us from indulging in the potentially dangerous practice of self-inducing hallucinations.

In the present essay, I have attempted to depotentiate our pathologizing of auditory and visual hallucinations, as Smith has also attempted to do in his book mentioned above. If Jaynes''s theory is to be believed, auditory hallucinations that he refers to as voices were relatively commonplace in our bicameral ancestors in pre-literate cultures.

By depotentiating auditory and visual hallucinations, I hope to persuade people today to look over Jung''s RED BOOK.

I want to say that I do not expect auditory and visual hallucinations to become as common in our contemporary secondary oral culture as Jaynes suggests that they were in pre-literate cultures. But I do hope that they will become more understandable.

I do not know if all vision quests culminated in visual hallucinations. But the basic spirit of the vision quest is a sound idea. I would even go so far as to say that the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES of St. Ignatius Loyola involve the basic spirit of the vision quest.

In THE RED BOOK, Jung refers to his search or quest for his soul. Basically, this is what the spirit of the vision quest is about. No doubt Jung himself found his mission in life through his encounter with the auditory and visual hallucinations he describes in THE RED BOOK.

But this implies that people who have not undertaken a vision quest have not found their souls. This would presumably include most of the educated people in Western culture that Bloom refers to in the passages quoted above.
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Genuine, honest scholarly effort
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2021
This oversized, full color fancy print book presents accurate scans of Jung''s original work (in German), followed by an Introduction and description by the editor, then by the translation of Jung''s work into English. There are also translation notes and footnotes, and the... See more
This oversized, full color fancy print book presents accurate scans of Jung''s original work (in German), followed by an Introduction and description by the editor, then by the translation of Jung''s work into English. There are also translation notes and footnotes, and the references and discussion evince familiarity with Jung''s entire collected works.

I am not yet far into the text of the Red Book, itself, but it is presented (and described) as something between a religious revelation, a meditative spirit journey, and fended-off insanity. Jung himself feared for his sanity, and it would not be crazy (hah) to present this multi-year schizophrenic experiment as the record of a madman successfully healing himself.

The most interesting thing, in my opinion, is that Jung refused to NOT call it a revelation. He fully admitted it was irrational and only partially scientific (partially because he considered it an experiment and tried to apply ruthless logic in understanding it, even to the point of questioning his own abilities of perception), but he also insisted it was true. He was torn between presenting it as it happened, and losing credibility in the greater scientific community who would disbelieve or write him off as nuts, or dressing it up as genuine research by scrubbing the mystical elements and thereby rendering it false.

He split the difference by using it as the foundation for his later (extremely influential) psychological work, but without publishing it. It languished in the private libraries of friends and family (from those handful of copies he allowed to be made) and his estate for nearly fifty years before someone got the permissions necessary to study and publish it.

I won''t pass judgment on the work itself until I completely read it, but 1) the presentation in this book probably could not be better, and 2) the underlying premise that hints at common origins of religious experience, madness, and normal psychology is appealing.
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4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
ALSO SEHTE ZARATHUSTRA
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 22, 2018
When the Light first entered mankind, about three thousand years ago, the reaction varied quite significantly. Plato and the Buddha, for instance, were deluded by the experience, both regarding the reflection of the mundane world created by the Light as a true reality. On...See more
When the Light first entered mankind, about three thousand years ago, the reaction varied quite significantly. Plato and the Buddha, for instance, were deluded by the experience, both regarding the reflection of the mundane world created by the Light as a true reality. On the other hand, Lucifer and Prometheus were punished for what was considered their impiety, as though they were responsible for stealing the Light from some divinity, when in fact the appearance of the Light was simply the next stage in the development of the human being. Only Confucius grasped the true benefit of the Light for mankind, which has been the development of prudence, where the Light is used to illuminate the affairs of mankind in both time and space. But the most significant response to the phenomenon is instanced in the dualism first expressed by Zoroaster or Zarathustra, who perceived the larger effect of the coming of the Light, seeing how it penetrated into the primordial darkness in which mankind until then had lived. Unfortunately, Zoroaster was blinded by the Light to the extent that he could no longer see in the Dark – as his ancestors had done until then. This was not as such a serious failure – the Light itself was a sufficient replacement for mankind’s earlier night-vision. What was serious for the subsequent history of mankind was his reaction to the Dark, his profound terror of what was now an unknown, where the once beneficial agents that had supported mankind through long ages now became threatening demons and devils. It is obvious from the history of mankind since then that the development of the rationality made available to us by the Light has been unable to overcome the profound and instinctive fear of this primordial Darkness, made more apparent to us by the futile attempts of Reason to simply deny the existence of the Dark. And nowhere has this struggle been more apparent than in the modern developments in the practice of psychology. The experiences of Dr Carl Jung as recounted in his Red Book can stand as a kind of textbook example of this phenomenon. A rational and well-read intellectual with already a successful career in the treatment of mentally afflicted men and women, who is suddenly subjected to what would in an earlier age would have been seen as divine/demonic possession. He is a person well-placed to observe his own experiences and attempt a treatment of what he came to see as a classical psychosis. What must be observed at the beginning is that Dr Jung will treat as a psychological phenomenon what once had been treated as either demonic possession or as an esoteric intrusion. There are obvious limitations to this approach, if only because (1) experience in itself is systematically subordinated to theory, witnessed for instance in the creation of realms like the unconscious, and entities such as the id, ego, anima etc, for which there are no objective correlatives, and (2) the whole discourse is carried on at the level of theory only, so that experienced events remain isolated except where they conform to one theory or another. To the extent that we cannot know whence experience comes – true for all experience – we can only make sense of our experiences by relating them directly to one another. This is possible because when closely observed with an open mind it is discovered that our experiences denote themselves to us, determined by our knowledge, interests and dispositions. In the case of Dr Jung’s experiences, only the primary visions, which occurred in December 1913, can be regarded as relating direct experience, though as will be seen later much of the denotation might have been imposed by Dr Jung for other reasons. The narrative elements recorded by Dr Jung can be discounted, to the extent that they are in effect intrusions by him that distort the underlying experience. We should concentrate instead on those elements that do not fit within Dr Jung’s assumptions of what he is experiencing. There are four elements that constitute the core of Dr Jung’s direct spiritual encounter: (1) the old man declares that he and his daughter are one; (2) the old man describes his daughter as wisdom; (3) Dr Jung’s apparent crucifixion enables or permits the daughter to have sight; and (4) the old man then tells Dr Jung that his work is fulfilled here. Thus from an esoteric point of view the rest of the Red Book is nugatory, useful only perhaps within the purview of some theory of psychology. Even so, it is clear that no real personal development is achieved by Dr Jung, for even when he establishes his apparently unified self in the iron rod-tower – which he received in some mysterious way – he cannot acknowledge as significant that the rod is a “message of darkness”. Put simply, Dr Jung could not or would not learn to look and listen – something he castigates himself for on a number of occasions – and allow the Dark to communicate with him. Even so, why did Dr Jung subsequent inner struggles take the form they did? They did not arise out of theoretical considerations, that is clear. This means that some event in Dr Jung’s life at that time must have triggered what became a quite fundamental crisis in his life. Consider the names Dr Jung bestowed on his two visitors from the Dark, Elijah and Salomé. An unexpected combination: what inspired these names? Consider to start with that both are personages from Jewish culture. Did Dr Jung have close associations with Jews at the time who might compel these designations. There are, Sigmund Freud and his pupil-mistress, Lou Salomé. We know of the fraught relations between Jung and Freud; how much more complicated must this threesome have been? Lou Salomé was not alone the mistress of the major power-figure in Jung’s life, but she had been the love-interest of his idol, Friedrich Nietzsche, and had proven to be the femme-fatale of other intellectuals. It must have been a crushing experience for Jung, from which he may never have recovered. This suggests that the Red Book, rather than being a self-revelation, might in fact be a screen designed to hide a damaged self. Finally, what might Dr Jung have done in his visions, other than react profusely? Well, he had performed what can be assumed to have been a spiritually important act for himself: he had permitted Wisdom to see in her own right. Might he not have asked her what she saw? Wouldn’t her answer have been much more significant for us that Dr Jung’s subsequent self-torture? Parsifal, after all, had also failed to asked the crucial question. But, unlike Dr Jung, he had struggle to a maturity that in the end permitted him to learn his truth.
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O. Sanderson-nichols
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Prepare to Embark on a Journey
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2012
If you''re looking at this item and questioning the warnings given by other reviewers, do not dismiss them as folly. This is a seriously intense, esoteric and transformational journey. More than anything it presents a risk - any cognitive scheme leaves the mind open to...See more
If you''re looking at this item and questioning the warnings given by other reviewers, do not dismiss them as folly. This is a seriously intense, esoteric and transformational journey. More than anything it presents a risk - any cognitive scheme leaves the mind open to construct potentially dangerous paradigms, and none more so than Carl Gustav Jung''s delicate probing of just what it is that makes him who he is as an individual. This is not a scientific book - whilst it may draw roots from clinical psychology, Jung actively avoided jargon and objective theory in what was always designed to be an intuitive, primal and highly idiosyncratic journey into his own consciousness and psyche. Do not buy this book unless you''re willing and ready to engage on a challenging journey with Jung as he struggles with madness, doubt, fear, mythology, philosophy, insecurity and various psychonautic voyages into his own being, set to the tone of a palpably Nietzschean construct with some Freudian overtones. Not everyone will be able to appreciate this book - fewer still will be able to enjoy it; but it does present a fascinating opportunity to glimpse at one man''s stumbling journey into who and why he is. Jung makes frequent usage of biblical imagery as well as various references to literature, all of which are highlighted by footnotes. The real challenge of the book is less in the writing, which whilst occasionally challenging should be accessible to anyone who''s read Nietzsche, Camus or Wittgenstein (which I pick merely as examples of writers whose work I''ve found more difficult to understand.) In reality, the real difficulty I can see a reader having to overcome is accepting the ideas Jung presents: not only are they highly personal and therefore difficult, if not impossible to objectify (which in some respects is a deliberate design) but they explore a highly mysterious and misunderstood area of study in a hugely enigmatic manner - almost parabolic in many respects. Despite this, anyone willing to devote time and energy into exploring Jung''s Liber Novus will most certainly benefit from it hugely, and whilst it is not a book I recommend to the uninitiated, it is most certainly the best book I own as a pre-university student of psychology, philosophy and literature. In practical terms, the book is deceptively large. It measures at 30cm across, 40cm down and 5cm in thickness. It has approximately 373 pages printed in full colour on the finest printing paper I''ve ever come across. The first half of the book contains the original German Jung wrote in (detailed photo-copies, not transcribed) and all the included illuminations and art Jung himself drew and painted. The second half of the book contains the English translation written in computerized font and so sadly missing the illuminations and artistry of the first half. Included is a dust jacket. Many people say that the cost of the book is inflated, but in truth the presentation is just as much a part of Jung''s work as the semantics encapsulated within, and it would therefore be of detriment in my humble opinion to lower the quality of the book, which is fantastic. Equally, holding out for a paperback edition is unlikely to provide the same experience, as any paperback edition will likely be merely the translated text which misses the importance and symbolism of the art. More than anything, this is an educational book. It doesn''t seek to provide laws or theories because Jung recognised that to understand the natural, intimate workings of the human soul/psyche his findings must be presented in a natural, intimate manner. It merely presents a journey and a set of personal conclusions that the reader is invited to share in, endorsing or dissenting as he/she sees fit. Truly brilliant.
162 people found this helpful
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P-sensei
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A weighty tome indeed!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2018
I bought this as a present and the recipient has expressed her delight at this wonderful volume many times. It''s huge and very heavy so make sure you have somewhere it can live. I''d also recommend getting it along with the annotated paperback version, as this is really a...See more
I bought this as a present and the recipient has expressed her delight at this wonderful volume many times. It''s huge and very heavy so make sure you have somewhere it can live. I''d also recommend getting it along with the annotated paperback version, as this is really a book to bring out on special occasions. The print quality is excellent and the colours seem authentic. Overall, the quality of production is excellent.
10 people found this helpful
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rodrigo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A magnificent piece of art
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2020
This book completely blew away my expectations, as a big Jung fan I wasn''t expecting this book to be so masterfully written and illustrated. I would really recommend reading the Interpretive Guide of Liber Novus by Sanford L as it is quite complementary. If you''re wondering...See more
This book completely blew away my expectations, as a big Jung fan I wasn''t expecting this book to be so masterfully written and illustrated. I would really recommend reading the Interpretive Guide of Liber Novus by Sanford L as it is quite complementary. If you''re wondering whether it''s a good investment or not I must say that at least for me it was.
5 people found this helpful
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ML
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 17, 2019
Amazing book, will take years to digest and understand. The drawings, paintings and calligraphy that Jung has produced is fantastic to look at in detail.
5 people found this helpful
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