Saturday, October 18, 2014

Carl Jung Red Book

I heard about Carl Jung's work on the Red Book when I was in
college in the 1990's. At the time I was not into that kind of stuff.
I was in my dark ages back then in college but still
I found things interesting for the times.

The Red Book fits in with Terence Mckenna's research when you look
at it. Sort of strange!

~~~~Carl Jung
Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes,
and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in
the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, literature, and related fields.
He was a prolific writer, though many of his works were not published until after his death.

The central concept of analytical psychology is individuation the psychological process
of integrating the opposites, including the conscious with the unconscious,
while still maintaining their relative autonomy.
Jung considered individuation to be the central process of human development.

Red Book:
In 1913, at the age of thirty-eight, Jung experienced a horrible
"confrontation with the unconscious". He saw visions and heard voices.
He worried at times that he was "menaced by a psychosis" or was
"doing a schizophrenia". He decided that it was valuable experience and, in private,
he induced hallucinations or, in his words, "active imaginations".
He recorded everything he felt in small journals. Jung began to transcribe his notes
into a large red leather-bound book, on which he worked intermittently for sixteen years

~~~~Red Book (Jung)
"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 initially recorded his "visions", or "fantasies, or "imaginations" all terms used by
Jung to describe his activity in a series of six journals now known collectively as the
"Black Books". This journal record begins on 12 November 1913,
and continues with intensity through the summer of 1914; subsequent entries were
added up through at least the 1930s. Biographer Barbara Hannah, who was close to
Jung throughout the last three decades of his life, compared Jung's imaginative experiences
recounted in his journals to the encounter of Menelaus with Proteus in the Odyssey.
Jung, she said, "made it a rule never to let a figure or figures that he encountered leave
until they had told him why they had appeared to him."

After the outbreak of World War I in August of 1914, Jung perceived that his visionary
experience was not only of personal relevance, but entwined with a crucial cultural moment.
In late-1914 and 1915 he compiled the visions from the journals, along with his additional
commentary on each imaginative episode, into an initial manuscript. 
This manuscript was the beginning of Liber Novus.

In 1915 Jung began artfully transcribing this draft text into the illuminated calligraphic
volume that would subsequently become known as the Red Book. In 1917 he
compiled a further supplementary manuscript of visionary material and commentary,
which he titled "Scrutinies"; this also was apparently intended for transcription into his
red folio volume, the "Red Book". Although Jung labored on the artful transcription
of this corpus of manuscript material into the calligraphic folio of the Red Book for
sixteen years, he never completed the task. Only approximately two-thirds of
Jung's manuscript text was transcribed into the Red Book by 1930, when he abandoned
further work on the calligraphic transcription of his draft material into the Red Book.

The published edition of The Red Book: Liber Novus includes all of Jung's manuscript
material prepared for Liber Novus, and not just the portion of the text transcribed by 
Jung into the calligraphic red book volume.

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