I have not purchased Carl Jung’s “Red Book” yet, but plan to in the near future. It seems necessary for me, as a psychotherapist to want to spend time with a raw elucidation of the inner workings of one of the great minds of any age. The existence of The Red Book has been known of for quite some time, but it was unattainable by the masses due to resistance by Jung’s family to the idea of actually publishing it. The Red Book is a collection of Writings, ravings, drawings, dreams and ramblings that are said to be either the raw stuff of lunacy, or a keen insight into part of the process the great man went through to formulate his theories. Jung’s theories are particularly kind to the idea of madness, as they are not rooted in a search for pathology, but in a search for explanation. It is quite interesting that Jung began the Red Book around 1913, after his break with Freud. This was a time for him to deepen his theoretical perspectives, and it made much sense that an exercise such as the Red Book, which could be seen as a dalliance on the edge of sanity would be a vehicle to assist this. Jung characterized this time of his life thusly:
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 one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.”
I look forward to my own examination of the transparent processes of a mind that has given so much, so eloquently to the field of psychotherapy, as well as to the western cultural mechanism in general, having left us with a better understanding of ourselves through his exacting exploration of our archetypal connections. I will report my considerations in this space. Stay tuned.