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’s what Jung had to say about it, anyway.
The Red Book – of course – is the long unpublished illuminated manuscript penned by Jung during the years following his falling out with Sigmund Freud. Varying reports on Jung during this period cast him as either a victim of a prolonged psychotic episode, or as a mystic plumbing the depths of the unconscious mind (or both, among the more broad-minded / indecisive).
Though I’m genuinely excited about this release, the hype being generated by the publisher borders on the absurd. They’re trying to cast this as the unearthing of some mystical tome that will once and for all change our understanding of the human mind and lead us to glory. If you think I’m exaggerating, just watch this promotional video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIBQFSwX1UY)
All that being said, I’m really eager to crack this baby open. It’ll be a while before I’ll be able to look at a copy myself – I don’t really have $200.00 to blow on illuminated manuscripts right now, and the book is presently sold out anyway, but before too long I anticipate some person will scan it and make it available on the Internet, and I’m not so impatient that I can’t wait.
The few images released by the publisher are tantalizing! In case it wasn’t already obvious from Jung’s other work, the connection to the turn-of-the-20th-century occult community is crystal clear here. Some of his drawings (particularly the cross in the circle, seen in the video) would look perfectly at home in some not-so-secret Golden Dawn tome.
Anyway, onto the goods. Here are the best photos I’ve been able to grab off the web.