During the years Jung engaged with his “nocturnal work” on Liber Novus, he continued to function in his daytime activities without any evident impairment. He maintained a busy professional practice, seeing on average five patients a day. He lectured, wrote, and remained active in professional associations. Throughout this period he also served as an officer in the Swiss army and was on active duty over several extended periods between 1914 and 1918, the years of World War I in which Jung was composing Liber Novus. Jung was not “psychotic” by any accepted clinical criteria during the period he created Liber Novus. Nonetheless, what he was doing during these years defies facile categorization.
Jung referred to his imaginative or visionary venture during these years as “my most difficult experiment.” This experiment involved a voluntary confrontation with the unconscious through willful engagement of what Jung later termed “mythopoetic imagination”. In his introduction to Liber Novus, Shamdasani explains:
“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….” […]
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.”
Source: The Red Book (Jung) – Wikipedia
Gruit was and is a combination of herbs, commonly including sweet gale (Myrica gale), mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), horehound (Marrubium vulgare), and Calluna heather (Calluna vulgaris). Gruit varied somewhat, each gruit producer including different herbs to produce unique flavors and effects. Other adjunct herbs include juniper berries, ginger, caraway seed, aniseed, nutmeg, cinnamon, mint and occasionally hops in variable proportions (although gruit today is often sought out for lacking hops).
Source: Gruit – Wikipedia
Gruel was the staple food of the ancient Greeks, for whom roasted meats were the extraordinary feast that followed sacrifice, even among heroes, and “In practice bread was a luxury eaten only in towns”. Roman plebeians “ate the staple gruel of classical times, supplemented by oil, the humbler vegetables and salt fish”, for gruel could be prepared without access to the communal ovens in which bread was baked. In the Middle Ages the peasant could avoid the tithe exacted, usually in kind, for grain ground by the miller of the landowner’s mill by roasting the grains to make them digestible, and grinding small portions in a mortar at home. In lieu of cooking the resulting paste on the hearthstone, it could be simmered in a cauldron with water or, luxuriously, with milk.
Source: Gruel – Wikipedia
Before the 19th century, drinking water had the potential to make one sick because of poor sanitation. Practical experience showed that fermented beverages were less likely to produce illness. At mealtimes in the Middle Ages, everyone could drink small beer, including children, while eating a meal at the table. Table beer was around this time typically less than 1% ABV.
It was common for workers (including sailors) who engaged in heavy physical labor to drink more than 10 imperial pints (5.7 litres) of small beer during a workday to quench their thirst. Small beer was also drunk for its nutrition content; it might even have bits of wheat or bread suspended in it.
Source: Small beer – Wikipedia
Charles Domery (c. 1778 – after 1800), later also known as Charles Domerz, was a Polish[note 1] soldier serving in the Prussian and French armies, noted for his unusually large appetite. Serving in the Prussian Army against France during the War of the First Coalition, he found that the rations of the Prussians were insufficient and deserted to the French Army in return for food. Although generally healthy, he was voraciously hungry during his time in the French service, and ate any available food. While stationed near Paris, he was recorded as having eaten 174 cats in a year, and although he disliked vegetables, he would eat 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.3 kg) of grass each day if he could not find other food. During service on the French ship Hoche, he attempted to eat the severed leg of a crew member hit by cannon fire, before other members of the crew wrestled it from him.
In February 1799, the Hoche was captured by British forces and the crew, including Domery, were interned in Liverpool, where he shocked his captors with his voracious appetite: despite being put on ten times the usual rations, he ate the prison cat and at least 20 rats, and would often eat the prison candles. In one experiment, over the course of a day he ate 16 pounds (7.3 kg) of raw cow’s udder, raw beef and tallow candles and four bottles of porter, all of which he ate and drank without defecating, urinating, or vomiting.
Source: Charles Domery – Wikipedia
See also: Polyphagia
Erysichthon once ordered all trees in the sacred grove of Demeter to be cut down. One huge oak was covered with votive wreaths, a symbol of every prayer Demeter had granted, and so the men refused to cut it down. Erysichthon grabbed an axe and cut it down himself, killing a dryad nymph in the process. The nymph’s dying words were a curse on Erysichthon.
Demeter responded to the nymph’s curse and punished him by entreating Limos, the spirit of unrelenting and insatiable hunger, to place herself in his stomach. Food acted like fuel on a fire: The more he ate, the hungrier he got. Erysichthon sold all his possessions to buy food, but was still hungry. At last he sold his own daughter Mestra into slavery. Mestra was freed from slavery by her former lover Poseidon, who gave her the gift of shape-shifting into any creature at will to escape her bonds. Erysichthon used her shape-shifting ability to sell her numerous times to make money to feed himself, but no amount of food was enough. Eventually, Erysichthon ate himself in hunger. Nothing of him remained the following morning.
As a child, Tarrare had a huge appetite and by his teens could eat a quarter of a bullock, weighing as much as Tarrare himself, in a single day. By this time, his parents could not provide for him and had forced him to leave home. For some years after this, he toured the country with a roaming band of thieves and prostitutes, begging and stealing for food, before gaining employment as a warm-up act to a travelling charlatan. Tarrare would draw a crowd by eating corks, stones and live animals, and by swallowing an entire basketful of apples one after the other. He would eat ravenously and was particularly fond of snake meat.
In 1788, Tarrare moved to Paris to work as a street performer. He appears to have been successful in general, but on one occasion the act went wrong and he had severe intestinal obstruction. Members of the crowd carried him to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital, where he was treated with powerful laxatives. He made a full recovery and offered to demonstrate his act by eating his surgeon’s watch and chain; M. Giraud, the surgeon, was unimpressed by the offer and warned him that if he did so, he would cut Tarrare open to recover the items.
Source: Tarrare – Wikipedia