Tim Boucher

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The Red Book (Jung – Liber Novus)

During the years Jung engaged with his “nocturnal work” on Liber Novus, he continued to function in his daytime activities without any evident impairment.[10] He maintained a busy professional practice, seeing on average five patients a day. He lectured, wrote, and remained active in professional associations.[11] 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.[12] 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.”[13] This experiment involved a voluntary confrontation with the unconscious through willful engagement of what Jung later termed “mythopoetic imagination”.[14][15] 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.”[20]

Source: The Red Book (Jung) – Wikipedia

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5 Comments

  1. Tim B.

    “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.[23]”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.[23]”

  2. Tim B.

    “The initial seven folios (or leaves) of the book — which contain what is now entitled Liber Primus (the “First Book”) of Liber Novus — were composed on sheets of parchment in a highly illuminated medieval style. “

  3. Tim B.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Books_(Jung)

    “In these notebooks C. G. Jung recorded his imaginative and visionary experiences during the transformative period that has been called his “confrontation with the unconscious.”[1] This ledger of experiences was the foundation for the text of Jung’s Red Book. “

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