“The Overall Theme of The Red Book”

New York Times
Edward Rothstein
December 11, 2009

Jung’s Inner Universe, Writ Large

Mr. Shamdasani argues that “the overall theme of the book is how Jung regains his soul and overcomes the contemporary malaise of spiritual alienation.” And as he points out, Jung undertook his strange project after a series of apocalyptic visions in 1913 and 1914 that he later believed were prophesies of an imminent world war. He looked out a window, he said, and “saw blood, rivers of blood.” Jung felt it within himself as well, the “menace of psychosis.”

And so he began this enterprise of self-examination, a ruthless overturning of the rational Western mind, submerging himself in a pilgrimage through the pagan land of his own psyche. This project was his belated answer to Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams,” which had also presented itself as the account of a heroic self-analytical descent into the maelstrom of the unconscious.  (More)

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One Response to “The Overall Theme of The Red Book”

  1. The comment about Jung’s recognition of ‘the menace of psychosis’ is interesting. It reminds me of James Hillman’s comment that in his practice as a depth/archetypal psychologist he can no longer differentiate individual from collective psychosis because the world is so ‘sick’. I have often felt that my own apprehensions, even though I am aware of the pheneomenon of psychological projection, were linked to something much larger. I have predicted trends in the collective culture based on these feelings. And I recently blogged about a ‘cultural anxiety’ that seems to be gathering.

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