This lecture is part of the symposium Surviving Turbulent Times: Reflections on Mid-Life and Jung’s Red Book. Purchase the full symposium for 30% off the individual titles!
Topics: Active Imagination, CG Jung, Midlife, Religion & Spirituality.
The Red Book: Making Sense of a Perplexing Guide
Jung spent decades making sense of his confrontation with the unconscious. He describes the year he spent pursuing his inner images as the most important in his life. In his old age he wrote that the material that burst forth during the confrontation contained everything he supplemented and clarified in his subsequent work. In this paper I will relate some of the prima materia Jung described and imaged in his Red Book to the helpful and life-giving ideas and theories he was able to extract from that prima materia.
Ann Ulanov suggests that taking up The Red Book “is to enter the turmoil of turbulent times” Her prescription, following Jung’s example, is to plunge headlong into the chaos, confusion, disorder, wonder, revulsion, and helplessness we find in the book. By doing so, we will encounter our own, and by navigating our own, we will more fully find ourselves and our individual paths. I fully agree but suggest we have Jung’s general guide to help us along. With the aid of some of Jung’s subsequent elaboration of the book’s contents, I believe we will be in a better position both to survive turbulent times, to encounter the whole of our own psychic reality, to learn from our journey, and to find our own uniquely individual path..
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Rose Holt, MA is a Jungian analyst in private practice in St. Louis. She is a member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts and the Interregional Society of Jungian Analysts. She serves as advisory analyst to the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis and is on the faculty of the Chicago Analyst Training Program. She has taught numerous courses in Analytical Psychology and authored several papers on various topics related to the subject.
© 2011 Rose Holt
℗ 2011 CG Jung Institute of Chicago