Skip to comments.The Holy Grail of the Unconscious
Posted on 09/20/2009 10:54:25 AM PDT by BGHater
This is a story about a nearly 100-year-old book, bound in red leather, which has spent the last quarter century secreted away in a bank vault in Switzerland. The book is big and heavy and its spine is etched with gold letters that say Liber Novus, which is Latin for New Book. Its pages are made from thick cream-colored parchment and filled with paintings of otherworldly creatures and handwritten dialogues with gods and devils.If you didnt know the books vintage, you might confuse it for a lost medieval tome.
And yet between the books heavy covers, a very modern story unfolds. It goes as follows: Man skids into midlife and loses his soul. Man goes looking for soul. After a lot of instructive hardship and adventure taking place entirely in his head he finds it again.
Some people feel that nobody should read the book, and some feel that everybody should read it. The truth is, nobody really knows. Most of what has been said about the book what it is, what it meansis the product of guesswork, because from the time it was begun in 1914 in a smallish town in Switzerland, it seems that only about two dozen people have managed to read or even have much of a look at it.
Of those who did see it, at least one person, an educated Englishwoman who was allowed to read some of the book in the 1920s,thought it held infinite wisdom There are people in my country who would read it from cover to cover without stopping to breathe scarcely, she wrote while another, a well-known literary type who glimpsed it shortly after, deemed it both fascinating and worrisome, concluding that it was the work of a psychotic.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
He studied loonies and learned to imitate them. Then wrote a fairy tale using that ability.
no thanks. I’ll read something more constructive.
Thanks for helping conservatism meet it's liberal estimation of ignorance for today.
You’re most welcome, oh great one.
Excuse me now, I shall write a poem in homage to your greatness.
letsee...there once was a...
Carl Jung was an astounding genius, and his insights support understanding and breakthroughs in many fields of psychology. But since this is a conservative site, full of practical, hard-nosed realists, let me give you an example you just might think is worth not sneering over.
When a vet develops PTSD from combat, it's because he or she can't process all the stress that is bottled up inside, especially the emotional aspect of it which had to be suppressed to fight. Jung discovered mechanisms, connections with other parts of the mind, which enable PTSD therapists to reach the suppressed emotions of a vet, and help them bleed off the pressure without triggering damaging flashbacks.
Jung developed a whole lot more than just that understanding. But even if that's all he did, I'd say he doesn't deserve contempt. Right now, as you read this, there are vets using aspects of his discoveries to find their way back to normal life. If you want to write a poem to someone's greatness, write it to them.
Fantastic post! Thank you for finding this. I will buy as soon as it comes out.
parsy, who has a copy of Jung’s UFO book (and the one on Symbols) and a few of the Bollingen series, and...
Whatever. You read the book then.
I trust the NYT Book Review will continue with us long after its mother ship has left the dock.
I stand in awe of your refusal to learn. I'm laughing, too, but I'm laughing in awe. It's an incredible combination - do you do parties?
Apparently, Jung induced his own hallucinations, and then over a 16+ year period, kept notes and made detailed illustrations of his psychedelic experiences, which is the book that is soon to be released.
It also appears to me that this man, Richard Noll, had found copies of parts of Jung's work, “The Red Book”, and was prepared to release it with or without the collaboration of the Jung heirs.
Jung's method, if I understand correctly, is for a person to record their dreams and have a specialist analyze them. So it kind of makes sense that he would induce his own “dreams” and then try to analyze them. I have some concerns that inducing dreams with drugs is the way to go, but that's another issue.
From the descriptions of the illustrations he made, it sounds like he had some pretty vivid “dreams” - or would it be fair to call them “hallucinations”?
What I got from the article is that Carl Jung was a complicated man, with complicated issues. And that this book, “The Red Book”, to be released soon, is a difficult and complicated read.
As for me, I rarely dream, and when I do, it tends to be of a problem solving nature. I wonder what Jung would say about that... 8^)
Gregor Mendel is called the father of genetics because of his lineage studies of pea plants. But modern analysis of his actual datasets pretty much establish that he fudged them a bit to control the flyers. Nonetheless, this doesn’t take away from his insights into the structure of the generational ordering he was observing - he just wanted to make a stronger case for his theory.
I think Jung is a lot like that. Not that he fudged his data (Jung’s data was hardly quantifiable), but rather, he was trying to correlate reproduceable patterns of meaning where other people were simply caught up in the mental experiences. But this was actually a strength for Jung, because whenever the experiences were non-normal, through drugs or even abnormal hallucinations, he still simply observed their patterns and recorded them according to their symbolism. As a result, he was able to extract invaluable signal from all the noise, and go on to explore the meanings of those patterns.
And even if he was wrong about the meanings of the patterns (many of which are better explained by cognitive psychology and brain function analysis), he formalized the meta-analysis of mental patterns itself, and really, in that, invented psychology as a science. In comparison, Freud just took Jung’s ideas and applied his own meanings to Jung’s pattern formalization process.
I stumbled onto the awareness of this upcoming publication in such an odd way yesterday, dare I say synchronistic? The story of its road to publication is fascinating and I can’t wait to read this book. I have read many of Jung’s works. I hope it is a good translation because I have found this to be critical.
there will be lots of closed minds to something like this-something ‘new’
Learn about some quack’s freaky dreams (or hallucinations)? yeah, sure. THat’s real productive. I got plenty of time for that crap...NOT. I rather read about how to darn socks. And that’s NOT an exaggeration.
Quack I think not. Carl Jung founded the field of analytical psychology.
You might have no interest in the topic, but that doesnt make him a quack.
I believe you.
Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
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if any of you have any spare time just glance through Jung’s book about dreams and you will get some insights about yourself. Your subconscious is really trying to tell you something on occasion. it pays to listen to it. Jung shows that the dreaming process in man, far from being archaic and redundant, was more relevant than ever. When you dream, pay attention to your archetypical dreams.
Thanks for posting this article BGH. Good stuff.
Though no sane man will knowingly eat contaminated food,
and will only consume that which he knows to be healthy for his body,
why nothing similar in what he normally serves his mind?
Why do men continue to take in, mentally, rations which are obviously,
to any reasonable observer, without nutritional value?
That is: What they generally accept in their minds as entertainment (even information)
offers no real, new knowledge, no up-lifting or challenging ideas,
and nothing that speaks to the positive future and potential of man.
And yet...out in the public marketplace of man’s mind, there things stand,
and once this is clearly seen and understood aright,
a man can retire his attention — nay, he must retire his attention from this torpid,
redundant, lowest-common-denominator-from-the-past mass spectacle,
and begin to mentally abide solely with himself — and with the stillness
that is now his private feast.
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