Quotes: The Red Book

Jung, C. G. (2012-12-17). The Red Book: A Reader’s Edition: A Reader’s Edition (Philemon) W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Quotes from Notes on The Red Book

  • The year 1913 was pivotal in Jung’s life. He began a self-experiment that became known as his “confrontation with the unconscious” and lasted until 1930. During this experiment, he developed a technique to “get to the bottom of [his] inner processes,” “to translate the emotions into images,” and “to grasp the fantasies which were stirring . . . ‘underground.’ ” He later called this method “active imagination.” He first recorded these fantasies in his Black Books. He then revised these texts, added reflections on them, and copied them in a calligraphic script into a book entitled Liber Novus bound in red leather, accompanied by his own paintings. It has always been known as the Red Book.(Kindle Locations 120-125).

  • In Transformations and Symbols of the Libido, Jung differentiated two kinds of thinking. Taking his cue from William James, among others, Jung contrasted directed thinking and fantasy thinking. The former was verbal and logical, while the latter was passive, associative, and imagistic. (Kindle Locations 366-368).

  • He was “writing autobiographical material, but not as an autobiography.” 53 From the time of the Platonic dialogues onward, the dialogical form has been a prominent genre in Western philosophy. (Kindle Locations 472-474).

  • As indicated, Jung had had extensive experience studying mediums in trance states, during which they were encouraged to produce waking fantasies and visual hallucinations, and had conducted experiments with automatic writing.(Kindle Locations 502-503).

  • In December 1913, he referred to the first of the black books as the “book of my most difficult experiment.” 67 In retrospect, he recalled that his scientific question was to see what took place when he switched off consciousness. (Kindle Locations 527-530).

  • Jung argued that one needed to separate oneself from the unconscious by presenting it visibly as something separate from one. It was vital to differentiate the I from the non-I, namely, the collective psyche or absolute unconscious. To do this, “man must necessarily stand upon firm feet in his I-function; that is, he must fulfil his duty toward life completely, so that he may in every respect be a vitally living member of society.” 163 Jung had been endeavoring to accomplish these tasks during this period. (Kindle Locations 1003-1007).

  • The overall theme of the book is how Jung regains his soul and overcomes the contemporary malaise of spiritual alienation. (Kindle Locations 892-893).

  • The realization was that the self is the goal of individuation and that the process of individuation was not linear, but consisted in a circumambulation of the self. (Kindle Locations 1374-1375).