The Red Book of C.G. Jung: A Journey into Unknown Depths

Author(s) : Walter Boechat

The Red Book of C.G. Jung: A Journey into Unknown Depths

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : August 2016
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 192
  • Category :
    Jung and Analytical Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 38613
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782204510
  • ISBN 10 : 1782204512
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Jung's The Red Book has an enormous complexity of meaning deriving from Jung's intimate experiences, which are still being discussed and elaborated on by the Jungian community all over the world. The present volume focuses on some of its main aspects and its importance for the understanding of the work of Jung.

The Red Book is often mistakenly seen as a product of a midlife crisis of Jung's, caused by his break with Freud. However, although this crisis was present, the work is better understood as a manifestation of unconscious symbolism of Jung's individuation process that started in his childhood. Certain symbols of The Red Book can be traced back to Jung's earliest years, reaching their peak during the period of writing the book and continuing throughout his creative life.

Jung's work is therefore understood as having a Janus face: like the old Roman god of the gates it has two faces, one looking back to the past, the other looking to the future. If the past appears in the various figures with which Jung interacts throughout the book, such as the desert anchorite Ammonius, and the prophets and heroes of ancient times, it also looks to the future, pointing to new developments in analytical psychology and the practice of psychotherapy. Both aspects of the The Red Book are here discussed at length.

The writing of Jung's book and its appearance to the general public almost a century afterwards is studied in relation to the paradigm crisis in science and the phantasy of millenarianism. Jung wrote this work when Europe was entering the strong cultural crisis of World War One, which threw up profound cultural changes. Jung's family and estate gave their final authorization for the publication of the book in the year 2000, a year full of symbolic meaning, impregnated with phantasies of millenarianism. Jung's work is considered here as a book therefore pertaining to large cultural changes, one in the past and one in the present, and both equally transformative of society and the perception of man himself.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Walter Boechat has now taken up the challenge of reflecting upon what Jung’s Red Book may hold for the future of psychological theory and psychotherapy.In so doing, he has provided bridges between the past and the future of the book, opening paths which are salutary and instructive, and which provide an opportunity for Jungian psychology to begin again, through relinking concepts with the imaginal ground from which they arose, refreshing them with new sap.’
—Sonu Shamdasani, editor of the Red Book; from the Prefacebr/>
‘Walter Boechat’s approach to Jung’s Red Book is unique. He dissects and analyses the structure and meaning of the book so as to make us see the man inside the torment (not the other way around), and what this man’s torment has to teach both the culture at large and the imaginative methods of analytical psychotherapy.’—Gustavo Barcellos, Jungian analyst and author

'In this lucid and accessible reading of Jung’s Red Book, Walter Boechat combines historical scholarship with profound psychological and symbolic understanding. Source materials are integrated seamlessly, with a personal touch that lends the feeling of familiarity expressed with an erudition that manages to remain conversational. It is a guide into the depths, not only of Jung’s Red Book, but also of the soul of the reader.’— Joe Cambray, PhD, Provost, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and Past President, International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP)‘With his long experience of working in detail with Jung’s Red Book, Jungian analyst Walter Boechat provides an accessible, clearly written study and helpful guide to this complex and at times perplexing text. He reveals the major leitmotifs of Jung’s new psychological cosmography configured via the imaginal personifications of the major figures Jung encounters in his exploration of the “Spirit of the Depths”, through a series of active imaginations and vivid paintings and drawings done in Jung’s own hand. The author thus leads us to a re-evaluation of the major contents and dynamics of the psyche and its lifelong individuation processes, as unearthed by a remarkable genius of the twentieth century through a perilous internal journey. This book is recommended to anyone interested in amplifying their understanding of Jung’s resplendent Red Book.’— Hester McFarland Solomon, Training Analyst and Supervisor, British Jungian Analytic Association; Past President, IAAP

About the Author(s)

Walter Boechat is a Medical Doctor from Brazil who also trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, and a founding member of the Jungian Association of Brazil (AJB- IAAP), where he gives supervision, lectures, and coordinates training. He is also the author of Mythopoieses of the Psyche: Myth and Individuation and the translator of the revised Brazilian edition of The Red Book of C.G. Jung, as well as many other books and articles. His main interests are cultural identity, race and inter-racial problems in Latin America, body-mind totality and psychosomatics, and the uses of myth in psychotherapy. He is married and holds a private practice in Rio de Janeiro.

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