What happened next to Carl Jung has become, among Jungians and other scholars, the topic of enduring legend and controversy. It has been characterized variously as a creative illness, a descent into the underworld, a bout with insanity, a narcissistic self-deification, a transcendence, a midlife breakdown and an inner disturbance mirroring the upheaval of World War I. Whatever the case, in 1913, Jung, who was then 38, got lost in the soup of his own psyche. He was haunted by troubling visions and heard inner voices. Grappling with the horror of some of what he saw, he worried in moments that he was, in his own words, “menaced by a psychosis” or “doing a schizophrenia.”
He later would compare this period of his life — this “confrontation with the unconscious,” as he called it — to a mescaline experiment. He described his visions as coming in an “incessant stream.” He likened them to rocks falling on his head, to thunderstorms, to molten lava. “I often had to cling to the table,” he recalled, “so as not to fall apart.”
via www.nytimes.comI knew Chairman Mao had a red book, and sometimes my fellow Modern Freudian psychoanalysts refer to Modern Psychoanalysis of the Schizophrenic Patient by Hyman Spotnitz as the red book. But I did not know that Carl Jung had a Red Book -- a secret one, no less.
This fascinating NYT Magazine article by Sara Corbett tells the backstory of Carl Jung's secret Red Book, soon to be out for all of us to see -- well, at least the rich ones of us -- in October. I just checked at amazon.com, and you can pre-order it for $122.95. Guess I'll have to savor Corbett's teaser and wait for the paperback.