As reported in the New York Times Magazine, the “Holy Grail of the Unconscious” is finally being published. The author, the legendary Carl Jung, is the founder of analytical psychology. For those with affection for the terms “collective unconscious” or “psychological archetypes,” news of the availability of the elusive and much coveted Red Book should provoke enthusiasm, and with any hope, pleasant dreams.
Sara Corbett describes the last minute details of the long-disappointed but persistent Jungian Stephen Martin working with the Jung family to publish the book. The family had kept it locked up since Jung’s death in 1961, despite the efforts of his followers for nearly half a century. Jung left no instructions on how to handle the book, which some thought could be embarassing in content. Historian Sonu Shamdasani has worked for half a decade on “decoding” the book, inserting over a thousand footnotes and a long introduction. Thanks to Jung’s grandchildren and the Philemon Foundation, which Martin directs, W.W. Norton will release the book next month.
Finally the dreaming public will be able to peer into Jung’s unconscious, as the book describes his demon-filled journey during which “even the devil criticizes Jung as hateful.” Corbett, who went to Zurich to see the original book, describes the tome’s content as such: “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.” Indeed, this marks a significant moment for the world of dreamers.