As Jung approached age 40, he suffered two unexpected visionary episodes that made him fear a psychotic break.
To learn more about himself, Jung began writing in a journal while plunging deeply into his own consciousness, inviting the impulses and images buried for so long to well upward. Scenes, voices, faces, and strange events rolled through his imagination to become the “magma” that crystallized into his version of depth psychology.
Eventually, he took material from these journals, wrote it in calligraphy, added commentaries and colorful paintings, and called the result the Red Book because of its red cover.
Published at last in 2009, the Red Book offers an intimate journey through the labyrinths of Jung’s inner life. All of his later concepts show up there in early form. Furthermore, this remarkable document reveals Jung’s struggle to craft a form of psychological inquiry and practice that could trace the roots of personally felt conflict, dream, and healing in the events of his time.
I recorded these 13 audio commentaries for a semester-length graduate course on the Red Book. Running from 43 minutes to an hour, they include an introduction to the book, biographical information about Jung, comparisons of parallels between his time and ours, and chapter-by-chapter interpretations of difficult material, psychological ideas, and cultural references in this epochal text.
Note: you must be able to play .m4a files.