Carl Jung’s The Red Book (Liber Novus): Art From The Unconscious

Carl Jung’s Red Book, or Liber Novus recounts and comments upon the Swiss physician and psychologist’s imaginative experiences between 1913 -16.  Jung’s work on The Red Book began directly after his relationship with mentor and colleague Sigmund Freud came to an acrimonious halt in 1913.  In the book, Jung documented his ‘voluntary confrontation with the unconscious through willful engagement of the “mythopoetic imagination”.  Among the contents of the book were a number of drawings, illustrations and calligraphies which Jung brought forth from his unconscious.

“The years… when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.” –Carl Jung, in conversation with Aniela Jaffe about the Red Book, 1957

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