Re: Jung, The Red Book
Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 5:44 pm
For me November will probably be the best month, as I will work intensively with my post doc plan in August-October, and in July I'm still working with the PhD.
Discussion Forum - Keskustelufoorumi
This is the list so far.obnoxion wrote: - Jiva (June)
- Benemal (?)
- Insanus (anything goes)
- obnoxion (?)
- Nefasto (?)
- Wyrmfang (November)
- Astraya (December)
I am familiar with the general contents of the Red Book, and I own the large illustrated edition, but I have not read it yet. The Red Book is an early work, and most of the writings that Jung is best known for is written after the Red Book (which wasn't meant to be published). Before the Red Book, much of Jung's work was concentrated on clinical psychiatrics with schizophtenic patients, and his collaboration and separation with Freud.Benemal wrote:Some have read it before, at least obnoxion has, so do you remember, if there was a part of the book concerning art? Maybe that's for me to try to understand. Funny thing is though, I've never read a book about art. I'm sure Jung has a theory about that as well.
I was just looking at pictures of paintings by Yves Tanguy, and though I have enjoyed reading some theory and critic that aims to explain something of it, it is the unspeakable of it that gives it life and enchantment. So perhaps the best way to agree if we understood Yves Tanguy the same way, would be to find or manufacture an experience that would have a similar atmosphere of simultanous serenity and threat. So I do agree that the deepest thoughts on art are in the making of it.Benemal wrote:Just in case Jung inspires further conversation about art, I'll mention, that I'm not an expert. Making art isn't theoretical and doesn't require reading books.
The long quotes from Isaiah, with which the first chapter begins, do set a messianic mood. The major theme of the quotes (Isaiah 53: 1 – 4; 9:6; 35: 1 - 8) seems to be the quintessential unexpectedness of the Messianic spirit. (The word “unexpected”, I feel, might be exchanged to “antinomian”, but I would hesitate to use it because the word has well-nigh lost its meaning from over-use by modern Western LHP). The Book of Isaiah is quite full of such descriptions of unexpectedness, and they have been highlighted in the Jewish Sabatean movements (see, for example, Gershom Scholem’s “The Messianic Idea in Judaism” (Scocken, 1995), the chapter “Redemption through Sin”, pages 78 – 141). The verses quoted by Jung from Isaiah describe it as an unnoticeable plant growing right in front of us, but not seen or appreciated, or even actively rejected. The more antinomian quote would be the strange deed and alien worship attached to the messianic spirit in Isaiah (28:21).Jiva wrote:I mentioned this exaggeration earlier in the thread, but I think this opening chapter contains an example that sets ‘the way of what is to come’, albeit not an especially explicit one. The chapter concerns the relationship of the spirit of this time and the spirit of the depths – the former is clearly the conscious, rational, scientific mind that replaced god when Nietzsche declared his death; whereas the latter is clearly the unconscious and irrational mind lurking beneath the surface. The spirit of this time attempts to persuade Jung that he is the supreme image of god and to ignore the everyday inferiority of the spirit of the depths. Jung initially complies by hiding behind the highest star (of conscious reason) yet comes to consider the spirit of the depths as the true ruler of world affairs after his visions and dreams regarding WWI.* Sufficiently impressed, Jung’s faith in the spirit of this time is lessened.
No longer fully aligned with the spirit of this time, Jung concludes the chapter by stating that he is largely ignorant, that there is no single way, and that he “will be no saviour, no lawgiver, no master teacher”. Indeed, Jung quite obviously references Nietzsche to emphasise the overman as an endless journey and not a single final destination. Yet the chapter begins with selected passages from the Bible that herald the coming of the messiah and draws to an end with Jung attempting to singlehandedly provide a remedy for WWI. For me, the contradiction is so jarring that I think it must be deliberately ironic, especially as Jung either forgets or hasn’t learned this wisdom later in ‘The Magician’ when he declares himself to be a god of absolute knowledge.
It’s mentioned in the footnotes that, anticipating the war, Jung returns to Switzerland in parallel with a friend whom Jung considers foolish and lacking insight. Yet, despite Jung picking the rational route, the friend returns to Switzerland quicker; ergo, Jung is still prioritising his conscious mind to the detriment of the unconscious, thereby missing any insights it might have. In some ways, as Jung’s friend precedes his predominantly conscious mind in returning to Switzerland, he could be interpreted as having caused the war itself – i.e., Jung’s friend is the spirit of the depths. In any case, despite the intelligence of his conscious mind, Jung has no idea what his supposed remedy for WWI actually is – after all, he has little insight into the cause – and, of course, it doesn’t remedy the outbreak of war, neither in his dream nor in reality.