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I'd like to invite others to share responses and experiences as we delve together into Jung's Red Book.  We'll begin at the start of Liber Primus and work through the Red Book ten pages a week sharing personal responses to Jung's grand experiment.

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  • Has anyone read "Reading the Red Book" by Sanford L Drob? I just picked up a copy and was curious what others thought of it. Thanks! 

  • Hi Peter,

    Follow this link to get to Robert Bosnak's study group.  It should be fascinating!

    ( starting January 19, 2013. This consists of audio portion with Robert which you listen to plus a correlating study guide; then an online written forum discussion moderated by Robert and two individuals who have studied with him for years.

    ONGOING>SPECIAL STUDY GROUP: Jung's Red Book with Jungian Analyst Robert Bosnak. Join anytime!
    This group starts Jan 19 & consists of 20 pre-recorded lectures of 1.5 hours each +an 88-page study guide. It runs for 40 weeks & includes an o…
  • Hello.  I am wondering if this is the place for the for the special study group, starting Jan 12 for those who are taking Robert Bosnak's 20 session, 40 week seminar on the Red Book?  If not, could someone direct me there?

    Thank you, Peter Scanlan

  • “Can you not wait?  Should everything fall into your lap ripe and finished?  You are full, yes, you teem with intentions and desirousness!---Do you still not know that the way to truth stands open only to those without intentions?  . . . .  We should grow like a tree that likewise does not know its law.  We tie ourselves up with intentions, not mindful of the fact that intention is the limitation, yes the exclusion of life.  We believe that we can illuminate the darkness with an intention, and in that way aim past the light.  How can we presume to want to know in advance, from where the light will come to us.”  Red Book, pgs. 236, 237


    For me, these are therapeutic lines that help loosen my ego’s demand that I have a 5 year plan, a 10 year plan, a plan for my whole damn life in order to not waste the precious time I’ve been given.  Brings to mind lines from David Whyte’s poem “What to Remember When Waking”,


    What you can plan

    is too small

    for you to live.


    What you can live


    will make plans

    enough . . . 

  • I think when Jung says nothing happened after the uniting of opposites, he's highlighting the necessity of psychic tension for growth to occur.  And also that there really is no true uniting of opposites as that would obliterate the opposites and nullify the term. He sometimes speaks of holding the tension of the opposites which may be as close as most of us will get and even then, we'll only hold the tension of some of the opposites within our psyche, certainly never all.  I don't know how this awareness changed Jung's physical world.  What would we be looking for here?  Holding the tension, for me, has certainly changed my perception.  

  • So true, Kay.  I'm sure all of us on this site are on inner journeys with similarities to that described by Jung in Red Book.  As for bringing the opposing energies to peace, I'm reminded of an intriguing observation on pg. 319 of RB:

    " . . . after the opposites had been united, quite unexpectedly and incomprehensibly, nothing further happened.  Everything remained in place, peacefully and yet completely motionless, and life turned into a complete standstill."

  • Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation.

    —from "Notes Towards a Supreme Fiction" by Wallace Stevens

  • Yes, the paradox Jung so often speaks to helps break things up a bit for me.  The quote on nonsense being the brother to supreme meaning got me thinking about my tendency to disregard life's "chatter", input that for whatever reason seems superfluous to me.  Especially in reviewing my dream journal though, I've noticed that images and/or scenes that I'd hesitated to even write down because they didn't seem like they "fit", later in the context of further dreams turn out to be significant.  I wonder about how much this happens in other aspects of life -- when "chatter" is overlooked or ignored but really may contain true gold.

  • Could it be that the statement of Jung's itself is nonsense?  Now, how would we feel in pursuing the topic?

    We can get attached to supreme meaning and symbol. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    A full moon is not a meaningful symbol of wholeness, it's a full moon and that's enough. We respond to it whether we have read Jung or not.

    I think Jung helps us break the spell of ego identifications by bringing in paradox so frequently. It can send us nuts but in a good way :)

  • What a great way Jung has with words, thank you for the inquiry, Tamara.

    "Nonsense is the inseparable and undying brother of the supreme meaning."

    I guess one could ask: What part of us is resonating with the words we are reading? Was there an intention set before sitting down to read something like the Red Book? What filters are we aware of?  I know that I have many blinders on.

    One idea is to make room for the whole of it, maybe to be open to what is numinous in our interaction with Jung's journey and images as we read...

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Special Study Group: Jung's Red Book with Jungian Analyst Robert Bosnak Starts January 19, 2013

In case you haven't seen the news, there is a several-months-long SPECIAL STUDY GROUP: Jung's Red Book with Jungian Analyst Robert Bosnak starting January 19, 2013. This consists of audio portion with Robert which you listen to plus a correlating study guide; then an online written forum discussion moderated by Robert and two individuals who have studied with him for years. The info is listed in the Events section here: the Study Group/Discussion portion, as you'll see, is in the group called…

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Rose Holt VIDEO on how Jung wrestled with the scathing voice of the critic in writing the Red Book

Just came across a very interesting video by Jungian Rose F. Holt. In it, she discusses how Jung really wrestled with an inner critic during the writing of the Red Book--a scathing voice that really took him to task and with which he had to enter into relationship and establish boundaries (my words, not hers) so as not to be taken over by it. Its only 4.5 minutes long--You can watch it at

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