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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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  • "Nonsense is the inseparable and undying brother of the supreme meaning." (Pg. 230, top left column)

    When I'm reading, I underline what resonates with me, what makes sense that I don't want to forget.  What is "nonsensical", rambling, meaningless to me, in my habitual haste, I gloss over, certainly do not underline, and probably never come back to again.  With limited time, I often do the same when working with dream scenarios -- highlight what seems meaningful and give short shrift to "non-coherent" parts.  

    I ask myself, particularly in light of the above quote, what am I missing in discounting the nonsense?  How can I, practically speaking, make more room for "nonsense"?  Love to hear comments on this or any other Red Book topic or quote.  

  • It does seem true that when I've gotten into an identification with some aspect of my life, that's when I begin to feel shaky and anxious that something will rock that foundation.  When I find myself clinging, it's a signal that I've slipped into unconscious patterns and, like Colin says, re-evaluation and sacrifice of what's comfortable may be in order.  Although this is so much easier said than done . . . Then I think along the lines of David's comment and realize that a small daily sacrifice of ego in my insular world is not asking so much of myself and ultimately is required whether voluntarily or otherwise.

  • I can really relate to this quote from The Red Book and what Jung is talking about. Sacrifice to me is just pure psychological reality. One that can be very scary for a lot of people who have a very powerful, Persona or even I well established Ego that is resisting conscious or unconscious change. I can personally relate to this with my current life regarding my religious and theological views which are a huge part of my personality. Just when you feel you have created a foundation for yourself, an identity and something rocks that foundation, you begin to reevaluate yourself. For me sacrifice is something a healthy Ego must go through to mature and grow. That would be my take on the quote. 

  • The exploration of sacrifice for Jung had profound meaning as he had foreknowledge of what was to come in Europe.

    As I read about the 18 yr old Tibetan monk burning himself to death in  protest against the Chinese invasion, the sacrifice of journalists in Syria.... and on and on it goes, I realize how insulated I am from these world events.

    Sacrifice is an act made sacred in service to wholeness. For me, ego is sacrificed on a daily basis, as is any illusion of bodily perfection as I step into elderhood. 

    I gather you are contrasting the spirit of the depths with the spirit of our times. The latter can be hedonistic and quite out of touch with the call from the deep.

    I'm happy to see this ball rolling again.

  • Some of us have already read the Red Book and others are somewhere along the way.  I’d like to start again at the beginning.  Each week, I will post a quote with a comment and invite anyone and everyone to respond either to the quote posted or by posting a new quote and/or comment.  Let’s get the ball rolling again!


    From page 230, “But the spirit of the depths said, “No one can or should halt sacrifice.  Sacrifice is not destruction, sacrifice is the foundation stone of what is to come.”


    This quote took on personal meaning after a couple of my dreams insinuated a sacrifice was needed for my further growth.  My ego has put up tremendous resistance and repeatedly suggests that sacrifice takes the fun out of life.  Yet the sacrifice has led to discoveries unimagined.  The spirit of the times, it seems, would have us believe sacrifice is not necessary for growth.  I’m curious about others’ relationship to sacrifice. 


  • Tamara, As an aside you may enjoy this modern encounter with the green snake. It's a wittily told tale of shamanic healing and whilst a little long, it's too serendipitous to pass up.


  • Thanks, David!  It certainly is an evocative image.

    Sword swallowed in dragon flesh

    limp jaws at my back

    I shake his hand as if to say

    Goodbye and welcome back . . . 

  • Photobucket



    Who is it that tore apart his own heart to unite what has been separated?

    This green monster of a heart

    I am dismembering

    is bleeding all over me now,

    I must maintain my cool.

    Yet I am so small

    and it is so great...


    Image p119, Red Book

  • Wonderful Tamara, you have captured the essence of those images. I will open the book at one of Jung's glorious images  from time to time and allow it to be my muse.

  • pg 96

    Energy grounded,

    energy free, 

    splitting, searching, ripped and torn

    Center loosed in eternity.

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