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The Red Book: Liber Novus

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  3,045 ratings  ·  212 reviews
When Carl Jung embarked on an extended self-exploration he called it his “confrontation with the unconscious,” the heart of it was The Red Book, a large, illuminated volume he created between 1914 and 1930. Here he developed his principle theories—of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation—that transformed psychotherapy from a practice conce ...more
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published October 7th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2009)
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John Camie NO illustrations in the pictorial sense; However if your searching for your soul this book paints a beautiful, somewhat enigmatic stream of Jung's…moreNO illustrations in the pictorial sense; However if your searching for your soul this book paints a beautiful, somewhat enigmatic stream of Jung's unconscious struggle to integrate the subconscious into consciousness. It's an intellectual tour de force that defines the struggle between reason and science and the irrational nonsense that remains undefined and unknown by the conscience rationality that represses a greater truth. (less)
John Camie This book is written in English with some phrases in Latin. Original work was hand written in German. Young was born in Sweden.

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Nov 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't sleep last night, as inspired as I was having begun to read Carl Jung's Liber Novus, his "Red Book." My first impression is that this is a massive tome; at 16x12x2'' it is easily the largest book I've ever laid hand on, and just turning the pages takes a substantial effort. But it's well worth it.

The Liber Novus is Jung's account of his decades long process of psychological and subconscious self experimentation, through a technique called "active imagination;" a process that he clai
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystics and soul searchers
Only a few books read in a lifetime actually change you. Can you honestly say you are a different person after the work is absorbed? I feel that my cells have been re-charged with a new vitality.

The Red Book is a lovingly inscribed and illustrated account of a deep inner journey into the heart of god, spirituality, mythology, and primarily the depths that Jung called the Shadow. Within only a few pages I was struck by many synchronicities - (another term coined by Jung) - specific de
Jul 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished, ideas
This was described when I ordered it as a facsimile edition of Jung's notebooks.
That is not at all the case. It is a typed and annotated version of his text, without the pictures. Since both Jung and the editor are discussing the images, trying to read a book about pictures one hasn't seen seems fairly pointless. The only use I can see for this volume is as a neatly printed read-long for someone who does have a facsimile edition.
Kraig Grady
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Already the Book has broaden my feel for a man whose works i spent 10 years reading. This is 2/3 of the collected works. My dreams intensified by just looking at the paintings of really a remarkable and underrated visual artist. It might be the sequel to Blake's 'Island in the moon' in spirit and not an reference to the style. It changes the meaning of that Blake's work for me. CGJ has always been a path of precognative and synchronistic experience. I don't see how it cannot alter the reader or ...more
Ed Smiley
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea how to rank this book, nor am I even quite sure what the hell I read.

Although I know a little German, I read the accompanying English text. However one thing is certain, the experience was powerful, and the impact of the combination of the hand lettering, calligraphy and the careful illuminations with a bewildering flood of psychic imagery is something not to be forgotten.

Here's a sample:
The noise of the days of the world falls silent and the warming fire blazes insi/>The
An interrupted read--this book is so personal and ephemeral, a blakean diary of personal discovery, completely inside one man's symbol system, written for himself. I'm about a third of the way through the body of the text--there's also a long introduction. It's already inspired me to go back to keeping a dream journal, to think of what my own 'red book' would be. Dream life has become extremely active. But it lacks any quality of suspense or forward motion. I have a friend who has the big book-- ...more
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing

"All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination." CG JUNG

Beautiful Beautiful book. Jung was truly a talented man, who was and is respected in his field.

Some people have left negative reviews regarding the packaging. It is a big big book, but It needs to be to show the plates that is Jungs own handwriting. I wouldn't have it any other way. In saying that tho it is awkward. Maybe the publishers should have included a small
Nov 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Opening this book is like entering a magical world of wonders. It is an adventure in and of itself.
I am so glad the public can finally see this notebook.
I even think the size serves the purpose: a very large volume comparable to some kind of rare Medieval book that you would need a beautifully ornate lectern for!!!

And then there is the text, illuminated as it is... it is more powerful.
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Yes, for us Carl Jung fans this book is the Grail, but really it is kind of a let down. Aesthetically this book is the revelation all of us hoped it would be. The paper, the typography, the reproductions are scrumptious. (Yes, I ate them.)

But there is a little bit of the presentation that leaves me head scratching. There is sort of this "introduction to Carl Jung," section and I think to myself, why would anyone interested in this book need an introduction to Carl Jung? And let's be serious: th
Ştefan Bolea
Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Clearly Nietzschean, inspired by esoteric Christianity, alchemy and Tarot and written by a spirit different (perhaps stronger) than Nietzsche. Some of Jung's ideas are delelopped in Meyrink's work as well. A piece of experimental psychology with a touch of Medievalism in it. I'm not very fond of the parodical and satirical pages.
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist, myth
Although I believe the effect of and my opinion of this book will better develop over time, I can convey a basic imprint. Jung created this book over several decades, nurturing it with the same care and privacy as one gives to their diary. Few people read it during his lifetime, though some tailored excerpts made there way into others of his publications. The writing tone of this work highly contrasts that of his books and lectures, being more an attempt at creative literature or myth, much in t ...more
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interested in symbolism, mythology and archetypes, I started reading Jung in my 20's. When this book came out, I had to own it, despite the price and its huge size. The timing is good for me, being in my early 50's and trying to let go of whom I think (or others think) I should be, versus being who I am. This book was Jung's personal diary as he struggled with integrating his own 'dark side' and was kept from publication by his family for many years. Just the act of reading it - propped awkwardl ...more
Sophie Fletcher
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A totally unexpected present from my mother who can now do no wrong. It's a gorgeous book, the paper is sublime and the images beautifully, exquisitely printed. Divine in both senses of the word. This is by far the most precious book in my library and I doubt whether much else could usurp it.
J. Sparks
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the most important documents of the soul of the twentieth century. For anyone interested in psychology it is a must-read.
Joseph Mccaleb
Mar 21, 2011 is currently reading it
What an amazing book! The historical background, the high-quality copy of original calligraphy & drawings, the interpretive notes, and, of course, the penetrations of Jung during his descent into the soul. From opening pages: "The spirit of the depths has subjugated all pride and arrogance to the power of judgment. He took away my belief in science, he robbed me of the joy of explaining and ordering things, and he let devotion to the ideals of this time die out in me. he forced me down to th ...more
Yelda Basar Moers
Would you like to take a spiral staircase down to the realm of the soul? Because in a nutshell that is what Jung has done in these pages.

Jung is popularly known for coining the term "synchronicity” and he is the founder of analytical psychology. I first heard about The Red Book many years ago when it was featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. I read the article and was left fascinated.

In The Red Book, Jung has willingly entered into the realm of the unconscious and in
Carbis Tribe
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Astounding. I found myself investing a lot of myself into Jung's journey through the unconscious, and like many other reviewers, have found myself affected on a deep level after taking the journey. A deep, mesmerising account of the figures and archetypes met by Jung, over the course of several years, a combination of visions, dreams, fantasies and allegory woven together into a rich, moving, living work. This is not like most of Jung's work, so anybody expecting an analytical or "clinical" appr ...more
Donald Scott
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautifully produced books I've ever seen, held and read. It really is an extraordinary work of art and its content gives an insight into the mind and spirit of someone who guided societies emerging ideas about what constitutes the Mind as opposed to the Brain.

Gorgeous. It is now a family heirloom.... that I open up like a poetry book and drink in it's extraordinary imagery:

'The noise of the days of the world falls silent and the warming fire blazes inside. ...more
Megan Wight
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What dead souls lie under your sunken tired eyes? What true selves have you let die within yourself? -Carl Jung
I’ll bring this book with me in my heart for the rest of my life. Some of the time I think I needed to be able to read Jung's mind, but eventually the bits that came together were lovely. This book, by carl jung is about his own journey through depression while trying to treat himself, and hover over his own psychosis without letting it take over his mind completely. What a gift
Lindsay Moore
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book publishes a large, unknown collection of paintings that the psychologist Carl Jung painted in the privacy of his study during the closing decades of his life. They represent an immense contribution to students of depth psychology and the spirit in that they dimensionalize his concept of the "archetypes" and the "collective unconscious" to a terrifying extent. The book reproduces Dr. Jung's handwritten German manuscript, but much of it is well introduced for those who do not read German ...more
Alyson Hagy
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A titanic, original composition by a titanic, original mind. The paintings are fascinating. The pages and pages of gorgeous, careful, and strange calligraphy are captivating. Jung had his own reasons for chronicling his dreams and visions. For me, decades later, perusing this book made me rethink some of my own premises about what constitutes fiction and how the imagination can work. THE RED BOOK isn't for everyone. But if you're the least bit curious about Jung, archetypes, or your own unconsci ...more
Ann Gimpel
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book. After reading most of Jung's voluminous writings, which (other than MDR) tended to be scholarly works, the personal touches in The Red Book Liber Novus, made Jung come alive for me. In many ways it validates my choice of depth psychology for a career. Jung was a mystic and a visionary. I think this book is almost required reading for anyone who wants to study the man and his work.
Malak Czar
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The secret in this book.>>

Amazing and deeply inspiring
Carole Brooks Platt
I first bought the large edition with its facsimiles of Jung's artwork and calligraphy. Truly, I was mesmerized (and bewildered) by the colorful artwork and precise calligraphy in both German and Latin. I tried to read Sonu Shamadasani's introduction in the back of the book, but it was too large to manipulate. Finally, someone clued me in that a Reader's Edition existed. This was manageable and utterly essential to my marking the important parts of the text and underlining Shamadasani's introduc ...more
Francesco D'Isa
The Red Book by Carl Gustav Jung

To all appearances, the work of an exorcist possessed by the devil: theological scrolls and mythological delusions abound in this inspired manuscript, filled with alchemical symbols and mandalas. Left unpublished until 2009, for fear it would ruin Jung's reputation (I don't even know) at last we can enjoy the best graphic novel of all time.

Plot: “Sometimes we accomplish our greatest deeds in dreams." It's true and he proves it.

Sophie Sepe
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read...not just a coffee table book but something to savor if you are a fan of Jungian theory or just simply curious. Beautiful presentation and easy translation of this liber novus. One of my favorite recent purchases.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So profound, so magical.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure: I read the English translation version but also own the leather bound version with the full color sketches. An amazing glimpse into the dreams of Carl Jung, beyond anything I expected.
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read an article about this book and Carl Jung in the New York Times Magazine, and I'm dying to read it now. This is a facsimile of a book that Jung wrote and illustrated in which he recorded his dreams and visions when he went through some sort of psychotic breakdown, and it sounds both completely bizarre and absolutely fascinating. If you look at the book on Amazon, you can see some of the images; they look like something out of a cross between Lord of the Rings and some ancient and obscure r ...more
Katherine Collins
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirit
There are several reasons to check out this (gigantic, costly) book. First, it is physically beautiful, resembling a 15th century illuminated Bible more than a philosopher’s journal. Second, it is a rare chance to see the source material of a great thinker’s work. Jung himself said of this period, “the years when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life… the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.” Interestingly, though the entire book is thick with r ...more
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Carl Gustav Jung (/jʊŋ/; German: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf jʊŋ]), often referred to as C. G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, l ...more
“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life...If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature...Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.” 385 likes
“My soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you - are you there? I have returned, I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you again. Should I tell you everything I have seen, experienced, and drunk in? Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world? But one thing you must know: the one thing I have learned is that one must live this life. Do you still know me? How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you? How strange my journey was! What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you? Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul. How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long disavowed soul. Life has led me back to you. Let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy, for every sadness. My soul, my journey should continue with you. I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude.” 73 likes
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