Welcome back, folks! This week on the show, my friend Martin Ferretti joins me to analyze psychoanalyst, Carl Jung's legendary self-therapy journals: The Red and Black Books. Both released after his death, The Red Book represents a sizable portion of the Black Books' contents. Large, leather-bound, and full of beautifully haunting paintings and calligraphy of his innermost spiritual turmoil, Jung's Red Book is truly something like a magical tome written by a modern man of science.
The Black Books were the rough journals he kept of nearly twenty years of therapeutic investigation into his dreams, meditations, and trance states. Like a mythological hero speaking to gods and goddesses, angels, even some demons and ghosts, Jung would work himself into an active trance and communicate with his hypnotic archetypes in order to discover epic journeys, tribulations, lessons, and triumphs that actively played roles in his daily life. The story today is almost something like a hard-nosed, disciplined man of science allowing himself to go on one of the truest NeverEnding Stories of all time.
And not only do we discuss Jung's journey of this nature, we also bring up the likes of JRR Tolkien, Dante Alighieri, Wolfgang Goethe, and Manly P Hall, showing how the investigations of our imaginal constructs through art and magick are sometimes the only way to highlight and grab hold of some of our innermost undiscovered drives, instincts, aspirations, and downfalls. Without our dreams, our art, and plans and projects, we would implode under the weight of our un-mined potential. Truly, this is the physics of the situation -- ignore it and see what happens.
People like Jung and Tolkien didn't shoulder the weight of an existential crisis because they thought it might be fun, they did so because they found themselves at a place in their lives where it had become unavoidable. So, rather than avoid it at all costs, they strapped up and dove headfirst into the abyss so that they might tame it!
As Jung himself once wrote, borrowing from Goethe, “This is the fund of unconscious images which fatally confuse the mental patient. But it is also the matrix of a mythopoeic imagination which has vanished from our rational age. Though such imagination is present everywhere, it is both tabooed and dreaded... It is considered the path of error, of equivocation and misunderstanding. I am reminded of Goethe’s words; ‘Now let me dare to open wide the gate/ Past which men’s steps have ever flinching trod.’ …Unpopular, ambiguous, and dangerous, it is a voyage of discovery to the other pole of the world.” Come with me if us want to dive.
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Don't forget! Dive Manual: Empirical Investigations of Mysticism
Martin Ferretti's The Alchemical Mind