69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
An Encounter with Mana,
This review is from: The Red Book (Philemon) (Hardcover)
I finished the Red Book last night. It is a magnificent book of power. Here, you will find a side of the chameleon Jung that cannot be found in any of his Collected Works, his published Seminars, or his published Letters (all of which I have read). The only book that sometimes points, tonally, in this direction is Memories, Dreams, Reflections. The Red Book unleashes Jung the Poet, Jung the Painter, Jung the Prophet, and Jung the Shamanic Explorer and Revealer of the depths. Combined with his previously published oeuvre, the Liber Novus demonstrates the remarkably large personality that Jung was, and his cultural importance for our time.
My first impression in browsing the book, examining the vividly detailed art work and calligraphy was that the Red Book is reminiscent of the Book of Kells, or medieval Islamic or Christian Illuminated Manuscripts. As a previous reviewer mentioned, this book has a Presence. It generates a circle of energy, a power that can't be missed. It renews a respect for the printed book, so long second nature to educated humans, which can be forgotten in this age of digital media. The dust jacket has a sort of cheap look and feel, so I immediately was a bit put off; however, the quality of the pages, the color and vividness of the art work and the printing left me amazed that the Philemon Foundation could sell the book at the price they do and hope to make a profit.
Jung's words answer many questions about the development of his personality, his psychology and Active Imagination. Shamdasani's Introduction is outstanding in places, answering other questions and providing very helpful background; in other places it is superficial and some of his statements about Jung's psychology are dubious. It is more effective as an Epilogue than an Introduction, as it sets the wrong tone for this remarkable exploration of the Unconscious. The included Notes (translator and editorial) are interesting but written in high Academese; they feel a bit out of place. Still, Shamdasani, and all those involved, have achieved a tremendous opus, themselves, in releasing this buried treasure.
The Red Book demonstrates, in magnificent, poetic words, and breathtaking, unforgettable imagery, nothing less than the Process of Self-transformation, of Individuation. As Jung says, "the supreme meaning is the path, the way and the bridge to what is to come." In this Book of Mana, Jung reveals that process of creating/finding/building the New Path/Way/Bridge.