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C.G. Jung & Hermann Hesse Paperback – January 1, 1997
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_This is not some collection of trivial exchanges- from the first meeting with both men the tone of the conversations were deep and significant. As the author says, it was like he had known both men before and they were resuming an old discussion. Hess himself commented on it and said that, "Here, only the right guests meet. This is the Hermetic Circle...." Sounds rather like Jung's concept of synchronicity, though Jung also speaks of Hermetic links with past and future in these discussions.
_While both sections cover a remarkable amount of the core meaning of the life work of both men, there is also a personal sense here. You feel like you are meeting them yourself, are also guests in their houses. Not that the ideas are all rehash either- here and there something new pops up. An example would be how in one of the interviews with Jung the discussion turned to how both the ancient Greeks and the Native Americans both thought from their hearts and not their heads. Thinking exclusively from one's head is the result of dissociation between ego and Self- and sets up a tension that may tear a person or culture to pieces. In any case, you feel that you know both men. Of course, Hesse's novels were autobiographical in the deepest sense (and it is reaffirming to know that he actually was an accurate reflection of his characters- it wasn't just a show.) As for Jung, he states outright that he wrote primarily for his own process of individuation and that the fact that so many others read him made him frankly uncomfortable.Read more ›
Serrano later fixated on Adolph Hitler, so there certainly seems to be a germanic bent that he followed. Read Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity to see the strange path the author took after his encounters with Hesse and Jung.
Author of "William Everson: The Shaman's Call"
It has been said by many Jungian's that Jung's attitude was not aesthetic, but with the recent publication of his Red Book, it is clear that he was a skilled artist, a calligrapher and also a poet. The early misunderstanding by Jungians about his basic psychological attitude towards art has much to do with Jung's own judgments towards the products of his active imagination experiences. He did not view them as art. Miguel Serrano was one of the first friends of Jung who saw through his empirical and scientific attitude to the artist underneath. He thought that Jung passed beyond the frontiers of science when he said to Serrano in a reverie: "Somewhere there was once a Flower, a Stone, a Crystal, a Queen, a King, a Palace, a Lover and his Beloved, and this was long ago..." In this marvelous book, which I loved reading many years ago, Serrano says that Jung spoke these words "as though he were in a trance." "Nobody understands what I mean," Jung said to his friend, "only a poet could begin to understand...." (60). Moved by what he had heard, Serrano told Jung: "You are a poet" (61). After his interview with Jung, Serrano began to wonder if there was a "second language" in the process of individuation described by Jung that is "waiting to be discovered" by one of his disciples, an "underlying language" which "is already there as a palimpsest" (64). Serrano felt this hidden aspect of Jung's works needed only to be interpreted by "a priest, a magician or a poet" (64). Serrano captured this latent shamanic meaning in Jung's works, and although he may have mislabeled it as the achievement of a poet, many of Jung's works border on poetry.Read more ›
Unfortunately Serrano has now passed beyond this world, but his spirit lives on, forever part of the Hermetic Circle he writes of in this wonderful book.
Frank McShane, who was a friend of Serrano, has rendered it brilliantly into English, but despite its accessibility few will ever read it, partly for reasons Serrano himself mentions on the very first page: "Even today, I would go half-way round the world to find a book if I thought it essential to my needs, and I have a feeling of absolute veneration for those few authors who have given me something special. For this reason I can never understand the tepid youth of today who wait for books to be given to them and who neither search nor admire."
Today, of course, few even read at all, and especially not writing like this, so saturated in meaning and magic, and filled with synchronicity, from the bee sting that caused Hesse to be at home when Serrano first visited him to the lightning bolt which struck Jung's favourite tree the night of his death.
People who believe the universe is a dead machine will laugh at this book...but let them. Serrano already mentions them in a chapter called 'The Dream': "They were untroubled by doubt and had no concern for vital essences. [...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Added tinder to an old inspiration. A perfect accompaniment on my voyage from Puno to the Sacred Valley, in search of the ways of the ancients. Read morePublished 28 days ago
After finally buying this book, which had been sitting in my wish list for over a year, I find myself disappointed in what I imagined it to be a more objective account of the ideas... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a classic. Serreno interviews both Jung and Hesse separately. Both men are in advanced old age at the time, both residents of Switzerland. Read morePublished 11 months ago by fremont
Hermann Hesse is one of my all time favorite writers. Had a huge impact on my life. Carl Jung naturally added to this with his complementary philosophy and psychology. Read morePublished 19 months ago by majesticnarwhale
The only evidence I've found for the truth of Serrano's claim to be best friends with C.G. Jung is that photograph on Google Images with an old Dr Jung sat on a chair, looking up... Read morePublished 21 months ago by a badly positioned hole near centre of chariot wheel
This is a beautifully written book that reveals Serrano’s talents as a writer and poet. He was a man of many skills and accomplishments and a friend of many famous men in both Asia... Read morePublished on March 28, 2014 by JohnMac
I read this book and really enjoyed the intimate details about Miguel's meeting with Hesse and Jung - I have been a Hesse fan most my life. Read morePublished on December 23, 2012 by truthseeker