Source: Library of Congress

An Introduction to Jung’s Red Book

Fascinating insights into the mind of Carl Jung

Lance Baker
3 min readJan 5, 2023

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The Red Book, also known as Liber Novus, is a handwritten and illustrated manuscript created by Swiss psychologist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung between 1914 and 1930. The Red Book is a highly personal and deeply symbolic work, and it is considered by many to be one of the most important and influential documents in the history of psychology and psychoanalysis.

The Red Book is essentially a record of Jung’s own psychological journey and self-exploration during a time of intense personal and professional turmoil. In 1913, Jung experienced a major psychological crisis, which he described as a “confrontation with the unconscious.” This crisis was marked by vivid dreams, hallucinations, and other psychological phenomena, and it led Jung to embark on a period of intense self-exploration and self-discovery.

It is divided into two main sections. The first section, titled “Liber Primus,” contains a series of written reflections and meditations on Jung’s psychological experiences and insights. The second section, titled “Liber Secundus,” contains a series of illustrations and paintings that depict Jung’s inner world and the archetypes and symbols that emerged from his unconscious.

One of the key themes of The Red Book is the idea of the unconscious, which is a fundamental concept in Jung’s psychology. According to Jung, the unconscious is not simply a collection of repressed memories and impulses, but is instead a vast and complex realm of the psyche that contains our deepest thoughts, feelings, and desires. The unconscious is the source of our creativity and our spiritual yearnings, and it is through our engagement with the unconscious that we can achieve self-awareness and personal growth.

In his understanding of the unconscious, Jung believed that it was a vast and complex realm of the psyche that contained our deepest thoughts, feelings, and desires. Unlike Sigmund Freud, who viewed the unconscious as a repository for repressed memories and impulses, Jung believed that the unconscious was the source of our creativity and spiritual yearnings. He also believed that it was through our engagement with the unconscious that we could achieve self-awareness and personal growth. Jung’s concept of the…

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Lance Baker

A fellow observer on the journey through life. Trying to cultivate a deeper way of being in the world.