Red Book – Carl Gustav Jung

Between 1915 and c.1930, Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung recorded his imaginative experiences with his ‘Red Book’. The book was 600 pages of ink and paint quality paper: Jung filled approximately a third of these pages with text and illustrations of ‘inner images’. He referred to this work as an experiment where he confronted his own imagination with a creative interpretation that he named ‘visions’ and ‘fantasies’ of his existence. Jung claimed that his whole life had consisted of elaborating the visions that had come forth from his unconscious and therefore the Red Book is an example of a conscious mind revealing its own unrecognized, imaginative capacity.

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Jung’s theory on dreaming is that dreams are a natural expression of the dreamer’s internal mental world. The difference between Jung’s claims and the dream theory belonging to Sigmund Freud is that Jung rejected the ideology of dream analysis: that dreams intentionally disguise a deeper meaning of the mental processes. Freud’s dream analysis provides a whole other, extensive and detracting body of imagery definition whereas Jung refers to dreaming as a spontaneous, symbolic portrayal of self and situational consciousness using a symbolic language as the imaginations means of expression.

Internal imagery that we encounter from the unconscious also occurs through entopic phenomena. Entopic, indebted to the words from Greek language: entos (inside) and opsis (seeing), is the experience of the visual stimulus between the eyes and the brain without external input. Evidently, this imagery derives from the imagination and therefore could be argued as another of it’s means of expression. This suggests that the unconscious mind is projecting its imagination during the wakefulness state of consciousness also and consequently, the imagery that I use does not need to remain purely in my dream experiences, much like the Red Books contents: the contents of Jung’s unconscious.


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