Answer to Jung: Making Sense of 'The Red Book' (Paperback)
The Red Book is C.G. Jung's record of a period of deep penetration into his unconscious mind in a process that he called 'active imagination', undertaken during his mid-life period. Answer to Jung: Making Sense of 'The Red Book' provides a close reading of this magnificent yet perplexing text and its fascinating images, and demonstrates that the fantasies in The Red Book are not entirely original, but that their plots, characters and symbolism are remarkably similar to some of the higher degree rituals of Continental Freemasonry. It argues that the fantasies may be memories of a series of terrifying initiatory ordeals, possibly undergone in childhood, using altered or spurious versions of these Masonic rites. It then compares these initiatory scenarios with accounts of ritual trauma that have been reported since the 1980s. This is the first full-length study of The Red Book to focus on the fantasies themselves and provide such an external explanation for them.
Sonu Shamdasani describes The Red Book as an incomplete task that Jung left to posterity as a 'message in a bottle' that would someday come ashore. Answer to Jung brings its message to shore, providing a coherent, but disturbing, interpretation of each of the fantasies and their accompanying images.