Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Process of Individuation: Active Imagination

Upon reading the Red Book: 

My long process of understanding this world through my own visions, nightmares and engagements with my unconscious, as well as experiencing daytime visions, is known through Jung's philosophies as the process of individuation. The process of individuation occurs when we engage with the deeper energies of our being/soul and engage the mythic imagery that emerges from our own subconscious. Trying to understand the energies behind my recurring nightmares as well as the dark revelations through my life has led me to create the world I have rendered in my novel. The characters, places and events that come into form within the pages of Parallel Earth are but deeper reflections of my understanding of the Mythic and Mystic phenomenon taking place around us every day. And even though the Novel is character driven, as all mythologies are, because they must be understood through the human experience in order to translate, each character serves as an anchor-point by which a particular ideology and philosophy of life can be identified.

More than anything, the process of understanding the world around me on my own terms has proven liberating. It is my hope that anyone who breaches the pages of "Parallel Earth: Advent of Evil" will find a way to obtain a deeper understanding of self through the characters they become involved with. To sum things up, this marks my confrontation with the unconscious. During this almost thirteen year period, I have developed my theories of archetypes, the collective unconscious, and understood my own intimate process of individuation.[9]

The Red Book, also known as Liber Novus (Latin for New Book), is a 205-page manuscript written and illustrated by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung between approximately 1914 and 1930, which was not published or shown to the public until 2009. Until 2001, his heirs denied scholars access to the book, which he began after a falling-out with Sigmund Freud in 1913. Jung originally titled the manuscript Liber Novus (literally meaning A New Book in Latin), but it was informally known and published as The Red Book.[1] The book is written in calligraphic text and contains many illuminations.

Jung referred to the episode as a kind of experiment, a voluntary confrontation with the unconscious.[4] Biographer Barbara Hannah, who was close to Jung later in his life, compared Jung's experiences to the encounter of Menelaus with Proteus in the Odyssey. Jung, she said, "made it a rule never to let a figure or figures that he encountered leave until they had told him why they had appeared to him."[5]
About the Red Book, Jung said:
"The years… when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.[6]"
The work is inscribed by Jung with the title Liber Novus (The New Book). The folio size manuscript, 11.57 inches (29 cm) by 15.35 inches (39 cm), was bound in a red leather binding, and was commonly referred to as the "Red Book" by Jung. Inside are 205 pages of text and illustrations, all from his hand: 53 are full images, 71 contain both text and artwork and 81 are pure calligraphic text.[7] He began work on it in 1913, first in small black journals, during a difficult period of "creative illness", or confrontation with theunconscious, and it is said to contain some of his most personal material.[8] During the sixteen years he worked on the book, Jung developed his theories of archetypescollective unconscious, and individuation.[9]

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