Carl Jung was 37 years old when by most accounts he lost his soul. As psychological historian Sonu Shamdasani explained in an interview with the Wall St. Journal recently, Jung had reached a point in 1912 when he’d achieved all of his youthful ambitions but felt that he’d lost meaning in his life, an existential crisis in which he simply neglected the areas of ultimate spiritual concern that were his main motivations in his youth.”
The impact of such a crisis is a small red leather book which took 16 years to write, draw, meditate on issues on high personal significance.
The ‘Liber Novus’ or New Book is filled with drawings of dreams and other unconscious symbolism that evoked from Jung both a reflection on an age ending and the foraging of a new personal identity.
For those with the stomach to find any real cryptic analogue from which to discern all the images drawn ought to understand that Jung never approached analytical psychology in a linear format. But for those willing to seek out a final clue from which to unravel much of the formal symbolic and religious symbolism that is the Liber Novus, I ask that you go to its last page to read the following: “to the superficial observer, it will appear like madness. . . Their wasn’t anything like a psychosis, in fact what emerged during a crippling depression are my groundbreaking theories on archetypes, the collective unconscious and the process of individuation.” This is the interior work one must engage in to become a person or individual.
For those interested, discover “The Red Book of C.G. Jung: Creation of a New Cosmology.”