#577 Chuck’s Place: The Real Value of The Red Book

Welcome to Chuck’s Place, where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences! Many of the shamanic and psychological terms used in Chuck’s essays are defined in Tools & Definitions on our Psychotherapy website.

When I think about the upcoming publication of The Red Book I experience a warm tender glow inside my heart. Carl Jung’s deeply personal journey is being shared with the world, a journey that unearthed the structure and dynamics of the psyche, but most importantly offered modern man a path to both heal and realize the mission of his soul.

I must admit, seeing The Red Book as the Holy Grail and bringing it to New York City for public display at a museum before it returns to its vault beneath the earth in a Swiss bank is a bit bizarre to me. This projection of The Red Book as some kind of holy book or piece of art worthy of public display would make Jung cringe. His intent, I believe, in not destroying the book before he died was to offer it, at the right time, to a future generation to learn how to take the inner journey.

We live in a time of felt-powerlessness at the forces being enacted upon the world stage. “What can I do? How can I make a difference?” we ponder. “It is beyond me, it’s destiny, overwhelming,” and so we retreat. Now that’s a start. Perhaps we are gifted with a depression as well. This is nature calling us inward, inviting us to take the journey, to heal ourselves and heal the world. We are the world. The identical forces that rule the world operate within us. If we can discover, then own, then reckon and reconcile with them, then the world evolves.

The journey Jung took changed the world. Every individual in the world has the opportunity to take their own inner journey to heal themselves and heal the world. This is ultimate empowerment.

“Where is my inner terrorist, my inner abuser, tyrant, lover, mother, father, etc.? Who is in control? Who in the world can’t I stop thinking about, feeling about? Why?” We must search for the true meaning behind our compulsions. Compulsions are one language of the psyche. They connect us to reflections of our inner world.

Everything is meaningful. Of course we want to get rid of our depressions and compulsions that we might live calm productive, fulfilling lives, but if we simply chemically manipulate our neurotransmitters we fail to decipher our psyche’s communications and must suffer new symptoms, signs offered once again to lead us to meaning and healing.

Through Jung’s own inner journey, which is documented in The Red Book, we learn the art of active imagination, where we can consciously communicate with our psyche, whereby relieving our bodies of symptoms, and our psyches of compulsions, as we directly reconcile with the forces of our soul.

As usual, should anyone wish to write, I can be reached at: chuck@riverwalkerpress.com or feel free to post a comment.

Until we meet again,

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