Read, and reread and reread and reread (ad nauseam), so much so that this tattered, dog-eared copy is bound for the recycling bin, duct tape and all, yet the yellowed pages inside still feel and smell of a lifetime well spent.
Promoting this as the second most informative introduction a layperson could find regarding Jung’s work and study, I place this close behind Memories, Dreams and Reflections.
Chapter 1 (Approaching The Unconscious) is entirely his thoughts, prompted by a desire to speak plainly to the uninformed in language anyone can understand, so that his message can be heard by all.
Chapters 2-5 are by Joseph L. Henderson, M.-L. von Franz, Aniela Jaffe and Jolande Jacobe.
None of this is a waste of time to read… after all, it might even help to understand ourselves.
Man today is painfully aware of the fact that neither his great religions nor his various philosophies seem to provide him with those powerful animating ideas that would give him the security he needs in the face of the present condition of the world.
I know what the Buddhists would say: Things would go right if people would only follow the “noble eightfold path” of the Dharma (doctrine, law) and had true insight into the Self. The Christian tells us that if only people had faith in God, we should have a better world. The rationalist insists that if people were intelligent and reasonable, all our troubles would be manageable. The trouble is that none of them solve these problems himself.
Christians often ask why God does not speak to them, as he is believed to have done in former days. When I hear such questions, it always makes me think of the rabbi who was asked how it could be that God often showed himself to people in the olden days while nowadays nobody ever sees him. The rabbi replied: “Nowadays there is no longer anybody who can bow low enough.”
This answer hits the nail on the head. we are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks to us chiefly through dreams and visions.
First published in 1968, this little literary gem has gone though countless printings, of which the one pictured is the 17th Laurel Edition.