Jung in Love: The Mysterium in Liber Novus

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Love was the great mystery in C. G. Jung's life. His confrontation with love for a woman and a feminine soul animated the composition of Jung's great Red Book, the book he formally titled Liber Novus.

C. G. Jung's relationships with women during these central years of life have generated several commentaries and critiques. But the power and depth of love has figured little in most of the romances about this period patched together by biographers, dramatists, and psychoanalysts. In consequence, a crux experience of Jung's life has been miscast and little understood.

Three decades after the events chronicled in his Red Book, C. G. Jung turned to writing a commentary on the still hidden records. In Jung in Love, Lance Owens illustrates how Jung's four last books -- his "last quartet" of major works published after 1945 -- are summary statements about his experiences during the years he labored with Liber Novus.

Owens illustrates how in the first volume of this "last quartet" -- The Psychology of the Transference, published in 1946 -- Jung employed a sixteenth-century alchemical text to provide context for what is in fact a statement about his own experience with love recounted both in his private journals and in Liber Novus.

Based on long-sequestered documentary sources, Jung in Love offers a balanced and historically contextualized account of Jung's relationships with four women during the years that led him into the visionary experiences recorded in the Red Book: Emma Jung-Rauschenbach, Sabina Spielrein, Maria Moltzer and Toni Wolff.

Jung in Love - The Mysterium in Liber Novus was originally published as a chapter in Das Rote Buch - C. G. Jungs Reise zum anderen Pol der Welt, ed. Thomas Arzt (Verlag Königshausen & Neumann, 2015). This English monograph edition adds illustrations and minor corrections to the previously published edition.

C. G. Jung on Love (from Jung in Love - The Mysterium in Liber Novus):

It is my misfortune that I cannot live without the joy of love, of tempestuous, ever-changing love in my life.
- 1908, Letter to Sabina Spielrein

Salome loves me, do I love her? I hear wild music, a tambourine, a sultry moonlit night, the bloody-staring head of the holy one - fear seizes me.
- 1914, Liber Novus

Who exhausts the mystery of love? ... There are those who love men, and those who love the souls of men, and those who love their own soul. Such a one is PHILEMON, the host of the Gods.
- 1914, Liber Novus

What occurs between the lover and the beloved is the entire fullness of the Godhead. Both are unfathomable riddles to each other. For who understands the Godhead?
- 1920, Black Book Journal

The problem of love seems to me a monster of a mountain which, for all my experience, has always soared to still greater heights whenever I thought I had almost reached the top.
- 1922, Letter to Theodor Bovet

I falter before the task of finding the language which might ade- quately express the incalculable paradoxes of love.
- 1961, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

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