by Maria Helena Mandacarú Guerra
ISBN 978-1-894574-42-6; $25; paperback (free shipping) or ebook
From the Foreword by Carlos Byington:
The Red Book was always a true legend in the Jungian movement. It was thought to reveal the great secrets of the master’s life. Few people had seen it, but their description of it and the Jung family’s resistance to publishing it, turned it into a true mystery. The fact that we knew the original was in a bank safe in the center of Zurich made it a coveted and irresistible treasure.
Examining the contents of the book, I confirmed the creativity, the originality, and the courage that Jung displayed by writing it, but I did not find properly a plot that could link its content as a whole to an individual myth, to Jung’s process of individuation, to existential details that really characterize life as it is.
It was in this context that I accompanied my wife, Maria Helena, in her serious study of the Red Book, and her discovery of an Ariadne’s thread that suddenly became for me a clear account of an absolutely personal story line, the light and the shadow, charged with seeking, suffering, guilt, and self-realization that we can now see corresponds to what Jung described later as the process of individuation.
Indeed, Jung’s amours have been almost as much of a mystery as the Red Book. I hope the reader has the same pleasure that I had in following the Eros-thread from his wife Emma through his patient Sabina Spielrein to his muse Tony Wolff, and so to the creation of the Red Book as uncovered by Maria Helena in this exciting and unique account of how Jung came to develop the concepts of anima, shadow, Self and individuation.
Now, it would be untrue to say that Jung condoned or encouraged infidelity. However, he did experience it as necessary, in his case, to love more than one woman, with all the attendant guilt and suffering, in order to plumb the depths of his soul. His testament to the reality of the psyche is revealed in his Red Book and explicated here by Maria Helena Guerra.