Proposal Letter

Book Project: Jung’s Red Book for Our Time

Many people today share the impression that we live in a historical phase of global volatility combined with deep uncertainty about the future. Most probably this uneasy feeling will linger for years to come. The problem is that we do not understand sufficiently the global transformation process we have entered into beginning many years ago, as already registered and reflected by Jung in the early 20th Century in the Red Book.

Some people have speculated that the publication of The Red Book in 2009 was a synchronistic event. The timing was extraordinary. When Jung embarked on his inner journey of soul searching, he found himself in similarly volatile times. Turning inward, he created a work that gave his work and his life a sense of meaning and direction with broad cultural significance. We are convinced that this work offers us guidance in our present turbulent and uncertain times. Today, we could speculate, the Red Book has enormous potential for becoming an epochal opus for a world living in the postmodern condition of the 21st century. Thus its publication at this time was unexpectedly meaningful.

The focus of our book project, Jung’s Red Book for Our Time, lies not primarily in looking backward into the personal biographical issues that Jung faced in his own life as he composed the work but rather in considering how the Red Book may be of use to the present and future generations of people who are disoriented and in need of psychological guidance for themselves, individually and culturally. To this end we would like the essays in the book to reflect on questions like the following (among others): Can Jung’s Red Book help us to meaningfully navigate through the rough waters we find ourselves in today individually, professionally, politically, and culturally? What are the “spirits of this time” today, and how can the “spirit of the depths” be found in a way that is meaningful in our contemporary world? Does the Red Book help us possibly to formulate a new worldview and god image in order to sustain people in the present crisis the world finds itself in?

With your help, we want to evaluate the importance of the Red Book for our times and its potential value as a resource in our post-modern world. Essays may range in perspective from the clinical and therapeutic, to the cultural, to the literary, to the religious and spiritual, to the political, to the economic, and beyond. Whatever domain the Red Book touches with useful and transformative impact may be included in these reflections.

We are happy to have you on board for this project and look forward to receiving your contributions.

Warm regards and thanks,

Murray Stein

Thomas Arzt

This letter was referenced in Episode 49