Wednesday, January 06, 2010
I picked up a copy of Jung's Alchemical Studies and, while getting my hair done by the amazing Guadalupe Chavarria, an alchemist in his own right for what he can do with a pair of scissors and that "diuturnity of intense imagination" he examined me with when I walked into his shop all shaggy and unshorn in the throes of last minute Christmas browsing, opened this unassuming little white book. Following the experience denoted in the Red Book, Jung devoted the rest of his life to trying to comprehend it. He calls all the other stuff, aside from the Red Book, his attempts at integration. This volume is his exploration of a number of alchemical writings--The Secret of the Golden Flower, the writings of Zosimus and Paracelsus and exploring the alchemical concepts of mercurius and the philosophical tree.
Jungian psychoanalysis draws heavily on alchemy and theosophy. This is just an example of the master psychic archeologist's explorations, a warm-up to the later works through which he furthers his argument that the psyche has been left unexplored for centuries as a result of the shunning of alchemy.