In Jung’s BLACK BOOKS we have at last made available to us a unique document, the record of somebody’s visions while traversing a potentially psychotic breakdown and transmuting it into a psychological breakthrough. This person is not just any individual but one of the world’s greatest psychoanalysts. It is of great interest whether one shares his views or not.
Jung himself accorded great value to this first record of his visions. He transcribed them in ornate calligraphy, and illustrated them with beautiful complex illuminations in the manuscript of THE RED BOOK, to which he added his commentaries and reflections. He lent THE RED BOOK to some of his students/patients/followers to give them an concrete example of a process of individuation and to inspire them to create their own Red Book. He showed the BLACK BOOKS to an even more limited circle.
I hope that, as for THE RED BOOK, a « readers’ edition » of THE BLACK BOOKS costing only a tenth of the de luxe editions price (i.e. 26 euros instead of 265) should be made available. In this edition two thirds of each volume, except for volume one containing the editor’s introduction, is constituted (for two thirds) of a scan of Jung’s manuscript in German, and of (for one third) an English translation of the text, with many footnotes.
There is a terrible law of commerce (the « spirit of this time ») having too much say in the transmission of the spirit of the depths. I don’t have the Red Book facsimile edition, only the readers’ edition. I bought this edition of THE BLACK BOOKS even though it is priced way outside my comfort-zone budget-wise, as I wanted access to the original protocols of Jung’s experiment with as little later elaboration as possible.