The old man replied: “I saw how you lectured. You
seemed to be anxious at the judgment of your listeners.
You wove witty jokes into the lecture to please your listeners.
You heaped up learned expressions to impress them. You
were restless and hasty, as if still compelled to snatch up all
knowledge. You are not in yourself.”
Illustrations from The Red Book or else Liber Novus by Carl Gustav Jung. No matter his artistic fluency, Jung never saw himself as an artist, his images are representative of a religious, of a spiritual experience in which Jung confronted his own unconscious, a source both personal and collective. In his risky and ambivalent quest Jung meets his Guardian Angel, a wise spirit named Philemon, his ‘alter ego’, a prophet coming from the past to help Jung know himself better. That’s what The Red Book is all about after all, Jung’s transcedence of his own ‘ego’ echoing gnostic beliefs, awakening ghosts of the past that are also about to emerge from the future, where a symbolic language is more important than the language of everyday mundane affairs and a secret esoteric life can re-inforce one’s connection to personal authenticity, what would Jung call “personal myth”.