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C. G. Jung stated in 1957 that the visionary experiences recorded in The Red Book: Liber Novus were the foundation of his life work: “My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream ... the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.” Liber Novus is now historically placed in a hermeneutic relationship with Jung’s subsequent writings.
Jung composed the first page of Liber Novus in 1915. On this introductory folio leaf he graphically intertwined a prophecy of the future and the coming of a new aeon: an epochal turning-point in human consciousness. Though this revelation was foundational to his subsequent life work, Jung did not initially feel free to publicly disclose its keynote.
After several extraordinary near-death visions in 1944, Jung realized it was his duty to finally and openly communicate the central revelation recorded in Liber Novus. The first manuscript page of Liber Novus penned by Jung in 1915—deeply considered, dense with verbal and pictorial imagery formed in response to the Spirit of the Depths—and the complexly crafted commentary in Aion, composed three decades later, are fundamentally wed. They both declare the dawning of a new aeon. While each work might be studied as an independent text, one can only comprehend Jung and his struggle with Liber Novus in their conjunction. (Psychological Perspectives, Vol. 54:3, Fall 2011, p252.)
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