Sample English Paper on The Holy Grail of the Unconscious

The “The Holy Grail of the Unconscious” is a sequentially written manuscript that offers detailed information about the famous ‘Red Book’ written by Carl Jung (1875-1961), one of the world’s most decorated psychologist. The article published in the New York Times is about an old book written 99 years ago and has spent a quarter century locked in a safety deposit box in a Swiss bank. Jung is considered a legend in psychology, particularly due to his philosophies indicating how symbols and common myths permeate our thinking on both the conscious and subconscious levels. The ‘When falling, dive’ expression best explains Mr. Jung’s sentiments as narrated throughout Sara Corbett’s article. At age 38, Mr. Jung dove into a mental turmoil that could be described as a breakdown as he grappled with the horrors that turned into a reality. Throughout the 18 years of its scripting, the Red book featured notes for a series of black journals that were analyzed and later expanded in prophetic tone in a custom-made leather folio measuring approximately 12 x 15.5 inches. According to Corbett, the Red book was considered as the most significant manuscript presented by Jung. However, it remained hidden from the public for decades.

After a series of false starts compounded by other numerous unfinished attempts to have his manuscript published, Jung perished in 1961. His misgivings regarding the risk posed by publishing such material on his reputation saw to his lack of excitement in finally publishing the book. Additionally, his heirs were vehemently against the book being presented to the public as they considered it as personal material thus storing it in a vault for decades. Despite several attempts by different Jungian scholars or enthusiasts of Jung’s work, his family held their conviction until it became apparent that some of the pages had been leaked to the public. According to Stephen Martin, a Jungian analyst and head of the Philemon Foundation, increasing resistance against publication came from the premise of ‘they own it, but they have not lived it, we live, but do not own it.’ Nevertheless, due to allegations against Jung’s philosophies from study critics, as well as three years of constant negotiations, Sonu Shamdasani, a London-based author, editor, and professor, was offered the chance to translate and publish the book. Sonu describes the Red book as the genesis of Mr. Jung’s philosophies over the decade he spent translating and understanding what the author was going through. One aspect that is evident about the article from Sonu’s perspective is that Jung was tortured by his imagination, which was both humiliating and unsavory. For instance, in his hallucinations, Jung traveled to the land of the dead which in itself was a horrible experience. He later fell in love with a woman. However, he discovers that the woman was his sister. Also, at his lowest point, he ate the liver of a child.  

‘The Holy Grail of the Unconscious’ manuscript is among the major reasons that may lead a scholar into understanding the influences of dreams and symbols in life. The manuscript begins by explaining the mystery around the Red book, as well as the process of decoding and publishing it. The details provided are an eye-opener into 18 years of one of the most famous psychologists known today, Jung, as well as his experiences. 

Work Cited

Corbett, Sara. “The holy grail of the unconscious.” The New York Times Magazine 16 (2009): 1-

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