PCC Forum – The Red Book and the Red Book: Jung, Tolkien, and the Convergence of Images

The essay “The Red Book and the Red Book: Jung, Tolkien, and the Convergence of Images,” which emerged out of this presentation, is available here.

7 Replies to “PCC Forum – The Red Book and the Red Book: Jung, Tolkien, and the Convergence of Images”

  1. Becca,

    After re-reading the Silmarillion for the probably tenth time, I decided to order the Complete History of Middle Earth which is now out in a three volume set (with like 7000 pages – bittersweet!). I am having a wonderful time collecting proper editions of all of Tolkien’s books, as the memory of Aman and the grace of the Trees still feel like they are my own.

    I also happen to be nearly finished collecting Jung’s Collected Works in hardback (just two more to go!), including Liber Novus and of course MDR. Having also been a deeply interested reader of Jung, there is so much to draw from both authors. Jung’s energetic and sometimes perilous writing in The Psychology of The Transference (vol. 16) and The Syzygy in Aion (vol.9,1) have a particularly adventurous flavor that reminds me of taking the ring straight into the hands of The Enemy, but this time first through The Paths of The Dead. But each night I sit in my reading chair and try to decide whether it’s Ea or Aion.

    Well, it occurred to me that both men had a Red Book, and that I should try to find if there were any cultural archetypes at work there in the naming, color, uncanny timing, and meaning of such a relatively canonical work. And then I found your video! At first I thought “No way, someone else is thinking about this too??” And then I saw that you are at CIIS! I am planning on entering the PsyD program at CIIS in Fall of 2015, and it’s little gems like this that make it almost impossible to wait another year. Amazing how my late night researches always bring me back to CIIS.

    I wish I was in contact with you when you were working on this project. While only at a serious novice level for each author, I feel like I may have been able to present you with some connections to look into, especially on the depth psychology end. Let me know if anyone else is on this trail, I’d love to hear about it!

    Are you or anyone else doing any more work in this area?

    Patrick Stinson

    1. Dear Patrick,

      I just wanted to let you know that I will be continuing to work on this project for some time, as it is now the topic of my doctoral dissertation. I would be happy to continue the conversation with you, especially as I go deeper into my research and really start delving into The History of Middle-Earth in conjunction with Jung’s Red Book. Any sources you have to suggest, especially from the depth psychology end as you say, I would really appreciate hearing about. As for others working in this area, the only other person I currently know of is Dr. Lance Owens, whose work is on Jung and Gnosticism, as well as on Tolkien. I highly recommend his lectures. I’ve been lucky enough to be in touch with him in the last several months.

      I hope all goes well with you beginning the PsyD program at CIIS in the fall, and I also hope we can meet in person then! Thank you so much for reaching out, and for your encouragement.


      1. Wow, what an awesome topic for a dissertation. I’ll have a look at Dr. Owens’ lectures. Good luck, and I would love to hear about your progress and discoveries during your work however big or small. Sounds like solid gold. My email address is patrickkidd at gmail dot com.

        Peace 🙂

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