Liber Novus: The “Red Book” of C. G. Jung1
c.g. jung is widely recognized as a major ﬁgure in modern western
thought, and his work continues to spark controversies. He played critical roles
in the formation of modern psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry,
and a large international profession of analytical psychologists who work
under his name. Hiswork has had its widest impact, however, outside
professional circles: Jung and Freud are the names that most people ﬁrst
think of in connection with psychology, and their ideas have been widely
disseminated in the arts, the humanities, ﬁlms and popular culture. Jung
is also widely regarded as one of the instigators of the New Age movements.
However, it is startling to realize that the bookthat stands at the centre
of his oeuvre, on which he worked for over sixteen years, is only now
There can be few unpublished works which have already exerted such
far-reaching effects upon twentieth century social and intellectual history
as Jung’s Red Book, or Liber Novus [New Book]. Nominated by Jung to
contain the nucleus of his later works, it has long been recognized asthe
key to comprehending their genesis. Aside from a few tantalizing
glimpses, Liber Novus has remained unavailable for study.
1 The following draws, at times directly, on my reconstruction of the formation of Jung’s psychology in Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2003). Jung referred to the work both as Liber Novus and asThe Red Book, as it has become generally known. Because there are indications that the former
is its actual title, I have referred to it as such throughout for consistency.
the way of what is to come | 11
[fol. i (r)]1
The Way of What Is to Come
Isaias dixit: quis credidit auditui nostro et brachium Domini cui revelatum
est? et ascendet sicut virgultum coram eo et sicut radix de terrasitienti non
est species ei neque decor et vidimus eum et non erat aspectus et desideravimus
eum: despectum et novissimum virorum virum dolorum et scientem inﬁrmitatem et quasi absconditus vultus eius et despectus unde nec reputavimus eum.
vere languores nostros ipse tulit et dolores nostros ipse portavit et nos putavimus
eum quasi leprosum et percussum a Deo et humiliatum. Cap. liii/i-iv.parvulus enim natus est nobis ﬁlius datus est nobis et factus est principatus
super umerum eius et vocabitur nomen eius Admirabilis consiliarius Deus
fortis Pater futuri saeculi princeps pacis. caput ix/vi.
[Isaiah said: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the
arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a
tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath noform
nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that
we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man
of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our
faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely
he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did
esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afﬂicted.]2
[“For unto us achild is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be
called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)]3
Ioannes dixit: et Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis et vidimus
gloriam eius gloriam quasi unigeniti a Patre plenum gratiae et veritatis.
Ioann. Cap. i/xiiii.
[Johnsaid: And the Word was made ﬂesh, and dwelt among us (and
we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14).]
Isaias dixit: laetabitur deserta et invia et exultabit solitudo et ﬂorebit quasi
lilium. germinans germinabit et exultabit laetabunda et laudans. tunc aperientur oculi caecorum et aures sordorum patebunt. tunc saliet sicut cervus...