On Carl Jung, Dreams and the Creative Process

There was discussion about the creative process last week in my photographic critique group. One member said he had his most creative ideas and thoughts surfacing in his mind during that transitional time between being awake and sleeping. I suggested he keep a journal next to his bed and start recording what he remembered.

There is a wonderful, exciting article in the New York Times Magazine section today on Carl Jung's Red Book, which has been out of public view since its creation in the 1920's. The Red Book contains Jung's "confrontation with the unconscious." It has taken scholars years to get permission from the Jung family to release it because of their concern on how it would be interperted. One scholar, Shamdasani, said, "It is the nuclear reactor for all his works."

Shamdasani discovered a self published paper of a former Jungian client in which Jung told her..."I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can--- in some beautifully bound book. It will seem as if you were making the visions banal - but then you need to do that - then you are freed from the power of them...Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book and turn over the pages and for you it will be your church - your cathedral - the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid, or neurotic and you listen to them - then you will lose your soul - for in that book is your soul."

Judith Cameron, in her book The Artist Way, highly recommends keeping a daily morning journal. It is an invaluable tool for accessing your creativity AND your inner self. Lynda Barry in her book, What It Is, also provides insights on cultivating creativity.

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