I bought this book on a whim in college and devoured it in four days. It’s simply fascinating, at once a very accessible introduction to Jung’s theories, written for the layman, and a culmination of his life’s work. Few books will change the way that you look at so much in life, but I can attest, from my own experience, that this will be one of them. Jung is our guide, in this modern and post-modern world, through the hallways of the subconscious, and our interpreter for those broken, distorted messages received via dreams, waking fantasies and the tug of images from our aboriginal self. If you have no familiarity with Jung or his ideas, as I didn’t, then reading this book will make you aware of previously hidden portions of yourself whose input is necessary for good living. Just as importantly, it will also help you to understand humanity as a whole, its ideologies and literature… For example, Christianity and Socialism may, speaking practically, appear to be mutually exclusive worldviews, but who knew that they were in fact different manifestations of the same Golden Age archetype? This book is the key, the Rossetta Stone, to understanding so much of our species’ mystery.
This is one of the most informative books that I have ever read. In the introduction John Freeman writes:”Jung’s arguments (and those of his colleages) spiral upward over his subject like a bird circling a tree. At first, near the ground, it sees only a confusion of leaves and branches. Gradually, as it cirles higher and higher the recurring aspects of the tree form a wholeness and relate to their surroundings. Some readers may find this ‘spiralling’ method of argument obscure or confusing for a few pages-but not, I think, for long. It is characteristic of Jung’s method, and very soon the reader will find it carrying him with it on a persuasive and profoundly absorbing journey.” The book is written from the laymen and very easy to understand. When one first picks it up and begins reading it one is in the dark about many of the ideas the book is expressing but after a number of pages one begins to get an excellent idea of what the authors are trying to convey. It is a truly enlightening book. I recommend this book to anyone who truly wants to learn more about psychology and the human condition. For readers who are reading the book for the first time I recommend the hard cover edition as this contains more illustrations thus helping the first time reader understand many of the ideas the authors are trying to express.