Jung, Alchemical Studies
Alchemical Studies is Volume 13 in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, a series of books published by Princeton University Press in the U.S. and Routledge & Kegan Paul in the U.K. It consists of five long essays that trace Carl Jung’s developing interest in alchemy from 1929 onward. An introduction and supplement to his major works on the subject, it is illustrated with 42 patients’ drawings and paintings.
The psychological and religious implications of alchemy were Jung’s major preoccupation during the last thirty years of his life. The essays in this volume complete the publication of his alchemical researches, to which three other volumes have been entirely devoted: Mysterium Coniunctionis, Psychology and Alchemy, and Aion. This volume can serve as an introduction to Jung’s work on alchemy. The first essay, on Chinese alchemy, marked the beginning of his interest in the subject, and was originally published in a volume written jointly with Richard Wilhelm. The other four are now published for the first time completely in English.
Overall, this book discusses the philosophical and religious aspects of alchemy, as alchemy was introduced more as a religion than a science. His concluding statement is that when alchemy became virtually shunned out of existence, the investigation of the human psyche went undiscovered for several hundred years.