Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology
a book by Dr.
Marie-Louise von Franz
Inner City Books
The best book on the psychology
I have found so far.
This book is based on the transcription by
Miss Una Thomas of the lecture series presented by
Dr. von Franz
C. G. Jung Institute,
Zürich, in 1959.
The author and publisher are grateful to
for her faithful preparation of the original version.
The text in its present form was edited for publication by
Daryl Sharp and Marion Woodman.
Daryl Sharp selected the illustrations, wrote the captions,
and compiled the index.
Acknowledgements, page 6.
There is no reference to a translator, so I infer the lectures
were delivered in English.
These lectures are by way of an introduction for students of Jung who
find Jung's references to alchemy in books such as
Mysterium Coniunctionis too hard to follow.
Dr. von Franz does a superb job of
introducing this material via examples in chronological
order: 3 lectures on
Greek alchemy, 3 on Arabic alchemy, and 3 on the
Aurora Consurgens, an alchemical text attributed to
St. Thomas Aquinas.
Dr. von Franz includes a
caveat about simplified treatments of alchemy.
On page 157 she notes, "People often say, for instance,
that Dr. Jung does not write clearly, but he does that
on purpose -- he writes with a double attitude, giving full justice
to the paradoxes of the unconscious.
psychic phenomena from an empirical standpoint.
Buddha once said that all his sayings were to be understood
on two levels, and Jung's writings also have this double
floor, these two levels".