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ALCHEMICAL STUDIES

I: COMMENTARY ON "THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER"

[In late 1929, in Munich, Jung and the sinologist Richard Wilhelm published Das Geheimnis der goldenen Blute: Ein chinesisches Lebensbuch, consisting of Wilhelm's translation of an ancient Chinese text, T'ai  Chin Hua Tsung Chih (Secret of the Golden Flower), with his notes and discussion of the text, and a "European commentary" by Jung. Earlier the same year, the two authors had published in the Europaische Revue (Berlin), V: 2/8 (Nov.), 530-42, a much abbreviated version entitled "Tschang Scheng Schu; Die Kunst das menschliche Leben zu verlangern" (i.e., "Ch'ang Sheng Shu; The Art of Prolonging Life"), an alternative title of the "Golden Flower."

[In 1931, Jung's and Wilhelm's joint work appeared in English as The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life, translated by Cary F. Baynes (London and New York), containing as an appendix Jung's memorial address for Wilhelm, who had died in 1930. (For "In Memory of Richard Wilhelm," see Vol. 15 of the Collected Works.)

[A second, revised edition of the German original was published in 1938 (Zurich), with a special foreword by Jung and his Wilhelm memorial address. Two more (essentially unaltered) editions followed, and in 1957 appeared a fifth, entirely reset edition (Zurich), which added a related text, the Hui Ming Ching, and a new foreword by Salome Wilhelm, the translator's widow.

[Mrs. Baynes prepared a revision of her translation, and this appeared in 1962 (New York and London), including Jung's foreword and the additional Wilhelm material. (Her revised translation of Jung's commentary alone had appeared in an anthology, Psyche and Symbol, edited by Violet S. de Laszlo, Anchor Books, New York, 1958.)

[The following translation of Jung's commentary and his foreword is based closely on Mrs. Baynes' version, from which some of the editorial notes have also been taken over. Four pictures of the stages of meditation, from the Hui Ming Ching, which accompanied the "Golden Flower" text, have been reproduced because of their pertinence to Jung's commentary; and the examples of European mandalas have been retained, though most of them were published, in a different context, in "Concerning Mandala Symbolism," Vol. 9, part i, of the Collected Works. The chapters have been given numbers.

-- EDITORS.]

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