THE DEAD — Serving the Ancestral Dead
The dead were important to The Red Book because these were the ancestors that haunted Jung and that he served. Their ancestry was in his DNA and in his archetypal equivalent, and the dead were who Jung “taught” in Seven Sermons to the Dead (1916).
Jung (1961) wrote at the beginning of his RB experience. “The dead came from Jerusalem,” assuming the voice of the gnostic Basilides in Alexandria from where “East toucheth the West” and, “where they found not what they sought” (p. 378). The dead “prayed” that he “let them in and besought” Jung’s (Basilides’) word, and thus he “began” his “teaching” (p. 378). This can be seen as the beginning of TRB and its inspiration.
“The souls or spirits of the dead are identical with the psychic activity o the living; they merely continue it." C. G. Jung