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I've been wanting to get into Jung for quite awhile, and I happened to find a copy of Aion for a decent price on an online booksale. Well, once it arrived I began to read it and was very much impressed with the first few chapters on the ego, the anima and animus, and the self. Jung was raising some very interesting points and I was having no problem comprehending the material.
Suddenly, he launches into extremely in depth discussions about biblical and gnostic mythology and this is where I could no longer follow since I have no background of the mythical figures and texts he is describing.
Perhaps I picked the wrong book as an intro to Jungian psychology. If I remember correctly Aion is supposed to be preceded by The Archetypes of the Collective Unconsciousness. Can anyone here give a suggestion as to whether I should check that book out or do further research before attempting to read Jung any further?
Actually, you might consider reading The Jung Cult or Aryan Christ, both by Richard Noll, if you are interested in where Jung was coming from. Apparently both Noll and I were rejected from analytical training, only his sense of 'sour grapes' was stronger than mine (even though I had invested in some 8 years of Jungian analysis) and he wrote the books.
Aion (or Aeon) is a term deriving from Gnostic beliefs. The frontispiece of the hard cover collected work is a picture of the leoncephalus (lion-headed) figure of Mithraic religion. I don't want to become obtuse, but it would be really instructive to read Jung's own take on GOD, his founding of a new religion based on solar worship (just like the Roman worshippers of Mithras), and how his personal beliefs sought justification in his research and theories.
The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious is volume 9i, while Aion is designated volume 9ii. The first is more general in that it about the archetypes as a whole, while Aion is subtitled Research Into the Phenomenology of the Self which refers to the central archetype of the collective unconscious - the Self. Therefore, there is a certain logic to reading these in order, but it is not essential to gain understanding from both.