Laurens van der Post was a long-time friend of Jung and here presents Jung as he knew him: Jung the man, the discoverer and explorer of a new dimension in the human spirit, rather than Jung the psychologist. Calling him a 'universal personality, one of the greatest since the Renaissance', van der Post writes much more than simply a biographical study of Jung.
Jung is a full-scale, unflinching attempt to convey the creative, pioneering greatness of the man and to show how his far-seeing vision has so greatly enlightened and enriched the spiritual poverty of modern man.
Laurens van der Post was fascinated and appalled at the fate of this remarkable people. Ostracised by all the changing face of African cultural life they retreated deep into the Kalahari desert. His fascinating attempt to capture their way of life and the secrets of their ancient heritage provide captivating reading and a unique insight into a forgotten way of life.
Presented together now for the first time, Laurens van der Post's collected writings will reveal as never before the fullness of his perceptive, wise and remarkably consistent vision. In all of them his inspiration has been that of an adventurous pioneer exploring not just the outward aspects of a turbulent and troubled world but, at a deeper level, the patterns and paradoxes of human life, the myths and dreams of the human mind, the values and cultures of different peoples, the elusive springs of our own people.
What follows is the story of two British officers whose spirit the Japanese try to break. Yet out of all the violence and misery strange bonds are forged between prisoners - and their gaolers. In a battle for survival that becomes a battle of contrasting wills and philosophies as the intensity of the men's relationships develop.
Yet Being Someone Other is the most revealing book that Laurens van der Post wrote about his extraordinary and eventful life, and the most far-reaching; it is a distillation of the experiences that have moved him at the deepest level of the imagination and made him the exceptional person and writer he was.
Explorer, novelist, writer and film-maker, Sir Laurens van der Post was one of the most influential figures of our era. Here, in conversation with Jean-Marc Pottiez, he records his ideas and insights into a wide range of issues and personalities, forged by a lifetime of vast experiences and challenges.
In this moving sequel to The Lost World of the Kalahari van der Post records everything he has learned of the life and lore of Africa's first inhabitants. The Heart of the Hunter is a journey into the mind and spirit of the Bushmen, a people outlawed by the advance of blacks and whites alike.
This book is the remarkable story of his experiences in the prison camp, but it is also a meditation on the morality of the Bomb, a compassionate and moving contemplation of human violence.
Flamingo Feather, which Laurens van der Post dedicated to the 'fast vanishing Africa' of his boyhood, is a story of adventure - adventure unfolded in the great tradition of story-telling.
It is the tale of two white hunters - one old, experienced and wise, one young and resolute - who suspect that something evil is being prepared on a vast scale in their country and who, with little to guide them, set out to track down its source. In the unfolding of their story, the immense scene of bush, forest, jungle, lake and mountain, the untamed wildlife and vivid animal beings, and the background mind and culture of the indigenous people in all their archaic reality, are evoked as never before. Indeed so deeply does the story draw on Laurens van der Post's knowledge of the country, so directly does it touch on vital elements in African life, that it carries the conviction of an authentic personal experience. Africa itself lies at the heart of the story, Africa as it has been and as it may yet become.
This is the story of a South African boy, Peter, who grows to manhood through a hard course of physical and emotional experiences.
The scene, a heroic one, is set both on sea and on land. Peter is exposed to the conflicts set up by other characters, chief amongst whom are a dedicated and fanatical whaling captain, a Zulu stoker, a famous white hunter and his daughter. He learns how men can become obsessed by greed and the will to power; and he witnesses the struggle of natural man to come to terms with the demands of contemporary life.
Peter's developing relationship with captain and crew; the fury and beauty of the chase; the fanaticism of the two great hunters - these are the leading motifs in Laurens van der Post's stirring narrative. His remarkable knowledge of whaling, and the force of his imagination sounding deeper then leviathan himself, carry the reader irresistibly forwards.
The whole of A Far- Off Place is charged with the power and magic and beauty of Africa. Driven with appalling violence from his home by "freedom fighters" François Joubert, a boy about to become a man, who is deeply learned in the life and ways of the bush, embarks on a long and terrible journey. He is accompanied by Nonnie, the young daughter of a retired colonial governor, murdered by the terrorists, Xhabbo, a dearly beloved Bushman whom François had once saved from death, and Xhabbo's wife, Nuin-Tara.
Every effort is made by the attackers, swarming everywhere in the bush, to prevent the little foursome, sole survivors and witnesses of the brutal massacre of Europeans and their Matabele partners, from reaching the outside world. The sustained ferocity of the pursuit appears only too likely to overwhelm them, for François and Nonnie have only their own aristocratic spirit and faith in each other, the native skill of Xhabbo and Nuin- Tara and the courage and intelligence of the noble hunting dog, Hintza, to help them against the most fearful odds.
Not only the bush but also a great desert of a thousand miles of sand and scrub lies between them and any hope of safety. Yet the manner in which this little band and one dog take on this great adventure, turns it into something of a pilgrimage.
Through their physical suffering and almost unbearable agony of heart and mind, they achieve both an unimagined knowledge of the resources of their bodies, and far more important still, find an inner way to an understanding of man's proper place in the natural universe - an acceptance of the right of every living creature to exist alongside him. As a result, whatever the tragedy and disaster of the story, the travail and traffic of their young lives reach out beyond fear and darkness towards an intimation of concord and light.
In contrast to the profound understanding of the land and its birds and animals implicit in the characters of each of the imperiled foursome, the "freedom fighters", promising life, bring only death and in the name of liberty do mortal injury to the innermost spirit of Africa.
A Far-Off Place, though complete in itself, accomplishes with A Story Like the Wind, a unique voyage of discovery into a hidden and hitherto unrecorded core of Africa. Not least of its by-products is an insight into what is committed in that vast continent in the name of liberation and independence.
This is a story of an almost vanished Africa; a world of myth and magic in which the indigenous peoples of the continent lived for uncountable centuries before the Europeans came to shatter it.
The main character is a boy who has a relationship with this Africa not unlike Kipling's Kim with the antique world of India. François Joubert, whose Huguenot ancestors settled in Africa three hundred years ago, lives as a solitary child on his father's farm. 'Hunter's Drift'. Here, in the far interior of Africa, he experiences the wonder and mystery of an ageless, natural primitive life, his perception of it heightened by the influence of three people in particular - his Bushman nurse, the head herdsman of the local Matabele clan (his father's chosen partners in the pioneering of Hunter's Drift), and a hunter of legendary fame, now the chief ranger of a vast game reserve nearby.
François' meeting with an untamed Bushman, Xhabbo, whose intuitive teaching nourishes his spirit; his strange pilgrimage to the distant krall of a powerful witch-doctor; his dramatic encounter and relationship with the daughter of a retired colonial governor; all are examples of African point and European counterpoint, in a highly original theme, moving to a strangely presaged and omened climax.
This Van Der Post 'reader', thematically organised to reflect the patterns and themes which have influenced his life and his writing, distils the essence of the writer, thinker, spiritual guru and man of action. This evocative and thought-provoking selection, combining short paragraphs and longer passages is chosen with love and insight from his published and some unpublished writings, (books, introductions, lectures, essays, ) and will give pleasure and inspiration to generations of readers the world over.