[Carl Jung: Some Reactions concerning Psychological Testing, Psychotherapy, Mental Telepathy, and other Personal Insights.]
Evans: We American psychologists do a great deal of testing, utilizing “projective tests.” As we discussed earlier, you certainly played a major role in developing projective testing with your word association method. What led you to develop the Word Association Test?
Jung: You mean the practical use of it?
Jung: Well you see, in the beginning when I was a young man, I was completely disoriented with patients. I didn’t know where to begin or what to say; and the association experiment has given me access to their unconscious. I learned about the things they did not tell me, and I got a deep insight into things of which they were not aware. I discovered many things.
Evans: In other words, from such association responses you discovered complexes or areas of emotional blocks in the patient? Of course, the word “complex,” which originated with you, is used very widely now.
Jung: Yes, complex—that is one of the terms which I originated.
Evans: Did you hope that from these complexes or emotional blocks which you were uncovering as you administered this word association test to get at materials in the personal unconscious or the racial unconscious?
Jung: In the beginning there was no question of collective unconscious or anything like that. It was chiefly the ordinary personal complexes.
Evans: I see. You weren’t expecting to get into such depth.
Jung: Among hundreds of complex associations, there might appear an archetypal element, but it wouldn’t stand out particularly. That is not the point. You know, it is like the Rorschach, a superficial orientation.
Evans: You knew Hermann Rorschach, I believe, did you not?
Jung: No. He has circumvented me as much as possible.
Evans: But did you get to know him personally?
Jung: No. I never saw him.
Evans: In his terms, “introtensive” and “extrotensive,” of course, he is reflecting your conceptions of introversion and extroversion, in my own estimation that is.
Jung: Yes, but I was the anathema, because I was the one to first outline the concepts; and that, you know, is unforgivable. I never should have done it.
Evans: So you really didn’t have any personal contacts with Rorschach?
Jung: No personal relations at all.
Evans: Are you familiar with Rorschach’s test which uses ink-blots?
Jung: Yes, but I never applied it, because later on I didn’t even apply the Word Association Test anymore. It just wasn’t necessary. I learned what I had to learn from the exact examinations of psychic reactions; and that, I think, is a very excellent means.
Evans: But would you recommend that other psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and psychoanalysts use these projective tests, such as your Word Association Test or Rorschach’s test?
Jung: Well, perhaps. For the education of psychologists who intend to do actual work with people, I think it is an excellent means to learn how the unconscious works.
Evans: So you feel that the projective tests have a function in training psychologists?
Jung: Yes. They are exceedingly didactic. With these tests one can actually demonstrate repression or the amnesic phenomenon, the way in which people cover their emotions, etc. It takes place like an ordinary conversation, but the tests provide certain principles and criteria which serve as guides and measuring devices for what one sees and hears.
It is all so interesting. You observe all the things which you observe in a conversation with another person. For instance, in conversation when you ask a person something or begin to discuss certain things, you can observe certain things, little hesitations, mistakes in speech, etc.; all those things come to the fore. Then, what is more, in the experimental setting they are measurable.
I think I don’t over-rate the didactic value of projective tests. I think very highly of them in this capacity, that is, for educating young psychologists. And sometimes, of course, they are useful to any psychologist. If I have a case who doesn’t want to talk, I can make an experiment and find out a lot of things through the experiment. I have, for instance, discovered a murder.
Evans: Is that right? Would you like to tell us how this was done?
Jung: You see, you have that lie detector in the United States, and that’s like an association test I have worked out with the psycho- galvanic phenomenon. Also, we have done a lot of work on the pneumograph which will show the decrease of volume of breathing under the influence of a complex. You know, one of the reasons for tuberculosis is the manifestation of a complex. People have very shallow breathing, don’t ventilate the apices of their lungs anymore, and get tuberculosis. Half of tuberculosis cases are psychic.
Evans: In working with a patient, would you say that it is essential for him to recapitulate his past life in order to help him deal with his present neurosis, as Freud did, or do you feel that you can deal situationally with his problem without going back and probing into things that happened to him during his early life?
Jung: There is no one-and-only system in therapy. In therapy you treat the patient as he is in the present moment, irrespective of causes and such things. That is all more or less theoretical. Sometimes I can start right away with posing the problem. There are cases who know just as much about their own neurosis as I know about it in a way.
For instance, let us take the case of a professor of philosophy, an intelligent man, who imagines that he has cancer. He shows me several dozen x-ray plates that prove there is no cancer. He says, “Of course, I have no cancer, but nevertheless, I’m afraid I could have one. I’ve consulted many surgeons and they all assure me there is none; and I know there is none but I might have one.” You see? That’s enough. Such a case can stop from one moment to the next, just as soon as the person who has the sickness stops thinking such foolish things, but that is exactly what he cannot do.
In such a case, I say, “Well, it is perfectly plain to you that it is nonsense what you believe. Now why are you forced to believe such nonsense? What is the power that makes you think such a thing against your free will? You know it is all nonsense.” It’s like a possession. It is as though a demon were in him, making him think like that in spite of the fact that he doesn’t want to. Then I say, “Now you have no answer; I have no answer. What are we going to do?” I add, “We will see what you dream for a starting point, because a dream is a manifestation of the unconscious side.”
In this case our philosopher has never heard of the unconscious side, so I must explain to him about the existence of the unconscious; and I must explain to him that the dream is a manifestation of it. Thus, if we succeed in analyzing the dream, we may get an idea about that power, which is distorting his thinking. In such a case one can begin right away with the analysis of dreams, and the same is true for all cases that are a bit serious. Mind you, this is not a simple case, but a very difficult and serious case, in spite of the simplicity of the phenomenology of the symptomatology.
In all cases after the preliminaries such as taking down the history of the family, the whole medical analysis, etc., we come to that question, “What is it in your unconscious that makes you wrong in your thinking, that hinders you from thinking normally?” Then we can begin with the observation of the unconscious, and the day by day process of analyzing the data produced by the unconscious. Now that we have discussed the first dream, the whole problem takes on new perspective, and he will have other dreams, each of which will have something to add until we have the whole picture. Now when we have the full picture, if he has the necessary moral stamina, he can be cured. In the end it is strictly a moral question, whether a man applies what he has learned or not.
Evans: Does your type approach, based on introversion-extroversion constructs, help you in this analytical process?
Jung: Yes. I find in the study of the “type,” that it supplies a certain lead as to the personal nature of the unconscious, the personal quality of the unconscious in a given case. If you study an extrovert, you find that his unconscious has then an introverted quality. This is because all the extroverted qualities are played in consciousness, and the introverted qualities are all played in the unconscious; therefore, the unconscious has introverted qualities. The reverse composition, of course, is equally true. That knowledge gave me a lead of diagnostic value. It helped me to understand my patients. When I saw their conscious type, I got ideas as to their unconscious attitudes.
Now the neurotic is just as much controlled and influenced by the unconscious as he is by the conscious, so he may appear to be a type which actually is not a true diagnosis at all. In certain cases it is almost impossible to distinguish between conscious material and unconscious material, because you just cannot tell at first sight which is which. This has helped me to understand more the patients in terms of the Freudian emphasis (based on the past) as well as in Adlerian terms, which are more, as you say, concerned with the present situation of the patient.
In the course of years, I got quite a lot of empirical material about the peculiar way in which conscious and unconscious contents interact. I could do this by watching individuals who were actually going through analytical treatment. You see, there is a point when you try to integrate unconscious contents into consciousness; or you confront the patient who is holding a definite conscious attitude with the related unconscious attitude that is counteracting the conscious one. This process, of course, is perpetuating his neurosis; and it is just as though another personality of the opposite type were influencing him or disturbing him.
Evans: So, Professor Jung, you gradually developed through your typologies a sort of theory, a psychology of opposites, where the conscious revealed the qualities of one type and the unconscious revealed the qualities of the other type in a given individual. This would be a very important way, then, of helping you to analyze and understand the individual.
Jung: Yes, from a practical point of view, it is diagnostically quite important. The point I wanted to elucidate is that in analyzing a patient you create the expression of typical experiences during the therapeutic process. There is a sort of typical way in which the integration of consciousness takes place. The average way is that through the analysis of dreams, for instance, you become acquainted with the contents of the unconscious.
To begin with, you want to know all personal, subjective material about the individual, what sort of difficulties the individual has encountered in adapting to environmental conditions, etc. Now, it can be regularly observed that when you talk to an individual and this individual gives you insight into his inner preoccupations, interests, emotions, etc., or in other words, hands over his personal complexes, you get slowly and willy-nilly into a situation of a kind of authority. You are in possession of all the important items in a person’s development, and you become a point of reference, be cause you are dealing with things which are very important to the person. I remember, for instance, that I analyzed a very well-known American politician, who told me any number of the secrets of his trade. Suddenly he jumped up and said, “My God, what have I done! You could get a million dollars for what I have told you now!” I said, “Well, I’m not interested. You can sleep in peace, because I shall not betray you. I’ll forget it in a fortnight.” So you see, that shows that the things people hand out are not merely indifferent things. When it comes to something emotionally important, they are handing out themselves. They are investing in the analyst big emotional value, just as if they were handing you a large sum of money or trusting you with the administration of their estate; they are entirely in your hands. Often I hear things that could ruin these people, utterly and permanently ruin them, things which would give me, if I had any blackmailing tendencies, unlimited power over them.
You can see that this kind of a situation creates an emotional relationship to the analyst, and this is what Freud called “transference,” a central problem in analytic psychology. It is just as if these people had handed out their whole existence, and that can have very peculiar effects upon the individual. Either they hate you for it, or love you for it; but they are not indifferent. Thus, a sort of emotional relation between the patient and the doctor is fostered.
When a patient discusses such material, the content of it is associated with all the important persons in the life of that patient. Now the most important persons are usually father and mother in going back into a person’s childhood. The first troubles are with the parents as a rule. So, when a patient hands over to you his infantile memories about the father or mother, he also sees in you, the analyst, the image of that mother or father. Then it is just as if the doctor had taken the place of the father, or even of the mother. I have had quite a number of male patients that called me “Mother Jung,” because they had handed over to me the image of their respective mothers, curiously enough. But you see, that’s quite irrespective of the personality of the analyst. In this case, the personality of the analyst is simply disregarded. You now function as if you were the mother or father—the central authority. That is what one calls transference; that is projection. Now Freud doesn’t exactly call it projection. He calls it transference, which is an illusion to an old, superstitious idea that if you have a disease, you can transfer the disease to an animal; or you can transfer the sin onto a scapegoat, and the scapegoat takes it out into the desert and makes it disappear. Thus, the patients hand over themselves in the hope that I can swallow that stuff and digest it for them. I am in loco parentis and I have a high authority. Naturally, I am also persecuted by the corresponding resistances, by all the manifold emotional reactions they have had against their parents.
Now that is the structure you have to work through first in analyzing the situation, because the patient in such a condition is not free; he is a slave. He is actually dependent upon the doctor like a patient with an open abdomen on the operating table. He is in the hands of the surgeon, for better or for worse, so the thing must be finished. This means that we have to work through that condition in the hope that we will arrive at a different condition where the patient is able to see that I am not the father, not the mother, that I am an ordinary human being. Now everybody would assume that such a thing would be possible, that the patient could arrive at such an insight when he or she is not a complete idiot, that they could see that I am just a doctor and not that emotional figure of their fantasies. However, that is very often not the case.
I had a case once which involved an intelligent young woman, a student of philosophy who had a very good mind. One would easily think that she would be able to see that I was not her parental authority, but she was utterly unable to get out of this delusion. Now in such a case, one always has recourse to the dreams. She says through the conscious, “Of course, I know you are not my father, but I just feel like that. It is like you are my father; I depend upon you.” Then I say, “Now we will see what the unconscious says.” From that point, we work very hard in analyzing her dreams, and I be gin to see that the unconscious is producing dreams in which I assume a very curious role.
In her dreams she is a little infant, sitting on my knee, and I am holding her in my arms. I have become a very tender father to the little girl, you know. More and more her dreams become emphatic in this respect; namely, I am a kind of giant, and she is a very little, frail human thing, quite a little girl in the hands of an enormous being. Then the final dream occurs in the series. In that dream, I was out in the midst of nature, standing in a field of wheat, an enormous field of wheat that was ripe for harvesting. I was a giant and I held her in my arms like a baby, with the wind blowing over the field. Now as you know, when the wind is blowing over a wheat field, it waves; and with these waves I swayed, putting her to sleep. She felt as if she was in the arms of a god, of the “Godhead.” I thought, “Now the harvest is ripe, and I must tell her,” so I said, “You see, what you want and what you are projecting into me, because you are not conscious of it, is that unconsciously you are feeling the influence of a deity which does not ‘possess’ your consciousness; therefore, you are seeing it in me.” That clicked, because she had a rather intense religious education, that enabled her to understand. Of course, it all vanished later on and something disappeared from her world. The world became merely personal to her and a matter of immediate consciousness. That religious conception of the world was to her no longer existent, apparently. This makes sense, you see, because the idea of a deity is not an intellectual idea. It is an archetype, an archetypal idea, that catches hold of your unconsciousness, and once she could understand that consciously, the archetype could no longer control her.
You find this type of archetypal image practically everywhere under this or that name. Even when it comes forth in the form of “Manna,” it has an all-powerful, extraordinary effect or quality; it doesn’t matter whether it is personal at all or not. In the case of this girl, she suddenly became aware of an entirely heathenish image, an image that comes fresh from the archetype. She had not the idea of a Christian God, or of an Old Testament Yahweh, but of a heathenish God—a God of Nature, a God of Vegetation. He was the wheat itself. He was the spirit of the wheat, the spirit of the wind; and she was in the arms of that Pneuma. Now that is the living experience of an archetype.
When that girl came to understand what was happening in her, it made a tremendous impression upon her. She saw what she really was missing, that missing value which she was projecting into me, making me indispensable to her. Then she came to see that I was not indispensable, because, as the dream says, she is in the arms of that archetypal idea. That is a Numinous experience, you see, and that is the thing that people are looking for, an archetypal experience which is in itself an incorruptible value.
Until they have the experience and understand it, they depend upon other conditions; they depend upon their desires, their ambitions. They depend upon other people, because they have no value in themselves. They are only rational, and are not in possession of a treasure that would make them independent. Now when that girl could hold that experience, she no longer had to depend. The value became part of her. She had been liberated and was now complete. Inasmuch as she could realize such a Numinous experience, she was and will be able to continue her part, her own way—her individuation. The acorn can become an oak, and not a donkey. Nature will take her course. A man or woman becomes that which he or she is from the beginning. I have seen quite a number of such cases as I have just cited to you.
Evans: How do the dreams and fantasies of the patient enter into the process?
Jung: I wrote a book about such dreams, you know, an introduction to the psychology of the unconscious. At that time my empirical material had been formed chiefly by observation of lunatics, cases of schizophrenia, and I had observed that there are, chiefly in the beginning of a disease, invasions of fantasies into conscious life, fantasies of an entirely unexpected sort which are most bewildering to the patient. He gets quite confused by these ideas, and he gets into a sort of panic since he never before has thought such things. They are quite strange to him and equally strange to his physician. Yet, the analyst is equally dumbfounded by the peculiar character of those fantasies. Therefore, one says, “That man is crazy. He is crazy to think such things; nobody thinks such things,” and the patient agrees with him, which throws the patient into even more of a panic. So as an analyst I thought it to be really the task for psychiatry to elucidate that thing that broke into consciousness, the voices and the delusions. In those days, and mind you, I’m referring to over 40 or 50 years ago, I had no hope to be able to treat these cases or to be able to help them, but I had a very great scientific curiosity which made me want to know what these things really were. You see, I felt that these things had a system and that they were not merely chaotic, decayed material, because there was too much sense in those fantasies.
This led me to begin studying cases of psychogenic diseases such as hysteria, somnambulism, and others where the content that flowed from the unconscious was in readable condition and capable of being understood. Then I saw that, in contradistinction to the schizophrenics, the mental contents were elaborate, dramatic, suggestive and insinuating, enabling one to make out a second personality. Now this is not the case in schizophrenia. There the fantasies, on the contrary, are unsystematic and chaotic, so that you cannot make out a second personality. The cases are of too complicated a nature. I needed a simpler type, or a more comprehensible type, to study.
An old professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of Geneva published a case concerning an American girl, wherein he described her half poetic and half romantic fantasies. He published that material without commenting on it, giving it as an example of creative imagination. Now, when I read those fantasies, I saw this as exactly the kind of material I needed. I was always a bit afraid to tell of my personal experiences with patients because I felt that people might say that too much suggestion was involved, but since I had no hand in this case, I could not be accused of having influenced the patient. That is the reason I analyzed those particular fantasies. That case became the object of a whole book called The Psychology of the Unconscious. I have revised it after forty years, and it is now called Symbolisms of Transformation.
In The Psychology of the Unconscious (16), I tried to show that there is a sort of unconscious that clearly produces things which are historical and not personal. At that time, I simply called it “the unconscious,” not distinguishing between the two aspects involved. Using the fantasies of the American girl, I tried for the first time to produce a picture of the functioning of the unconscious, a functioning which pointed to certain conclusions as to the nature of the unconscious.
Writing that book cost me my friendship with Freud, because he couldn’t accept it. To Freud, the unconscious was a product of consciousness, and the unconscious simply contained the remnants of consciousness; I mean that he saw the unconscious as a sort of store-room where all the discarded things of consciousness were heaped up and left. To me, however, the unconscious was a matrix, a sort of basis of consciousness, possessing a creative nature and capable of autonomous acts, autonomous intrusions into the consciousness. In other words, I took the existence of the unconscious for a real fact, an autonomous factor that was capable of independent action.
To me that was a psychological problem of the very first order, and it made me think furiously, because the whole of philosophy, even up to the present day, has not recognized the fact that we have a counter-factor in our unconscious. It has not become recognized that in our psyche there are two factors, two independent factors, with consciousness representing one factor and, equally important, the unconscious representing the other factor. And the unconscious can interfere with consciousness any time it pleases. Now I say to myself, “This is very uncomfortable. I think I am the only master in my house, but in reality I must admit that there is another master, somebody in my house that can play tricks on me.” I have to deal with the unfortunate victims of that interference every day in my patients.
I remember, for instance, one case which involved a young man, quite a rational young man. He had a lot of personal problems, but finally these enlarged and expanded until he was involved in very disagreeable relations with the whole of his surroundings. He was a member of society, but he was engaged in the poorest of relations with the other people of the society. It was really quite shocking. He began having and reporting collective dreams to me. Suddenly, he dreamed of things he had never thought of in his life before, mythological motifs, and he thought he was crazy, because he could not understand it at all. It was just as if the whole world were suddenly transformed. You see this same process in a case of schizophrenia, but this was not a case of schizophrenia. In this case the collective dreams were expressing the mythological patterns or motifs which were in his unconscious.
There are many examples of this in the collective dreams I have published. To make it clear, I shall tell a long story. Then you will see how the collective dream applies in cases such as the one cited above. I have already mentioned the case of that intuitive girl who suddenly came out with the statement that she had a black snake in her belly. Well now, that is an example of a collective symbol. That is not an individual fantasy; it is a collective fantasy. That fantasy is well known in India. Now right at first, I even thought she might be crazy, for she had no more connection with India by all external considerations that I did. But, of course, we are all similar in at least one respect—we are all human. This girl was just highly intuitive and oriented toward a “holistic” manner of thinking, or thinking always within a context of totality or wholeness, a mode of thinking which is known in and characteristic of India. It is the basis of a whole philosophical system, that of Tantraism, and this system has as its symbol Kundalini, Kundalini the serpent. This is something known only to some few specialists; it generally is not known that we have a serpent in the abdomen. Well, that is a collective dream or collective fantasy.
Evans: As the individual goes through life day to day, is it possible that things that trouble him and cause tension lead to repression?
Jung: He doesn’t repress consciously always. These things disappear, and Freud explains that by active repression. But you can prove that these things never have been conscious before. They simply don’t appear, and you don’t know why they don’t appear. Of course, when they do come up later, one can give the explanation that they have not appeared before because they were in disagreement or were incompatible with the patient’s conscious views and attitudes. But that is afterwards that you can say this; you were not able to predict it.
So you see, these things that have an emotional tone are partially autonomous. They can appear or not appear. They can disappear at wish, not of the subject, but of their own; and, also, you can repress them. It is just so the same as with projections. For instance, people say, “One makes projections.” That’s nonsense. One doesn’t make them; one finds them. They are already there; they are already in the unconscious. And so, these disappearances, or the so-called repressions, are just like projections.
Without you having anything to do with it, they are already part of the unconscious. There are cases, sure, where consciousness enters in, but I should say that the majority of cases are unconscious. That was my first point of difference with Freud. I saw in the association experiment that certain complexes are quite certainly not repressed. They simply won’t appear. This is because, you see, the unconscious is real; it is an entity; it works by itself; it is autonomous.
Evans: So in a sense, looking at the so-called defense mechanisms, projection, rationalization, etc., you would differ from the orthodox psychoanalytic view in that you would not sav that they are developed as a means of defending the Ego. Rather, you would say that they are already there as manifestations of patterns that are already present in the unconscious.
Jung: Yes. Take, for instance, the example of that serpent. That never had been repressed, or else it would have been conscious to her. On the contrary, it was unconscious to her and only appeared in her fantasies.
It appeared spontaneously. She didn’t know how she came to it. She said, “Well, I just saw it.”
Evans: Now some of the orthodox psychoanalysts might have said, “This is a phallic symbol.”
Jung: But you can say anything, you know. One can say that a church spire is a phallic symbol, but what is it when you dream of a penis? You know what a man has said, one of the orthodox men, one of the old guard? His explanation of that question was that in this case the censor had not functioned. You call that a scientific explanation?
9. Jung on Contemporary Psychological Problems
Evans: You are familiar, of course, with the work of Dr. J. B. Rhine at Duke University. Some of his work in extrasensory perception and clairvoyance, or mental telepathy, sounds much like the research into intuitive function, a phase of your work which we discussed earlier. For example, would you say that a person who has clairvoyance would be an intuitive type in your frame of reference?
Jung: That’s quite probable. Or it can be a sensation type, say an extrovert sensation type who is very much influenced by the unconscious. He has introverted intuition in his unconscious.
Evans: Dr. Jung, you speak of rational and irrational functions, thinking and feeling being rational, and sensation and intuition being irrational. Would you care to elaborate on this notion?
Jung: As you say, there are two groups, the rational group and the irrational group. The rational group consists of the two functions, thinking and feeling. The ideal of thinking is a rational result, and the ideal of feeling is also a rational result. They hold rational values. That is differentiated thinking.
The irrational group is comprised of sensation and intuition. Sensation functions in such a way that it may not prejudice facts; it shall not prejudice facts. To the sensation type, the ideal perception is that you have an accurate perception of things as they are without additions or corrections. On the other side, intuition does not look at things as they are. That is anathema to the intuition. It looks ever so shortly at things as they are, and makes off into an unconscious process at the end in which he will see something nobody else will see.
Evans: So in terms of the person who is clairvoyant—
Jung: Those people who yield the best results are always those people who are introverted, where introverted intuition comes in. But that is a side aspect of it; it is not interesting.
The other question is far more interesting, namely, the terms they use. Rhine himself uses them—recognition, telepathy, etc. They mean nothing at all. They are words, but he thinks he has said something when he says “telepathy.”
Evans: The word itself is not a description of the process.
Jung: It means nothing, nothing at all.
Evans: Now, of course, a lot of the things that you are describing, some scientists would insist are due to chance, chance occurrences and chance factors. In his own work, Rhine used statistical probability analysis methods. He reports these occurrences more often than would be expected by chance.
Jung: Well you see, he proves that it is more than chance; it is statistically plausible. That is the important point which hasn’t been contradicted.
There was some experimental proof offered in England, which resulted in the accusation: “Oh, Rhine, that’s nothing but guesswork.” And that is exactly true; that is guessing, what you call guessing. However, a hunch is guessing, but a definite guess, you know. All this really means nothing.
You see, the point is that it is more than merely probable; it is beyond chance. That’s the major point. But as you know, people hate such problems they can’t deal with concretely, and they can’t deal with this one concretely. In fact, even Rhine does not understand how often extrasensory phenomena really occur, because it is a revelation which in these sacred rooms is anathema, a revelation of time and space through the psyche. That’s the fact; that is what Rhine has made evident, but for scientists to say, “I’ll swallow that,” now that is difficult.
Evans: We might go a little further into some of your recent works in this area which many consider quite profound, but are not too well known to many of our students.
Jung: Of course not. Nobody in the general public actually reads these things. Of course, my books are at least sold.
Evans: To be more specific, I’m referring to the concept, synchronicity, which you have discussed, and which has some relevance at this point in our discussion. Would you care to comment on synchronicity?
Jung: That is awfully complicated. One wouldn’t know where to begin. Of course, this kind of thinking started long ago, and when Rhine brought out his results, I thought, “Now we have at least a more or less dependable basis to argue on.” But the argument has not been understood at all, because it is really very difficult.
When you observe the unconscious, you will come across plenty of cases which show a very peculiar kind of parallel events. For example, I have a certain thought of a certain definite subject which is occupying my attention and my interest; and at the same time, something else happens, quite independently, that portrays just that thought. This is utter nonsense, you know, looked at from a causal point of view. However, that there is something else to it which is not nonsense is made evident by the results of Rhine’s experiments. There is a probability; it is something more than chance that such a case occurs.
I never made statistical experiments except one in the way of Rhine. I made one for another purpose. But I have come across quite a number of cases where it was most astounding to find that two causal chains happened at the same time, but independent of each other, so that you could say they had nothing to do with each other. It’s really quite clear. For instance, I speak of a red car and at that moment a red car comes here. Now I haven’t seen the red car, because it wasn’t possible; it was hidden behind the building until just this moment when it suddenly appeared. Now many would say that this is an example of mere chance, but the Rhine experiment proves that these cases are not mere chance.
Now it would be superstitious and false to say, “This car has appeared because here were some remarks made about a red car; it is a miracle that a red car has appeared.” It is not a miracle; it is just chance—but these chances happen more often than chance allows. That shows that there is something behind it.
Rhine has a whole institute, many co-workers, and has the means. We have no means here to make such experiments; otherwise, I probably would have done them. Here it is just physically impossible, so I have to content myself with the observation of facts!!
Evans: An interesting area which is being discussed a lot in the United States today, and I’m sure is of interest to you as well, is that of psychosomatic medicine, an area dealing with the way in which emotional components of personality can affect bodily functions.
Jung: As an example of this, I see a lot of astounding cures of tuberculosis—chronic tuberculosis—effected by analysts; people learn to breathe again. The understanding of what their complexes were—that has helped them.
Evans: When did you first become interested in the psychic factors of tuberculosis? Many years ago?
Jung: I was an analyst to begin with; I was always interested naturally. Maybe also because I understood so little of it, or more importantly, I noticed that I understood so little.
Evans: To expand on my earlier question, we are right now becoming more and more interested in the United States in how emotional, unconscious personality factors can actually have an effect on the body. Of course, the classic example in the literature is the peptic ulcer. It is believed that this is a case where emotional factors have actually created pathology.
These ideas have been extended into many other areas. It is felt, for example, that where there already is pathology, these emotional factors can intensify it. Or sometimes there may be actual symptoms or fears concerning pathology when no true pathology exists, such as in cases of hysteria or hypochondriasis. For example, many physicians in America say that 60 to 70 percent of their patients do not have anything really physically wrong with them, but they instead have disorders of psychosomatic origin.
Jung: Yes, that is well known—since more than fifty years. The question is how to cure them.
Evans: Speaking of such psychosomatic disturbances, as, for instance, your experiences and studies into tuberculosis, do you have any ideas as to why the patient selects this type of symptom?
Jung: He doesn’t select; they happen to him. You could ask just as well when you are eaten by a crocodile, “How did you happen to select that crocodile?” Nonsense, he has selected you.
Evans: Of course, “selected” in this sense refers to an unconscious process.
Jung: No, not even unconsciously. That is an extraordinary exaggeration of the importance of the subject, to say he was choosing such things. They get him.
Evans: Perhaps one of the most radical suggestions in the area of psychosomatic medicine has been the suggestion that some forms of cancer may have psychosomatic components as causal factors. Would this surprise you?
Jung: Not at all. We know these since long ago, you know. Fifty years ago we already had these cases; ulcer of the stomach, tuberculosis, chronic arthritis, skin diseases. All are psychogenic under certain conditions.
Evans: And even cancer?
Jung: Well you see, I couldn’t swear, but I have seen cases where I thought or wondered whether or not there was a psychogenic reason for that particular ailment; it came too conveniently. Many things can be found out about cancer, I’m sure.
You see, with us it has been always a question of how to treat these things, because any disease possible has a psychological accompaniment. It just all depends upon —perhaps life depends upon it—whether you treat such a patient psychologically in the proper way or not. That can help tremendously, even if you cannot prove in the least that the disease in itself is psychogenic.
You can have an infectious disease in a certain moment, that is, a physical ailment or predicament, because you are particularly accessible to an infection—maybe sometimes because of a psychological attitude. Angina is such a typical psychological disease; yet it is not psychological in its physical consequences. It’s just an infection. So you ask, “Then why does psychology have anything to do with it?” Because it was the psychological moment maybe that allowed the infection to grow. When the disease has been established and there is a high fever and an abscess, you cannot cure it by psychology. Yet it is quite possible that you can avoid it by a proper psychological attitude.
Evans: So all this interest in psychosomatic medicine is pretty old stuff to you.
Jung: It’s all known here long ago.
Evans: And you are not at all surprised at the new developments . . .
Jung: No. For instance, there is the toxic aspect of schizophrenia. I published it fifty years ago—just fifty years ago—and now everyone discovers it. You are far ahead in America with technological things, but in psychological matters and such things, you are fifty years back. You simply don’t understand it; that’s a fact. I don’t want to figure in a general corrective statement; you simply are not yet aware of what there is. There are plenty more things than people have any idea of. I told you that case of the theologian who didn’t even know what the unconscious was; he thought it was an apparition. Everyone who says that I am a mystic is just an idiot. He just doesn’t understand the first word of psychology.
Evans: There is certainly nothing mystical about the statements you have just been making. Now to pursue this further, another development that falls right in line with this whole discussion of psychosomatic medicine has been the use of drugs to deal with psychological problems. Of course, historically drugs have been used a great deal by people to try to forget their troubles, to relieve pain, etc. However, a particular development has been the so-called non-addictive tranquilizing drugs. These, of course, became prominent in France with the drug, chlorpromazine. Then followed such drugs as reserpine-serpentina, and a great variety of milder tranquilizers, known by such trade names as Miltown and Equinal. They are now being administered very freely to patients by general practitioners and internists. In other words, not only are the stronger tranquilizers being administered to mentally ill patients such as schizophrenics, but to a great extent today these drugs are being dispensed almost as freely as aspirins to reduce everyday tensions.
Jung: This practice is very dangerous.
Evans: Why do you think this is dangerous? These drugs are supposed to be nonaddictive.
Jung: It’s just like the compulsion that is caused by morphine or heroin. It becomes a habit. You don’t know what you do, you see, when you use such drugs. It is like the abuse of narcotics.
Evans: But the argument is that these are not habit-forming; they are not physiologically addictive.
Jung: Oh, yes, that’s what one says.
Evans: But you feel that psychologically there is still addiction?
Jung: Yes. For instance, there are many drugs that don’t produce habits, the kind of habits that morphine does; yet it becomes a different kind of habit, a psychical habit, and that is just as bad as anything else.
Evans: Have you actually seen any patients or had any contact with individuals who have been taking these particular drugs, these tranquilizers?
Jung: I can’t say. You see, with us there are very few. In America there are all the little powders and the tablets. Happily enough, we are not yet so far. You see, American life is in a subtle way so one-sided and so uprooted that you must have something with which to compensate the real nature of man. You have to pacify your unconscious all along the line because it is in absolute uproar; so at the slightest provocation you have a big moral rebellion in America. Look at the rebellion of modern youth in America, the sexual rebellion, and all that. These rebellions occur because the real, natural man is just in open rebellion against the utterly inhuman form of American life. Americans are absolutely divorced from nature in a way, and that accounts for that drug abuse.
Evans: But what about the treatment of individuals who are seriously mentally ill? We have the problem of hospitalized, psychotic patients. For instance, certain schizophrenics are so withdrawn that they are virtually impossible to interact with in psychotherapy; so in many hospitals in the United States, drugs such as chlorpromazine have been used in order to render many such patients more amenable to psychotherapy. I don’t think most of our practitioners believe the drugs cure the patients in themselves, but they at least make the patient more amenable to therapy.
Jung: Yes, the only question is whether that amenability is a real thing or drug-induced. I am sure that any kind of suggestive treatment will have effect, because these people simply become suggestible. You see, any drug or shock in the mind will lower stamina, making these people accessible to suggestion. Then, of course, they can be led, can be made into something, but it is not a very happy result.
Evans: To change the topic for a moment, Professor Jung, I know our students would be interested in your opinion concerning the kind of training and background a psychologist, a person who wants to study the individual, should have. For example, there is one view that says maybe he should be trained primarily as a rigorous scientist, a master of such tools as statistics and experimental design. Others feel, however, that a study of the humanities is also important for the student who wants to study the individual.
Jung: Well of course, when you study human psychology, you can’t help noticing that man’s psychology doesn’t only consist of the ramifications of instinct in his behavior. There are other determinants, many others, and the study of man from his biological aspect only is by far insufficient. To understand human psychology, it is absolutely necessary that you study man also in his social and general environments. You have to consider, for instance, the fact that there are different kinds of societies, different kinds of nations, different traditions; and in the interest of that purpose, it is absolutely necessary that one treat the problem of the human psyche from many standpoints. Each is naturally a considerable task.
Thus, after my association experiments at which time I realized that there was obviously an unconscious, the question became, “Now what is this unconscious? Does it consist merely of remnants of conscious activities, or are there things that are practically forever unconscious? In other words, is the unconscious a factor in itself?” And I soon came to the conclusion that the unconscious must be a factor in itself. You see, I observe time and again, for instance, when delving into people’s dreams or schizophrenic patients’ delusions and fantasies, that therein is contained motives which they couldn’t possibly have acquired in our surroundings. This, of course, depends upon the belief that the child is not born tabula rasa, but instead is a definite mixture or combination of genes; and although the genes seem to contain chiefly dynamic factors and predispositions to certain types of behavior, they have a tremendous importance also for the arrangement of the psyche, inasmuch as it appears, that is. Before you can see into the psyche, you cannot study it, but once it appears, you see that it has certain qualities and a certain character. Now the explanation for this must needs depend upon the elements born in the child, so factors determining human behavior are born within the child, and determine further development. Now that is one side of the picture.
The other side of the picture is that the individual lives in connection with others in certain definite surroundings that will influence the given combination of qualities. And that now is also a very complicated factor, because the environmental influences are not merely personal. There are any number of objective factors. The general social conditions, laws, convictions, ways of looking at things, of dealing with things; these things are not of an arbitrary character. They are historical. There are historical reasons why things are as they are. There are historical reasons for the qualities of the psyche and there is such a thing as the history of man’s evolution in past eons, which as a combination show that real understanding of the psyche must consist in the elucidation of the history of the human race—history of the mind, for instance, as in the biological data. When I wrote my first book concerning the psychology of the unconscious, I already had formed a certain idea of the nature of the unconscious. To me it was then a living remnant of the original history of man, man living in his surroundings. It is a very complicated picture.
So you see, man is not complete when he lives in a world of statistical truth. He must live in a world where the “whole” of man, his entire history, is the concern; and that is not merely statistics. It is the expression of what man really is, and what he feels himself to be.
The scientist is always looking for an average. Our natural science makes everything an average, reduces everything to an average; yet the truth is that the carriers of life are individuals, not average numbers. When everything is statistical, all individual qualities are wiped out, and that, of course, is quite unbecoming. In fact, it is unhygienic, because if you wipe out the mythology of a man, his entire historical sequence, he becomes a statistical average, a number; that is, he becomes nothing. He is deprived of his specific value, of experiencing his own unique value.
You see, the trouble is that nobody understands these things apparently. It seems quite strange to me that one doesn’t see what an education without the humanities is doing to man. He loses his connection with his family, his connection with his whole past—the whole stem, the tribe —that past in which man has always lived. We think that we are born today tabula rasa without a history, but man has always lived in the myth. To think that man is born without a history within himself— that is a disease. It is absolutely abnormal, because man is not bom every day. He is bom into a specific historical setting with specific historical qualities, and therefore, he is only complete when he has a relation to these things. If you are growing up with no connection from the past, it is like being born without eyes and ears and trying to perceive the external world with accuracy. Natural science may say, “You need no connection with the past; you can wipe it out,” but that is a mutilation of the human being. Now I saw from a practical experience that this kind of proceeding has a most extraordinary therapeutic effect. I can tell you such a case.
There was a Jewish girl. Her father was a banker. She had been educated more through worldly experience and formal education, and was decidedly lacking in any understanding of tradition. I examined her history further and found out that her grandfather had been an ascetic in Galicia. With this insight, I knew the whole story, and let me explain why. This particular girl suffered from phobia, a terrible phobia, and had been under psychoanalytic treatment already with no effect. She was really badly plagued by that phobia, in excited states and so on. I observed that this girl had blocked significant influences of her past. For instance, the fact that her grandfather was an ascetic, that he lived in the myth, was one influence she had blocked. Her father too had resisted this ascetic influence. So I simply told her, “You will stamp out your fears if you gain insight into what you have lost or are resisting. Your fear is the fear of the influences from the past.” You know, the effect was that within a week she was cured from so many years of bad anxiety states, because this insight went through her like a lightning bolt. I was able to interpret the source of the problem so quickly because I knew that she was absolutely lost. She thought she was in the middle of things, functioning well, but actually she was in a sense lost or gone.
Evans: What can we learn from this remarkable case, Dr. Jung?
Jung: Well, it illustrates that it makes no sense and that our existence is incomplete when we are just “average numbers.” The more you make people into average numbers, the more you destroy our society. The “ideal state” and the “slave state” come into being. If you want to be an “average number,” go to Russia. There it is wonderful; there you can be a number. But one pays very dearly; our whole life goes to blazes, like in the case of the girl. I have plenty of cases of a similar kind.
10. Personal Insights, Reminiscences, and Experiences with Great Figures
Evans: As one reads your work, we seem to be aware that you know archeology, anthropology—
Jung: Well this is true inasmuch as a great deal of my work is concerned with these disciplines, but I have no mathematical gifts, you know, which handicaps me some. You cannot get real knowledge or understanding of nuclear physics without a good mastery of mathematics, higher mathematics. There I only have a certain relation with it on the epistomological questions, you know. Modern physics is truly entering the sphere of the invisible and intangible, as it were. It is in reality a field of probabilities, which is exactly the same as the unconscious. I often have discussed this with Professor Scherrer. Now he is a nuclear physicist, and to my amazement I found that they have terms which are used in psychology too. This is simply on account of the fact that we are both entering a sphere which is unknown. The physicist enters it from without and the psychologist from within. That’s the reason for the parleys between psychology and higher mathematics. For instance, we psychologists used the term “transcendental function.” Now transcendental function is a mathematical concept, the function of rational and imaginary numbers. Now that is higher mathematics, with which I have nothing to do. But we come to the same terminology.
Evans: When you spoke with Dr. Einstein in your early discussion, he more or less tried out some of his ideas on you. Did you ever bring to him the possibility that relativity might apply to psychic functions? Did you ever discuss that?
Jung: Well you see, you know how it is when a man is so concentrated upon his own ideas as was Dr. Einstein; and when he is a mathematician on top of everything, then you are not welcome.
Evans: What year was it that you were friends with Einstein?
Jung: I wouldn’t call myself a friend. I was simply the host. I tried to listen and to understand, so there was little chance to insert some of my own ideas.
Evans: Was this after he had already formulated his relativity theories, or just before?
Jung: That was when he was working on it, right in the beginning. It was very interesting.
Evans: In your dealings with Professor Toynbee, have you gotten rather interested in his ideas of history?
Jung: Ah, yes, particularly his ideas about the life cycles of civilizations, and the way that they are ruled by archetypal forms. Toynbee has seen what I mean by historical functions of archetypal developments. That is a mighty important determinant of human behavior, and can span centuries or thousands of years. It expresses itself in symbols, sometimes symbols that you would never think of at all. For instance, as you know, Russia, the Soviet Republic, had that symbol of the red star. Now it is a five-rayed red star. America has the five- rayed white star. They are enemies; they can’t come together. In the Middle Ages for at least 2000 years the red and white were the couple; they were ultimately destined to marry each other. Now America is a sort of matriarchy, inasmuch as most of the money is in the hands of women, and Russia is the land of the little father; it’s a patriarchy. So the two are mother and father. To use the terminology of the Middle Ages, they are the white woman, the “femina alba,” and the red slave, the “servius rubeus.” The two lovers have quarreled with each other.
Evans: Well, Dr. Jung, you’ve patiently and interestingly responded in a spontaneous fashion to questions ranging from your feelings about Freud’s ideas to reactions to Toynbee. Perhaps we should not impose upon your extreme kindness any longer at this time. I do hope, however, that our students are stimulated by what you’ve said to go back to your great array of writings. After all, this is the real purpose for making these interviews available to students, to motivate them to read the original writings of the world’s great contributors to our understanding of man’s personality.
Jung: Yes. People have to read the books, by golly, in spite of the fact that they are thick. I’m sorry.
— End —