Roland Cahen: Memory of C.G. Jung

In this interview Dr. Cahen recounts how he first met Jung at the age of twenty-two, through a series of lucky circumstances.

Roland Cahen: “I arrived at Zurich at one o’clock,” he tells in the interview, “and there was a course by Jung at the Polytechnic Institute at five o’clock.

I had intended to take the night train to Paris , but this course excited me so much that I decided to pitch my tent in Zurich,
and I stayed one month.

At the end of this month I went to see Jung at the end of one of his lectures and said: ‘Monsieur, we have nothing
like this in France.

One should translate your stuff.’

Jung then was already a world authority, but at the same time he was very open-minded.

He told me: ‘Carte blanche, young man!'”

Thus, Dr. Cahen says, the whole adventure began.

He proceeded to read Jung’s work and after 6,000 pages chose to translate Modern Man in Search of
his Soul, of which more than 100,000 copies have been printed since.

Dr. Cahen’s short stay in Zurich resulted in a change of orientation.

He gave up philology and, in spite of many obstacles, took up medicine in preparation for his life’s work as an analyst.

He was determined to make Jung’s work known to French readers and has been instrumental in the publication of
twenty-two of Jung’s works.

Asked whether he was analyzed by Jung, Dr. Cahen replied as follows:

“I started on my analysis in Zurich without financial means.

I want to stress this , because the relation of analysis to money is so often caricatured.

My analyst was C. A. Meier, who later occupied Jung’s chair at the Polytechnic Institute.

To be sure, not all doctors have at all times his competence, his broadmindedness, and his generosity.

Then later, I analyzed with Jung himself in order to learn to know his own personal way, which was beyond compare, and then with Mrs. Jung, his wife, in order to make part of the analytical journey with an analyst of the opposite sex.”

Asked by the interviewer what Jung was like, Dr. Cahen answered:

“Like a great gentleman. That’s the fundamental impression chat he always left with me.

He knew how to make himself accessible to everyone, to speak their language, to enter into their preoccupations.

A great gentleman, in whom intelligence vied with his (physical) presence, his kindness, his sensitivity, with his manner, of necessity less logical than psychological, that is to say inclusive of the opposites.

The interviewer asked how Jung reacted to the popularization of analytical ideas.

Did he calk about that? Dr.

Cahen: “Jung was entirely aware of the vital importance of the psychological revolution, that is co say of the
Copernican upheaval as a result of which man’s consciousness is no longer the center of his mental universe.

Do you remember the anecdote about Freud and Jung and also Ferenczi, where they disembark in the U.S. and one says to the other: ‘They don’t know that we are bringing them the plague.”

I remember telling Jung one day that, if things continued thus, one must foresee a psychological service whose density would equal that of the services of religious institutions in the past.

The only reply Jung gave me was to raise his arms to heaven.”

Dr. Cahen added that he thought we had arrived at this point today.

The interviewer asked whether Jung was a man close to life.

Dr. Cahen: “He chopped his own wood in his country house on the shore of the high Lake of Zurich.

He considered manual labor a necessary part of life and also of mental hygiene.

He had neither electricity nor running water at his country house in Bollingen.

He also was a great traveler and a bon vivant.

You always had the impression char he was entirely at your disposal and that the only case in the world char interested
him was yours.

He had the wisdom to limit his activities.

When I knew him he had reached sixty; a little after chat he saw no more than two or three patients per day.”

Interviewer: “Jung expressed himself a lot, 1 believe, in the course of a session?”

Dr. Cahen: “Freud also expressed himself and much more than is currently thought.

The totally silent psychoanalyses do not correspond at all co what Freud himself did.

Jung expressed himself, and towards the end of his life, when 1 knew him, he expressed himself
more, no doubt than in his fifties.

He thought it his cask to express himself, inasmuch as, beyond the association method of Freud, he
proposed the method of amplification: if a subject has no associations in connection which his dream it is,
no doubt, often due to resistances.

But it is also often due to the fact that it concerns a content that is emerging for the first rime into the field of consciousness and
which therefore has no connection yet with the rest of the psychological edifice.

It is like a foreign body which emerges and makes a breakthrough . . .. Bur the amplification method muse intervene
only when one has exhausted stubbornly all appeals co personal history and to the associations of the patient.

It is here that Jung brings a new insight: not everything in the psychic material of the patient refers to his personal history.”

The interviewer asked Dr. Cahen how Jung spoke of Freud in 1938-39. twenty-five years after their break.

Dr. Cahen: “I don’t remember a single visit with Jung where he did not speak to me of Freud.

I think that neither of the two great men ever healed of the grave wound of their rupture.

Jung spoke of Freud always with much esteem and admiration.” ~Roland Cahen, J.E.T., Pages 11-13

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