Carl Jung Two Letters on Psychoanalysis 10 January 1912
In the communication from Dr. Kesselring and Dr. B. of the Keplerbund, which appeared in this column, exception was taken to the following remark of the reporter: “Dr. Kesselring, as he himself observed, spoke as an opponent of Freud’s psychoanalytic method and at the request of the Keplerbund.
This Society is opposed to a tendentiously materialistic pursuit of the natural sciences and wishes to combat the erroneous view that scientific knowledge stands in the way of religious belief.
Hence the impression which the speaker intended to make upon his audience is perfectly understandable.”
In saying this the reporter did not “discredit” Dr. Kesselring’s willingness to speak on Freud in the Keplerbund, nor did he discredit the general activity of that Society—he merely stated something that was self-evident.
The Keplerbund has the following article in its programme, which it claims is based on a “scientifically and ethically unassailable foundation” : “The Keplerbund holds the conviction that the truth contains within itself the harmony of scientific facts with philosophical knowledge and with religious experience.”
Further: “The Keplerbund differs quite consciously from the materialistic dogma of monism and combats the atheistic propaganda resulting therefrom, which wrongly seeks support in the findings of natural science.”
According to this programme, therefore, the Keplerbund is not merely a champion of enlightenment and popular education, but also a militant organization.
Since Freud’s teachings likewise stand in sharpest contrast to the “harmony” sought for by the Keplerbund, every thinking person will know that the society must, on its own admission, fight against them.
When an organization arranges a lecture, it usually makes sure beforehand of the point of view of the lecturer, no matter whether its interest in the theme is religious, political, artistic, or scientific.
Anyone who knows that Dr. Kesselring was a pupil of Freud’s must also know—so at least one must assume—that he is Freud’s opponent in theory and in practice. Equally, a reporter engaged by the Keplerbund knows that he cannot defend Freud’s “pan-sexualism” within its precincts.
The reporter, who incidentally is neither a Freudian nor against the Keplerbund, did not credulously rely on the opinions of others, but to the best of his ability oriented himself beforehand on the theme of the lecture, the principles of the Keplerbund, and the views of Dr. Kesselring.
In this same connection a correspondent wrote: “To the amazement of professional people Dr. Kesselring’s lecture ‘On Psychoanalysis’ brought before the public at the Schwurgerichtssaal a recent line of medical research which, among other things, has to include within the scope of its analytical work the most intimate and repulsive of all human fantasies.
Disputes over the results of this research are taking a violent form in professional circles, and opinions are very much divided.
But however violent the scientific discussion may be, opponents and friends of psychoanalysis are alike agreed that such things, even if only for the sake of good taste, should not be paraded before the public at the Schwurgerichtssaal, quite apart from the fact that even the best educated public can exercise no competent judgment in these matters.
One could, with as much right, hold gynaecological examinations at the Schwurgerichtssaal in order to arouse public feeling against some of the findings of medical research.”
For the rest, the lecture, whose lack of objectivity must have struck even the layman, contained so many distortions that it seemed designed to spread confusion and error.
Those who wish to find out what psychoanalysis is really about are recommended to read Freud’s Uber Psychoanalyse (publ. Deuticke, Vienna and Leipzig), in which he gives an account of his views and methods in more or less popular language.
Reference should also be made to the invaluable work Die Psychoanalyse Freuds (Deuticke) by Eugen Bleuler, professor of psychiatry at Zurich, who discusses in an objective and critical way the pros and cons of psychoanalysis.
The authority and continental reputation of this excellent scholar should guarantee the educated public a more competent view of psychoanalysis than the statements of Dr. Kesselring.
Dr. J. 17 January 1912
In connection with the article on “Psychoanalysis” that was published in your columns last Saturday, I would like to remark that the concept of sexuality used by Freud and me has a far wider range of meaning than it has in common usage.
As I have often pointed out, we understand by “sexuality” all those instinctual forces which extend beyond the domain of the instinct of self-preservation.
The scientific justification for this conception cannot be discussed here. It can be read about in Freud’s and my writings.
Confusion between the common conception and our biological conception of sexuality naturally leads to the greatest misunderstandings.
J further allow myself to remark that it is not permissible to lay at our door all the immature researches that have been undertaken by less qualified persons.
We can accept responsibility only for what we ourselves have written, and not for the manifold sins of other writers.
One could just as well hold Christianity responsible for the abominations of the Inquisition, if one wished to adopt so summary a procedure.
Naturally, I am not thinking of the invaluable researches of Dr. Riklin, with which I am in full agreement, but of the book by Michelsen, mentioned by my critic F. M., and a number of other writings whose standpoints and method of exposition I must repudiate.
Dr. Jung ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Pages 427-429