To be asked to write about the personal stimulus and effect Jung has had on my life seemed at first a very easy request to fulfill.

 

The more I think about it the more difficult it becomes; what should I select?

 

Jung’s influence has many dimensions-from the spoken word to the tremendous, subtle effectiveness which radiated from his great personality-even if oceans, and years, prevented a personal encounter.

 

Thinking back at least thirty years, as a young student spending a few weeks in Zurich, I was invited to a social gathering.

 

There, by chance, Jung was present. By chance?

 

Well, Jean Gebser has something to say to this: ‘People who believe that there is pure coincidence lose their lives to meaninglessness.

 

Each so-called coincidence adds to the exhilarating meaningfulness and inexhaustible richness of our lives, by making it more obvious that we are participants in the whole.’

 

So Jung was present; but at that time my knowledge of psychology and its great representatives was hardly more than that Jung had been a disciple of Freud’s and had parted company in order to follow his own discoveries.

 

There were about twenty people in the room, but it was Jung’s wonderful forehead that caught my eye.

 

And then he spoke-not about psychology, not at all about any deep science.

 

He talked about his experiences in Africa, his encounters with natives of practically every part of the world.

 

It was as if the walls of the room opened into the limitless horizon where everything could be possible. His voice seemed to belong to an ancient Chinese storyteller.

 

I found myself walking through the jungle with many new eyes open to the beauty of the early sunrise, the diamond glittering of the night’s dew.

 

I had numerous ears in order to hear the song and jubilation of strange, beautiful birds.

 

I could suddenly perceive the world with senses of whose existence I had never known before. Jung talked about superstition which, seen in this light,

was great intuition; about instincts and phenomena far beyond all our school and book knowledge.

 

I got my first faint idea about symbolism, transcendence, and synchronicity without any one of those words even being mentioned.

 

It was my first encounter with Jung, and it opened doors for me which never closed again.

 

I did not immediately change my studies or plans, but a seed was planted that night which in due time made me become a Jungian analyst.

 

It was years before I saw Jung again.

 

The catastrophe of the Nazis and the second world war overshadowed the world.

 

People had to leave their countries, to change their professions; barriers were put up between states, countries, and families.

 

My task as an analyst seemed to take on a greater urgency-a need to help, to be active, to solve immediate difficulties.

 

So I thought!

 

Brimful of problems and, to me, important dreams, I went to Zurich.

 

Jung did not ask for my dreams, nor did he seem to have any idea how desperately I wanted to talk with him.

 

He just glanced at me, and then looked out of the window into his garden and started to tell me quiet little stories: about the long preparations the Bushmen took the evening before a hunt; of how many years of learning it took a disciple of Zen Buddhism before he dared to try to hit the target.

 

He also said something about the pitch-black darkness of a tower where there is no chance of any light, and what fertile ground that was for the unconscious to enfold.

 

I was rather close to despair when I left Jung and did not understand at all what he meant. That night I had the following dream:

 

I had a small, very dirty, iron ball, and my task was to polish it so that it would shine. I did my utmost.

 

I tried everything because it seemed terribly important to succeed.

 

The ball stayed dirty and dull.

 

Full of anger, I threw it in a comer.

 

After a while I heard a cat playing with something. Looking closer I saw a kitten circling around my ball and warming it with its soft fur. The ball shone

like pure gold !

 

Next morning Jung greeted me with a little sarcastic smile saying, ‘You were quite unhappy last night, and thought me a nasty un-understanding man, didn’t you?’

 

I had to admit at least the latter.

 

Then Jung went on and told me very seriously that in our Western civilization we had very little idea about letting things happen.

 

He told me about the Chinese Wu-Wei, the balance or middle between activity and passivity.

 

  1. Wilhelm and E. Rousselle translated this Wu-Wei as: ‘Doing nothing, but also not doing nothing’; hard to understand-and terribly important for analytical practice.

 

When I went back to war-terror and fear, I had learnt not to jump immediately in medias res.

 

I no longer wanted to solve the problem or complex, but was able to smell the climate a little more-and to let things happen; even to let the patient leave in despair in order to give the unconscious a chance to say what it thought to be good.

 

I had gained the absolute conviction that the unconscious always knew better.

 

It was an entry into another dimension which Jung had let me experience.

 

Jung has so often emphasized that the analyst has to learn as 1 ,1 1 t 1 11 r .

 

much as possible \ too mucn, really, tor most normal numan beings). Psychology, philosophy, religion, mythology, anthropology, the knowledge of fairy tales of many countries, the rituals and ceremonies of different tribes-these he thought to be only the basic background for becoming an analyst.

 

But the life experience, the risk, the daring to explore he found the most important tools. He once said, scathingly:

 

‘It is easy to say “No”, to be cautious; even to say “No” to a much desired and tempting situation is much easier than to say “Yes” and take the full consequences.

 

Only that makes a fully mature human being-and that you must be if you want to become an analyst.’

 

One single encounter with Jung was so much more important than years of studying.

 

I want to add a third situation where a few short sentences from Jung gave me an entirely fresh, new, life orientation.

 

It was not so long ago that I found myself with a decision to make which seemed vital to me.

 

Working as an analyst in the United States, I wondered ifI should not go back to my own country and work there. We all know those situations where we try hard to solve something with our brains, and we become dry and virtually sterile because we act against the inner fl.ow of life, instead of

listening to the possibility which is lodged in the deep womb of the unconscious.

 

This time it was not even a personal session I had with Jung.

 

It was his birthday party and many people were around.

 

He was speaking a few words with each one.

 

When I greeted him, he said: ‘Oh, the bridge-builder! I have heard that in America they now do the same thing that the natives in Africa did; they start to build a bridge from two sides and meet in the middle.’

 

And, with a twinkle in his eyes, he went on to say: ‘It is not so important on which side of the bridge one stands-only to do good work.’

 

I had not mentioned a word of my private problem, but I got the answer-right to the point-out of Jung’s tremendous intuition.

 

We have Jung’s work; we have his books, his seminars, even a  few films.

 

His enormous knowledge and wisdom are put down in those volumes, and we have to be very grateful for them.

 

But we have lost with his death the twinkle of his eyes-his laughter coming from the depth of his being.

 

There will be no more immediate reaction in joy or anger. His unique, and overwhelming, intuition is quiet.

 

And the world-those who knew him personally and those who knew about him-has lost one of the true wardens of conscience and responsibility. ~ Anneliese Aumuller, Contact with Jung, Pages 190-193

 

To be asked to write about the personal stimulus and effect Jung has had on my life seemed at first a very easy request to fulfill.

 

The more I think about it the more difficult it becomes; what should I select?

 

Jung’s influence has many dimensions-from the spoken word to the tremendous, subtle effectiveness which radiated from his great personality-even if oceans, and years, prevented a personal encounter.

 

Thinking back at least thirty years, as a young student spending a few weeks in Zurich, I was invited to a social gathering.

 

There, by chance, Jung was present. By chance?

 

Well, Jean Gebser has something to say to this: ‘People who believe that there is pure coincidence lose their lives to meaninglessness.

 

Each so-called coincidence adds to the exhilarating meaningfulness and inexhaustible richness of our lives, by making it more obvious that we are participants in the whole.’

 

So Jung was present; but at that time my knowledge of psychology and its great representatives was hardly more than that Jung had been a disciple of Freud’s and had parted company in order to follow his own discoveries.

 

There were about twenty people in the room, but it was Jung’s wonderful forehead that caught my eye.

 

And then he spoke-not about psychology, not at all about any deep science.

 

He talked about his experiences in Africa, his encounters with natives of practically every part of the world.

 

It was as if the walls of the room opened into the limitless horizon where everything could be possible. His voice seemed to belong to an ancient Chinese storyteller.

 

I found myself walking through the jungle with many new eyes open to the beauty of the early sunrise, the diamond glittering of the night’s dew.

 

I had numerous ears in order to hear the song and jubilation of strange, beautiful birds.

 

I could suddenly perceive the world with senses of whose existence I had never known before. Jung talked about superstition which, seen in this light,

was great intuition; about instincts and phenomena far beyond all our school and book knowledge.

 

I got my first faint idea about symbolism, transcendence, and synchronicity without any one of those words even being mentioned.

 

It was my first encounter with Jung, and it opened doors for me which never closed again.

 

I did not immediately change my studies or plans, but a seed was planted that night which in due time made me become a Jungian analyst.

 

It was years before I saw Jung again.

 

The catastrophe of the Nazis and the second world war overshadowed the world.

 

People had to leave their countries, to change their professions; barriers were put up between states, countries, and families.

 

My task as an analyst seemed to take on a greater urgency-a need to help, to be active, to solve immediate difficulties.

 

So I thought!

 

Brimful of problems and, to me, important dreams, I went to Zurich.

 

Jung did not ask for my dreams, nor did he seem to have any idea how desperately I wanted to talk with him.

 

He just glanced at me, and then looked out of the window into his garden and started to tell me quiet little stories: about the long preparations the Bushmen took the evening before a hunt; of how many years of learning it took a disciple of Zen Buddhism before he dared to try to hit the target.

 

He also said something about the pitch-black darkness of a tower where there is no chance of any light, and what fertile ground that was for the unconscious to enfold.

 

I was rather close to despair when I left Jung and did not understand at all what he meant. That night I had the following dream:

 

I had a small, very dirty, iron ball, and my task was to polish it so that it would shine. I did my utmost.

 

I tried everything because it seemed terribly important to succeed.

 

The ball stayed dirty and dull.

 

Full of anger, I threw it in a comer.

 

After a while I heard a cat playing with something. Looking closer I saw a kitten circling around my ball and warming it with its soft fur. The ball shone

like pure gold !

 

Next morning Jung greeted me with a little sarcastic smile saying, ‘You were quite unhappy last night, and thought me a nasty un-understanding man, didn’t you?’

 

I had to admit at least the latter.

 

Then Jung went on and told me very seriously that in our Western civilization we had very little idea about letting things happen.

 

He told me about the Chinese Wu-Wei, the balance or middle between activity and passivity.

 

  1. Wilhelm and E. Rousselle translated this Wu-Wei as: ‘Doing nothing, but also not doing nothing’; hard to understand-and terribly important for analytical practice.

 

When I went back to war-terror and fear, I had learnt not to jump immediately in medias res.

 

I no longer wanted to solve the problem or complex, but was able to smell the climate a little more-and to let things happen; even to let the patient leave in despair in order to give the unconscious a chance to say what it thought to be good.

 

I had gained the absolute conviction that the unconscious always knew better.

 

It was an entry into another dimension which Jung had let me experience.

 

Jung has so often emphasized that the analyst has to learn as 1 ,1 1 t 1 11 r .

 

much as possible \ too mucn, really, tor most normal numan beings). Psychology, philosophy, religion, mythology, anthropology, the knowledge of fairy tales of many countries, the rituals and ceremonies of different tribes-these he thought to be only the basic background for becoming an analyst.

 

But the life experience, the risk, the daring to explore he found the most important tools. He once said, scathingly:

 

‘It is easy to say “No”, to be cautious; even to say “No” to a much desired and tempting situation is much easier than to say “Yes” and take the full consequences.

 

Only that makes a fully mature human being-and that you must be if you want to become an analyst.’

 

One single encounter with Jung was so much more important than years of studying.

 

I want to add a third situation where a few short sentences from Jung gave me an entirely fresh, new, life orientation.

 

It was not so long ago that I found myself with a decision to make which seemed vital to me.

 

Working as an analyst in the United States, I wondered ifI should not go back to my own country and work there. We all know those situations where we try hard to solve something with our brains, and we become dry and virtually sterile because we act against the inner fl.ow of life, instead of

listening to the possibility which is lodged in the deep womb of the unconscious.

 

This time it was not even a personal session I had with Jung.

 

It was his birthday party and many people were around.

 

He was speaking a few words with each one.

 

When I greeted him, he said: ‘Oh, the bridge-builder! I have heard that in America they now do the same thing that the natives in Africa did; they start to build a bridge from two sides and meet in the middle.’

 

And, with a twinkle in his eyes, he went on to say: ‘It is not so important on which side of the bridge one stands-only to do good work.’

 

I had not mentioned a word of my private problem, but I got the answer-right to the point-out of Jung’s tremendous intuition.

 

We have Jung’s work; we have his books, his seminars, even a  few films.

 

His enormous knowledge and wisdom are put down in those volumes, and we have to be very grateful for them.

 

But we have lost with his death the twinkle of his eyes-his laughter coming from the depth of his being.

 

There will be no more immediate reaction in joy or anger. His unique, and overwhelming, intuition is quiet.

 

And the world-those who knew him personally and those who knew about him-has lost one of the true wardens of conscience and responsibility. ~ Anneliese Aumuller, Contact with Jung, Pages 190-193

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