Peter C. Lynn Remembrance of C.G. Jung, Emma Jung, and Toni Wolff.
My wife and J spent three exciting years in Zurich, from 1950 through 1953.
In those days we were a small band of American students at the Zurich Institute, which was just beginning to hit its stride as a professional training center.
Life was cheap then, the G. I. Bill provided for basic necessities, and after David and I had persuaded the U.S. Embassy in Paris to
include the C. G . Jung Institute in Zurich in the list of approved institutions of higher education, we got by very nicely.
Jung himself was no longer teaching, bur about twice a year he would invite the diploma candidates to his house in Kusnacht for “fireside chats.”
He would stand by the fireplace, pipe in mouth, and ask for questions on anything and everything, encouraging us to engage him in dialogue.
My most vivid recollections of these extraordinary evenings is the experience of Jung as a giant whose head couched the clouds and whose feet were rooted in the very center of the earth.
Within the same sentence he would connect an earthy, peasant-type joke (laughing uproarious!) with an obscure pre-Christian myth, both directly relevant to the question under discussion.
I used to come away from these gatherings with a great sense of awe, having glimpsed ultimate issues in a thoroughly human context.
His wife would appear now and then, but she never participated in the discussions.
Emma Jung was still actively teaching at the Institute and contact with her in class or in her home was always warm and cordial.
She was an ample woman, with an open and accepting attitude, very much her own person, who seemed to take the complexities and difficulties of life rather as a matter of course.
She was always available for counsel and made me feel genuinely welcome.
In stark contrast, Toni Wolff’s appearance at the lnstitute (she was rarely privately approachable) was that of a ghost-like figure, gaunt, haughty and forbidding.
No smile ever crossed her face in class, in face she betrayed no emotions of any kind.
Questions were answered in clipped cones which made the questioner feel small, even stupid, for having asked the question in the first place.
The icy impression she conveyed made most of us ponder how she could ever have been a “femme fatale” or “femme inspiratrice” to anybody, least of all C. G. Jung.
Today, from the vantage point of a senior analyst with thirty years of experience I wonder about the accuracy of these perceptions: how much projection was there on my part?
All the same, I offer them herewith as images and impressions very much alive in my memory ~Peter C. Lynn, J.E.T., Pages 41-42
Carl Jung across the web:
Blog: http: http://carljungdepthpsychology.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/56536297291/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Carl-Jung-326016020781946/
Great Sites to visit:
Jenna Lilla’s Path of the Soul http://jennalilla.org/
Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/
Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/
Lance S. Owens The Gnosis Archives http://gnosis.org/welcome.html