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Carl Jung on The Evil Vineyard by Marie Hay

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Introduction to Jungian Psychology: Notes of the Seminar on Analytical Psychology Given in 1925 (Philemon Foundation Series)

The Evil Vineyard”

Dr. Mann gave the report for the committee on The Evil Vineyard.

Only her synopsis of the psychological aspects of the story will be given.

Taken on the reality basis, the story tells of a marriage in which no possibility of a real relationship existed.

The girl, having repressed her instincts as a woman, marries Latimer because he stands for the intellectual world which has completely fascinated her.

She has no love for him, even fears him. Latimer, twenty years her senior, seeks in her a renewal of youth; instead of feeling, he brings her sexuality.

The weirdness he is described as having [experienced] before his marriage progresses through shell shock into a neurosis in which he has to relive the crimes of a legendary Italian condottiere.

Because he represents her projected unconscious, and is in short an animus figure to her, Mary is utterly powerless to free herself from him until she comes to love another man in a real way.

Taken symbolically, the story is that of a woman giving way to the evil side of the animus, finally to be rescued by the upcoming of the positive side.

Throughout, Mary was taken as psychologically identical with the author.

It was the opinion of Dr. Jung that the committee had failed to get at the deeper psychological significance of the book, and that the reason that they had failed lay in the assumption that Latimer was abnormal when he met Mary.

There was not sufficient evidence, he thought, for that viewpoint, and taking the story that way limited it too much.

It should be taken on a much deeper level.

Dr. Jung: I would like to hear from the men on the committee.

Mr. Bacon?

Mr. Bacon: The thing that interested me was that I thought if I could have read the symbols rightly, which I did not feel competent to do, I could have learned something very interesting about the author.

I thought she must have had some bad experience, and that the book was a reflection of her private troubles.

Dr. Jung: I think it would be a mistake to take the book as too much a story of the author.

We really don’t know in how far the author has come to it from inner motives, and how much she has taken over the legend of the Casa di Ferro.

She seems to have lived in Switzerland and to have known much of Swiss life.

In case she has taken over the plot ready-made, it would not be fair to say it is symptomatic.

So I think we can dismiss the intuitions about the author’s conflict. It was more possible to take She from that viewpoint, but here the connections are very obscure.

It would be better to take this story from the standpoint of the heroes, as Dr. Harding has done with Holly.

Thus I should analyze it first from the standpoint of the girl, and then from that of Latimer.

Looked at from the two aspects, very different things come out.

We have no book that I know of in which we could establish a direct relationship between the author and the animus figure.

But here an important part of the problem is presented.

We can assume that the author has put feminine psychology into the heroine, and we can try to reconstruct what that woman has experienced and the development of the animus.

Do you consider, Dr. Mann, that Latimer is a suitable animus figure?

Dr. Mann: Yes, because he is a power figure.

Dr. Jung: I think it nearer the facts to say that he became a power figure.

First he appears as a learned man who appealed to her as a source of wisdom, a man representing wisdom.

The animus is not necessarily a power figure.

The anima, on the other hand, is usually a power figure. She appears in that way from the very beginning.

But the response of a woman to wisdom is not necessarily a power reaction, as you seem to have presented it.

It is quite a legitimate craving.

I think the author has tried to show here a girl who was starved on the spiritual side, and came to an older man legitimately seeking.

Of course the world always takes such a situation and makes a love story of it, not allowing that a girl comes to a man for anything but love.

When such a thing happens to a man in reality, he is very likely to make the false assumption; and obviously there are more cases in which the assumption is right than those in which it is wrong, but nonetheless, we must admit that there are plenty of serious cases in which a girl can be interested in learning.

And so I think Mary sought information from Latimer.

Then begins the tragic situation. He would not assume that she is interested in knowledge, but takes it that she wants him as a man, and is simply pretending an interest in order to trap him.

Here is the tragic conflict.

He does not see that she is really interested, and so he gets her into a trap.

Then comes her mistake.

She is not aware of her instincts, and has no love for him whatsoever.

It would be her duty to tell him that he has made a mistake, but she just lets him marry her, and never tells him that she does not love him.

Because she has disregarded her instincts, they begin to grow in the dark.

Then the animus begins his work, and from this moment he gives an evil twist to her unconscious processes.

Before she was all right, and she had projected her animus into Latimer at sight.

It was something that simply happened, and if the situation had been taken seriously, it might have gone very well.

But his attitude to her was all wrong because it was blind.

He took no cognizance of what she really thought about him, and made the false assumption about her seeking him as a lover.

A man thoroughly aware of his own instincts should not make a mistake like that, but obviously he was a very intellectual man living in his mind with complete repression of the anima.

When he meets her all of that goes over on her, and he never stops to make out the reality of the situation.

But she will not carry his projection, and presently he begins to feel something growing in her which he does not understand.

And there we are launched upon the battle between the anima and the animus.

Let us take up her side of the conflict first. She committed a sin of ignorance in that she was unaware of her instincts.

Nature pays no attention to ignorance as an excuse, she simply punishes it as a sin.

She handles the situation as it is, and it makes no difference to nature if the person has chosen the wrong way with malice aforethought, or has merely fallen into it.

We might say that ignorance of instinct on the part of Mary is a sort of inherited sin, for her whole education has been along the lines of excluding knowledge of life.

Her family did all they could to keep her unconscious, and she knows nothing of the role a woman must play.

She quite innocently lies to the man, then she behaves as though she were his wife and really is not.

In such a marriage there will be a violent outburst of sexuality at the beginning on the part of the man.

The primitive in the man is awakened because he must beat the woman down in order to make her serviceable to his instincts.

Of course this is quite wrong, hopelessly wrong, but he is driven to it, and any natural man will do it.

The woman gets into the position of the archaic woman, and then the animal lust of the man is stirred.

Negresses in certain parts of Africa exhibit with pride the scars they have received in their sexual battles with men.

Then the man is fairly launched on a course of brutality.

But an educated man cannot keep this up indefinitely. It breaks him and he becomes impotent.

As long as the woman can be kept down, she is alive as an animal; she becomes the victim of a brute, and takes a certain animal satisfaction out of it.

But she cannot keep on that low level any more than the man, and so it leads into a breakdown.

What happens then?

The libido with no outlet goes into the unconscious in a lump, one might say.

It becomes an egg that she broods over and hatches out.

What is in this egg?

Feminine instinctiveness.

Fantasies begin to form around the figure of a young man who will come and free her from this tyrant.

The fantasies go on further and further with this theme of her being a prisoner of a cruel tyrant.

Often I have seen this fantasy material about the young man, and the old man who has put the little bird into a gilded cage.

She is indulging in these fantasies, and brooding and brooding, but without knowing why.

Hardly any woman in this condition is conscious.

ordinarily she remains profoundly ignorant of it all.

So then we have the formation of these unconscious sexual fantasies; and they make wonderful material out of which an unconscious complex can form.

This begins in the personal unconscious.

At her first sexual experience she could have understood.

Many women do come into consciousness in this way.

But when brutal sexuality comes, the deeper layers of the personality are opened up.
leads right back to the monkey age.

The libido leaves the surface and goes down into the depths.

When a woman gets to this point she will begin to use historical material in which to wrap the fantasies.

Instead of saying “My husband has forced me,” she will begin a story of ancient times in which this tragedy was enacted.

This historical element points to the collective unconscious.

Then it must be determined why it chooses the specific period it does, in this case the Middle Ages.

And in this case, it is because the special psychology involved lies within the viewpoint of the Middle Ages.

If one goes back, on the other hand, in search of the place in history where the repression of the anima begins, one is taken far beyond the Middle Ages, back of Christianity to paganism.

This is far too intricate a theme for me to enter upon here, but it is my belief that the repression of the anima is connected with the problem of the collective domestication of man.

In order that the state be made, the anima had to be repressed.

That is why the story of Kallicrates in She is staged first in ancient times.

Not so early as Babylon or Egypt, however, because neither of these countries ever knew a state, strictly speaking.

The king was on the level of the gods, as is witnessed by the Babylonian temples; at one end is the king, at the other the god.

In some of the Egyptian sculpture, the king is pictured issuing orders to the gods.

Of course a state is not possible in such a condition, it is simply the ruling of the herd by the terror of mana. In the Greek polis, no such thing existed, and it is there we find the beginning of the state.

But if the anima ruled, the formation of a state would be impossible.

But how does the repression gradually come about?

You have contracts, you promise not to fight under such and such conditions, you put down your weapons and don’t speak very loud, you are very polite, you don’t tread on another man’s shadow.

So it goes among primitives, and in this way tolerance has a chance to grow.

Through these observances, man’s anima became repressed.

In this case the cause of the repression of the instincts lay in medieval psychology, and we must look back into medieval times to find out why.

Have you any ideas on this subject?

Mr. Schmitz: Did the repression of the instincts in women not grow out of the man’s desire to keep the woman chaste while he went to war?

Dr. Jung: Yes, but you must explain the exaggerated ideal of chastity in these times.

Mr. Schmitz: If one goes as far back as the matriarchy, there is no ideal of chastity in women; but when gradually the patriarchy came about, men became interested in establishing their children’s paternity,
and so grew up the conception of the chaste wife, and from that they passed to the idea of the virgin powerful through chastity, such as Athena.

Dr. Jung: You make then a connection between the cult of the virgin and the exaggerated idea of chastity.

I quite agree with that.

This cult brought with it very brutal means of enforcing the chastity.

If you go back to primitive tribes, even when a more or less strict monogamy is the rule, it is taken for granted that women are unreliable when the man turns his back, but not too much notice is taken of it unless the man is greatly attached to his wife.

It is understood that a woman is not exactly true, but the primitive husband does not particularly care.

Nor does the woman on her side mind having the husband go with other women as long as he is not taken from her.

In other words jealousy is not so much present.

With the ideal of chastity comes jealousy.

Mr. Bacon: Among the natives of Nicaragua, the husband is inordinately jealous of his wife; in fact he becomes quite ferocious about it.

Dr. Jung: Yes, there are certain tribal ideas that explain particular cases, but when you study the average case you will find what I have said to be true.

But there are other examples where terrible punishments follow infidelity.

Our exaggerated feeling about chastity has brought similar cruelties with it.

Primitive punishments are often of a peculiar ferocity, as is shown in the practices surrounding witch-hunting.

But what about our own laws in respect to that?

In the year 700, the burning of witches was not allowed, but 700 years later, down to 1796, witches were burned.

It had its climax at the same time as the appearance of the Lauretanian Litany,which expresses the culmination of the cult of the Virgin.

When such cruelties as witch-burning appear in society, it means on the psychological side that instinct has been tortured, and in fact instinct is tortured by an extreme over-valuation of chastity.

Really hellish tortures have followed in its wake.

So these medieval fantasies in this book are to be explained by the fact of the complete repression of instinct.

Images of times when such deeds as those of Henrico von Brunnen were generally current are reawakened.

As the murderer of his wife and her lover, he forms a suitable figure for the unconscious fantasy material of Mary, who thinks of herself as the prisoner of an ogre.

Now, when such fantasies are forming, they permeate the mind, and the collective unconscious is animated and one reacts to it—I mean anyone intimately associated with such a person.

It is just as though the animated collective unconscious were sending out waves influencing others.

The husband in this story responds to the activation of the collective unconscious in his wife.

He is gripped by something he does not understand, and as he becomes restless, he is chased by these collective fantasies of his wife.

He does not know where they belong.

On his wanderings he comes upon this place, the Casa di Ferro.

I know the place, and it is in fact very extraordinary; one wonders what it was, and feels the truth of the legends about it.

When Latimer saw it, something happened to him.

He said to himself: “This is the place, and I am that man Henrico von Brunnen.”

There is the immediate conviction that always follows when an archetype is struck, it is an extraordinary experience.

If the fantasy of your partner gets into you, you make yourself responsible for it; and if you hit upon the reality that frames the fantasy, you do just as Latimer did when he said, “I am Henrico von Brunnen—that
is my form.”

This brought him peace, but at the same time he had to live the thing.

He fell under the spell of the fantasy and was overcome by it.

He was no longer himself, but his unconscious.

So he died when he committed the murder.

He had not done it himself, nature had brought it about.

To sum up, we see in this story the complete projection of the woman’s unconscious into the man, the operation of the animus.

Then comes the tragic denial of love. All of the repressed instinctive libido activates the deeper layers of the unconscious with the resulting fantasy system we have seen, till the man upon whom it is projected [falls] under its spell and lives it out.

That is the story as determined by the woman’s part in it.

If we look at it from the man’s side it becomes different.

Until his marriage Latimer has lived the life of a learned man.

He has repressed the anima completely.

Then he goes out to seek “She,” and finds her in this lovely young girl.

The feeling of youth was stirred in him.

He found this girl uncannily unconscious, full of a strange vagueness, and unaware of the instincts as she was, and she became for him a wonderful opportunity for anima projection.

Into such a vague, ambiguous frame you can put any amount of fantasy, and so he made a plaything of her.

She fulfilled his wish by keeping quiet.

The vaguer she became, the more the anima had a chance to play her role.

The more she fits into the anima role, the less he can get at her in reality.

Then he begins to make assumptions to take the place of the realities.

He gets into a complete mist about her, and she becomes more elusive than moonlight.

She had denied love, and so he began to seek for this thing he could not find.

He began going all over Europe in quest of this unknown thing. Inasmuch as she withdrew all libido from him and began to weave fantasies of lovers who would release her from him, his wife was really untrue to him.

He became convinced that she was untrue to him in point of fact, and began to make sure against lovers in the night.

Thus following up the suspicions of the anima, he fell deeper and deeper into the snare.

Finally he resorted to locking her up.

All of these things he was driven to do in order to get rid of the torture that was tearing him to pieces.

Dr. de Angulo: I can see the truth of all that you have said if you take it that Latimer was a normal man when he married Mary, but is there not a justification for taking it as the committee did, that is, that Latimer was already split apart, and abnormal through his one-sidedness when he first met her?

His experiences in the war swamped him completely, and then be began to live his unconscious, which finally led to his identification with Henrico von Brunnen. to insanity is his inability to get at his feelings.

Just because he is so Mary is then only an incident in his life; what drives him unreal when she meets him, he is an animus figure for Mary.

Dr. Jung: No, I see no justification for assuming that Latimer was abnormal from the beginning.

Besides, it is only a hiding behind words to say that, for it does not explain anything. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Pages 155-161