Toni Wolff & C. G. Jung: A Collaboration

It is true that Toni Wolff and many of the early pioneers in Depth Psychology have never received the recognition they deserve but to lay this at Dr. Jung’s door is quite unjustified as proven by a letter which the author fails to present in full written in 1958:

Dear Dr. Brody. . . .

I feel the need to recommend the collected papers of Toni Wolff to your attention. . .They are distinguished not only by their intellectual content but by the fact that the author had personally experienced the development of analytical psychology from the fateful year of 1912 right up to the recent past and was thus in a position to record her reactions and sympathetic interest from the first.

Her papers also have a documentary value. Even those who did not know the author personally will glean from them an impression of the versatility and depth of her spiritual personality. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 424-425.

In Nan Savage Healy’s book on Page 60 she writes:

Jung had admitted to Freud: “My wife has lent an ear to the evil spirit and staged a number of jealous scenes.”

Sadly, Nan Savage Healy did not present the entire quotation or pertinent content that accompanied it.

“This time it was not I who was duped by the devil but my wife, who lent an ear to the evil spirit and staged a number of jealous scenes, groundlessly.

At first my objectivity got out of joint (rule 1 of psychoanalysis :principles of Freudian psychology apply to everyone except the analyser) but afterwards snapped back again, whereupon my wife also straightened herself out brilliantly.” ~Carl Jung, Freud/Jung Letters, Page 289 [Notice she omitted the word “Groundlessly.”]

On Page 53, Nan Savage Healy quotes Dr. Jung as writing to Dr. Freud:

“Analysis of one’s spouse is one of the more difficult things.”

What Dr. Jung actually wrote was:

“Analysis of one’s spouse is one of the more difficult things unless mutual freedom is assured.” ~Carl Jung, Freud-Jung Letters, Page 175

Note that she omitted the words: “unless mutual freedom is assured.”

On Page 60 of this book the Nan Savage Healy writes:

“Jung had had other indiscretions before Toni Wolff. While serving as a staff physician at the Burgholzli Psychiatric Hospital, he had become involved with Sabina Spielrein, a young woman who had been his patient. At the time they met, C. G. Jung was thirty years old, and Sabina was nineteen. Footnote 52 After her discharge, they continued a relationship that eventually expanded into a fuller intimacy. Footnote 53”

The meaning of “fuller intimacy” would likely impel the reader to interpret its meaning at the lowest common denominator. But if one looks at Footnote 53, the author writes:

“I leave to others the debate as to the exact nature of the relationship between Spielrein and Jung, simply stating that the relationship became “intimate,” meaning close, familiar, essential, and meaningful to both of them.”

[The author fails to list these “other indiscretions’ [plural] or the evidence of them. The Author’s footnote 53 does not indicate or give proof that any “indiscretion” occurred.]

On Page 270, Nan Savage Healy, citing Deirdre Bair, purports Emma Jung as stating:

“Emma pointed scornfully to the many women who hovered around C. G., and said: “Look at all these women here, blooming like flowers.” Pointing to Toni Wolff on the other side of the room, Emma added scornfully, “She got what they all wanted to get.” Interestingly, by the time Emma heaped such scorn upon Toni, the physical passion between her and Jung had been extinguished for years, and Emma was well aware of it. ~Deirdre Bair, Jung, 321, from an unnamed source.” f.n. 321.

Unfortunately, when one looks at the footnote (Page 373) Ms. Bair offers no source for this statement. “Deirdre Bair, Jung, 321, from an unnamed source.” Ms. Bair has a rich history of both scholarly errors and outright falsifications in her “Jung: A Biography”

On Page 155 the author writes citing Emma Jung, “On the Nature of the Animus,” Page 29 writes: “The development of relationships is the prime factor and this is the real field for feminine creative power.” Footnote 22

What Emma Jung actually wrote [on Page 21 not Page 29] was:

The development of relationships is of primary importance in the shaping of life, and this is the real field of feminine creative power.

Emma goes on to write:

“Among the arts, the drama is outstandingly the one in which woman can achieve equality with man. In acting, people, relationships, and life are given form, and so woman is there just as creative as man.”
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Pertinent Quotations from Dr. Jung, Emma and Toni which do not appear within the book which may be of interest:

“I shall always be grateful to Toni for doing for my husband what I or anyone else could not have done at a most critical time.” ~Emma Jung, Laurens Van Der Post Jung: The Story of our Time; Page 177.

“You see, he never took anything from me to give to Toni, but the more he gave her the more he seemed able to give me. ~Emma Jung [Jung: His Life and Work by Barbara Hannah, Page 119.

A marriage is more likely to succeed if the woman follows her own star and remains conscious of her wholeness than if she constantly concerns herself with her husband’s star and his wholeness. ~ Carl Jung, Conversations with C.G. Jung, Page 51.

“In all my eighty years, Barbara Hannah attested, I have never seen a marriage for which I felt such a spontaneous and profound respect. Emma Jung was a most remarkable woman, a sensation type who compensated and completed her husband in many respects.” – Gerhard Wehr, Jung: A Biography, Page 423

Emma Jung’s life was one of uncommon richness and was one of fulfillment, because her faithfulness to her own nature coincided with her faithfulness to her husband and her profound understanding of his life’s work. – Aniela Jaffe, Jung: A Biography, Page 423

Then after a pause, Miss Wolff added this: “You know, sometimes if a man’s wife is big enough to leap over the hurdle of self-pity, she may find that her supposed rival has even helped her marriage! This ‘other woman’ can sometimes help a man live out certain aspects of himself that his wife either can’t fulfill, or else doesn’t especially want to. As a result, some of the wife’s energies are now freed for her own creative interests and development, often with the result that the marriage not only survives, but emerges even stronger than before!” ~Toni Wolff, C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff – A Collection of Remembrances, Pages 47-51

It might be said of her [Toni Wolff] that she was “Virgin” as defined for us by Esther Harding, meaning simply an unmarried woman who, since she belonged to no man, belonged to herself and to God in a special way.~ Sallie Nichols, ~C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff – A Collection of Remembrances, Pages 47-51.

To James Kirsch:

[ Carl Jung reflected further on this issue after the death of Toni Wolff in 1953 and Emma Jung in 1955.]

In the published version of Memories, Jung discussed the issue of reincarnation, and noted that:

“Until a few years ago I could not discover anything convincing in this respect, although I kept a sharp lookout for signs. Recently, however, I observed in myself a series of dreams which would seem to describe the process of reincarnation in a deceased person of my acquaintance.”

As ever, Jung’s discussions in the protocols were more candid: the person in question turns out to be Toni Wolff.

On September 23, 1957, Jung narrated a dream he had had of her to Aniela Jaffe.
In the dream, she had returned to life, as if there had been a type of misunderstanding that she had died, and she had returned to live a further part of her life. Aniela Jaffe asked Jung if he thought this could indicate a possible.. . who are the dead, and what does it mean to answer them?

Rebirth. Jung replied that with his wife he had a sense of a great detachment or distance. By contrast, he felt that Toni Wolff was close. Jaffé then asked him whether something that one has not completed in one life has to be continued in a next life. Jung replied that his wife reached something that Toni Wolff didn’t reach and that rebirth would constitute a terrible increase of actuality for her.

He had the impression that Toni Wolff was nearer the earth, that she could manifest herself better to him, whilst his wife was on another level where he couldn’t reach her. He concluded that Toni Wolff was in the neighborhood, that she was nearer the sphere of three dimensional existence, and hence had the chance to come into existence again,

He had the impression that for her a continuation of three dimensional existence would not be meaningless. He felt that higher insight hindered the wish for re-embodiment. ~ ” Sonu Shamdasani. “‘The Boundless Expanse”: Jung’s Reflections on Death and Life” Quadrant 38.1 (2008).

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