Modern Psychology: C. G. Jung’s Lectures at the ETH Zürich, 1933-1941

Lecture VIII

1st December, 1933

Today we come to Frau Hauffe ‘s symptoms: peculiar mediumistic phenomena which really do not belong to the province of medicine, but rather to that of parapsychology.

I mention these phenomena, however, because they are part of the picture and therefore of psychological importance.

Although we should have a certain critical attitude towards such things, the facts ought to be respected and we should keep an open mind instead of closing it with theoretical prejudices.

The conditions of which I am about to speak are of a somnambulistic nature.

Somnambulism is an exceptional psychic condition; in the Clairvoyante it brought ab out a heightening of consciousness and Kerner tells us that she even became a poet.

She liked this living so to say on a higher story, it seemed to her more normal than the usual waking condition.

Perhaps it really is more normal than the everyday point of view, but it cannot be held for any length of time, for it requires a great deal of energy.

If the Clairvoyante had been able to maintain this living on a higher level as a permanent condition, she would have been a super-woman.

Seeing visions is another of these phenomena; for instance, during three days she saw continually a mass of flames which ran through her whole body.

Such visions can sometimes be observed in ordinary neuroses and have a symbolic meaning.

Frau Hauffe also had the faculty of exteriorization,-she could see hers elf outside her own body, as if she were another person.

The first time this occurred, she saw herself sitting at her own bedside; this phenomenon is not only experienced by neurotics but also by people who are very ill or dying.

The eye symptoms which appeared at the beginning returned again later, the outer light was painful to her, so she concentrated on the inner light; she no longer looked out of the front door of the house but out of the back door, into the subjective world, and this led also to more positive manifestations of the unconscious.

She saw all manner of things which she projected into the outer world as ghost figures: ghosts which were connected with hers elf and ghosts connected with other people.

The ghosts represent their spiritual bodies, she sees people’s twofold nature, double so to speak, being aware not only of the side which is perceived through the senses, but also of their psychic personality.

With all these strange experiences the Clairvoyante began to lose ground rapidly; when she came to Kerner in 1826 she was already in a very low state of health, underfed and even scorbutic.

Refusing to take food is a sign of not wanting to live, whereas to be hungry means desire for life.

Frau Hauffe shrank from taking p art in life, she sought to open the door inwards and fasting helped her to do so.

This is a well-known technique of the ascetic, who seeks to kill desire and it is part of the practice of Yoga, the outer world is depotentiated in order that the sight may be turned inwards.

Kerner, who treats the case, observes it very faithfully if somewhat naively.

He believes the nurse when she tells him that she ‘cannot bathe the patient’, for she is so light that she cannot keep her under the water.

This recalls the trials for witchcraft.

Witches were supposed to float and one of the tests consisted in throwing them into deep water.

I attach no value to these stories of Frau Hauffe as facts, but it is important that people believed them of her, for this contributes to the picture of her personality.

She developed a strange feeling or sensitiveness for the quality of matter, especially minerals.

Kerner also records remarkable results from her crystal gazing.

This art is well known in China and belongs to the magic of the middle ages.

There are people who can read the past, the present and the future by gazing into a crystal, a glass of water or a mirror; in reality they are seeing processes out of their own unconscious.

Frau Hauffe affords striking examples of this faculty when in a hypnotic condition.

In the detailed record of all these experiments, Kerner tells us how he gave his patient a soap bubble to gaze into, asking her about her absent child; she saw it in bed where it was at the time and said she was glad to see it.

When asked about Kerner’ s wife, she was also able to give accurate details about what she was doing at the time, although she was in a house some distance away.

Looking into a glass of water, she once saw a carriage and pair, she even noticed that one of the horses had a white blaze on its forehead and minutely described the occupants and twenty minutes later it actually came into sight, corresponding to her description in every detail.

I am not in a position to be able to prove any of this, but Kerner’s statements coincide with general records of this kind that have been made all over the world for thousands of years.

The Clairvoyante developed yet another kind of vision which seemed to come from the he art region: she could intuit the contents of papers which Kerner laid on her heart; he tested her by writing on one sheet “There is a God” and on a second “There is no God”.

When they had lain for a few minutes on her, she returned them to him, saying of the first: “This one gives me the feeling of something”, and of the second: “This one leaves me quite empty!” the experiment was repeated four times with the same result.

As Kerner assures us that he did not know in what order they were placed, there should be no question of thought transference; but experiments in this field usually point to telepathy with a living person.

William James’ medium, Mrs. Piper, for instance, could read the contents of a letter when placed on her forehead, but the experiment failed when the writer had died.

The Clairvoyante had yet other visions which have their origin in a centre other than the brain and particularly one very remarkable vision which left Kerner utterly perplexed.

I have felt much the same when confronted with such things in earlier days.

This is the vision of the Sonnenkreis (sun circle) .

She experienced it in the shape of a real disc in the region of the stomach or solar plexus, it scratched her as it rotated slowly.

It became at length so vivid, that she was able to make a very interesting drawing of it which I reproduce for you in a simplified form, as it is worth studying very carefully. (Diagram II, p. 34.)

I shall describe the circles, beginning with the biggest and going inwards and I shall speak of the three outer circles as opposed to the three inner circles.

Outer Circles.

The Sun Circle is divided into twelve parts, corresponding to the twelve months of the year.

Under it lie five other circles and over it lies an empty circle.

To us, in the West, the idea of the empty circle is somewhat mystifying, but any educated Hindu would know at once what was meant by it.

As the empty circle does not appear in the drawing, the Sun Circle is the first circle or circumference.

The 2nd circle is divided into 1 3 3/4 parts, corresponding approximately to the lunar cycle; China even today uses the moon calendar.

The whole is therefore a kind of wheel that has sun as well as moon divisions.

This 2nd circle is the Life Circle which the Clairvoyante calls her calendar; each day she makes lines on it which stand for facts or experiences that have moved her pleasantly or otherwise.

Whereas the lines from the Sun Circle to the centre are straight, these lines starting from the Life Circle are drawn at a tangent and miss the centre.

The 3rd circle, the Dream Circle, has again twelve divisions like the Sun Circle.

It is difficult to explain, as Kaner’s report is not clear about it.

Spirits seem to wander between this circle and the Life Circle.

The souls of animals also inhabit this Dream Circle, in fact the Clairvoyante considers that it is principally animals who have this circle in them.

Inner Circles.

The 4th circle, which is the outermost of the three inner circles, is divided by seven stars.

It is called the Circle of Stars.

The 5 th circle or 2nd of the inner circles is the Moon Ring and the 6th circle or the innermost is the so- called Sun Ring.

It is bright and shines like a sun.

In this c entre the Clairvoyante meets her woman guide.

The circles lie under each other and follow a rotary movement, beginning in the N.W.

She says of the Sun Circle, the largest, that it is a wall round her, inside which she likes to feel locked away from the outside world, which she distrusts.

As we have seen, she recorded her experiences on the next circle, which is divided according to the lunar calendar and which she calls the Life Circle.

Of the Moon Ring, she says that it is cold and dim, the abode of the souls, they migrate from here to the sun or to the stars.

This idea is very old and proves the Clairvoyante’s vision to b e a case of palingenesis.

The Manichaeans explained the waxing and waning of the moon by the fact that when she is a crescent, she draws the souls of the dead to her and becomes filled with them, then turning to the sun, she gives them to him and becomes a young moon again.

This idea traveled from Peking to the south of France in the notable heresy of the Albigenses.

There are westerners who hold this belief today: Gurdjieff, of Fontainebleau, is convinced that the spots on the sun are caused by the unusual number of souls that migrated there during the war, and I have met two doctors who firmly believe him.

Stars also have always been connected with birth and death; when a Roman Caesar died the astronomers had to find a new star to account for his soul. The Clairvoyante’s even stars correspond to a mythological conception.

S ven is a holy number, as all basic numbers are holy.

This probably comes from the fact that the primitive cannot count further than ten, as he only has the fingers of his two hands for this purpose; in Swahili, for instance, there are only five native words for numbers.

Numbers correspond to geometrical figures, for example: [See Image]

Beyond five, unless the man knows Arabic, everything is Nyingy and that may mean 6 or 10,000.

During the first World War, a rumor spread that 10,000 Germans had crossed the border.

Strong forces were sent to investigate and it was discovered that a patrol of six Germans had been seen!

No one had known how many Nyingy meant.

The primitive has a curious sense of numbers, a number is a quality: he sees a group of 2 matches plus 1 match not as 3, but as 2 two-matches and 1 one-match. ~Carl Jung, Modern Psychology, Pages 32-35.