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C.G. Jung & Hermann Hesse

May 5, 1959: Second Interview On the following day, I went to Montagnola to see Hermann Hesse, and upon my return I decided that I should try to see Dr. Jung again.

I rang him up at his house in Küsnacht which is near Zürich, because I knew that by that time he had returned from his holidays.

There was a certain risk in that telephone call, because I knew that Dr. Jung was receiving no visitors; but if I had not made it, my relationship with Jung would undoubtedly have ceased.

His secretary, Aniela Jaffé, with whom I had corresponded from India, answered the phone.

She was very doubtful about my request and insisted that Professor Jung was receiving no one and that he was not in good health.

I then told her that I had been with him in Locarno and pleaded with her to ask whether I might come.

Mrs. Jaffé put down the phone, and a few moments later returned to tell me that Jung would receive me at four o’clock that very afternoon. I left immediately and arrived in time at his house in Küsnacht.

Over the doorway of his house was written an inscription in Latin: Vocatus adque non vocatus, Deus aderit. [Called or not called, God is present.]

The inside of the house seemed dark and shadowy.

I was greeted by the same woman I had seen with Jung in Locarno, and she introduced herself as Miss Bailey.

She asked me to go up, and as I climbed the stairs, I noticed that the walls were covered with ancient drawings of medieval and Renaissance scenes.

I then waited in a little room upstairs.

In due course, Dr. Jung appeared and greeted me cordially, asking me to go into his study, which had a window overlooking the lake.

In the center of the room was a desk covered with papers, and round about were many bookcases.

I noticed some bronze Buddhas and over his work table a large scroll showing Siva on top of Mount Kailas.

That painting forcibly reminded me of the many pilgrimages which I myself had taken into the Himalayas.

We sat down beside the window, and Dr. Jung made himself comfortable in a large armchair opposite me.

‘Your story about the Queen of Sheba is more like a poem than an ordinary tale,’ he said.

‘The affair of the King and the Queen of Sheba seems to contain everything; it has a truly noumenal quality.’

I listened quietly, and he continued: ‘But if you should ever meet the Queen of Sheba in the flesh, beware of marrying her. The Queen of Sheba is only for a magic kind of love, never for matrimony.

If you were to marry her, you would both be destroyed and your soul would disintegrate.’

‘I know,’ I answered.

‘In my long psychiatric experience I never came across a marriage that was entirely self-sufficient. Once I thought I had, because a German professor assured me that his was. I believed him until once, when I was visiting in Berlin, I discovered that his wife kept a secret apartment.

That seems to be the role.

Moreover, a marriage which is devoted entirely to mutual understanding is bad for the development of individual personality; it is a descent to the lowest common denominator, which is something like the collective stupidity of the masses.

Inevitably, one or the other will begin to penetrate the mysteries. Look, it’s like this.…’

Jung then picked up a box of matches and opened it. He separated the two halves and placed them on a table so that at a distance they looked the same.

He then brought them together until the drawer of the box entered the shell. ‘That’s how it is,’ he said; ‘the two halves appear equal, but in fact they are not.

Nor should they be, since one should always be able to include the other or, if you like, remain outside of the other. Ideally, the man should contain the woman and remain outside of her.

But it’s a question of degree, and the homosexual is fifty-five per cent feminine.

Basically speaking, however, man is polygamous.

The people of the Mussulman Empire knew that very well. Nevertheless, marrying several women at the same time is a primitive solution, and would be rather expensive today.’

Jung then laughed before continuing: ‘I think that the French have found the solution in the Number Three. Frequently this number occurs in magic marriages such as your encounter with the Queen of Sheba.

It is something quite different from Freud’s sexual interpretations or from D. H. Lawrence’s ideas.

Freud was wrong, for example, in his interpretation of incest which, in Egypt, was primarily religious and had to do with the process of individuation.

In reality, the King was the individual, and the people were merely an amorphous mass.

Thus the King had to marry his mother or his sister in order to protect and preserve individuality in the country.

Lawrence exaggerated the importance of sex because he was excessively influenced by his mother; he overemphasized women because he was still a child and was unable to integrate himself in the world.

People like him frequently suffer from respiratory illnesses which are primarily adolescent.

Another curious case is that of Saint-Exupéry: from his wife I learned many important details about him.

Flight, you see, is really an act of evasion, an attempt to escape from the earth. But the earth must be accepted and admitted, perhaps even sublimated.

That is frequently illustrated in myth and religion.

The dogma of the Ascension of Mary is in fact an acceptance of matter; indeed it is a sanctification of matter.

If you were to analyze dreams, you would understand this better.

But you can see it also in alchemy.

It’s a pity we have no alchemical texts written by women, for then we would know something essential about the visions of women, which are undoubtedly different from those of men.’

I then asked Dr. Jung whether he thought it was wise to analyze one’s own dreams and to pay attention to them.

I told him that I had begun to analyze my own again and that I’d found my vitality increasing, as though I were making use of some hidden sources of energy which otherwise would have been lost.

‘On the other hand,’ I said, ‘I have talked with Krishnamurti, in India, and he told me that dreams have no real importance, and that the only important thing is to look, to be conscious and totally aware of the moment.

He told me that he never dreams.

He said that because he looks with both his conscious and unconscious mind, he has nothing left over for dreams, and that when he sleeps he gains complete rest.’

‘Yes, that is possible for a time,’ said Jung. ‘Some scientists have told me that when they were concentrating with all their attention on a particular problem, they no longer dreamed.

And then, for some unexplained reason, they began to dream again.

But to return to your question about the importance of analyzing your own dreams, it seems to me that the only important thing is to follow Nature.

A tiger should be a good tiger; a tree, a good tree.

So man should be man.

But to know what man is, one must follow Nature and go on alone, admitting the importance of the unexpected.

Still, nothing is possible without love, not even the processes of alchemy, for love puts one in a mood to risk everything and not to withhold important elements.’

Jung then rose and took a volume from the bookcase.

It was his own Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, and he opened it to a chapter called ‘Study of a Process of Individuation.’

He showed me the extraordinary colored plates that are reproduced there, some of Tibetan tankas.

‘These were made,’ he said, ‘by a woman with whom we planned a process of individuation for almost ten years. She was an American and had a Scandinavian mother.’

He pointed to one picture done in bright colors.

In the center was a flower, rather like a four-leaf clover, and above it were drawn a king and queen who were taking part in a mystic wedding, holding fire in their hands.

There were towers in the background.

‘The process of the mystic wedding involves various stages,’ Jung explained, ‘and is open to innumerable risks, like the Opus Alquimia. For this union is in reality a process of mutual individuation which occurs, in cases like this, in both the doctor and the patient.’

As he spoke of this magic love and alchemic wedding, I thought of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Christ and his Church, and of Siva and Parvati on the summit of Mount Kailas –all symbols of man and his soul and of the creation of the Androgynous.

Jung went on as though he were talking to himself: ‘Somewhere there was once a Flower, a Stone, a Crystal, a Queen, a King, a Palace, a Lover and his Beloved, and this was long ago, on an Island somewhere in the ocean five thousand years ago.… Such is Love, the Mystic Flower of the Soul. This is the center, the Self.…’ Jung spoke as though he were in a trance. ‘Nobody understands what I mean,’ he said. ‘Only a poet could begin to understand.…’

‘You are a poet,’ I said, moved by what I had heard. ‘And that woman, is she still alive?’ I asked. ‘She died eight years ago.… I am very old.…’ I then realized that the interview should end.

I had brought Hermann Hesse’s book, Piktor’s Metamorphosis. I showed him the drawings and gave him greetings from Steppenwolf.

‘I met Hesse through a mutual friend who was interested in myths and symbols,’ said Jung. ‘His friend worked with me for a while, but he was unable to follow through to the end. The path is very difficult.…’

It was late when I left Jung’s house, and as I walked down towards the lake, I thought of our conversation and tried to put my feelings in order.
~Carl Jung, Jung and Hesse: A Diary of Two Friendships, Page 75