C.G. Jung Speaking : Interviews and Encounters

Jung was invited to lecture at the prestigious Kulturbund, in Vienna, on February 22, 1928, and a day or two earlier he was interviewed—simultaneously, it appears—by several representatives of the Vienna press.

On February 21, different reports appeared in as many newspapers, and three of them are given here.

Though certain themes recur in each article, the reporters seized on different aspects of Jung’s comments and expressed them in different terms.

The reports are complementary, each supplying details the others lack, but it is doubtful whether any of them reproduced Jung’s actual words.

The Kulturbund was a cultural society that sponsored lectures by many European writers, scientists, and political figures, and the invitation to lecture had come from its executive vice-president, Jolande Jacobi (1890-1973).

In 1938, after the Nazi occupation of Austria, Dr. Jacobi emigrated to Zurich, became a leading pupil of Jung, and was one of the founders of the C. G. Jung Institute.


Dr. Jung: Coming back to Vienna again after some eighteen years’ absence’ is coming back to the city from which the fame of Sigmund Freud has radiated into the world.

Even though differences of scientific opinion have brought about a certain estrangement between Professor Freud and myself, a debt of gratitude nevertheless impels me to honor Freud and Janet’ as the men who have guided me in my scientific career.

Vienna also means for me re-encountering a doctor whose theories have very close and important connections and affinities with my own system.

I mean Dr. Bernhard Aschner, whose Konstitutionslehre and Humoralpathologie have a psychic analogue in my system of psychoanalysis.

In the nineteenth century, the century of technology and exact science, we strayed very far from the intuition of earlier periods in history.

Purely intellectualistic, analytical, atomistic, and mechanistic thinking has, in my opinion, landed us in a cul de sac, since analysis also requires synthesis and intuition.

The humoral pathology of Aschner, who, incidentally, has rediscovered medical techniques based predominantly on intuition through his translation of Paracelsus, is for me a proof that the most important insights into body and mind can be gained by ways that are not purely rationalistic.

It is difficult for me to outline the special features of my teachings in a few words.

For me the essential thing is the investigation of the unconscious.

Whereas Freud holds that in order to cure the neuroses, all as you know he derives from sexual roots, it is sufficient to make the unconscious conscious, I maintain that it is necessary to coordinate with consciousness the activities streaming out of the matrix of the unconscious.

I try to funnel the fantasies of the unconscious into the conscious mind, not in order to destroy them but to develop them.

In the case of a neurotic businessman, for example, I might be able to show that his neurosis due to his unfulfilled artistic inclinations.

By examining his dreams, I shall now find out what his special gift is, and the most satisfying cures can be obtained if you can get the neurotic businessman—to stick to this example—to write poems, paint pictures, or compose songs.

It maybe that artistically speaking these works are completely worthless, but for their creator they have an immense subjective value.

Developing fantasy means perfecting our humanity.

In this connection I regard religious ideas as of the most importance, by which I do not, of course, mean any particular creed.

Even so, as a Protestant, it is quite clear to me that, in its healing effects, no creed is as closely akin to psychoanalysis as Catholicism.

The symbols of the Catholic liturgy offer the unconscious such a wealth of possibilities for expression that they act as an incomparable diet for the psyche.

My travels into the interior of Africa and to New Mexico gave me an opportunity to make a thorough study of the manifestations of the unconscious among primitive peoples.

I was able to convince myself that religious ideas are inborn in them, and that religions should not be regarded in any sense as neurotic products, as is now asserted in certain quarters.

I still remember two natives with whom I climbed a mountain ten thousand feet high in East Africa.

During the night they were trembling with fear, and when I asked the cause of their agitation, one of them answered: “Everything is full of spirits.”

On Wednesday evening I am going to speak in the Kulturbund on “The Structure of the Psyche.”‘

I shall discuss the nature of thinking, feeling, of sensation and intuition, of the will, of instinct, and of the fantasies arising out of the unconscious.

I hope this will lead to some conclusions about the cure of neurosis.

When you consider that various forms of neurosis, especially fatigue neuroses in big cities, are steadily increasing, and remember what a burden of painful feelings, how much unhappiness, how many suicides the neuroses have on their conscience, you will begin to appreciate the value of combatting them.


It is my opinion that sex does not play the all-powerful role in psychic life that Freud and his followers attribute to it.

Sex is after all only a glandular product, and it would be wrong to describe the brain as a mere appendage of the sex glands.

In my conception of dreams and their significance for the sick psyche I am not at one with Freud, either.

As you know, the great Viennese investigator calls the dream a wish-fulfilment.

Wishes that in the waking state were for some reason or other repressed into the pit of the subconscious are supposed, in his view, to find their way back into consciousness in the dream and to determine the content of the dream-images.

In my view the dream is a compensation, a completion of the waking state.

Suppose I am in a disagreeable situation and ought to worry about it. In the waking state for some reason or other I don’t, and then I will worry about it in the sleeping state.

My dream will be this worrying I didn’t do.

The doctor curing a neurosis according to Freud’s method tries to dig up the wishes and tendencies buried in the subconscious of the patient and to bring them into the clear light of consciousness in order to
destroy them.

My method is different.

The repressed tendencies that are made conscious should not be destroyed but, on the contrary, should be developed further.

An example will make this clear.

In everyone some kind of artist is hiding.

Among, savage peoples this is evident from the fact that the warrior decks his spear with feathers or paints his shield.

In our mechanized world this urge for artistic creation is by the one-sideded work of the day and is very often the cause of psychic disturbances.

The forgotten Artist must be fetched up again from the darkness of the subconscious, and a path cleared for the urge for artistic expression—no matter how worthless the paintings and poems may be that are produced in this way.

My friend the great English writer H. G. Wells has drawn a wonderful picture of this state of affairs in a novel.

The hero of his story Christina Alberta’s Father’ is a petty businessman, completely imprisoned in his prosaic surroundings and his business.

But in his few leisure hours another ego gradually emerges from his subconscious.

He fancies he is the re-embodiment of the Babylonian ruler Sargon I, the reincarnation of the king of kings.

Some kind of Sargon, in various disguises, is hiding in everyone of us.

The fact that he cannot get out of the subconscious and is unable to develop himself is often the cause of severe psychic disturbances.

The unconscious search, by people who are imprisoned in our narrow machine-world, for the other ego, for completion, is also the reason for their flight back to the primitive.

One need only remember the tremendous enthusiasm for ancient Egypt at the time when the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered.

Thirty or forty years ago the tomb would have been a matter of interest only for a few hundred scholars, and would have left the public at large, who still found everything Egyptian distasteful, completely indifferent.

Again one has only to think of the craze for Negro dances, for the Charleston and jazz—they are all symptoms of the great longing of the mass psyche for this more complete—development of the powers immanent within us which primitives possess to a higher degree than we do.

All this is still more evident in America.

There American millionairesses marry Indian chieftains.

That’s just it.

We are, in a sense, cultural cripples.


The world had become impoverished in beauty, and people harked back to the Romans, to their nature-bound thinking, reminding themselves of those distant ages when every bush harbored a shrine, when those most marvellous figures of fantasy, the gods, were nothing other than perfect human beings.

After this epoch, the Renaissance, they began remembering the ancient Greeks, Rousseau preached the return to Nature, and the classicists (among them Schiller) the return to the sun of Homer.

And in our century we want to go still further back into the past in our hounded age there rise up before our wistful eyes epochs when man communed with clouds and sun, wind and tempest, the
Golden Age of humanity, as it is still sporadically reflected in the primitive, becoming more radiant the further we climb exploringly the genealogical tree of the present races, back to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, to the Biblical tribes and their forebears.

It is not for nothing that the recent excavations in Egypt and Mesopotamia have aroused such interest, it is not by chance that our civilization was so ready for Negro songs and dances.

We all, long to go home to the joys of the Golden Age, which let us be natural, graceful, and conscious of our strength, delivered from the bane of our time, the neuroses.

The aetiology of the neuroses is the great divide between my theory and that of Sigmund Freud, from whom I parted company some fifteen years ago because of this opposition.

My sojourns among the natives of East Africa and the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico proved to me that the causes of neurosis do not necessarily lie in the repression of the sexual instinct; the repression of any other primary instinct, say of hunger, can produce it just as well.

Freud’s way and mine also diverge very widely in the matter of dream interpretation.

Whereas he will always look for sexual causes, I trace the origin of dreams back to age-old mythological influences.

Deriving from our remotest ancestors, there slumber in all of us subconscious memories which awaken at night and seek to compensate the false attitude modern man has towards nature.

A schizophrenic in my clinic once explained to me that there was a tube in the sun from which it blew out the wind.

Many years later a papyrus was discovered that told the scientific world for the first time of an age-old myth about the wind from the sun tube, a myth that had not only been recorded in the ancient
papyrus but also inherited from generation to generation in the deepest layers of the conscious mind.

Then, in a single case, the enchained fantasy was allowed to burst forth, at first in inexplicable form.

What fell below the threshold of consciousness during the day both in our own lives and those of our ancestors awakens in dreams to posthumous reality.

Proper education is the best safeguard against psychic illness in its manifold forms, which we call neuroses.

A schooling that is not too strict, and is actually what many people would call a bad one, is in my experience the best.

If that doesn’t help, try to awaken the hidden artist who slumbers in every man.

Give him a chance to bring to light the pictures he carries unpainted within himself, to free, the unwritten poems he has shut up inside him, and yet another source of psychic disturbances is removed.

Even though the work he produces will hardly ever amount to anything technically and artistically, it has helped to cleanse and release his psyche.

The play of fantasy is also helped by religion, an indispensable auxiliary for the psychologist.

Catholicism in particular, with its ceremonial and liturgy, gives fantasy a priceless support, for which reason I have found in my practice that believing Catholics suffer less from neurosis and are easier
to cure than Protestants and Jews,

For the need of religion, for its validity as a primary instinct of mankind, there are abundant proofs reaching back to the dawn of time.

Then it was part of man’s unconscious, now it is part of his conscious, psychic diet; to it the doctor must turn when he tries to lead the patient back to himself, to rid him of all the psychic trash that has been pumped into him, to leave more room for the free play of fantasy, to cultivate his open and hidden talents, to make him more balanced, to guide him by the great saying of the Greek poet: Become what
you are.

How great the importance of psychic hygiene, how great the danger of psychic sickness, is evident from the fact that just as all sickness is a watered-down death, neurosis is nothing less than a watered-down suicide, which left to run its malignant course all too often leads to a lethal end.

Out of the many cultural cripples one-sided cerebral thinking has produced, the psychoanalyst who approaches them not merely as medical specimens but as human beings should be able to bring them closer to nature, make them more natural, as nature wanted them to be and as they faced life thousands of years ago.

If the gifts we are endowed with break down before the tasks of life, if they wither away or run riot, we have only our flight from nature to blame, from the Golden Age of our furthest ancestors that returns to us
only in dreams, a flight that leads to suppressed naturalness and to oppressive over-civilization of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 38-46

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