Jung’s Apprentice: A Biography of Helton Godwin Baynes

[Excerpt of a letter by Dr. Jung to Peter Baynes who was suffering from a duodenal ulcer}

seen … similar ailments in psychological conditions where people were living beyond themselves, driven by certain unconscious contents.

Particularly intuitive individuals are inclined to disregard the reality of their body, of themselves and of the surrounding conditions.

An ulcer looks to me like the psychological blind spot that begins to ache in the body.

For intuitive people it is hard to grip reality.

They never can touch the thing in the right spot nor say what they really want to say, being intercepted on the way by all sorts of volatiles.

An intestinal affection can be instead of a contemplation of inner life.

We seem to be more apt to stand strain and hurry imposed upon us by external circumstances than when we apply that poisonous whip to ourselves.

My very best wishes,

Cordially yours, C.G. ~Carl Jung, Jung’s Apprentice, Page 265

[Carl Jung’s Letter to Peter Baynes]

Thank you very much for the thorough information about your condition.

It has worried me a great deal to know that you suffer from such an ulcer which I know is a hellish nuisance on account of its chronic character.

I’m pretty sure that it wants a careful observation from either side, the psychological as well as the physiological.

I think you ought to train yourself in the observation of the sokalled [sic] ‘strain’.

You often have that expression on your face, namely of being ‘strained’.

It would be good if you could learn the art of clinical relaxation.

A course of proper breathing is not inadvisable, as I have seen intuitives who were merely possessed by the idea of their body without having a friendly contact with it.

This is of course only symptomatic, the deeper cause is an uncontrolled striving after fictitious goals. ~Carl Jung, Jung’s Apprentice, Page 270.

In this letter he [Jung] is concerned about Peter’s health and warns him against allowing himself to be too over-burdened.

He writes:

Thank you very much for the thorough information about your condition.

It has worried me a great deal to know that you suffer from such an ulcer which

I know is a hellish nuisance on account of its chronic character.

I’m pretty sure that it wants a careful observation from either side, the psychological as well as the physiological.

I think you ought to train yourself in the observation of the sokalled [sic] ‘strain’.

You often have that expression on your face, namely of being ‘strained’.

It would be good if you could learn the art of clinical relaxation.

A course of proper breathing is not inadvisable, as I have seen intuitives who were merely possessed by the idea of their body without having a friendly contact with it.

This is of course only symptomatic, the deeper cause is an uncontrolled striving after fictitious goals.

Peter was still sending all he wrote to Jung for his comments and approval and Jung was still giving his opinion and advice.

The duodenal ulcer had become a chronic problem by 1936 and was to continue to give him pain and discomfort for the rest of his life.

Although he had resolved much of the inner conflict that had pursued him for so long, the strains in his outer life were increasing.

His three young children (a daughter, Diana Mary, was born on June 5th 1937) added to the expense and worry of the three he already had, created a growing financial and emotional burden.

In his new home he had an ever larger household to support.

The energy needed for the running of his practice and the growing Jungian Society in London was also demanding.

All this in addition to his writing was taking a considerable toll on his energies and sometimes the strain was too much. ~Diana Baynes, Jung’s Apprentice, Page 270

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