Robert Johnson: Memory of C.G. Jung
My contact with Dr. Jung?-certainly one of the most important events of my life!
When I enrolled in the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich at its ﬁrst term in 1948 there were some thirty students, diverse in nature, I the youngest at age twenty-seven.
I began analysis with Dr. Jolande Jacobi, who probably was the worst possible choice for this shy, inexperienced, highly introverted feeling type.
At my ﬁrst hour Dr. Jacobi explained that she conducted her hours pacing the ﬂoor.
She justiﬁed this by saying she was an extraverted Hungarian and that this was her manner.
Her neighbor one ﬂoor below had taken her to court for pacing and the judge had ruled that since it was her nature to pace this was her born right but that she must not pace before eight in the morning or after ten at night.
I was impressed with Swiss justice, but should have known that there was no hope for my analysis in her hands.
One day soon after beginning with Dr.Jacobi I brought one of the great pivotal archetypal dreams which has periodically punctuated my life.
Dr. Jacobi paced at accentuated speed and announced that I should not dream dreams like that!
I was a young man and the dream I had brought was an old man’s dream.
I should not dream dreams like that!
Even in my naivete I knew that this was an inadequate interpretation of the dream and I had to have more guidance than Dr. Jacobi was capable of giving.
So I left the analysis, clumsily, without tact.
I asked for an hour with Mrs. Jung, who was lecturing at the Institute and who appealed to me as a gentle, introverted, digniﬁed person.
She agreed to see me next day and I went to Kusnacht to tell her my great dream which was hanging so heavily over me.
I sensed that it was a very good dream but diﬃcult by virtue of the transpersonal scope and its very great weight.
Mrs. Jung listened to my dream, said very little but in quite a diﬀerent way from Dr. Jacobi’s dismissal of the dream.
It seems that Mrs. Jung discussed my dream with Dr. Jung that evening for Dr. Jung called the school next day and told me, “Please come out here, I want to talk at you.”
Two days later I was again at Kusnacht to be met at the door by the famous two dogs at the entrance to Dr. Jung’s house.
I had heard that he arranged to have his two dogs meet a new patient, the dogs being more sensitive to a Potential psychotic than any human observation.
I felt as if I had passed Cerberus on my journey to the Inner World, and by the time Dr.Jung came the dogs were on their backs enjoying my petting.
Dr. Jung took me into the garden and proceeded to give me a very long lecture on the meaning of my dream, what it meant to me to have contact in this manner with the deep parts of the collective unconscious, how I should live, what I might expect of my life, what I should not attempt, what I could trust, what did not belong to me in life.
The meeting took nearly three hours and it was clear that I was to listen and not interrupt. Non-directive counselling, indeed!
Dr. Jung advised me to spend most of my time alone, have a separate room in the house to be used for nothing but inner work, never to join any organization or collectivity.
He indicated that though it was true that I was a young man, my dream was of the second half of life and was to be lived no matter what age I was.
When such a dream comes it is to be honored whether the time or circumstances are convenient or not.
Dr. Jung told me that the unconscious would protect me, give me everything that I needed for my life and that my one duty was to do my inner work.
All else would follow from this.
He said that it was not the least important whether I accomplished anything outwardly in this life since my one task was to contribute to the evolution of the collective unconscious.
The dream was of the general form of three elements being diﬀerentiated and a fourth less well developed; he elaborated at great length the problem of adding the fourth element to the existing trinity of faculties and the implications of this development.
He was jubilant at that time over the forthcoming proclamation from Rome of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven and talked of that as an example of the addition of the fourth element to the already established three.
My observations of Dr. Jung were several; his frequent laughter, his kindness in taking an unknown youth through his great dream, and most of all, his gift of walking by my side in the matter of typology.
It was my observation that here was a man just like me!
His thought movement, timing, humor were almost exactly parallel to my own.
How ﬁne to ﬁnd someone so much like myself who can stand two generations ahead of me and speak my own language.
Not only did Dr. Jung speak English with me but he spoke my introverted feeling type as well.
Only later when I was with him in groups of people did I learn that he was quite diﬀerent from me in type and that his gift to me was in leaving his own natural typology and engaging me in my own.
I was so deeply impressed with this that I determined to learn the same art with others as I was capable.
I continued work with both Dr. Jung (brief meetings at his invitation) and Mrs. Jung. Mrs. Jung was a highly introverted, sensitive person who I learned only much later was an introverted sensation type.
I fear I put her through a diﬃcult time with my feeling intuitive extravagances but she also gave me the gift of following my typology rather than her own. Carl Jung, J.E.T., Pages 36-39