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Carl Jung and Horns Blowing, Bells Ringing


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C. G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters (Bollingen Series XCVII)

Introduction: An American writer on psychology, Claire Myers Owens, visited Jung on July 24, 1954, and wrote up the experience for a contest feature, “Tourists Abroad,” in the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune.

Her article was the winning entry for Aug. 12, 1954.

Claire Myers Owens: Nervously, I pulled the bell at the home of the Grand Old Man of Switzerland.

It was a large old-fashioned house directly on the beautiful Lake of Zurich, with the snow-topped Alps in the dim distance, and a vegetable garden in front.

As the maid admitted me, I feared that my awe of his world-wide fame would make me tongue-tied. My fears were groundless.

A large, tall man with very pink cheeks and an appearance that belied his 80 years entered and greeted me.

We sat in his library overlooking the flower garden and the blue lake with its many boats. He was friendly, jovial, startlingly frank.

For an hour and a half, we discussed his analytical psychology, Freud, his early struggles, religion and the role of evil, politics and the psychological origin of the “-isms,” the maternal woman and the grande amoureuse, his collected works now being published in the United States in 18 volumes, “self-realization,” the cause and cure of neuroses, and how to find the meaning of life.

I said I had a chapter on him in the book’ I was writing—but how could I endure it if the book were not accepted?

He said, write the truth, and expect to be misunderstood, and take the consequences. That was what he had been doing all his life.

People feared truth.

Suddenly, we heard horns blowing, bells ringing. The maid rushed up in great excitement.

He said: “Nein! Nein!”

Then his daughter called up from the garden below. “They” wanted to see him.
murmured: “Nonsense!”

She begged him to come out on the balcony. He stepped out.
So did I.

A large lake steamer had stopped.

Its two or three hundred passengers were waving wildly. Finally, he waved back—once.

It was the International Congress of Psychotherapists,’ and their ship had stopped in order that they might have a glimpse of the greatest of all psychotherapists—Prof. Carl

G. Jung., Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 237-238