June 26, 1941
This ‘hour’ was pretty painful. I had just left Mrs. Jung’s study.
She had just said that she did not like the spirit of the Psychological Club group, as they were so like the Pharisees, and full of Grossenwahn [inflated with their own importance] and Selbstgerechtigkeit [self-righteousness].
I was quite overcome by her remark, as I had thought myself it was so.
When I went in to see Onkel[Jung] , I told him of our conversation.
But he was evidently not going to let me get away with sitting in magnificent judgment on the Club group, for when I told him that I thought exactly as Mrs. Jung did on the subject, he said that it was because I was like that myself!
It certainly was a bomb falling in my lap – and I looked up – astonished.
I said to him that I was so sweet and nice and cherubic and straight and fine, and I did not understand that he could compare me with such hypocritical people.
He said that I was nice with such people as Frau Dr. Biedermann, who were totally unconscious people.
But that naturally when I was with the Club group, who were ‘conscious’ and cultured, they saw through me, and treated me as they did: seeing with their consciousness just what sort of person I was. ~Katy Cabot, Jung My Mother and I, Page 375
I said that Toni and Linda, especially, were to me the black persons in that Club, and that there had been a much lighter atmosphere the evening of Frau Jacobi’s lecture – when they had not come.
Onkel said that Toni and Linda were relatively harmless, and I project all my nastiness when I say that they are nasty.
I project all my snakes and all the witch-like stuff, that is in me, onto them.
Then I spoke of Mrs. Rufenacht’s1 coming to lunch, and speaking so loudly about her affairs and her love for Professor Straumann – about how badly he was treating her and all the suffering she was going through while being married to Mr. Rufenacht; how she would like to marry Professor Straumann, but that he had said she was too old (being only a year younger than he) – and besides, that he was in love with a Swiss girl whom he intended to propose it and marry.
Also that she had had a big sex affair at Pfingsten [Whitsuntide/Pentecost] with him.
She had left Onkel forever when he ( Onkel) had said that she must carry a burden, and never live again, but instead climb up to the sacred city of Lhasa in Tibet!
She intimated that she got into a perfect fury when Onkel and Toni said she was living below herself.
I also added that she had said that she had not come to me to save money on them, Onkel and Toni, but because she had left them, as the task of mounting to Lhasa, which they had recommended to her, was too great.
She had decided to enjoy life instead.
Onkel said that of course she had come to me as I was nearer her level, and she doesn’t feel such distance from me as she does from them.
He said that she would not dare to talk to him and Toni in such a vulgar tone as they are people of culture. Mrs. Rufenacht feels a great distance from people like himself and Toni.
“She wouldn’t dare talk to us like that,” he said.
The fact that I could sit there and listen to that stuff being poured over the Waldhaus [Dolder] porch, for everyone to hear, shows that I lack Toni’s and his culture.
Mrs. Rufenacht dared to come out to me with her whole stuff, with all the vulgarity she has in her, and which she does not dare tell to them.
She can only talk to people such as I, who have the same vulgarity, and who are not snobbish about sex.
It is al in terrible taste for her to talk and for me to listen!
It is pigsty stuff. She had a need to pour out her filthy stuff, and it touched the same in me, my lust and my sex.
Mrs. Rufenacht feels very guilty; otherwise, she would not go around telling the world about her illicit love affairs.
Then he said she was really stupid.
For instance, when he gave a series of lectures about the Mass, she thought he must surely be a Catholic.
When he gave a lecture on Alchemy, she thought he must be an alchemist!
When he told her that to carry a cross meant that she must deal with life, take up her responsibilities in a dignified way, she mistook what he said and thought that he had meant for her to go to Tibet and be a lama.
He said that Mrs. Rufenacht had no subtlety – that she is impossibly coarse, like a factory girl. A vulgar fate awaits her, and her life will be difficult.
Onkel went on to say that he didn’t want to tell her that she would have to reckon with a vulgar life, unless she ‘deals’ with life and takes up her responsibilities in a dignified way.
He added that he told her almost nothing except that she must try and deal with life.
If she cannot stomach such mild remarks as that, then she will never get out of ‘whoredom.’
She is quite_ shapeless and the victim of her nature.
Her marriage is unpleasant – a hell.
Her husband’s soul is a prostitute, so that is why he had to marry one!
He sees a lot of nice and cultured French-Swiss because he wants to compensate.
Mrs. Rufenacht would like to hear sexy things from me and wallow in my sex fantasy.
But I must be careful never to mention a sex fantasy to her as she would tell it around and cover me with mud, he said.
Mrs. Rufenacht prefers to smear herself over the face of the earth.
She can’t stand it that she is so sexy, so she goes around telling everyone about her sex life as she feels it makes it less terrible if she confesses it publicly.
He said that Mrs. Rufenacht is full of inferiority.
She feels abject, so she has to confess around to everyone.
She can’t stand her own dirt, so she has to go around proclaiming it to the housetops.
She can’t hold her mouth and just blabs it to every newcomer.
Now Mrs. Rufenacht is handing it out to everyone about Professor Straumann. She is just ‘handing Straumann’ to the world!
Then I told Onkel that Janey and I always said that, after a Mrs. Rufenacht visit, we had the props knocked from under us.
Onkel said, “Mrs. Rufenacht is your shadow. She couldn’t knock the props out from under you unless she had a hand in your soul!
There is Mrs. Rufenacht stuff in you!”
Then Onkel went on to say that I project my extremes onto people.
On one side – it is Mrs. Rufenacht – on the other side, it is Toni.
He said that – when I discover a thief in myself – I say, “Oh, Toni is a thief,” or “Mrs. Rufenacht is a thief.”
They are the thieves, but not for one moment do I say, “Perhaps I am the thief.”
It is the same in everything: if I discover vulgarity in myself, then I say right
away, “It’s those others who are vulgar, not myself, of course!” I go on to say, “Thank God, I am not like that!”
- Onkel went on to say that I consist of tricks, like Linda Fierz whom I condemn of playing so many tricks. I am terribly tricky!
- I lie beautifully.
- There is also something in me wanting to make an IMPRESSION!
- There is always something in me that wishes to be more distinguished than I really am!
- There is always something in me that wants to appear more honest than I am.
- I am a long chain of lies.
- I am a long chain of pretence.
- I am a long chain of deceit.
- I am intolerant.
- I am snobbish.
Onkel repeated that I am intolerant and also snobbish.
If I find everyone terrible, then there is something wrong with me!
Onkel went on to say that I had come a great distance in the knowing of myself, since I first came to Zurich, and went to the Club seminars.
One could see then that I felt thoroughly uncomfortable.
I looked like a dream figure, a fish on dry earth, a figure all done up for a Riviera party.
He said that people felt I thought myself superior, when in fact I was feeling most inferior.
He said that I behaved with people as if I were a precious jewel that had got into a dustbin.
I was certainly not adaptable and not able to get out of my shell.
I was hemmed in on all sides by a certain kind of persona which did not fit the occasion at all.
He added that I must try to learn to be natural and return to the original condition.
I then told Onkel how indifferent and cold I had been to Barbara Hannah when I met her in Gubelin [a Bahnhofstrasse jeweler].
Onkel said that just because Barbara is nasty and does not know good form, there is no reason why I should be the same, and that incident shows that my form isn’t very deep.
He added that I probably vented my ill feelings about the Club to Barbara.
Onkel said that when one is irritated by people, or by things they do, then one must turn the question inward to oneself, and ask, “How am I in that respect?”
Onkel said that Toni adopts ways that he doesn’t care for.
In the Club she is reckless and disturbing.
But Linda is the opposite, she is false and unnatural with her put-on sweetness, and her mincing airs.
He said that all the sweetness she puts on bores him to death.
He said that going to the Club to hear a good lecture was like going to a concert and hearing one violinist playing the wrong notes.
Nevertheless, it does not profoundly irritate him to hear the wrong notes as it seems to irritate me.
Evidently, he said, I could not deal with hearing a wrong note.
When one is irritated by a person one must start dealing with oneself, and ask in what way one is like the person.
Where am I like Toni and Fierz?
Inasmuch as there is a Lump in me I am artificial. Inasmuch as I am separated from myself, I am artificial.
I ought to look at myself in that line, for it is a serious matter if I am as artificial as Mrs. Fierz.
I then told Onkel a dream I had about being in a restaurant where a grande dame [lit. great lady] came up to me and scratched me on the thighs, and as she was doing it, she said: “Don’t tell anyone that I am doing this to you, because I wouldn’t want anyone to suspect that I wasn’t all that was proper and comme il faut.”
[Katy had had a similar dream earlier where Toni instead of the grande dame was involved.]
Onkel said that dream figure was me!
He added that it would be better if I did a thing like that consciously – then, I could not say I was distinguished!
Otherwise, I will retain the ‘being-the-grandedame-in-society’ attitude with all the prestige that goes with it.
Then I told Onkel a dream I had about Mrs. Fierz and Frau Jacobi.
He said that intellectually, I could not, of course, compete with them.
Fierz and Jacobi are not natural and this ‘intellectuality’ with them is a compensation for their lack of naturalness.
Fierz plays intellectually with natural thoughts.
I asked him if he thought Mrs. Fierz’s lectures would be interesting.
He said she would give her lecture in an intellectual way playing with natural thoughts.
She will be trying to climb out of her problem of unnaturalness in an intellectual way.
What she will say will be an attempt to deal with her difficulty in an intellectual way, in a substantial way.
Onkel told me to try to be decent, honest, open and frank and real! Which, of course, is not so easy to achieve!
I asked Onkel how he observed that I was not natural.
He said there were fringes of sophistication around my ‘naturalness.’
My naturalness is like a bad sausage made up to look like a pheasant!
I have my ideas of being comme il faut, and I do not see how I could be if I were a child of Nature.
I would be so different.
Now, I simply imitate being natural just as Linda Pierz imitates the natural style.
I am like a rococo lady dressed up trying to be natural, or like a sheep with blue ribbons.
“The whole art of living is living what you are!” Onkel said. (But how to realize what one is??)
Onkel said that, in Toni and Linda, I had found objects into which I can project my own unnaturalness.
When I realize my own unnaturalness, then I can do something about becoming natural, and Toni’s and Linda’s unnaturalness won’t bother me anymore.
Then Onkel told me again his Darjeeling story: the sunset in the Himalayas and the British Professor who could not express himself adequately about its beauty and had thus asked Onkel to quote Faust.
I said that if I had been present at that sunset, I would have been off in exstase [a state of ecstasy] or have been quiet and dull and not have spoken.
If I had spoken, I would have said what I thought was ‘the right thing’ at ‘the right moment,’ and have tried to play a role.
Onkel said that that was just what I would do, and he would probably have wanted to spank me if I had been there!
I then went on to tell Onkel that if I followed my nature, I would be very quiet, not speak much and be a ‘dullard.’
Onkel replied that Mrs. Jung does not talk much, and yet when she does say something, it is the right remark, and her remarks have substance.
He said that there was no use talking when there was nothing to say. I create an artificial naturalness. Onkel said, “Just be who you are: it’s so simple, and easier than playing a role.
If one is what one is and simple, one doesn’t arouse projections from people.
People can’t project all their nasty stuff and damn nonsense onto one.
If one isn’t natural, people can project God-knows-what, and one then becomes – in their eyes – all the nasty things they are thinking.”
He went on to say that it is much more simple to be natural and real. By being that, one gains the sympathy of people.
It is my idea that I must ‘work’ and ‘slave’ to be natural.
He said, don’t play up to people. “Don’t try to impress: just be simple and yourself!”
Mrs. Pierz works like a dog to make the wrong impression!
She takes desperate trouble to put herself in the wrong light.
It is pathetic the trouble people go to make a bad impression!
Toni, on the other hand, is working hard to get the Club to be what she thinks is ‘right.’ She is slaving for that, and she damns herself and you if things don’t go right.
She almost kills herself to do things in a ‘complete way,’ in a ‘conscientious way.’ She sacrifices everything to that end and becomes stiff. However these tw (Toni and Linda, do produce something.
I should be more modest and realize that I don’t accomplish what they do. I must not be supercilious. I must be myself.
Then I told Onkel Janey’s dream of having an artificial leg.
He said that, on one side, she has artificiality- she is not quite natural – she wouldn’t be her mother’s daughter if she were natural.
She must be careful to have both legs really on the ground.
For the time being she has an artificial standpoint and wrong values.
Onkel ended by telling me to get natural and become one of God’s children!
We then went back to Mrs. Rufenacht.
He said that he had been vulgar at Rafz, 1 but that he had been drunk, and just got that way.
He told me to tell Mrs. Rufenacht the following:
She must not make the fatal mistake of thinking that people are as stupid as she is!
She should cultivate her own intelligence, for she has to see that if she goes on making such mistakes she will be at a terrible disadvantage, for it is terribly stupid to think that . people are more stupid than oneself.
When one is with Mrs. Rufenacht, one is talking to a ‘whorehouse.’
Onkel said that people who make such remarks, and hold such vulgar propos in his house, are no longer invited by him.
It is like a blasphemy during Mass or making jokes to a mother about her child who has just died to behave that way.
However one can do nothing about Mrs. R.: if she wants to have her nonsense, let her have it.
If Professor S. gets a bad reputation, it is up to him: one cannot prevent people from having their experiences.
If you talk about your lover, you make him a laughingstock!
Onkel finished by saying that Mrs. Rufenacht flooded him with all her stuff. “If she wants to have her experiences, let her have them,” he said.
My mother often quoted Jung’s remark that she was a sausage done up as a pheasant! She loved the remark.
As she grew older, she became more natural, but never entirely gave up her role-playing when convenient.
Deep down, I believe, she preferred a natural life, but felt compelled to keep up appearances, which must have been hard work.
As I have mentioned earlier, she had a very earthy side, which included telling risque jokes ( the kind men might tell each other), yet which were certainly not fitting for a society hostess of her period. During my childhood and teens,
I often wondered why my mother enjoyed ribald stories.
As for Jung’s interpretation of my artificial leg dream, it is correct.
Even though I had skated so much and had good balance and strong ankles, I was not properly grounded, mentally.
This manifested itself physically from time to time, starting in my teens.
When walldng on a perfectly smooth pavement, I would twist an ankle and stumble.
Sometimes it was painful, sometimes not, but strangely I never developed a swollen ankle.
My later interpretation, before I read Jung’s interpretation of my dream, was also that I did not have my feet on the ground! ~Katy Cabot, Jung My Mother and I, Pages 375-381