Then I asked him why he [Jung] had a barbe at the seminar, and at his lectures now.
Was it because he had found that we had not made progress?
He said it was difficult to get people of such diverse character together; it was a heavy task to get people together so that they can follow.
“It’s as if you are talking to a flock of geese, that all scatter as soon as you begin to talk,” he said.
“One feels they can’t stand each other. In a collectivity, people get like that.
There are jealousies and foolishnesses going on, and you have to talk into a chaos of personal feelings and get all this personal stuff out of the way so that they will become interested, and settle down and really listen.
It only flows smoothly when you can lift people out of their personal concerns, for they are thinking all sorts of things about each other, such as, ‘What a hideous hat,’ or ‘What a stupid face’ etc.
It’s a criss-cross of emotions going around in the room.
It is difficult to get them to an actual interest, and make them give up their distractions.
As soon as you finish making the effort to get them out of themselves, then again they instantly drop to a lower level and become self-conscious, and stare at each other.
The same happens in theaters and at concerts, but to a lesser degree.
At the seminars people are so occupied with themselves and so aware of their personal things, and trying to sniff out other people and try to find out what neurosis this one or that one has.
Of course when you are in analysis you have an interest in others.
I could just smash their heads when I come in, it’s disgusting.
You feel all that going on, also with new people.”
Then I asked him how he felt with no one to carry on [his work].
He said it was not necessary; he was leaving behind a wealth of literature, and the ones to come would glean from it.
“After all,” he said, “Nature does not produce a series of me, and after Goethe or Schopenhauer, there was no one – after all, notes etc. are kept, and I put my thoughts into them, and leave behind a great deal of literature.”
We then spoke of Zarathustra.
He said that no one had quite understood it; it was read because it was beautiful, and also there were many quotations from Nietzsche in German literature.
Nietzsche did not realize what he was doing, and he produced, like Nature, a lot of things which he did not understand or know about.
Onkel said that he first read Nietzsche in the Canton du Valais, and was first impressed with its beauty; then he saw it was an amazing tragedy: that it was a slow approach to the world of the shadow.
It is like a patient who defends himself against the growing shadows:
he grows more and more afraid of the blackness.
Nietzsche thought he was writing a gospel to the world in order to make the way for the Lord. The German soldiers read Zarathustra in the trenches: it spoke to their unconscious.
I asked him why people read Zarathustra. Was it because it was so beautiful?
He said that was it, and repeated that also there was a lot of it quoted in German literature.
He went on to say that nobody has sounded the depths of it, and shown the real tragedy.
Forty years ago, people would have thought it crazy stuff.
I then asked again whether he disliked not leaving someone behind him to carry on his work, and he repeated that he was leaving so many books behind him, full of his thoughts for future people to read and study.
He said that people like himself did not appear en serie, they only happen here and there.
Who was there to follow after Goethe, Schopenhauer and Schiller?
He said that people, not understanding his teachings, thought sometimes that he was a charlatan, or were very nebulous about him, and when they think like that they are asses.
“After all, the Archbishop of York would not have consulted me on matters of dogma were I a charlatan.”
Onkel said that Nietzsche was not always crazy.
People call somebody crazy when they themselves are crazy and stupid ….
When you say something more intelligent than they are able to understand, then they just say the person is crazy.
When Galileo Galillei said the world moved, and then demonstrated this with his telescope, people said he was crazy; then they put him in prison and put the thumb screws on him.
Nevertheless, on coming out of gaol, he said, “Eppur si muove” [But it does move].
Onkel [Jung] said that he was ahead of his time, but some day everyone will learn what he now teaches.
When at school he was punished for a thesis which he wrote.
His teacher told him that he must have copied it somewhere, which he denied vigorously, saying that he had written it himself.
Nevertheless, he was even punished a second time for ‘copying’ another thesis.
People were astonished that he knew something!
When he was in New England, he discussed certain psychological problems with some learned professors, and they kept repeating, “But that is research work, research.”
“Yes,” said Onkel, “it is research.”
People have an idea, when one talks psychology, that it is ‘mere talk,’ and these professors could not believe that psychology is not ‘just talk.’
The Freudian idea goes back to sex.
You dream of a door and have no key – quite obvious what it means.
It helps a lot of people just to be able to talk over everything that is on their mind.
Then he told me not to talk so much, as I did in the Miss Welsh business, when she said how nice it was that Uncle could talk about his dysentery so openly ….
First, I never talked enough, and now I talk too much!
When I told Onkel that I seem to antagonize people, and wondered why, he said, “Go your way and don’t care.
You don’t antagonize me!” ~Katy Cabot, Jung My Mother and I, Pages 186-189