Jung, My Mother and I

As soon as I went into Onkel’s study, I gave him her [Princess Hohenzollern’s] message, which I thought was beautiful, and I tried to remember her exact words:

“Dites a Onkel que je tiens a lui et que je l’aime … “[Tell Onkel that I value him and that I love him.]

I told him that she wished me to bring it [the message] to him every time I went to him, “comme un rite qui la protegerait dans la vie … ” [like a rite that would protect her in life].

I feltemue [touched] as I gave him the message, and wept.

He received it with great feeling, and said that he understood, and would do as she asked, and send his thoughts towards her.

He seemed to feel that there was a great deal in such a rite, and I saw by the seriousness of his face that he was attendri [moved] and realized what it meant to her.

He said she was brave, and realized everything.

He was, as usual, most understanding.

He looked well and was having a cup of tea, though it was only 10.30 a.m.

After delivering my message, I asked to see his paintings which had so impressed Janey.

He first showed me a landscape, and then a beautiful little painting which he said was the Puer Aetemus, a figure on a blue background flecked with gold.

Onkel remarked that there was no red in the picture.

When I asked him why, he said it was a very long story which could not be told at that moment.

Then we talked of certain important things concerning me.

The hour was almost over when I thought I had best tell him of the strange contretemps I had had with ‘la Mellon’ on Friday at the E.T.H. I explained that I saw so few of such Americans now-that the only ones I saw were the Europeanized and sophisticated ones – and la Mellon being a ‘green’ American, was the type I had forgotten.

Would he explain her to me.

After seeming so epatante [stunning], she was suddenly queer.

I told him that the previous week she had told me most confidentially that she hated the gymnastic teacher, and had spoken to her as one might to a dog.

The following week I had been her second victim!

Then Onkel said the following, and I am using his language:

“If anyone did that to me, or I saw anyone do that, I would know they had an awful shadow.

With such people, one must keep polite – but at a safe distance: then they don’t dare get near enough to you, and you just keep formal relations.

When you heard what had happened the previous week with the gymnastic teacher, you should have realized that shadow and kept your distance.

The Americans especially have that terrible black shadow behind them.

It’s as if they made a Reinkultur [pure culture] of all their good qualities, which they bring out into the open, and you think the person is a hundred percent pure gold.

When I met Mrs. Mellon in Ascona, I was impressed, and thought what a charming person.

But as soon as she entered the room for analytical treatment, I became indifferent to her, as I saw all her good qualities were frozen by that bad shadow.

If- after a person has been with me for an hour and still has cold hands – it is caused by the presence of the shadow, for the shadow is very cold.

When Mrs. Mellon leaves me after an hour, her hands are clammy and cold; that means she does not warm up, but gets colder and colder as the shadow approaches and falls on her.

It is so impressive that you almost get the creeps!

The shadow is constellated behind her and creeps up. Of such a shadow the American is totally unaware.

A European is conscious of his shadow.

If you say to a European, ‘You have a black shadow too,’ or ‘Your motives aren’t pure in this or that,’ the European will say convincingly that he knows it to be true, but an American will be gravely offended, if you doubt his motive!

An American expects you to call him your friend after only a few meetings, and he never doubts that he isn’t one hundred percent pure gold.

When she [Mrs. Mellon] comes to me, she sails in and is charming, and one is impressed and thinks all is as it ought to be.

I told her that the fact that she [Mrs. Mellon] was neurotic, was evidence that she was wrong on the other side.

She admitted that I was right, but it was an ‘academical’ admission, just like everyone admits he is mortal, but will people admit of their death?

One always thinks of the other fellow dying, not oneself.

And so, in such a way she admitted the other side of her nature.

Mrs. Mellon projects her shadow on to other women because of that.

All her good qualities are shining, but then the shadow is all the blacker.

She had a dream which showed a shadow, but I saw she was unaware of that bad personality in her.

One can’t stand one’s own perfection all the time, for then you will fall over your own top.

When naive people go to America, they are terribly impressed by the straightforwardness and frankness, and they say to themselves, ‘I am a very bad character compared with these nice people.’

Underneath all that outward niceness is meanness, vulgarity – that horse-like stable vulgarity.

An American doesn’t impress me anymore.

Isn’t it a clever bluff? And how they can put it over!

When I saw her [casually] in Ascona, I did not know she was neurotic.

But when she came to me here, I felt a million miles away and cold and unimpressed, and I began to peep behind her.

I am sure if Princess Hohenzollern asked Mrs. Mellon to help her friend in America, she never got a cent.

One would not get a cent out of that woman. It is typically American to make an etalage [display] of one’s good qualities, but the shadow looks on.

It is just such a demonstration of qualities that accounts for her neurosis.”

I then asked him why it upset me so, and that I presumed it was caused by the inordinate vanity in me which did not enjoy being treated in that way.

He said that it ‘got me’ by the same thing in me!

I asked how that was possible, as I had for ten years been discovering my shadows, and was pretty well aware of them now!

He said he knew that, but that I handle my shadow as my particular affliction, and refuse to see it as a general phenomenon.

I must be more objective; then I can see other people’s shadows better.

He said that we are afraid of our feelings and then think we only have a shadow.

One must become more objective, see through the whole thing and say, “Yes, this is a nasty thought which I have had about this person, but it is not my particular affliction, and what about this next person?”

If you think something nasty about someone you must say, “What next?” By doing that you are enabled to see more through you own shadow.

“I expect something every time Mrs. Mellon comes to me.”

He went on to say that if we only knew that we are our own worst disappointments, if we are more intimate with our own shadow, we would understand other people’s.

Onkel went on to say that when he was in America, he saw a lot of a certain Rabbi Wise, who was supposed to be a sort of saint.

Onkel said that he was most impressed by this man, and finally fell into an inferiority feeling and said to himself, “Isn’t he wonderful, this man, and I am just an awful swine in comparison.”

Later, it seems the Rabbi’s wife consulted Onkel; he was astounded and had an awful shock at what she told him.

“You see,” Onkel said, “I have now seen the fellow from the other side. His epatant side was just an artificial structure.”

If one gets such a shock, one deserves it.

One should not be too nice to people like these Americans because it pleases them, tickles their shadows and spoils them.

One must treat them politely and in a distant way, so as not to allow such people to bring out their shadow.

If treated distantly, they will want a success, and put forth their strength to please, and one will see nothing of the shadow.

I then asked Onkel if Mrs. Mellon was not tiers-etat [third estate]. I was sure she was not from a good American family.

He said, he thought she was from the Middle-West, and her father a doctor.

I very nastily, and snobbishly said that I thought so, and in that case, didn’t mind a snub from a person like that; such people could not snub one.

I realized that Onkel thought I was pretty nasty, and before he could say so, I told him myself.

I added, that as he saw, I had my feet still firmly in the mud!

He said to leave them there, for as long as we live in this body, they are usually to be found there.

“But we can go on trying to achieve something, and not worrying about the feet – then one might succeed in lifting them out of the mire someday.

Just take your feet, for being in the mud, for granted, and look for better things.”

[This was the end of the analysis, and I suddenly felt that I had learnt many things.

He [Jung] told me that after so many years in Europe, I had judged Americans as a naive European. ~Katy Cabot, Jung My Mother and I, Pages 244-247

He first showed me a landscape, and then a beautiful little painting which he said was the Puer Aetemus, a figure on a blue background flecked with gold. Onkel remarked that there was no red in the picture. When I asked him why, he said it was a very long story which could not be told at that moment. ~Katy Cabot, Jung My Mother and I, Page 233

The Americans especially have that terrible black shadow behind them. It’s as if they made a Reinkultur [pure culture] of all their good qualities, which they bring out into the open, and you think the person is a hundred percent pure gold. ~Carl Jung, Jung My Mother and I, Page 245

When I met Mrs. Mellon in Ascona, I was impressed, and thought what a charming person. But as soon as she entered the room for analytical treatment, I became indifferent to her, as I saw all her good qualities were frozen by that bad shadow. ~Carl Jung, Jung My Mother and I, Page 245

If- after a person has been with me for an hour and still has cold hands – it is caused by the presence of the shadow, for the shadow is very cold. ~Carl Jung, Jung My Mother and I, Page 245

When Mrs. Mellon leaves me after an hour, her hands are clammy and cold; that means she does not warm up, but gets colder and colder as the shadow approaches and falls on her. ~Carl Jung, Jung My Mother and I, Page 245

If you say to a European, ‘You have a black shadow too,’ or ‘Your motives aren’t pure in this or that,’ the European will say convincingly that he knows it to be true, but an American will be gravely offended, if you doubt his motive! ~Carl Jung, Jung My Mother and I, Page 245

I told her that the fact that she [Mrs. Mellon] was neurotic, was evidence that she was wrong on the other side. She admitted that I was right, but it was an ‘academical’ admission, just like everyone admits he is mortal, but will people admit of their death? ~Carl Jung, Jung My Mother and I, Page 246

When naive people go to America, they are terribly impressed by the straightforwardness and frankness, and they say to themselves, ‘I am a very bad character compared with these nice people.’  Underneath all that outward niceness is meanness, vulgarity – that horse-like stable vulgarity. ~Carl Jung, Jung My Mother and I, Page 246

I asked how that was possible, as I had for ten years been discovering my shadows, and was pretty well aware of them now! He said he knew that, but that I handle my shadow as my particular affliction, and refuse to see it as a general phenomenon. ~Katy Cabot, Jung My Mother and I, Page 246

 

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