Carl Jung: His Life and His Work
Storm Clouds over Europe 1933–1937
In 1926 Jung had already become painfully aware of the tension in the atmosphere in Europe.
In fact, it is clear, from what I have heard of the Polzeath seminar in 1923, that he had been uneasy about Western man’s lack of an impersonal attitude ever since the First World War showed up the inability of the Church to fill this need in the great majority of Europeans.
Some dreams of his German patients, as early as 1918, had indeed drawn his attention to the situation in Germany, but he did not know with any certainty where trouble would first break out.
Yet from the beginning of my time in Switzerland, he frequently mentioned that he was especially uneasy about Germany, because Christianity had been forced by the sword upon the Germans and therefore their Christian veneer was thinner, their pagan roots much nearer the surface, than elsewhere.
In the early thirties this uneasiness was greatly increased by the dreams of his German patients, some of which were very ominous indeed.
For some years before Hitler and his party seized power, Jung had kept an anxious eye on Germany, wondering what form a pagan revival was likely to take.
Some time before the fatal change of German government took place, Jung had accepted an invitation from the C. G. Jung Gesellschaft (the Psychological Club of Berlin) to give a seminar in July, 1933, at the Harnackhaus in Dahlem, near Berlin. Rather unusually, he made no objection to about half a dozen of his pupils going with him to Berlin, for the C. G. Jung Gesellschaft had invited the members of the Psychological Club, Zürich, to attend.
So it happened that I drove by myself from Küsnacht to Berlin, thus witnessing the whole of Germany on its feet, a phenomenon which the reawakening of Wotan from his sleep in the unconscious had brought about.
I asked Jung before I set out whether he thought I could risk the drive, in view of the state of Germany then, and after careful consideration he replied: “Yes, risk it! Mind you, I don’t know what will happen, but it will be an interesting experience.”
That was exactly what it was. There were hardly any cars on the road, but the route was literally crowded with hikers, and one could go hardly fifty yards without being asked for a lift.
Every time I went to a garage for gasoline I was warned in the strongest terms against giving anyone a lift.
Most of the hikers were harmless enough, the garage attendants admitted, but there had been many hold-ups, even stolen cars, so they insisted on my promising to take up no one before they would fill my tank!
So I drove through that crowd of hikers, feeling a brute, but only twice, when I was asked at garages and so had time to judge the hikers, did I take anyone with me.
Both were perfectly harmless and threw an interesting light on the general exodus: “I just think it could not be as bad somewhere else and perhaps I shall be able to find work at Nuremberg,”—or Leipzig, Berlin, or wherever they were going.
Jung himself, with Emma, Toni, and a few others, went by train, and we all met at the Harnackhaus in Dahlem.
The meeting of the club opened on the first evening with a lecture by Heinrich Zimmer, the Indologue. Then followed Jung’s seminar of six lectures, which took the rest of the week.
This was, I believe, only Jung’s second meeting with Zimmer, a man who was destined to become a great friend not only of Jung but of us all.
We not only met him nearly every year at Eranos (Ascona),a but he lectured frequently at the Zürich Psychological Club.
He was a charming person, lively, interested in everything, particularly his own subject, but with curiously childlike hands which made Jung anxious about him from the beginning, with only too much reason as it turned out.
That first lecture in Berlin was really a masterpiece.
Zimmer held the audience spellbound, a feat, since he was little known at that time and the large audience, which had collected from all over Germany and abroad, had come primarily to hear Jung and were disappointed that he was not lecturing that first Sunday evening.
But Zimmer had not only an excellent knowledge and grasp of his subject but also a very creative mind and an extremely lively delivery; in short, he was one of the best lecturers I have ever heard.
Curiously enough, although he had an unrivaled knowledge of Sanskrit and of the old Indian texts, he had never been to India, a gap that was to have been filled in the autumn of 1939 when he planned to go there, probably with Peter Baynes, but was—alas, for always—prevented by the outbreak of war.
Although Jung’s lectures in themselves were absorbing, I felt more and more uncomfortable as the week went on.
I could make little or no contact with anyone at the seminar and even had difficulty in speaking to the people from Zürich whom I knew so well. One morning—it was about the middle of the week—Jung stopped me on the stairs and said: “Take care, you are getting dangerously out of yourself.”
I knew he was right but had no idea why, until he added:
“These people are all in a panic, they are scared stiff and have no idea where all this is leading. I am afraid nothing can save them and that they are heading for inevitable disaster, but at least we will earn the merit of trying to help them as long as we can.”
That was enough to save my situation, for I realized at once that, since I had not seen their panic, I had become infected, via the unconscious.
The next day, seeing that I was once more in myself, Jung had a long talk about the whole thing with an English friend and me.
I had seen from his few words on the stairs that he was taking a dim view of the new government and the prospects for Germany, but now—as he told us—he had still more reason to do so.
He had been persuaded by a German doctor that one of the high officials of the new government felt very uncertain of the course of events and was most anxious to consult him, so, though unwillingly, Jung had consented to go to see him.
But the moment he got into the room he realized he had been misled, that the official had also been told that Jung wanted to see him!
Jung was angry at such a foolish, time-wasting deception, and left as soon as possible, but with added apprehension concerning the future of Germany in such hands.
He never spoke to any of the other leading Nazis, but he felt hopeless from the beginning about the colleagues of such a windbag as he had seen.
He spoke again at greater length of the panic that was gripping the German people and of his fear that nothing could stop a disaster.
At least, the only thing that could possibly stop it, he said, would be for enough individuals to become conscious of the possessed state they were all in.
Therefore, he said, for as long as we could we should give them the benefit of the doubt and help as many as we could to become more conscious.
He did this himself mainly via the individual (he had many German patients at that time), but his article in the Neue Schweizer Rundschau on “Wotan”1 was one of his rare efforts to wake up a wider public to the real state of affairs.
Jung had been afraid for some years that the thin Christian veneer in Germany was likely to crack.
Already, in the Polzeath seminar of 1923, he had deplored the lack of an impersonal attitude, which was thereby present only in the unconscious, from which it was likely to return in archaic and unacceptable forms.
As soon as he read in the newspapers that the Germans were restlessly on the move, wandering from place to place, he was reminded of the wanderer Wotan and realized that this was the “archaic symbol” that was certainly going to produce an unacceptable situation in Germany, unless enough individual Germans could become conscious of the danger in time.
It may be remembered that much later, some years after the Second World War, when Jung was asked if he thought there would be an atomic war, he replied that he thought it depended on “how many people could stand the tension of the opposites in themselves.”
He could also have expressed it in other words (as he did that day in Berlin): it depended on how many people could become conscious of the situation in time.
He had already learned painfully in Africa how necessary it was for the individual to realize the outer collective tension fully, and he had known before—at least since his “confrontation with the unconscious” or even much earlier—that one must first learn to stand that tension in oneself.
But that day in Berlin was the first time I realized how much fate itself depended on the individual and why Jung was trying with all his might to wake up the individual Germans with whom he came in contact.
After I had written the above from my recollection, I came on a description by Jung of the difficulties he encountered in dealing with the Germans in these early days of the Nazi regime.
I quote the most relevant part in full:
When Hitler seized power it became quite evident to me that a mass psychosis was boiling up in Germany. But I could not help telling myself that this was after all Germany, a civilized European nation with a sense of morality and discipline. Hence the ultimate outcome of this unmistakable mass movement still seemed to me uncertain, just as the figure of the Führer at first struck me as being merely ambivalent. It is true that in July 1933, when I gave a series of lectures in Berlin, I received an extremely unfavourable impression both of the behaviour of the Party and of the person of Goebbels. But I did not wish to assume from the start that these symptoms were decisive, for I knew other people of unquestionable idealism who sought to prove to me that these things were unavoidable abuses such as are customary in any great revolution. It was indeed not at all easy for a foreigner to form a clear judgment at that time. Like many of my contemporaries I had my doubts. As a psychiatrist, accustomed to dealing with patients who are in danger of being overwhelmed by unconscious contents, I knew that it is of the utmost importance, from the therapeutic point of view, to strengthen as far as possible their conscious position and powers of understanding, so that something is there to intercept and integrate the contents that are breaking through into consciousness. These contents are not necessarily destructive in themselves, but are ambivalent, and it depends entirely on the constitution of the intercepting consciousness whether they will turn out to be a curse or a blessing. National Socialism was one of those psychological mass phenomena, one of those outbreaks of the collective unconscious, about which I had been speaking for nearly twenty years. The driving forces of a psychological mass movement are essentially archetypal. Every archetype contains the lowest and the highest, evil and good, and is therefore capable of producing diametrically opposite results. Hence it is impossible to make out at the start whether it will prove to be positive or negative. My medical attitude towards such things counselled me to wait, for it is an attitude that allows no hasty judgments, does not always know from the start what is better, and is willing to give things “a fair trial.” Far from wishing to give the beleaguered consciousness its death-blow, it tries to strengthen its powers of resistance through insight, so that the evil that is hidden in every archetype shall not seize hold of the individual and drag him to destruction. The therapist’s aim is to bring the positive, valuable, and living quality of the archetype—which will sooner or later be integrated into consciousness in any case —into reality, and at the same time to obstruct as far as possible its damaging and pernicious tendencies. It is part of the doctor’s professional equipment to be able to summon up a certain amount of optimism even in the most unlikely circumstances, with a view to saving everything that it is still possible to save. He cannot afford to let himself be too much impressed by the real or apparent hopelessness of a situation, even if this means exposing himself to danger. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that Germany up till the National Socialist era, was one of the most differentiated and highly civilized countries on earth, besides being, for us Swiss, a spiritual background to which we were bound by ties of blood, language, and friendship. I wanted to do everything within my feeble powers to prevent this cultural bond from being broken, for culture is our only weapon against the fearful danger of mass-mindedness. If an archetype is not brought into reality consciously, there is no guarantee whatever that it will be realized in its favourable form; on the contrary, there is all the more danger of a destructive regression. It seems as if the psyche were endowed with consciousness for the very purpose of preventing such destructive possibilities from happening.
To anyone who, like myself, was with Jung in Berlin in July, 1933, and who saw and heard him frequently during the next twenty-eight years, the libel that Jung was a Nazi is so absurd and so entirely without foundation that it goes against the grain to take it seriously enough to contradict it.
Moreover, for the most part it is believed only by the people who want to believe it, and it is always useless to waste energy on them.
I learned this in 1914 and I have never forgotten the lesson.
When the Germans were sweeping through Belgium and the north of France and neither the French nor the British expeditionary force seemed in the least able to stop them, somehow a rumor started, and swept through England, that Russian reinforcements were being landed in Scotland, and one was even told quite seriously that it must be true, because they had been seen stamping the snow off their boots. Undeniable facts, such as the Scotch temperature in August, were absolutely useless, because the people who told the story wanted to believe that huge Russian armies were going to be thrown in to stop the German advance. The rumor that Jung had any sympathy with the Nazi program is just as absurd.
If the one shows incredible ignorance of meteorological facts, the other shows equal ignorance of the elements of Jung’s psychology, which lays its whole emphasis on the individual.
Jung says, for example, of the “isms” (and from the start he always said Nazism and Bolshevism, as it was called then, were two names for the same thing):
The political and social isms of our day preach every conceivable ideal, but, under this mask, they pursue the goal of lowering the level of our culture by restricting or altogether inhibiting the possibilities of individual development. They do this partly by creating a chaos controlled by terrorism, a primitive state of affairs that affords only the barest necessities of life and surpasses in horror the worst times of the so-called “Dark” Ages. It remains to be seen whether this experience of degradation and slavery will once more raise a cry for greater spiritual freedom.
And in another place:
The great events of world history, are, at bottom, profoundly unimportant. In the last analysis, the essential thing is the life of the individual. This alone makes history, here alone do the great transformations first take place, and the whole future, the whole history of the world, ultimately spring as a gigantic summation from these hidden sources in individuals. In our most private and most subjective lives we are not only the passive witnesses of our age, and its sufferers, but also its makers. We make our own epoch.
These two short quotations should suffice to show how completely incompatible Jung’s psychology is with any political movement, and how impossible it is that Jung was ever in sympathy, even for a moment, with anything concerning the Nazi regime.
To return to Berlin in 1933: Jung’s seminar was taken down at the time in an unusually good stenogram and multigraphed for the use of the class in almost verbatim form.
I have reread my notes with the greatest interest, to remind myself how Jung had dealt with the Germans in their panic at the time.
Although he did all he could to open the eyes of the individual to the myth of Wotan that was possessing Germany, he did not speak of it or refer to the political situation at all, when addressing his large German audience in Berlin.
But he did do his utmost to open their eyes to the reality of the psyche and the inner life.
He also spoke a good deal of the danger of being unconscious and of getting caught in participation mystique and mass emotion, but he always spoke in general terms and left the individuals in the audience to apply it to their own present situation.
He certainly managed to calm his audience.
I have never felt a general atmosphere change so quickly, nor have I ever heard such enthusiastic and persistent applause as at the end of the final lecture.
Jung was constantly being asked in Berlin about the extraordinary self-confidence of German youth.
This made him feel that he needed to know more of Swiss youth and of how it was developing.
By 1933 his own children were rapidly marrying and leaving home, and his grandchildren were still quite small.
Therefore, when he got home from Berlin and was settled at Bollingen, he asked a nephew of Toni Wolff.
Pablo Naeff, who had been brought up in the Argentine but was then in his last year at the Zürich Freie Gymnasium and on the threshold of the university, to bring a few members of his class to spend a day at Bollingen.
Jung gave them both lunch and supper and told them a lot about his psychology, watching their reactions with the greatest interest.
Pablo Naeff had asked six other boys and just one girl (Marie-Louise von Franz, who at eighteen years old was thus first introduced to Jung and his psychology) to form the party which visited him at his Tower that day.
It was in August of this same year (1933) that Jung lectured for the first time at the Eranos Tagung in Ascona.
These annual meetings were organized by Olga Fröbe-Kapetyn and had been in existence for some years.
Judging from the paintings on the walls when we first went there, these early meetings must have been rather Theosophical in character.
Jung had no sympathy whatever with Theosophy—for he always felt it speculated in the air, with no empirical foundation—so I do not know how Frau Fröbe originally persuaded him to lecture at Ascona.
At all events, his presence so completely changed the character of the meetings that later Frau Fröbe herself used to speak of the Tagung as having begun in 1933.
She had built a large lecture hall (which could hold about two hundred people) in the beautiful garden of her villa at Moscia, a hamlet between Ascona and Porto Ronco.
It was a perfect setting for such summer gatherings, situated directly on Lake Maggiore, with a delightful bathing place beneath, which Frau Fröbe generously allowed those who attended the Tagung to use.
The general subject of this first Tagung was “Yoga and Meditation in East and West.”
Frau Fröbe had persuaded not only Jung to lecture but also Heinrich Zimmer; Erwin Rousselle, who was director of the China Institute in he University of Frankfurt (where he had succeeded Richard Wilhelm in 1930); Ernesto Buonaiutif of Rome; G. R. Heyer, a well-known psychiatrist from Munichg and a few others.
Jung lectured extemporaneously that year on the “Empirical Basis of the Individuation Process.”
It is due to the merit of Toni Wolff that the lecture was preserved in the 1933 Eranos Jahrbuch, since she was able to contribute a written version.
Jung subsequently produced a “thoroughly revised and enlarged version” and published it in Gestaltungen des Unbewussten (Zürich, 1950).
This version is translated as A Study in the Process of Individuation in the Collected Works.
From 1933 until 1939, Jung stayed for the duration of the Tagung at the Monte Verità Hotel, up on the hill at Ascona, with a magnificent view of the lake and mountains.
It belonged to Baron von der Heydt, who had a large collection of both Eastern and Western art, which at that time hung mainly in his private villa and in all the rooms of the hotel.
The Baron, a strange being, had nothing to do with the management of the hotel, but lived in his own villa and only occasionally put in an appearance.
It was a large hotel and in many ways unique, with enormous sitting rooms which more nearly resembled comfortably seated picture galleries, and large balconies and grounds, all with the wonderful view of Lake Maggiore.
Many of the other lecturers, as well as Jung, were quartered there by Frau Fröbe.
Emma Jung, Toni Wolff, and quite a large number of our group also stayed there; in fact, anyone could who applied early enough for a room.
I was lucky enough always to obtain one, from 1933 until1939 (at the end of which year the hotel shut down for the duration of the war), and used to look forward every year to our ten days in such idyllic surroundings.
There were a great many interesting discussions, of which Jung was always the center, both on the terrace at Eranos after the lectures and at the hotel after meals.
These were on a variety of subjects, as well as on the current lecture, with the lecturer himself often present.
At such times the discussion was mainly between Jung and the lecturer, with a large appreciative audience.
There were also what Frau Fröbe used to call “round table discussions,” with just her own guests, after meals in her garden.
Jung took part in these regularly only after the Hotel Verità closed, that is, during the war and for several years after.
The Jungs never went to another hotel but were housed by Frau Fröbe in a lovely apartment she had built over the lecture hall.
They had their meals in her villa or more often at the large round garden table which was her dining table whenever the weather was fine.
While the Jungs still stayed at the Verità and we had our cars, there were often expeditions to fascinating small Tessin villages where there was usually a hotel with exceptionally good food.
The cooking at the Monte Verità itself in those days was often a trial to Jung; being such a cordon bleu himself, he hated to see good food (it was all of the best quality) indifferently cooked.
It was also in 1933 that Jung began to lecture again at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich, for the first time since 1913; this time the lectures continued, almost without interruption, until 1941.
They were always on Friday in the late afternoon, and were welcome to all his students; with the English seminar on Wednesday mornings they gave us two lectures from Jung each week.
He began these lectures on October 20, 1933, to an enormous audience, for the curiosity of the general public was aroused to see a fellow citizen who had become world famous by that time.
To Jung’s great disgust, therefore, he had to give his lectures in the Auditorium Maximum, which holds 435 people and was always practically full.
As mentioned before, Jung hated large groups except occasionally for single lectures, and he found his mammoth audience every week exceedingly tiring.
I do not know whether he did it on purpose to reduce his audience (although it had that effect, in that he was able to give all his later courses in a smaller hall, still one of the largest, but not the unwieldy Maximum), but his first course of lectures was rather difficult. (He said afterward they were too difficult, that the majority of the audience had understood little or nothing.)
The first four were a brief survey of the history of psychology, in which he traced its forerunners in the writings of many philosophers, beginning with Descartes (1596–1650) and going through to William James (1842–1910).
After this, he demonstrated the empirical background of the psyche; then a description of Justinus Kerner’s famous Clairvoyante of Prevorst, with the many attendant diagrams showing the psychological background, took seven further lectures.
The remaining five lectures were devoted to Flournoy’sk case of Hélène Smith, who became a famous medium, and a diagram concerning consciousness which, after being applied to the Seherin, the subject of Kerner’s work, and Hélène Smith, he extended to Freud, to Rockefeller, to the so-called Normal Man; to the Swiss saint Niklaus von der Flüe; to Goethe; and finally to Nietzsche.
These lectures were in German. Una Thomas, Elizabeth Welsh (original translator of most of Essays on Contemporary Events), and I pooled our notes and translated them into English, for the benefit of Jung’s students who did not know German.
This was later developed into a multigraphed edition, circulated privately among the various Anglo-Saxon groups.
In 1934 Jung also began a seminar on children’s dreams, this time for a much smaller audience, consisting mainly of the students of the E. T. H. and the university.
These seminars were all recorded in a German stenogram by Riwkah Schärf-Kluger and are being printed—also in a private edition—in German.
They really opened up a new field, for many of the children’s dreams on which Jung commented contained a prognosis of the whole future course of the child’s life.
Dreams where this could be proved were mainly provided by older pupils and friends of Jung, many of whom vividly remembered their earliest dreams.
By 1933 Jung had already found himself on the horns of a dilemma regarding the International General Medical Society for Psychotherapy (and its publication, Zentralblatt), of which he was an honorary president.
The members of this international society came from many nations, but the Germans had always dominated it and held the principal executive positions.
Together with the “Gleichschaltung” (unification) forced on every German society by the Nazi government, this situation had become impossible, and the president, Ernst Kretschmer, resigned “on account of the general upheaval.”
I do not think that Jung had ever consented to be president of anything in the almost twenty years since his resignation from the presidency of Freud’s International Association in April, 1914.
As we saw then, such posts and the correspondence they involved were anything but congenial to Jung.
Nevertheless, the whole world of psychiatry was being threatened in Germany, and Jung saw that the only hope for the existence of the society lay in total reorganization.
Clearly, that could not be carried out by a German president; so some “leading members of the society” pressed Jung—he expressed it as “fervently”—to take the chair.
He wrote in a newspaper article:
Thus a moral conflict arose for me as it would for any decent man in this situation. Should I, as a prudent neutral, withdraw into security this side of the frontier and wash my hands in innocence, or should I—as I was well aware—risk my skin and expose myself to the inevitable misunderstandings which no one escapes who, from higher necessity, has to make a pact with the existing political powers in Germany? Should I sacrifice the interests of science, loyalty to colleagues, the friendship which attaches me to some German physicians, and the living link with the humanities afforded by a common language—sacrifice all this to egotistic comfort and my different political sentiments? I have seen too much of the distress of the German middle class, learned too much about the boundless misery that often marks the life of a German doctor today, know too much about the general spiritual wretchedness to be able to evade my plain human duty under the shabby cloak of political subterfuge. Consequently no other course remained for me but to answer for my friends with the weight of my name and independent position. As conditions then were, a single stroke of the pen in high places would have sufficed to sweep all psychotherapy under the table. That had to be prevented at all costs for the sake of suffering humanity, doctors, and—last but not least—science and civilization. At that time—in fact, during most of the thirty-two years I saw Jung—I used to write down afterward all I could remember of my analytical hours, seminars, and especially interesting conversations.
I take the following from what he told me when he returned from the next congress of the society, which took place in Bad Nauheim, on May 10–13, 1934. (My notes are dated May 14, 1934, so the congress must have been fresh in his mind.)
This was the congress at which Jung presented his scheme for the total reorganization of the society.
Jung struck me as unusually exhausted but on the whole satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.
In fact, he said, by far the hardest work had been in the preparation of his proposals; the various points were accepted surprisingly easily at the time.
In order to give the society a still more international basis, a system of independent national groups had been decided on, and the society had been freed from German domination by a rule that no national group could muster more than 40 percent of the votes.
On the other hand, every national group was entirely free to make its own regulations; but—and this was the most important point—every individual member was also free to become a member of his own national group or, if he preferred it, to join the International Society independently as an “individual member.”
This was the regulation that Jung had been the most anxious about, and he said he had got it through only by mentioning neutral countries, such as Switzerland and Holland, and describing how disagreeable it would be if there were individual doctors who disapproved of their own national regulations and were thus debarred from taking part in the broader views of the whole International Society.
Now, of course, every intelligent doctor present knew that Jung was putting this through for the sake of the German Jewish doctors, who could thus either form a group of their own or simply join the International Society as individual members.
He was also inevitably leaving the German group free to make any National Socialist regulation they wished or were forced to adopt, but only, of course, for their own group.
Jung said that after the point was passed without opposition from the German group, in fact without the German situation being mentioned at all, there was a lot of speculation among the other nationalities as to why the Germans had not opposed it.
The more optimistic thought they were glad to be able to turn a blind eye without loss of face, while others thought they had no idea what they had consented to.
Both before and after this congress, the Zentralblatt, the periodical published by the International General Medical Society for Psychotherapy, presented the worst problems.
The president, who was automatically its chief editor, had always been a German, and its managing editor and staff were all German; moreover, it was published in Germany.
Because of the tyranny of the Nazi government, no one knew what might be ordered next.
The society itself was saved by the system of national groups and individual members, but Jung hoped also to forestall Nazi interference in the Zentralblatt by giving orders to the managing editor to print a special issue, “for exclusive circulation in Germany,” of a political manifesto by the president of the German group (Prof. M. H. Göring, a psychiatrist who was a cousin of the infamous Göring) and told him on no account to print it in the general Zentralblatt.
But to Jung’s “surprise and disappointment” the managing editor disobeyed him (he was probably more afraid of the German authorities) and the manifesto appeared in the general Zentralblatt.
Jung said: “The incident is naturally so incriminating as to put my editorship seriously in question.”
He was, I know, at this point much tempted to throw over the whole uncongenial job, but he decided to stick to his friends for, as he said, “What is help or friendship that costs nothing?”
There were, unfortunately, many elements in psychiatric circles (both inside and outside the International Society) that were attempting, as Jung summed it up two years later, “to render objective discussion impossible from the start by sowing political suspicion on the one hand and sectarian discord on the other.”
He then mentioned two of these:
“The Freudian spirit of sectarianism put the greatest obstacles in the way of an Austrian group and a political campaign was started in the press by the corresponding elements in Switzerland.”
This latter campaign was begun on February 27, 1934, by just such an element, a Swiss doctor and psychiatrist, G. Bally, who wrote a letter to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung which began:
The political situation in Germany obliged every learned society to undertake a reorganization which is referred to there by the word Gleichschaltung [unification]. The essential point consists in the expulsion of all members who are not pure German nationals and of all Jews. The General Medical Society for Psychotherapy has also been unified in this way.
As this, of course, applied only to the German group and not to the International Society, Dr. Bally quickly switched from the society to its Zentralblatt, which had been made into a genuinely suspicious document by the managing editor’s disastrous blunder.
It is possible that at the time Dr. Bally wrote his letter, he did not know the real circumstances, but if this was the case, why did he not admit it later?
Anyway, he wrote literally:
“Dr. C. G. Jung (Küsnacht, Zürich) admits to being the editor of this gleichgeschaltete [unified] periodical. A Swiss, therefore, is the editor of the official organ of a society which—according to Dr. M. H. Göring, a leading member—expects all its members before they write or speak—to have carefully and scientifically studied Adolf Hitler’s fundamental book Mein Kampf and accepted it as their foundation.”
Or, are we would say, “accepted it as their Bible.”
Jung wrote a reply to the same paper a fortnight later.
“I wish to discuss no surmises with Dr. Bally but prefer to report the facts,” and then went on to do so objectively, particularly stressing that his presidency (with its accompanying editorship) was “not of the German but of the International Society as is stated in the issue from which Dr. Bally quotes.”
This mistake (or misrepresentation) of Dr. Bally’s has been particularly long-lived.
I saw it stated, in an otherwise friendly—if somewhat uninformed—article about Jung in an American periodical some ten years ago, that one could not deny that Jung was swept away into sympathy for the Nazi movement at its start because one could not otherwise explain his having accepted, and kept after the attacks on the Jews had begun, the presidency of the German Medical Psychiatric Society.
The author went on to mention a “hardly less reprehensible Freudian parallel” when, according to Ernest Jones, “the Freudian group, with the Master’s consent allowed their Jewish members to resign in order to preserve analysis in Nazi Germany.”
It is quite evident that this author is not one of those who wanted to believe such a libel and that he genuinely believed it was the German society.
There are many like him, and I therefore go into more detail than this distasteful subject warrants.
To quote a little more of Jung’s “Rejoinder to Dr. Bally”:
Since the German section of the International Society has to be gleichgeschaltet, and since, moreover, the Zentralblatt is published in Germany, there naturally arose so many difficulties that more than once we doubted the possibility of a reorganization. One of these concerned the oath of allegiance and the “purity of political sentiment” required of the German Society. We in Switzerland can hardly understand such a thing, but we are immediately in the picture if we transport ourselves back three or four centuries to a time when the Church had totalitarian presumptions. Barbed wire had not been invented then, so there were probably no concentration camps, instead the Church used large quantities of faggots.
The second point of which Dr. Bally accused Jung, and which has also led to a particularly long-lived libel, was anti-Semitism.
Here he based his accusations on what Jung had written in his “Editorial” to the same number of the Zentralblatt.
. . . It will therefore be the primary task of the Zentralblatt to give impartial appreciation to all objective contributions, and to promote an over-all view which will do greater justice to the basic facts of the human psyche than has been the case up till now. The differences which actually do exist between Germanic and Jewish psychology and which have long been known to every intelligent person are no longer to be glossed over, and this can only be beneficial to science. In psychology more than in any other science there is a “personal equation” disregard of which falsifies the practical and theoretical findings. At the same time I should like to state expressly that this implies no depreciation of Semitic psychology, any more than it is a depreciation of the Chinese to speak of the peculiar psychology of the Oriental.
Dr. Bally quoted this passage in part, then not only denied that any such differences exist, but accused Jung of opportunism in bringing up the subject at that particular moment in time when it would exactly suit the Nazi book.
The editor of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in introducing Jung’s “Rejoinder to Dr. Bally” even went so far as to assert that Jung began to acknowledge racial psychology only at this particular moment.
To dispose of the last accusation first, I must state that from the beginning of my time in Zürich Jung always laid great emphasis on the necessity of realizing the differences in racial and national psychology. I remember, for example, telling him once of something Toni Wolff had done in 1929 in England. He found it very amusing and added: “However could she do such a thing in England? Has she no idea of the difference between English and Swiss psychology?”
He often mentioned the great importance of realizing these differences in his seminars and writings.
For example, in 1918, Jung wrote:
Christianity split the Germanic barbarian into an upper and a lower half, and enabled him, by repressing the dark side, to domesticate the brighter half and fit it for civilization. But the lower, darker half still awaits redemption and a second spell of domestication. Until then, it will remain associated with the vestiges of the prehistoric age, with the collective unconscious, which is subject to a peculiar and ever-increasing activation. As the Christian view of the world loses its authority, the more menacingly will the “blond beast” be heard prowling about in its underground prison, ready at any moment to burst out with devastating consequences. When this happens in the individual it brings about a psychological revolution, but it can also take a social form. In my opinion this problem does not exist for the Jews. The Jew already had the culture of the ancient world and on top of that has taken over the culture of the nations amongst whom he dwells. He has two cultures, paradoxical as that may sound. He is domesticated to a higher degree than we are, but he is badly at a loss for that quality in man which roots him to the earth and draws new strength from below. This chthonic quality is found in dangerous concentration in the Germanic peoples. Naturally the Aryan European has not noticed any signs of this for a very long time, but perhaps he is beginning to notice it in the present war again and again, perhaps not. The Jew has too little of this quality—where has he his own earth underfoot? The mystery of earth is no joke and no paradox. One only needs to see how, in America, the skull and pelvis measurements of all the European races begin to indianize themselves in the second generation of immigrants. That is the mystery of the American earth.
And in 1928 he wrote, in The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious:
“A collective attitude naturally presupposes this same collective psyche in others. But that means a ruthless disregard not only of individual differences but also of differences of a more general kind within the collective psyche itself, as for example differences of race.”
In a footnote to this sentence he added:
Thus it is a quite unpardonable mistake to accept the conclusions of a Jewish psychology as generally valid. Nobody would dream of taking Chinese or Indian psychology as binding upon ourselves. The cheap accusation of anti-Semitism that has been levelled at me on the ground of this criticism is about as intelligent as accusing me of an anti-Chinese prejudice. No doubt, on an earlier and deeper level of psychic development, where it is still impossible to distinguish between an Aryan, Semitic, Hamitic or Mongolian mentality, all human races have a common collective psyche. But with the beginning of racial differentiation essential differences are developed in the collective psyche as well. For this reason we cannot transplant the spirit of a foreign race in globo into our own mentality without sensible injury to the latter, a fact which does not, however, deter sundry natures of feeble instinct from affecting Indian philosophy and the like.
These quotations should suffice to prove beyond doubt that since 1918, if not before, Jung had been emphasizing the importance of realizing the great differences that exist not only between the Jewish and Aryan races but between all races and all nations.
We have tried to keep this fundamental characteristic of Jung’s psychology in mind from the beginning, through frequent references to the diagram on page 17.
We must now consider a little of what he said on this subject in March, 1934, in his “Rejoinder to Dr. Bally”:
Admittedly I was incautious, so incautious as to do the very thing most open to misunderstanding at the present moment: I have tabled the Jewish question. This I did deliberately. My esteemed critic appears to have forgotten that the first rule of psychotherapy is to talk in the greatest detail about all the things that are the mostticklish and dangerous, and the most misunderstood. The Jewish problem is a regular complex, a festering wound, and no responsible doctor could bring himself to apply methods of medical hush-hush in this matter. . . . If I were in the position—as Dr. Bally supposes me to be—of not being able to point to a single difference between the two psychologies, it would amount to exactly the same thing as not being able to make plausible the difference between the peculiarities of the English and the Americans, or the French and the Germans. I have not invented these differences; you can read about them in innumerable books and newspapers; as jokes they are on everybody’s tongue, and anyone who fails to see that there are one or two psychological differences between Frenchmen and Germans must have come from the back of beyond and know nothing about our European madhouse. Are we really to believe that a tribe which has wandered through history for several thousand years as “God’s chosen people” was not put up too such an idea by some quite special psychological peculiarity? If no differences exist, how do we recognize Jews at all?. . .All levelling produces hatred and venom in the suppressed and misjudged; it prevents any broad human understanding. All branches of mankind unite in one stem—yes, but what is a stem without separate branches? Why this ridiculous touchiness when anybody dares to say anything about the psychological difference between Jews and Christians? Every child knows that differences exist.. . .I express no value-judgments, nor do I intend any veiled ones. I have been engaged for many years on the problem of imponderable differences which everybody knows and nobody can really define. They are among the most difficult problems of psychology and probably for that reason are a taboo area which none may enter on pain of death. To many people it is an insult if one credits them with a special psychological idiosyncrasy, and in dealing with parties and nations one must be even more careful. That is why any investigation of these imponderables is so extraordinarily difficult, because, as well as doing his work, the investigator has to perform a grotesque egg-balancing dance around highly charged sensibilities. It is high time the practising psychologist understood more about these psychic imponderabilia, because from them arise a good half of the things that go wrong in the world. Anyone who could define the nature of these imponderable differences would truly have gazed deep into the mystery of the human soul. For my part, I do not belong to those savants who concern themselves exclusively with what is known already—an extremely useful activity, no doubt—but prefer to sniff around territories where nothing is yet known. Consequently I am amused to find myself cast in the role of the nitwit who is unable to spot a single difference between Jews and Christians. It is, in spite of Bally, an undoubted fact that the difference exists, just as water existed before the chemist discovered H20; but it cannot be grasped as yet, because all the views that have been put forward so far are unsatisfactory.
Jung ended his answer to Dr. Bally:
It is, I frankly admit, a highly unfortunate and disconcerting coincidence that my scientific programme should, without any assistance of mine and against my express wish, have been lined up with a political manifesto. But an event of this kind, although regrettable in itself, often has the consequence of ventilating problems which would otherwise be sedulously avoided.
Although Jung said that it is necessary “to perform a grotesque egg-balancing dance around highly charged sensibilities,” he was always a bit too optimistic about hoping that reason would prevail.
He undoubtedly still told himself at the time that Germany was “a civilized European nation with a sense of morality and discipline,” and he still hoped that the Germans might come to their senses regarding the Jews, if they could only be made to see and understand the racial differences that lead to all such misunderstandings.
It was much too optimistic, for he had already realized the Nazis were projecting their shadow on the Jews and therefore were not in a position to see the real Jew at all.
How anyone could see this as anti-Semitism is beyond my understanding.
When I remember how exhausted Jung was when he came back from the reorganization of the International General Medical Society for Psychotherapy and how pleased he was that, as he optimistically hoped then, the Jewish doctors had one society at least where they were fully accepted and free, and how many Jews were always highly valued members of our Zürich group, I am forced to the conclusion that here also it is mainly, if not entirely, a matter of people wanting to believe a rumor.
Jung also took endless trouble later to help Jewish emigrants from Germany to settle in other countries.
Many leading Jews—such as Dr. Gerhard Adler of London—have themselves publicly denied that there was any truth in the rumor, apparently entirely without effect, so it seems useless to say more.
Dr. Bally’s letter created little stir at the time, and that little quieted down completely after Jung explained the facts of the matter in his “Rejoinder to Dr. Bally.”
But the poison evidently went on smoldering underground, only rarely sending a spark to the surface during the next eleven years.
After the war when feeling ran so high and the worst thing that could be said of anyone was to accuse him of being a Nazi, the temptation proved too overpowering to those who wanted to discredit Jung.
They revived all of Dr. Bally’s mistakes and ignored Jung’s reply and the real facts of the matter.
When these attacks are not anonymous, they, sad to say, can usually be traced to other psychologists, such as the Freudians, who seem to be suffering from what the Germans call “Futterneid.”
Jung was usually completely detached from the whole storm.
His No. 1 personality was indeed from time to time most understandably and humanly indignant that such lies could be so persistently circulated about him; but his No. 2 personality was completely untouched.
In May, 1934, Jung began his English seminar on Nietzsche’s Zarathustra.
At the end of the previous term, in March, 1934, the class had been asked to give its opinion as to whether Jung should continue with the series of visions, which had been the theme of the seminars since the autumn of 1930, or whether he should change to Zarathustra.
The class voted for the latter.
Jung, who was of course principally concerned, took the vacation to consider whether he would venture on this long and difficult book.
At the beginning of the summer semester, however, he announced that he had decided to accept the vote of the class, but warned us that the responsibility was on our own heads. Zarathustra would certainly not be easier than the visions, for it was a “hell of a confusion” and extraordinarily difficult.
Jung said that he had broken his head over certain problems and that it would be very hard to elucidate the book from a psychological angle.
Jung had often reminded us that, although we were fortunately still able to live our ordinary lives, we should never forget the storm clouds hanging over Europe.
He had also mentioned that he thought Nietzsche’s idea of the Superman was the direct forerunner of the German idea that they were the Herrenmenschen (the Master- or Supermen), so it is possible that the vote of the class was swayed by the hope that we would get more understanding of and insight into the strange events that were taking place so near us, just over the German border.
But, as in Berlin, Jung seldom or never mentioned the outer situation directly.
Nevertheless, since a good many Germans attended the English seminars in those years, it is probable that he hoped that the study of this prototype would help to produce the consciousness he thought was the only hope of averting the catastrophe he had felt looming so ominously in Berlin the year before.
At all events, Jung faithfully continued to “elucidate the work from a psychological point of view” until the end of the English seminar in February, 1939.
We reached the episode of the fate of the rope-dancer in the summer term of 1934.
As he was dying, Zarathustra said to him: “Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body.”
This, Jung said, was the “prophetic word,” for—as is well known—Nietzsche’s soul was dead before his body.
As Jung noted then:
“His soul died in 1889, when his general paralysis began, but he lived on for eleven years more. His body lived, but his soul was dead. So the fate of that rope-dancer symbolizes Nietzsche himself.”
Right through this long seminar Jung made it abundantly clear that Nietzsche had become insane because of his identification with the Superman.
And right through these years the German was being urged by his Führer to regard himself as the Superman, destined to rule mankind.
Nietzsche’s rope-dancer symbolized only too certainly the fate not only of Nietzsche, but of the whole of Nazi Germany, a fate of which Jung already had a foreboding when he talked to us that day in Berlin.
The general subject for the lectures at Eranos that year was “Ostwestliche Symbolik und Seelenführung” (Symbolism and Psychogogic Methods in East and West), and Jung lectured on “The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious.”
From the beginning, although he allowed his lectures to be printed in the Eranos Jahrbuch as he had delivered them, Jung reserved the right to go on working on his papers later, to extend them and, in their new form, to reprint them as he wished.
Therefore, many of his most important papers, even of his books, appeared in earlier, briefer form as Eranos lectures.
Very often, still earlier versions had been given at the Zürich Psychological Club.
This lecture on “The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious” was given first at Eranos, then extended to two lectures on the same subject at the club in November of the same year (1934).
The final form of this lecture appeared in Von den Wurzeln des Bewusstseins (Concerning the Roots of Consciousness) in 1954.
It gave its name to the whole first part of the ninth volume of the English Collected Works.
The 1934 Tagung was considerably longer than the year before, and several new lecturers were added to the original seven, who all lectured again.
I will refer to only two of the new Eranos lecturers in 1934: J. W. Hauer (whose Zürich seminar on Kundalini Yoga has already been mentioned and the well-known Martin Buber.
Each of the lecturers took the general theme for the year from the point of view of his own field of study.
I think 1934 was the first year that several motorists in the Zürich group drove over the Gotthard in their own cars, keeping in touch with each other at various rendezvous along the way.
Until World War II deprived us of gasoline, this became a sort of yearly event.
Jung usually preferred to start in the afternoon, to drive only as far as Hospental and to spend the night there, driving on the next morning, but sometimes we drove straight through.
In 1933 Toni Wolff had found her large Chrysler terribly unwieldly in the narrow Tessin Lanes, so in 1934 she suggested we should take only one car (hers as a rule, but sometimes it was mine) and drive in turns.
As I had driven a great deal longer than Toni or either of the Jungs, I found myself their chauffeur in the dark or on the most difficult roads, and thus began to drive Jung about, an activity that was to increase (particularly after he gave up driving himself) right up to one month before his death, and to which I owe a great many of our most interesting conversations.
In this way I was able to see him without wasting any of his precious working time.
Jung had been puzzling for years about the meaning of a dream (circa 1926) in which he had found himself shut into a courtyard, after driving across the Lombard Plain in the horse-drawn wagon of a peasant, who exclaimed, as the gates clanged to behind them, “Now we are caught in the seventeenth century.”
Jung had not come to any satisfactory interpretation of this dream, however, during the subsequent years.
His interest in alchemy, to which he realized only much later that the dream referred, began quite independently.
In 1928, although he was fascinated by The Secret of the Golden Flower, he did not realize that it was an alchemistic text.
It must have stirred some chord in him, however, for he then asked a Munich bookseller to notify him whenever he found an alchemical book.
In this way he bought the 1553 edition of the Artis Auriferae—which contains the “Rosarium Philosophorum” that he was later to quote so often —but, except for looking at the pictures, he did not attempt to read it for over two years, dismissing it at first as “nonsense.”
The earliest date I can give for certain as the beginning of his serious study of alchemy is the spring of 1934.
Marie-Louise von Franz had a strikingly alchemistic dream around Christmas, 1933, and by the spring she had plucked up her courage to ask Jung for an appointment in order to understand it.
He told her that he had definitely made up his mind to study alchemy and that she could have the analysis she longed for but could not afford if she would pay him by looking up some of the Greek and Latin texts which he needed to understand the confused web of alchemy.
He told her that his Latin, and particularly his Greek, were rusty from lack of use, and that to look through all the necessary Greek and Latin texts would take too much of his time.
He told her the volumes he needed to know and instructed her to go right through them and pick out the bits that were “symbolically interesting.”
She was terrified, for at that time she knew nothing of symbols.
But she turned out to have what amounted to a genius for picking out the right bits, thus saving him untold time and trouble.
She had just entered the university and was studying classics, but she had already been distinguished at the gymnasium for her Latin and Greek.
Jung told her that when she was at Bollingen the summer before, he had already had a curious irrational feeling that she had something to do with alchemy.
As Marie-Louise brought in her reports of the required volumes, he soon realized what his dream of the seventeenth century had referred to (for by far the majority of the most interesting medieval treatises were written in the seventeenth century), and also that his study of alchemy was a fateful thing which it was impossible for him to avoid.
At first it all seemed a strange impenetrable labyrinth, but gradually he began to see light and to see that “analytical psychology coincided in a most curious way with alchemy.”
In alchemy, where the concern for the wholeness of man, so to speak, had been preserved as the Church became more and more onesided,
he had at last found the missing link between his own “confrontation with the unconscious” and the Gnostics.
I will leave the full description of Jung and alchemy to Dr. von Franz, for she was his collaborator in alchemy from 1934 until his last alchemical book, the Mysterium Coniunctionis, of which she wrote the third volume.
Jung said in his Foreword: “For Parts I and II I am responsible, while my co-worker, Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz, is responsible for Part III. We have brought out the book jointly, because each author has participated in the work of the other.”
Jung originally planned to publish all three volumes under both names.
To his considerable disappointment—because it would have been a continuation of an old alchemical tradition of the adept and his soror mystica working together—there was such a jealous uproar that he sent for his co-worker and asked her permission to give up the plan, since he felt his health would hardly stand the foolish turmoil.
Dying his old age everyone who was really fond of him put his health above every other consideration, so Marie-Louise consented at once, though also naturally with considerable disappointment.
This is an anticipation indeed, for the foregoing happened just before Jung’s eightieth birthday, for which the first volume appeared, but I mention it here to show why I leave this theme almost entirely to Marie-Louise and to show how highly qualified she is to deal with it.
It is true that Jung did talk to me quite a bit about it while he was doing his research on alchemy, but in a different connection, for I know little Latin and no Greek, so could be of no use whatever in this respect. It was of the “curious coincidence” between alchemy and analytical psychology that Jung spoke when he talked to me at the time.
(I should mention here that Jung frequently spoke with his pupils about his current researches, and to each probably of a different aspect.)
The fact gradually became increasingly clear to him that what he called “the process of individuation”—first recognized as a natural process of the human psyche in himself and his patients during his “confrontation with the unconscious”—was the central underlying archetypal pattern.
Therefore it was always uncovered in every honest and sustained attempt to establish a relationship to “something infinite.”
In Memories he said that this is “the telling question” of every human life since the infinite is the only “thing which really matters” and prevents us from “fixing our interest upon futilities.”
Of course, it took many years of study before he recognized this underlying fact in alchemy.
At first he felt well and truly lost in the puzzling language of the texts, although he soon realized how wrong he had been to dismiss them as “nonsense.”
In spite of himself, they “persistently intrigued” him, and he knew he must go into it all more thoroughly.
Then it dawned on him that the alchemists were talking in symbols—his old acquaintances—and at that moment the doors clanged to behind him, as in his dream, and every spare moment was used in studying alchemy.
One wonders how he could possibly have found the time in these particularly full years—it was not until the autumn of 1936 that he drastically reduced his practice and discontinued the English seminar for the whole winter.
He was, however, so fascinated that I do not think he could have continued his analytical work and his lecturing had he not pursued this overwhelming interest in alchemy.
It overworked him, but it also imbued him with new life and energy.
Quite at sea at first as to what these queer old texts were really driving at, he made an enormous card index of recurring phrases, with cross-references, the sort of work that would have employed most people for at least a year working at it full-time; he made it in the sparse, spare time left after eight or nine hours’ analytical work each day.
Of course, he also worked on it in the holidays, but it got more and more difficult to transport all the necessary books to Bollingen.
During these years I went to Bollingen regularly, at least once every holiday, in order to do a pencil drawing of Jung (facing page 232).
I had never thought of making such a drawing, but during a dinner at the Sonnenberg, early in 1932, Jung quite unexpectedly leaned across the table and asked me when I intended to do a portrait of him.
(I must mention that at that time Jung was anxious for me to continue my profession as an artist, although he changed his mind later.)
Thus challenged, I took the first opportunity to discuss possibilities with him, for I was afraid of taking more time than he could afford.
On the other hand, I was willing to dispense with regular sittings and to work while he read or wrote.
The drawing was done only at Bollingen and he was always occupied with his own work while I drew.
He was naturally in an introverted mood and I thus drew a side of him that few people knew.
When it was finished (for his sixtieth birthday, in July, 1935) he said that although he liked it—“because it had something that none of the other portraits have”—it would never be popular, and I must be prepared for a great deal of negative criticism.
He explained that people were used to his being there for them, and I had drawn him in a totally withdrawn mood.
He said they would feel almost rejected by him when they looked at it and it would thus be only natural for them to dislike it.
I sometimes found it difficult to proceed with it and at such times Jung took over and drew for a short time on it himself!
In 1935 Jung attained the age of sixty.
Although there was a constant stream of congratulatory telegrams, presents, and letters, it was still possible for him to celebrate the day at Bollingen with his family.
From his seventieth birthday on—every five years—this became impossible, and he was forced to be in Küsnacht and to attend large celebrations.
The Swiss are very keen on such anniversaries and make much more of them than do the Anglo-Saxons.
Toni Wolff—assisted by Linda Fierz and Emil Medtner—brought out a Festschrift in quite a large volume for this sixtieth birthday.
Since Jung had little or no curiosity about mundane matters, he had no idea that anything of the kind was in preparation and was genuinely astonished when a copy, beautifully bound in leather, was laid on his pillow the evening before his birthday.
Toni Wolff’s long contribution, with which the book opened, was in my opinion the best thing in it.
Naturally, it was a great pleasure to Jung that she had made such an effort to do the creative work he was always so anxious for her to do, but which she was unfortunately usually too willing to neglect.
Although indeed she did so only in order to save him work in analysis, I think it was a mistake and that she might have remained with us much longers if she had developed her creative potential more.
At all events, in later years, Jung would allow no pupil to remain in his vicinity unless he devoted most of his energy to creative work in some form or other.
The subject at the Eranos Tagung that year was much the same as in 1934: “Psychagogic Methods in East and West.”
Jung’s paper was on “Dream Symbols of the Process of Individuation,” the first version of what later became the second part of his book Psychology and Alchemy, under the title of “Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy.”
There were not so many lecturers as in 1934, which had proved to be almost too many.
There was a single appearance that year by Robert Eisler (author of Orpheus, the Fisher), who was a most entertaining person and who told us several stories that really amused Jung.
This year of his sixtieth birthday also contained a great pleasure at Bollingen for Jung.
It was four years since his last addition to the Tower, and as he wrote in Memories:
the desire arose in me for a piece of fenced-in land. I needed a larger space that would stand open to the sky and to nature. And so . . . I added a courtyard and a loggia by the lake, which formed a fourth element that was separated from the unitary threeness of the house. Thus a quaternity had arisen, four different parts of the building, and, moreover, in the course of twelve years.
Perhaps this was the greatest improvement of all to the seclusion of the house.
Before it was built, though complete in itself, the house opened straight onto open ground on the shore of the lake.
Although the number of boats that passed was almost negligible, yet it had been impossible to sit anywhere out of doors that was not open to the lake.
After this addition, Analytical Psychology, Its Theory and Practice.
Dr. E. A. Bennet began his excellent Foreword with the following words:
In 1935 the late Professor C. G. Jung, then in his sixtieth year, gave a course of five lectures in London to about two hundred doctors, at the Tavistock Clinic.
A report of the lectures and the succeeding discussions was recorded in a typescript volume edited by Mary Barker and Margaret Game, and this is now published in book form.
Jung’s work was well known to his audience but few had heard him speak.
His lectures attracted a representative group of psychiatrists and psychotherapists of every “school” as well as many from the mental hospitals and a sprinkling of general pratitioners.
His custom was to lecture for an hour and follow on with a discussion for a second hour.
Right from the start his unusual material, his informal manner, and a surprising fluency in colloquial English, established an easy and stimulating atmosphere, and the discussions ran far beyond the appointed time.
In addition to his fascination as a speaker Jung selected his words with care and he had the knack of saying precisely what he meant in comprehensible form, free from doctrinaire jargon.
Both Toni Wolff and I attended these lectures and worked afterward on the typescript, which was multigraphed at the time.
Mere words cannot more than a dim idea of the living content of the lectures and discussions and their effect on the audience, particularly on doctors from more or less opposing schools, who, as the week went on, seemed to drop all doctrinaire theories from fascinated interest in the empirical facts.
Doctrinaire theories have a nasty way of reestablishing themselves later, but for the time they became irrelevant in face of the new facts which Jung brought, and above all in the face of his own wholeness, convincing integrity, and inimitable humor.
Laughter helps more than anything to bring a group together.
I had just bought a new car which had to be driven five hundred miles in order to have its first service before leaving England, so Jung used it freely while he was in London.
Thus for the first time I witnessed how much at home he was everywhere in England and how well he fitted in.
He once told me that when he first went there, he had one of his strongest feelings of déjà vu.
He felt we had not enough evidence to have a definite opinion concerning reincarnation, but he said then, “If I have lived before, I am sure I was at one time an Englishman.”
The next year, 1936, was also exceedingly full.
It must be remembered that all these years when he was studying alchemy so intensively he was keeping up, almost without a break, his
English seminar at the Psychological Club, his lectures and seminar on children’s dreams at the E.T.H., and never giving less than four to nine hoursu analysis a day.
He also never failed to appear at Eranos during those years, and I marvel how he did it when I remember how at peace with himself—almost at leisure—he seemed all the time.
I think all of his pupils who have gone on with their process of individuation since his death and got old enough to realize the full value of time must now regret more than anything else how they often worried him unnecessarily with futilities, for time, I am quite sure, was more valuable to him than anything else, especially in those years.
I remember Toni Wolff once arranging an auction at the Psychological Club to raise money for some important project.
All club members gave things of value to be auctioned, and Jung was persuaded to give an hour of his time.
He then bid for it himself and did not give up until it was well over a hundred francs!
Though Jung had a good attitude to money, he never threw it about, so his bidding convinced the members of the club of what a high value he set on his own time.
The summer of 1936 was further burdened with preparations for lectures he was to give on a visit to America in the autumn of that year, and at Eranos in August he spoke on alchemy for the first time to a wider audience.
He had, it is true, given an earlier formation in three lectures at the Zürich Psychological Club in the late autumn of 1935, but it was still difficult for him to speak on the subject, since neither he nor Marie-Louise von Franz had yet had the time to go through anything like all the texts they had collected, and he still complained that he often felt lost in the impenetrable labyrinth of the alchemical texts.
The general subject of the Eranos Tagung that year was “Formations of the Idea of Redemption in East and West.”
Jung gave what the Eranos Index describes as four lectures on “The Idea of Redemption in Alchemy”; but, if my memory does not fail me, he gave these in double hours on two mornings of the Tagung to a specially enthralled audience, for it was the first time that most of the people had realized that alchemy was infinitely more than a foolish medieval attempt to make gold.
The final version of these lectures forms Part III of Jung’s book Psychology and Alchemy first published in 1944. This was altogether a very interesting Tagung at Eranos.
I remember particularly vividly how interested we all were in the lecture of a French professor, H. C. Puech, on the “Concept of Redemption in Manicheism.”
I think this was the only time that Professor Puech lectured at Eranos.
During his summer holiday in 1936, Jung found a dead snake, with a dead fish sticking out of its mouth, a most curious parallel to his thoughts at the time.
He was so much struck by this synchronistic event, that he carved the incident on the wall of the courtyard in Bollingen.
Jung’s idea was that the serpent represented the pagan spirit, which is emerging so strongly in our times, and that it is trying to eat the Christian spirit, represented by the fish.
The new reconciling symbol, for which the alchemists were searching, will be born from these two opposites.
Toward the end of August, Jung went to the United States again, this time accompanied by his wife.
Emma Jung had not had much (or any) desire to travel while her children were young, for she was an exceptionally devoted mother and always very anxious concerning her children’s welfare.
But as they got older, Jung increasingly encouraged her to develop a life of her own, for he knew better than anyone else how valuable undivided interest is to small children, and yet how this very devotion becomes destructive as soon as the children are old enough to form their own lives.
Therefore, much encouraged by her husband, Emma Jung learned both Latin and Greek, when her children were all in school, and she was thus very valuable to him in the scientific side of his work.
Now he encouraged her to enlarge her horizon still more and to go with him to America. I remember that she was rather in two minds about it herself, but eventually decided to go.
Jung always went to America, in fact, wherever he went overseas, by ship.
Air travel was of course much less usual in those days than now, and although Jung once—I think it was in 1935 —flew back from England, he never liked the idea of flying, for he felt one got there too quickly, thus leaving pieces of one’s psyche behind!
He even advised his pupils much later, in the fifties, when flying had become cheaper and much easier, on no account to go to America by air, for they would find they had left bits of themselves behind and would be unable to be fully present during their lectures and seminars.
So the Jungs embarked on a large North German Lloydsteamer and thoroughly enjoyed the voyage.
When they landed in America they went first to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Harvard was celebrating its Tercentenary Conference of Arts and Sciences, and had invited Jung to lecture.
He did so under the title “Factors Determining Human Behavior.”
This lecture seems to have been especially appreciated, but Jung was rather taken aback when he found his hostess dissolved in tears after the lecture, sobbing: “It was so beautiful!” “Now what moved her?” Jung asked when he got home, “For I am sure she did not understand a word of it.”
Such things often happened, and for a long time they invariably surprised him.
He wrote and spoke from his wholeness, so that all four functions (thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition) naturally entered in, but at the time we are considering he had not yet fully realized this.
When feeling types, for instance, were deeply moved by what he had just intended to be understood, he was always astonished.
Both the Jungs enjoyed themselves at Harvard and wanted to stay longer than originally intended.
But in the meantime over a hundred people had gathered on Bailey Island in Maine for a seminar.
Esther Harding told me shortly before her death—still very ruefully—that it had fallen to her lot to telephone Jung at Harvard and explain the situation to him.
Jung gave himself so completely to congenial circumstances that time sometimes became somewhat relative to him, so, with his usual optimism, he had been sure that only a few people would travel so far to hear him and that those few were sure to be spending their vacation up in Maine and would therefore, like himself, be in no hurry.
But when he heard there were so many who had come only for the seminar, and with engagements directly afterward, he was horrified and changed his plans immediately.
This seminar had been arranged by the three leading Jungian doctors in New York: Eleanor Bertine, Esther Harding, and Kristine Mann.
They had a house together on Bailey Island, analyzed there for at least a month every summer, and always spent the long vacation in that wonderful spot.
The island is divided from the mainland not only by the sea but also by another island, and there are amazingly engineered bridges over both short stretches of water.
Jung was immensely impressed by the Maine coast and felt it to be still virgin country on which man had made little or no impression, living more in its past than in the present.
At that time the island had far fewer houses than it has today, and I remember Jung saying it had made a strange and unique impression on him.
He said to me: “Go there if ever you have a chance,” advice which I was able to follow only thirty years later, seven years after his death.
The Jungs stayed with the three doctors in their large house right above the sea, and he gave some analytical hours as well as his seminar.
When he could, he gladly and with the greatest enjoyment went sailing and exploring the coast.
Meanwhile Emma Jung, though she had enjoyed herself enormously and found it all a different world, was getting increasingly breathless at the pace of American life and the amount of extraversion expected of her.
In fact, one had the impression that she was still panting when Dr. E. A. Bennet, his wife, and I met them at Waterloo station with our two cars, for Jung also had some lectures in London on his way home from the States.
Dr. and Mrs. Bennet had found them some really delightful rooms in a small hotel just off Regents Park, quiet and quite close to the Bennets’ own house, where Jung saw people for analytical hours and was looked after by Dr. Bennet’s efficient secretary.
When they got out of the cars and looked at this tiny hotel—not much larger than a moderate-sized country house—Jung remarked to his wife: “Could there in the whole world be a greater contrast?”
They had stayed at one of the largest hotels in New York (I think it was the Waldorf Astoria) and the contrast must indeed have been extreme.
But they soon loved their quiet little hotel, with no traffic noise at all and every home comfort introduced by the Bennets, and Emma Jung found it an indescribable rest after her enjoyable but nonstop weeks in the States.
When they returned to Küsnacht, Jung arranged at last to take some extra time off from work, for the summer had left him no time for his beloved alchemy.
He gave no English seminar nor lectures at the E.T.H. during the following winter.
He also cut down his analytical hours to a minimum and at last had some time to find his way through the impenetrable jungle of alchemistic texts.
Though it was especially hard work—even comparing it to his “confrontation with the unconscious”—he thoroughly enjoyed the winter that year and found it highly rewarding.
When the Easter holidays were over, however, he took up all his work again, and the summer schedule that year was again particularly heavy.
The change of work had done him good, though, and he tackled it with renewed zest.
The summer holidays were also eaten into, for he had promised to give the three Terry Lectures at Yale University, and all his time before the usual Eranos Tagung was occupied in the preparation of those lectures directly in English.
An English speaking publisher told Jung that he greatly preferred the papers which he wrote himself in English to any translation, for they were infinitely more alive, but naturally it took him rather longer than writing in German.
His lecture for Eranos was rather time-consuming, since he spoke on the visions of Zosimos, which are in Greek.
Jung was due to go to India toward the end of 1937, and this made his visit to America that year very much more hurried than the year before.
After the Terry Lectures at Yale, he gave a seminar in New York which was a continuation of the Bailey Island seminar of the previous year.
This proved to be his last visit to America, although, since he was only just over sixty, no one thought of such a thing at the time.
The unconscious always seems to know such things in advance, however, and the speech, which he gave at the farewell dinner on the evening the seminar closed, was singularly impressive, as if he knew he was speaking last words to many of his audience.
Several people spoke to me of this speech, including Esther Harding.
They were unusually unanimous as to its main line of thought and the points which had made an indelible impression on them.
Since he had already spoken twice that day, Jung was not willing to speak again, but then he said he would try to see if anything came to him to say, so that clearly most of the speech came to him directly from the unconscious itself.
Since he had just given his Terry Lectures on “Psychology and Religion,” that subject was naturally uppermost in his mind and so he continued with this theme in his speech.
As I have often heard him remark on other occasions, he spoke that night of what difficult days we live in, for the archetypal images of the collective unconscious are no longer content to flow into the prevailing religion.
They have come loose from their moorings, so to speak, and are troubling modern man with the restless state of the energy which has been contained in the Christian religion for the last two thousand years.
Some of this energy has gone into science, it is true, but that is too narrow and rational to satisfy anything like all of the floating archetypal images.
This is the reason for our many isms today, and it confronts the modern free individual with the task of coming to terms with them in his own life.
Jung spoke for some time about Christ as a human being and showed what a difficult problem he was faced with.
As an illegitimate child, he naturally had a life-long battle with the power devil.
This is clear in the temptation in the wilderness, but he had the most unusual sense of integrity to refuse all of Satan’s offers.
Yet he did not quite escape them; his kingdom was not of this world, but it remained a kingdom all the same.
And the strange incident of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem seems to stem from the same root.
But all such convictions deserted him on the cross, when he uttered the tragic words: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
That was Christ’s moment of utter failure, when he saw that the life he had led according to his best convictions and with such integrity had been largely based on illusion.
On the cross he was deserted by his mission, but he had lived his life with such devotion that, in spite of this, he won through to a resurrected body.
Then Jung said to his audience—and this is what struck so many of them as last words—that we could only follow Christ’s example and live our lives as fully as possible, even if it is based on a mistake.
We should go and make our mistakes, for there is no full life without error; no one has ever found the whole truth; but if we will only live with the same integrity and devotion as Christ, he hoped we would all, like Christ, win through to a resurrected body. Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Pages 151-172