Reaping the Harvest 1945–1952
The year of convalescence, after Jung’s severe illness in 1944, when he was strictly rationed as to the amount of time he might work, expired almost simultaneously with the end of the war in Europe. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 207
Jung then entered on the most creative period of his life, during which the most important of his books were written.
From that time on, for the first time in his life, his writing took precedence over his other work, though by the early summer of 1945 he had resumed some of his analytical work and, to a very limited extent, his lecturing; he also wrote short articles, as the need for them arose.
He said of this creative period:
After the illness a fruitful period of work began for me. A good many of my principal works were written only then. The insight I had had, or the vision of the end of all things, gave me the courage to undertake new formulations. I no longer attempted to put across my own opinion, but surrendered myself to the current of my thoughts. Thus one problem after the other revealed itself to me and took shape. ~Carl Jung, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 207
It was these problems that “revealed” themselves to him and insisted on “taking shape” that prevented him for some years from continuing and finishing the Mysterium Coniunctionis, as he had intended.
This last long book [Mysterium Coniunctionis] of his is comparable to Faust in the life of Goethe who used to call it his “main business” to which he always returned. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 207
In order to give precedence to his writing, Jung enormously reduced his analytical work.
With very rare exceptions he [Jung] no longer took new cases, but he gave many single interviews to people who came to him from afar, and he made his regular pupils, who were still in analysis, stand much more on their own feet, seeing them only when they were really unable to find their way for themselves. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 207
He thus succeeded in drastically cutting down the hours he gave to analytical work.
After his illness, I do not think he ever did more than four hours a of analysis in a day.
He tried to reduce this to two, one hour before lunch, after taking a walk and then writing; and one hour before dinner in the evening, after he had finished his writing for the day.
One of the first short articles he [Jung] wrote after the war was entitled “After the Catastrophe” and was published in a Swiss magazine in 1945. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 207
This was the first time since “Wotan” in 1936 that Jung had written on contemporary events. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 207
He did so in response to a persistent general request for some enlightenment as to what had really happened during the upheaval.
As a rule he avoided such subjects, for he thought: “The great events of world history, are, at bottom, profoundly unimportant. In the last analysis, the essential thing is the life of the individual.”
But the suffering caused to innumerable individuals, by just such “great events” as the Second World War, was by no means unimportant to him.
Knowing as he did that the German people could find peace in their all-important souls only if they faced up to what Germany had done, he wrote “After the Catastrophe” primarily as an attempt to help them to do so.
It did enormously help a few individuals, but alas there were very few; for the most part Jung received only denials and protests for his pains.
Even the appalling suffering that the war had brought to Germany itself was not enough to open German eyes to the paramount value of self-knowledge.
In common fairness, however, I must add that Germans are by no means alone in their blindness in this respect. It is a lamentably common, almost universal, form of blindness in all nations.
During these years I saw Jung most frequently on walks, and rereading my notes of our conversations on these walks, I see that he often emphasized, perhaps even more than before his illness, the necessity of always looking for the opposite to everything. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 207
He applied this one day even to his conviction that the individual is the only thing that matters.
He pointed out, in reference to the period we are considering, that we in the West were justified in laying such exclusive stress on the individual only because of the tremendous tendency to collectivism in our age.
The Nazis tried and now the Communists are trying to blot out consciousness, which can be attained only by the free individual, and we must do all we can to compensate for this disastrous fact. ~Carl Jung, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 208
Jung said that we do not fully live in the opposites: individual—collective. We live, rather, he said, “only on the fringe of collectivism and avoid the mainstream of events as much as possible. I am very conscious indeed that in this we are one-sided.” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 208
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to live right in the mainstream of events and keep one’s consciousness.
All too easily the individual is seized by the stream of events and swept into participation mystique with the crowd.
Jung was deeply shocked when he saw how unconscious many of his earlier pupils had become as they slowly returned after the war from their war-torn countries. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 208
It was fortunate that Jung belonged to Switzerland, a nation which, for centuries, has been able to preserve its neutrality, for some distance was necessary in order to see what had really happened, as he did.
Although the individual tries to avoid the mainstream of events, Jung not only discharged all his own duties to collectivity extremely conscientiously, but also was very disapproving if any of his pupils tried to shirk this side of their lives.
“You cannot individuate on Everest,” he [Jung] often said, pointing out that our relationships to other individuals and to collectivity are just as important as the work on ourselves. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 208
In fact, one belongs to the other, for there is certainly something wrong within ourselves if we cannot function in our environment.
Jung gave his first lecture after his illness at the Psychological Club on June 9, 1945, and in August he went to lecture to a much larger audience at the Eranos Tagung in Ascona.
He thus missed only one Tagung on account of his 1944 illness.
Marie-Louise von Franz and I had been to the 1944 Tagung and, quite apart from missing Jung’s lecture, were very much struck by how
much the whole atmosphere changed when his dynamic personality was not there to act as a center for the group.
This was noticed by everybody present, not just by us.
As Ernest O. Hauser began his article on Jung in the Saturday Evening Post (May, 1958):
“It is impossible, on meeting Dr. Jung, not to be struck by the tremendous force that emanates from him.” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 208
In 1945, although the war was over, we all still went down to Ascona by train, for we did not get any gasoline until the following year.
The Jungs stayed, as was now usual, in the flat over the lecture hall, and had their meals at Frau Fröbe’s.
The general subject of the 1945 Tagung was “The Spirit.”
Jung’s lecture that year is reproduced in Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks as “The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairy Tales,” which describes its content very well, though at the time he called it “Zur Psychologie des Geistes” (Concerning the Psychology of the Spirit).
There was also an extra volume of the Eranos Yearbook that year, in honor of Jung’s seventieth birthday, to which most of the regular
lecturers at Eranos contributed a paper.
It forms the twelfth volume of the German series.
As Jung began to realize that “the current of his thought”—to which after his illness he was able to surrender fully—was not going straight on with the absorbingly interesting subject of the union of the opposites, he realized that something must be done to meet the constant demands on him to say something about the transference, a subject he had so far mentioned very little in his writings. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 208
Therefore, he took a section of the original Mysterium Coniunctionis that was complete in itself and published it as a separate volume called The Psychology of Transference.
I do not think he altered it at all, or only very slightly.
He submitted it for publication in 1945 and it appeared in 1946.
In this work, Jung took a series of pictures from the Rosarium Philosophorum and used them as a thread of Ariadne to guide him in the difficult task of showing the reader how the process of individuation develops in a really deep analysis and how the relationship between analyst and analysand gradually finds its right form as the impersonal—one could say divine—elements are recognized and freed, so that they no longer obscure the situation by projection in the so-called transference. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 209
Just as the alchemist and his soror mystica learned that they were the earthly exponents of an impersonal or divine pair of opposites, so the pair in analysis have to learn that the most important task is furthering the relationship of the impersonal figures within them, represented by animus and anima.
At the same time, this quaternity—analyst and analysand, anima and animus—represents the totality, which is often the first opportunity the analysand has of seeing his own totality: the Self. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 209
Rereading my notes on our walks at the time, I see that Jung constantly talked to me about this theme.
He told me, for instance, that the great difficulty for the analysand in seeing the reality of his or her analyst is the projection of the Self.
Then, Jung pointed out, the analyst is really indispensable, because he has, or seems to have, the kernel of the analysand’s whole personality: the Self.
This naturally leads to all sorts of unreasonable demands on the analyst, demands which are not the least unreasonable as regards the Self itself.
It is clear, therefore, how important it is to learn to distinguish between the impersonal (divine) elements and the personal (human) element.
The Psychology of Transference is probably difficult for the general reader to understand; indeed, it cannot be understood by the intellect alone for the quaternity described is also highly irrational and beyond our comprehension. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 209
The book is, however, a most profound description of the transference, and could be called an exposition of the practical application of the mysterium coniunctionis by which the warring opposites, which are causing so much strife and suffering in our days, can be seen and can be helped to relate to each other.
Jung said of this aspect of the problem:
Looked at in this light, the bond established by the transference—however hard to bear and however incomprehensible it may seem—is vitally important not only for the individual but also for society, and indeed for the moral and spiritual progress of mankind. So, when the psychotherapist has to struggle with difficult transference problems, he can at least take comfort in these reflections. He is not just working for this particular patient, who may be quite insignificant, but for himself as well and his own soul, and in so doing he is perhaps laying an infinitesimal grain in the scales of humanity’s soul. Small and invisible as this contribution may be, it is yet an opus magnum, for it is accomplished in a sphere but lately visited by the numen, where the whole weight of mankind’s problems has settled. The ultimate questions of psychotherapy are not a private matter—they represent a supreme responsibility. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 209
The publication of this book was an important step in preparing the way for Jung’s longest work and masterpiece, the Mysterium Coniunctionis, which came out nine years later.
He [Jung] mentioned at the beginning of The Psychology of Transference that what he was going to say about transference and the whole development of the individuation process applied only to those few cases who are destined to go through with that process. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
By far the majority of the people who came to him for analysis never experienced anything of the kind, for—as he always emphasized to his pupils who were beginning to be analysts themselves—most people come to analysis to have some hindrance removed; then they can and should go on with their lives in their own way.
Jung’s health continued to improve steadily, although after such a severe infarct his heart did not allow any liberties. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
High altitudes, for instance, were forbidden, and this kept him for two or three years from his beloved mountains. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
He did slowly drive over passes again, even staying on the Rigi in the autumn of 1947.
When I say he drove over passes, I mean he was driven over them, for he did not drive a car after the Second World War. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
This was a great deprivation for him; but, much as he wanted the freedom that driving his own car gave him, he felt it would not be a reasonable thing to do, considering his age—he was a year over seventy before we were given any gasoline—and the condition of his heart. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
The subject of the Eranos Tagung of 1946 was “Spirit and Nature,” and Jung gave one of his best lectures, “The Spirit of Psychology.”
The discussions on the terrace outside the lecture hall after the lectures had by this time become a feature of Eranos.
Although in the years to come Jung lectured on only two occasions (in 1948 and 1951), he still attended the Tagung for several more years and used to sit after almost every lecture on the broad terrace and allow himself to be asked any questions.
At first it was mainly his own pupils who took advantage of this, but gradually more and more of the audience joined in.
In the autumn of 1946 Winston Churchill paid a visit to Switzerland. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
He was enthusiastically received by the Swiss, who looked upon him as the saviour of Europe. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
There were cheering crowds wherever he drove and several official receptions.
He also spoke at Zürich University, a fact that is recorded in the Aula (the largest auditorium) by a large plaque on the wall.
There was a curious unconscious bond between Churchill and Jung: the latter used to dream of the former every time Churchill approached the Swiss border during the war, although of course Jung never knew Churchill had been there until it was announced in the papers later. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
They were indeed the two most whole men of their time, although their fates and their psychologies were totally different.
While Churchill was in Switzerland, Jung met him socially twice: at a luncheon garden party near Berne, and at a big evening banquet near Zürich. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
On the first occasion Jung found himself escorting Mary Churchill, whom he admired and enjoyed very much. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
He said that she had a most rare, almost royal quality and something of the greatness of her father. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 210
He was therefore almost disappointed at the subsequent banquet to find that he was to sit next to Churchill that time instead of his daughter.
He also found the meal a little difficult, when Churchill refused to talk while he was eating.
Now Jung himself always did the same, so nothing could have pleased him more, but he found the disappointed glances of his hosts unpleasant, for they evidently felt he was not entertaining the guest of honor at all as they had hoped.
(Sitting beside Jung at meals one always encountered the same glances, so I must admit to having been highly amused that on that
occasion he had, so to speak, experienced what it was like to sit by Jung!)
I have already mentioned how moved Jung was that the arrangement of the tables was exactly as in his Liverpool dream in 1926.
Altogether, Jung’s health seemed to be particularly good in the autumn of 1946.
It was during that year that he encouraged Marie-Louise von Franz and myself to take a flat together. He always tried to encourage his pupils not to live alone and, if they were not married, to share a house or flat with someone of the same sex. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
As a rule, he was not very successful with this suggestion, so he was extremely pleased when we found a flat by the lake and moved into it.
That very afternoon—November 2, 1946—he took a discussion group of his closest pupils.
Tired though we were with the move in the morning, we drove Jung to this discussion, and I still remember how particularly well he seemed during the drive and in the discussion itself.
It was, therefore, a completely unexpected shock to hear two days later that he had had another heart attack the night before and was again very ill.
This time, refusing to go to the hospital, he had to have two nurses to look after him, day and night, in his own house.
This illness was even more unexpected, especially to Jung himself, than the one in 1944.
He had had the feeling then that “there was something wrong with my attitude” and at first had felt in some way responsible for having broken his leg. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
But this time it was a real bolt from the blue.
He had spoken most confidently to both Marie-Louise and myself about being always there to help us, when each of us complained that we thought the other would be difficult. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
As it was, we had to fight out our own battles as best we could for the first months, which was probably a blessing in disguise.
Jung remained ill for about three months.
About December 16 he sent me a message that he was still suspended over the abyss and warning me against optimism; he added that the real
trouble was in the sympathicus. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
After his illness he told me that he was doubtful if he had really had a heart infarct. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
At all events, it was mainly a disturbance of the vegetative nervous system that had the effect of giving him attacks of tachycardia (racing of the pulse).
He again found himself confronted, like medicine men all over the world, with curing himself. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
The doctors insisted that it was another heart infarct; and he was thus forced to find out for himself what was really the matter and how it should be met.
Once again he said that he had an illness because he was faced with the mysterious problem of the hieros gamos (the mysterium coniunctionis). ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
As late as October 15, 1957 (eleven years after this illness), he wrote in a letter:
As some alchemists had to admit, that they never succeeded in producing the gold or the Stone, I cannot confess to have solved the riddle of the coniunctio mystery. On the contrary, I am darkly aware of things lurking in the background of the problem—things too big for horizons. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
It was his effort to write about these “things too big for horizons” and to solve their riddle that brought about Jung’s further illness.
These illnesses were really the direct result of what Jung always called “the only unbearable torture of not understanding.” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
He had taught himself long before—at Basel University and Burghölzli—to face up to this torture, but, since the hieros gamos is so infinitely more incomprehensible than anything he was ever faced with in his life, it required at least two actual physical illnesses and the near neighborhood of death before he could understand it enough to go on with his book. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 211
Even then, he felt that there were things lurking in its background too big to be even seen on the horizon two years after the book was completed.
This time, however, Jung fortunately did not lose his wish to live.
Impossible though he knew the task was, he remained determined to face it to the best of his ability, if a further lease of life could only be granted him.
Nor was there any “strange cessation of human warmth.”
On the contrary, directly he found he was so ill, he sent for his secretary, Marie-Jeanne Schmid.
He gave her the strictest injunctions to provide absolutely truthful news of how he was, and as soon as he possibly could he wrote letters or sent messages to those of his friends whom he thought would be most anxious.
Although this 1946 illness was probably quite as dangerous as his far longer illness in 1944 —as we have seen, he himself reckoned with the possibility, if not the likelihood, of death—it had a much shorter convalescence.
By the early summer of 1947 he was as active as he had been before this second severe illness, and, although his whole wish was to get back to his writing, something quite unexpected came up from outside that cost him a great deal of time and energy.
By this time, a good many English and Americans were coming to Zürich to study and there was every prospect of more and more coming in the following years.
But they found themselves in a much less favorable position than before the war: there was no English seminar and Jung was very much less accessible.
The committee of the Club, especially Toni Wolff and C. A. Meier, felt it was absolutely necessary to offer them something more nourishing, and decided to start a small bureau to arrange lectures, especially lectures in English, and to offer some social life.
But they wanted this bureau to be run by someone who, though highly intelligent, was not trusted by the members of the club.
The proposal was sprung as a surprise on the general meeting and was all decided too quickly.
The members consequently raised a petition for a further meeting, to reconsider the situation.
We knew that Jung had thought that the bureau plan would not meet the needs of the situation and that he was very glad when he heard that the members had protested.
He said nothing to anyone, however, not even to his wife or to Toni Wolff, before the evening of the second meeting.
Everybody was therefore amazed by his totally unexpected proposal for the foundation of an institute on quite a large scale.
Knowing how very much against this idea he had been only two years earlier, after his seventieth birthday, I asked him on the way home (I
usually drove the Jungs to the club meetings) why on earth he had changed his mind.
He replied that he had seen it was impossible to prevent something of the kind from being started, for too many people were determined to do so.
“They would start one between my death and my funeral in any case,” he said, “so I think it is better to do so while I can still have some influence on its form and perhaps stop some of the worst mistakes.”
This was typical of Jung.
He would say “no” once—as he had after his seventieth birthday—then, if people insisted, he practically always gave in.
He [Jung] used to advise his pupils: “Say what you think once and, if no one listens, retire to your estates.” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 212
Another reason Jung himself started the C. G. Jung Institute can probably be found in a Mandaean text.
It contains a conversation between John the Baptist and Christ, in which the former wants to keep the mysteries secret for, he maintains, people will not understand them and will thus destroy them. Christ, on the other hand, thinks they should be given to everybody, on
behalf of those who will understand and profit by them. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 212
Jung used to point out that this represented the introverted and extraverted points of view and, just as the Mandaean conversation came to no conclusion, neither can the argument between introversion and extraversion, because both are right and valid points of view. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 212
It seems to me that this was the reason behind Jung’s changing his mind.
As an introvert he himself greatly preferred, like John the Baptist, to keep the process of individuation only for those individuals whose fate would compel them to seek it, but he fully recognized the validity of the extraverted point of view which longs to put values on the map.
We can see the same conflict, which that time he allowed a dream to decide, when at the very end of his life, after a firm refusal he decided to give the process of individuation to a much wider public and arranged for the publication of Man and His Symbols.
John Freeman, general editor of that volume, described the events which led to this decision very vividly in his Introduction.
In the autumn of 1947, Jung was extremely exhausted, as the result of all he had done toward the founding of the institute and other activities, so he went for the first of several holidays he took on the Rigi at about this time. This shows us how well he had recovered from his heart
trouble of three years before, when all heights had been forbidden, for the hotel on the Rigi (Berghaus, Rigi-Staffel) was nearly five thousand feet above sea level. Since Bollingen was becoming very bad for Toni’s arthritis, he joined her and some other friends on the Rigi, of
which she was very fond. They walked farther every day, and he came back proudly saying that they had even managed one three-hour walk to the hotel at Scheidegg, where they lunched and rested in the sun, and back. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 213
Jung returned to Küsnacht looking brilliantly well, but there was a great deal of stored-up work awaiting him.
It was not all connected with the founding of the institute; there were also many appeals for help, both by consultation or by letter, appeals to which, as he said, he knew only he could respond and therefore wanted to do so.
It was now proved that his heart was perfectly all right again, as long as he lived a simple, quiet life, but directly he was in Küsnacht he felt besieged by more appeals than he could possibly meet.
Rereading my notes for this autumn of 1947, I marvel at the amount of work he achieved, for he was already seventy-two and had had two dangerous illnesses, the latter less than a year before.
Without giving up any of his time for writing, he yet saw about four people a day, wrote an endless number of letters, and went to many meetings concerning the founding of the C. G. Jung Institute.
He consented to draw up the statutes for the institute, with the help of C. A. Meier and Toni Wolff.
This was the only administrative activity which Jung allowed Toni to take.
He refused to let her go on the curatorium, to the great surprise of many of her admirers and indeed of herself, though she admitted to me that the institute was not “her cup of tea!” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 213
Jung told me he did not want people who were too introverted on that board; they would not know how to deal with the world, and it would also be a great pity for very creative people to be on it since it would take far too much of their time and energy and give their thoughts a wrong direction. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 213
He still hoped that Toni might return to her writing toward the end of her life. She did indeed give many excellent courses of lectures in the institute, but, as mentioned earlier never got around to the book she would have been so well fitted to write. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
Jung gave a lot of time and thought to those who should go on the curatorium.
At last he decided on the people he thought most suited to the work, and laid his proposal before the club, which had to give its casting vote.
He unwillingly took the presidency himself, just to give the organization a start, but kept it only for two years; nor did he interfere afterward in the executive side at all.
He chose two medical doctors, C. A. Meier and Kurt Binswanger, and two extraverted women, Jolande Jacobi and Liliane Frey, for the other four members. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 213
He did not get his proposal accepted without considerable opposition from the club, for the highly extraverted Dr. Jacobi had not made herself particularly popular in the club.
The first vote went against her, but as she was the one person Jung was quite sure should be on the curatorium, he made a speech asking for a
He explained that he understood why her extreme extraversion was so unpopular in the introverted club and admitted that she had an unfortunate gift for making herself unpopular.
But, he contended, she was far more gifted at dealing with the world than any of the rest of us and would therefore be a most valuable asset.
As a rule, the members were willing to bow to Jung’s greater knowledge and wisdom, but even after his speech only two changed sides.
It made the difference, however, and instead of being defeated Dr. Jacobi was elected.
It would indeed have been wrong to exclude her, for the idea of the institute had been originally hers, and it was she who had convinced Jung that an institute would eventually be founded, whether he gave his support or not. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 213
Jung gave the most time and energy, however, to the drawing up of the statutes.
The statutes gave power over the institute entirely into the hands of the curatorium, something that was opposed at the time by the club and has been bitterly attacked by a few of the patrons in recent years.
But Jung remained firm on this point, for he saw that the people who did the work must have the power, that anything else would lead to abuse of power, which was the great danger he feared in allowing his psychology to be given a worldly form like the institute. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
The statutes are a very wise document; they have steered the institute safely through almost thirty years, already far longer than Jung expected it to last.
Of course, power has sometimes been used—and worse, a lot of projection of power motives onto others—but work is the great antidote to power, and although there have been many changes in the members of the curatorium since the foundation of the C. G. Jung Institute in 1948, they have all worked extremely hard, with barely an exception.
Moreover, the occasional exception has never remained on the curatorium for very long.
In January, 1950, Jung began to find the work as president too tiring. He also felt he could no longer attend the meetings of the curatorium, so he arranged that his wife should represent him. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
This representation lasted for three months, but on April 28, 1950, after two years of holding the presidency, Jung retired altogether from all active participation.
- A. Meier became president, Emma Jung was elected in her own right as a member of the curatorium and as vice-president, and Jung became honorary president. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
Since Emma felt very much drawn to accepting this post—although all her life she had been reluctant to take on work of such an extraverted nature—Jung warmly encouraged her to do so. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
But a few months later he told me that in some ways he was convinced that, at all events for himself, this had been a mistake: he felt now that he had given it a start he might retire entirely from the work of running the institute, but with his wife on the curatorium he still had to hear a great deal about it at home.
Moreover, he had been very happy about Emma’s long study of the Grail, and hoped that she would spend the evening of her life writing her book about it, whereas actually she cut it up more and more into material for seminars at the institute, and much, if not most, of her energy went into the affairs of the curatorium. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
I have often wondered whether it was a good plan for Emma to spend the last few years of her life on the curatorium. On the one hand, it developed a side of her that she had lived very little before; on the other hand, it took her away from breaking any more new ground in her studies on the Grail. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
She gave just as much energy as before to her husband—I never heard him utter a word of complaint except to say that he heard rather too much about the institute—but she certainly, to my great regret, had much less time than before for her friends. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
If I tried to remonstrate, she would admit it was a great pity, but add that she regretfully found she also had much less time even for her own family.
The curatorium at that time was very dynamic, and emotional differences of opinion often arose.
Emma was always on the side of peace and spent a lot of energy trying to reconcile different points of view.
She was certainly an irreplaceable value to the curatorium itself, and also to the institute.
After her death, Franz Riklin Jr. never tired of saying how much he missed her [Toni] at their meetings. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 214
Jung felt that since the institute was now a going concern he could withdraw from its management completely.
He occasionally gave a word of advice, but if it was not taken he immediately “retired to his estates.”
He was once asked why he intervened so little, even when he disapproved of something that was being done.
He replied that he was not doing the work, and any old man who went on interfering became a power fiend, a fate he meant to avoid at all
I remember him intervening only twice during the eleven years that elapsed before his death.
Once, when the students complained that there were too many courses on myths and fairy tales and too few on case material, he called a meeting of all lecturers and students and explained why he thought it was so important for them to understand myths and fairy tales.
These all come from the collective unconscious and reflect the structure of the deeper layers which would be common to everyone they would analyze later.
It was vitally important to know this foundation.
Case material, on the contrary, differs in every case, and they would usually only do harm by applying what they learned about one case to another.
The students found this difficult to understand; it is still a point on which there is a great deal of misunderstanding, not only in the institute, where presumably it is now at least partly understood, for Marie-Louise von Franz’s courses on myths and fairy tales attract by far the largest audiences of any institute lectures, but in many other Jungian centers.
The other point on which I remember Jung intervening was when a proposal was made to abolish, or greatly reduce, the examinations.
He strongly recommended then that they should all be retained.
“That is one thing we can do for our students,” he said, “we can see they all really know something when they leave.”
Fortunately, everyone saw the importance of this, and the examinations still stand as Jung originally arranged them.
Although he knew it was far better to leave all management questions to the curatorium, he did lend a helping hand to both lecturers and students insofar as his health and his own creative work allowed.
He had discussions with the former, at least once every semester, at which time they could bring him any questions they liked.
He [Jung] also from time to time saw groups of students, but after the first two years nothing to do with the institute was allowed to interfere with his writing, for in all the seventeen years between his 1944 illness and his death his writing took precedence over everything else. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 215
Jung’s time was also diverted from continuing with the Mysterium Coniunctionis, during the founding and beginning of the institute, by the fact that in 1947 and 1948 he prepared three new German volumes, which consisted of Eranos lectures and various other essays, many of them considerably revised and enlarged from their original form.
All this took a lot of time, not only in rewriting but also in proofreading.
Jung always read proofs himself, although he also had them checked by several of his pupils, because he used to say it was quite remarkable how the devil could interfere with even the best printers and slip in a tiny misprint (fatally easy to read over) which changed or even reversed the whole meaning.
In 1948 Jung also gave a lecture at the Eranos Tagung: “Concerning the Self.”
This appears, very little changed, except for the omission of the end of the lecture, in Chapter 4 of Aion.
The first weighty problem that “insisted on taking shape” before he went on with his opus magnum was the “Auseinandersetzung” with the Christian era in Aion.
He could not deal adequately with the problem of the union of opposites until he had fully considered their history over the last two thousand years. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 215
This was a tremendous undertaking, entailing a great deal of research, some of which was undertaken by his pupils, but most of it by himself.
Marie-Louise von Franz especially was his collaborator on this book, as she contributed a paper to it on Perpetua.
This paper, as Jung said in his Preface, analyzes the psychological transition from antiquity to Christianity, whereas his own part of the book deals with the Christian era and tries to illuminate it by Christian, Gnostic, and alchemistic symbols of the Self. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 215
He pointed out that even Christian tradition, most particularly the Revelation, takes the probability of an enantiodromia into account, by which he refers to the dilemma Christ–Anti-Christ.
This precedes the Marriage of the Lamb, a symbol par excellence for the mysterium coniunctionis, so one sees why the problem of the last two thousand years “insisted on taking shape” before he could write his opus magnum.
The first four chapters of the book were written or at least completely rewritten last.
After he had completed the rest of the book, Jung realized that the reader who was not well acquainted with Jungian psychology would be unable to follow him.
Therefore he wrote a very clear description of the concepts that were most necessary for an understanding of the volume: ego, shadow, anima and animus, and Self.
These descriptions are the clearest and most illuminating he ever wrote on the subject.
They were written, as he told his collaborator, with special care, to represent the subject from the side of feeling and experience, not from that of thinking and intellect.
Jung had already touched on the main theme of Aion in Psychology and Alchemy, in the chapter on “The Lapis-Christus Parallel.”
There he mainly wanted to show how alchemy compensated and completed Christianity; in Aion he is concerned with the history of the
opposites during the whole Christian era.
Christ is still the great symbol of the Self in the West, and there is a long chapter entirely on this subject.
But although Christ represented exactly those aspects of the Self which were required at the time, he was so much on the light side that the
New Testament itself reckoned with an enantiodromia.
Jung pointed out how many symbols Christ shares with the Devil: lion, serpent, bird, raven, eagle, and fish.
He also pointed out that the morning star symbolizes both Christ and the Devil.
Astrologically, as is well known, the Christian era coincides exactly with “The Sign of the Fishes,” so the fish as the common symbol
of Christ and the Devil is an image that Jung went into in great detail in many chapters. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 216
The fact that the fish is a symbol of Christ and the astrological designation of our era seems to point to a relationship between Christian symbolism and time. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 216
Thereafter Jung devoted the last part of Aion to “The Structure and Dynamics of the Self” and showed that the images of the quaternities in the Self seem to represent a circular, or rather a spiral, movement.
It remains forever itself, but simultaneously it produces a higher level of consciousness.
One could describe this movement as a spiral-shaped chain of quaternities which circumambulate an unchanging center, at the same time rising each time to a higher level.
Jung had hardly finished Aion before he began to develop the same subject still further and wrote Answer to Job. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 216
Before we leave Aion, I should say that Jung told me that, from the reactions he had received, he thought Aion was the least understood of his books that had so far been published. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 216
It was some time before an English version appeared.
Those in Zürich who could not read German were impatient for it, so I gave a course of lectures on it at the institute.
Jung was pleased to hear this and encouraged me to repeat the course, even after the English translation appeared, because, he said, people really needed more explanation than he himself had given.
Feeling always runs very high at these courses for what Jung said about the privatio boni, in particular, seems to act as a red rag to a bull, particularly to theologians.
I have never experienced such lively discussions and passionate participation in any of my other courses.
Answer to lob is totally different from all of Jung’s other books, in that he did not write as usual in “a coolly objective manner” but gave a free rein for once to his “emotional subjectivity.” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 216
He had been deeply moved from his earliest childhood, as we have seen, by the dark side of God.
He had even been puzzled by the contradictory sides of Jesus at Laufen, and still more by the vision when he was eleven of God defecating on Basel Cathedral.
Right through his life, as we have seen, he was deeply preoccupied by the piling up of evidence that evil must be regarded as part of God and not as something extraneous, for which man is wholly responsible. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 217
When, after the war, we heard the full horror of what had been done in the concentration camps, for example, almost everyone in Jung’s environment was at last also deeply moved by the same problem, and he felt the time had come to write openly about it, for, as he ended his preface, “What I am expressing is first of all my own personal view, but I know that I also speak in the name of many who have had similar experiences.” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 217
It is not surprising that Answer to Job followed directly after Aion.
Jung had been considering the history of the opposites throughout the whole Christian era in “a coolly objective manner,” particularly the history of the privatio bono.
This interpretation of evil as merely the absence of good, which so many people still try passionately to believe, roused emotions in him which he never allowed to reach the surface in Aion.
A reaction from that side was due and inevitable, for he had to know “the way in which a modern man with a Christian education and background comes to terms with the divine darkness which is unveiled in the Book of Job and what effect it has on him.”
Answer to Job is a passionate attempt to answer this question, which one might say culminates in the realization that God needs man in order to become conscious.
This is really the underlying meaning of the Christian belief that God became man.
He had to become man in order to know man’s reality.
As Jung said nearly ten years later in the chapter “On Life after Death” in Memories, speaking of the eternal Self:
. . . it assumes human shape in order to enter three-dimensional existence, as if someone were putting on a diver’s suit in order to dive into the sea. . . . In earthly form it can pass through the experiences of the three-dimensional world, and by greater awareness take a further step toward realization. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 217
We come back to Jung’s realization of the myth of modern man on the Athi Plains in East Africa, nearly thirty years before.
One could say that Answer to Job shows us how all through the ages God has suffered from His own unconsciousness and, because He did not realize this, made man suffer for it still more.
What else but unconsciousness of what He was doing would explain or excuse God’s listening to the libels of His dark son, Satan, against Job, and delivering the latter entirely into the former’s hand to torment in any way he chose, with the single condition that he not be killed? ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 217
After considering the Book of Job, Jung turned to God’s determination to become man, indicating all the precautions taken to prevent this incarnation from being corrupted by the dark side.
Though fully agreeing that this was the necessity of the time, he showed how certain this was to be followed by an enantiodromia.
He illustrated this by demonstrating how likely it is psychologically that the John of the Epistles is also the John who wrote the Revelation, with its unparalleled prophecies of the cruelest destruction.
The Epistles are full of the Christian virtues, particularly of love, emphasizing God as a loving father who can be blindly loved and trusted.
But a too one-sided emphasis on love is psychologically certain to constellate its opposite: hate; and too great a reliance on salvation by an all-loving father must constellate its opposite: wholesale destruction.
Jung went into the Apocalypse in almost as much detail as the Book of Job itself.
He said, for example:
Ever since John the apocalyptist experienced for the first time (perhaps unconsciously) that conflict into which Christianity inevitably leads, mankind has groaned under this burden: God wanted to become man, and still wants to. That is probably why John experienced in his vision a second birth of a son from the mother Sophia, a divine birth which was characterized by a conjunctio oppositorum and which anticipated the filius sapientiae, the essence of the individuation process. This was the effect of Christianity on a Christian of early times, who had lived long and resolutely enough to be able to cast a glance into the distant future. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 218
Jung pointed out how accurately John prophesied our present age, which may even come to surpass the horrors in the Revelation if the atom bomb, for example, is used; and that the only answer to such dangers lies in doing all we can to assist God to become man, and thus more
conscious. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 218
He saw a ray of light in the then very recently announced “dogma of the Assumptio Mariae.”
This dogma is in every respect timely. In the first place it is a symbolical fulfilment of John’s vision. Secondly, it contains an allusion to the marriage of the Lamb at the end of time, and, thirdly, it repeats the Old Testament anamnesis of Sophia. These three references foretell the incarnation of God. The second and third foretell the Incarnation in Christ, but the first foretells the Incarnation in creaturely man. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 218
Jung pointed out the danger inherent in the last fact:
Everything now depends on man: immense power of destruction is given into his hand, and the question is whether he can resist the will to use it, and can temper his will with the spirit of love and wisdom. He will hardly be capable of doing so on his own unaided resources. He needs the help of an “advocate” in heaven, that is, of the child that is caught up to God and who brings the “healing” and making whole of the hitherto fragmentary man. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 218
The last chapter is devoted to pointing out the difference between “creaturely man” and the archetype that works through him.
The behavior of the latter, infinitely the more powerful factor, . . .cannot be investigated at all without the interaction of the observing consciousness. Therefore the question as to whether the process is initiated by consciousness or by the archetype can never be answered; unless, in contradiction to experience, one either robbed the archetype of its autonomy or degraded consciousness to a mere machine. We find ourselves in best agreement with psychological experience if we concede to the archetype a definite measure of independence, and to consciousness a degree of creative freedom proportionate to its scope. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 218
A reciprocal action then develops between these two relatively autonomous factors, in which sometimes one and sometimes the other is the acting subject.
However much the archetype may dwell in us we can never change our human limitations, any more than Saint Paul, although he felt himself to be directly called and enlightened by God, could ever rid himself of the “thorn in the flesh” or of the Satanic angel who plagued him.
Jung therefore ends the book with the words:
That is to say, even the enlightened person remains what he is, and is never more than his own limited ego before the One who dwells within him, whose form has no knowable boundaries, who encompasses him on all sides, fathomless as the abysms of the earth and vast as the sky. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 218
Probably no book of Jung’s has attracted more attention than Answer to Job.
In the paperback edition, it has been a bestseller in the United States, so that the close of his preface, in which he said that, although he was primarily expressing his own personal views, he knew that he was also speaking “in the name of many others who have had similar experiences,” turned out to be true on a far larger scale than he ever expected. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 219
As a matter of fact, he hesitated for a considerable time before publishing the book at all.
Therefore, though both Answer to Job and “Synchronicity” were published in the same year (1952), the former had been completed some
time before the latter was begun. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 219
Jung gave a short lecture on synchronicity at the Eranos Tagung in 1951, the last time he lectured there.
It appears as it was given in the English Papers from the Eranos Yearbook.
Immediately afterward he revised and enlarged it for its final form.
It was then published, together with an article by the physicist Wolfgang Pauli, under the title The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche.
Although in a totally different way from Answer to Job, it also broke new ground and caused a good deal of excitement, this time in scientific circles.
The minds of most people are so steeped in the idea of cause and effect that it is quite remarkably difficult for them to view things synchronistically.
To illustrate how difficult it is, I remember a meeting of the lecturers and analysts of the C. G. Jung Institute at Jung’s house for a discussion of his article, which had just appeared.
There was a lively discussion but, when it was drawing to an end, Jung remarked: “Well, every one of you has discussed synchronicity from the standpoint of cause and effect. Not one of you has thought synchronistically!” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 219
I still find thinking synchronistically so difficult that I prefer not to venture a summary of this article.
Marie-Louise von Franz has an excellent account of synchronicity in her book Number and Time and was kind enough to condense what she said there as follows:
Since he experimented in the early twenties with the I Ching, Jung was acquainted with the phenomena that he afterward called “synchronistic events.” 219
He had felt for a long time that the deficient and only statistically valid principle of causality needed a complementary, explanatory principle in science.
But he waited for many years before he published anything fundamental about it because he wanted to convey the idea to scientists which seemed specially difficult because of their rational outlook.
The chance to combine his paper on synchronicity with Wolfgang Pauli’s work on Kepler was therefore exceedingly welcome as he hoped it would make scientists take this new idea more seriously.
Jung defined a synchronistic event as the coincidence between an inner image or hunch breaking into one’s mind, and the occurrence of an outer event conveying the same meaning at approximately the same time.
He mentions as an example one of his patients who, at a critical moment in her analysis, was telling him a dream of a golden scarab, a symbol of a deep renewal of consciousness.
At that moment a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (cetonia aurata) tapped at the window.
Jung caught it as it flew into the room.
This beetle is the nearest analogy to a scarab found in our latitudes and at that particular moment it seemed to feel an urge, contrary to its usual habits, to get into a darkened room.
Encouraged by Rhine’s experiments at Duke University, Jung tried at first to find a way in which such events could be made probable by statistics.
He searched for proof that undeniable inner psychological symbols coincided regularly with equally undeniable outer events.
He chose the marriage constellations in astrology (which are images of psychological facts) for the former and the corresponding actual marriages for the latter.
At first this statistical experiment yielded an incredibly positive result but, repeating the experiment later in greater numbers, proved the first positive result to be in itself a synchronistic event, and that nothing could be proved by statistics.
Jung therefore returned to his basic argument: synchronistic events only take place when the experimenter has a strong emotional participation with his experiment. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 220
The emotion is usually due to an archetype being activated, that is constellated, in the unconscious of the experimenter.
Jung went on to show that synchronistic events seem to be only a particular instance of a much wider natural principle which he termed
“acausal orderedness,” a just-so modality without a cause, such as we can find in the case of the discontinuities of physics (e.g. the orderedness of energy quanta, or radium decay, etc.) or the properties of natural numbers.
Such modes of acausal orderedness occur regularly and have always existed, whereas synchronistic events are acts of creation in time.
It is only the ingrained belief in the sovereign power of causality that creates intellectual difficulties and makes it appear unthinkable that causeless events exist or could ever occur. But if they do, then we must regard them as creative acts, as the continuous creation of a pattern that exists from all eternity, repeats itself sporadically, and is not derivable from any known antecedents. We must of course guard against
thinking of every event whose cause is unknown as “causeless.” This, as I have already stressed, is admissible only when a cause is not even thinkable. . . . This is necessarily the case when space and time lose their meaning or have become relative, for under those circumstances a causality which presupposes space and time for its continuance can no longer be said to exist and becomes altogether unthinkable. For these reasons it seems to me necessary to introduce, alongside space, time, and causality, a category which not only enables us to understand synchronistic phenomena as a special class of natural events, but also takes the contingent partly as a universal factor existing from all eternity, and partly as the sum of countless individual acts of creation occurring in time. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 220
In the autumn of 1955 Marie-Louise received a letter from Korvin, Count of Krasinski, a Benedictine monk who had studied local medicine in Tibet, asking her for an explanation of synchronicity. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 220
She showed her reply to Jung before she sent it and was kind enough to let me quote the relevant part of his reaction:
Küsnacht-Zürich. 27. Oct. 1955.
. . . Your answer to Krasinski is excellent.
But I should have added the argument that, in so far as causality is only statistical probability, there MUST be exceptions.
The more exceptions there are, the less they can be subjugated to a causal explanation.
The exclusively causal viewpoint (CAUSA efficiens, finalis, formalis, materialis) claims absolute validity, through which indeterminism is eliminated and all events in nature become mechanical and nature itself becomes a machine.
You have implied all this by the stress you lay on the creatio continua. . . . Krasinski, like all theologians, forgets on account of his Aristotelianism, that the most important cause of all things, i.e. God, Himself has no cause, and probably maintains a continuous creation with his eternal omnipresence.
For this reason all acausal events appear to be numinous, that is, the naïve mind regards them as numina.
It is marvelous that it is just theological causality which does not allow God any free play.
God not only must be exclusively good, over and above this He must also obey his own laws in His own creation.
God is thus subordinated to the Church’s apotropaeic tendency toward limiting His freedom.
I do not think negatively of synchronicity as a mere absence of cause but, as may be concluded from the above (symbolic) conclusions, I also see it positively as a creative act which comes from the ultimate acausal, from a proton anaition.
This lies closer to us than we think, for the generally recognized psychical relativity of space and time, which becomes manifest in the E.S.P. experiments, points to an empirical condition becoming visible in which the (temporal) succession of cause and effect becomes completely impossible on account of the relative absence of space.
With the most cordial greetings,
- G. Jung
While Jung was writing his paper on synchronicity, he also carved the face of the laughing trickster in the west wall of the original Tower. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 220
It was almost as if the images lay dormant in the stones themselves, asking to be brought into existence.
Sometimes, before he touched the stone, he would ask someone present if he also saw anything there.
In 1950, some months before Jung carved the laughing trickster, he had completed the “monument out of stone to express what the Tower” meant to him, as he wrote in Memories.
Some time before, a large square block of stone had been delivered by mistake, instead of the triangular stone that had been ordered for a wall he was having built.
The stonemason refused it indignantly, but Jung knew at once that, although useless for the wall, it was nevertheless his stone and that he wanted it for an as yet unknown purpose.
As far as I remember, he had it for some time, even perhaps for some years, before he knew what this purpose was.
Then, as he wrote:
The first thing that occurred to me was a Latin verse by the alchemist Arnaldus de Villanova (died 1313). I chiseled this into the stone; in translation it goes:
Here stands the mean, uncomely stone,
’Tis very cheap in price!
The more it is despised by fools,
The more loved by the wise.
This verse refers to the alchemist’s stone, the lapis, which is despised and rejected.
Soon something else emerged.
I began to see on the front face, in the natural structure of the stone, a small circle, a sort of eye, which looked at me.
I chiseled it into the stone, and in the center made a tiny homunculus.
This corresponds to the “little doll” (pupilla)—yourself—which you see in the pupil of another’s eye; a kind of Kabir, or the Telesphoros of Asklepios.
Ancient statues show him wearing a hooded cloak and carrying a lantern. At the same time he is a pointer of the way.
I dedicated a few words to him which came into my mind while I was working.
The inscription is in Greek; the translation goes:
“Time is a child—playing like a child—playing a board game—the kingdom of the child. This is Telesphoros, who roams through the dark regions of the cosmos and glows like a star out of the depths. He points the way to the gates of the sun and to the land of dreams.”
These words came to me—one after the other—while I worked on the stone.
On the third face, the one facing the lake, I let the stone itself speak, as it were, in a Latin inscription.
These sayings are more or less quotations from alchemy.
This is the translation:
“I am an orphan, alone; nevertheless I am found everywhere. I am one, but opposed to myself. I am youth and old man at one and the same time. I have known neither father nor mother, because I have had to be fetched out of the deep like a fish, or fell like a white stone from heaven. In woods and mountains I roam, but I am hidden in the innermost soul of man. I am mortal for everyone, yet I am not touched by the cycle of aeons.”
In conclusion, under the saying of Arnaldus de Villanova,
I set down in Latin the words “In remembrance of his seventy-fifth birthday C. G. Jung made and placed this here as a thanks offering, in the year 1950.”
When the stone was finished, I looked at it again and again, wondering about it and asking myself what lay behind my impulse to carve it.
The stone stands outside the Tower, and is like an explanation of it.
It is a manifestation of the occupant, but one which remains incomprehensible to others.
Do you know what I wanted to chisel into the back face of the stone? “Le cri de Merlin!”
For what the stone expressed reminded me of Merlin’s life in the forest, after he had vanished from the world.
Men still hear his cries, so the legend runs, but they cannot understand or interpret them.
The manikin which Jung had carved when he was nine years old and which had made him feel secure, without “the tormenting sense of being at odds” with himself, thus came back to him as the Telesphoros of Asklepios in his most important stone when he was seventy-five years
old. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 222
Answer to Job and the article on synchronicity were certainly “new formulations” that he could hardly have achieved before his 1944 illness.
It was only then that he could fully surrender himself to “the current of his thoughts” as “one problem after another” revealed itself to him and took shape.
As regards “Synchronicity,” it must have been the experience outside time, when he felt himself to “exist simultaneously the day before yesterday, today and the day after tomorrow,” that rendered him capable of freeing himself from our ingrained habit of thinking in terms of cause and effect, liberating him to think synchronistically and to formulate a whole article entirely from that point of view.
The reactions to these two works, although many were positive, must sometimes have been rather trying.
Theologians were in part rendered quite angry by Answer to Job, and scientists by “Synchronicity.”
Jung was always ready to accept intelligent criticism—it could even please him much more than unintelligent praise—but he hated stupid criticism, based on a total misunderstanding of what he had meant.
Both these works met with an unusual number of criticisms of the latter kind.
Jung often used to say that if our civilization perished it would be more due to stupidity than to evil. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 223
Nevertheless, this period of his life—in spite of its many illnesses and his increasing age—was on the whole not only fruitful but also, I think, a happy time.
Not that Jung found aging an easy process.
He used to say: “I have never been old before so I don’t know how one grows old!” ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 223
But he faced the problem with his usual courage and patience, and by the end of 1951 had certainly found the answer. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and His Work, Page 207-223