Conversations with Carl Jung and Reactions from Ernest Jones


Professor Doctor C. G. Jung

Seestrasse 228Kusnacht~ Zurich,


Dear Professor Doctor Jung:                          April 2, 1957

A prominent United States foundation, The Fund for the Advancement of Education, has awarded us a small grant which will make it possible to begin filming for the use of undergraduate students a psychology course series of lectures and discussions.

In planning a course in psychology on film, it occurred to us that the presence on film of some of the truly great men in psychology would be an inspiration to our American psychology students.

Naturally, the first name that came to our minds was yours.

We have long been interested in your work, and your presence on film would in our opinion, add appreciably to the learning of our students.

If you would be willing to participate, we could fly to Switzerland to do the filming at your convenience.

We would not request a great deal of preparation such as formal lectures would require, but rather, we would ask you to participate in a series of four informal interviews.

We would, of course, submit the topics to you in advance, and in fact, would welcome your advice in choosing them.

This would allow you to reflect fully the many interesting facets of your work.

To avoid imposing on your time, these interviews could be spaced so that they could be filmed over a week’s time or longer.

We would plan to spend a week or more in Switzerland, and, if it will fit into your schedule, could arrive on or around August fifth.

Dr. Joe Wheelwright, with whom we spoke concerning this matter, wishes to express his encouragement to you to work with us on these films.

He shares our belief that it would be of great educational value to our psychology students, not only in this university but throughout the United States.

Copies of the films could be made available to colleges everywhere in the United States.

Dr. John Meaney, Director of the Radio, TV Film Center at this university, as recipient of the grant, would produce the four films.

He has produced many stimulating educational series for professional groups and for educational television.

From my own experience working with him, I find him a most sympathetic and understanding student of psychology; so his work, I’m certain, would achieve the best possible results.

If you will permit us to do so and will suggest an appropriate amount, we shall be pleased to arrange for payment of an honorarium to you for your participation in these four films.

We are looking forward hopefully to a reply from you concerning this matter.

Cordially yours

Within ten days we received the following reply from Dr. Jung:

Prof. Dr. C. G. Jung

Prof. Richard I. Evans

University of Houston

Cullen Boulevard

Houston 4, Texas

Dear Prof. Evans,                                  April 1957

I am inclined to meet your request, if you can limit yourself to four interviews on consecutive days, beginning on August 5th about 4 P.M.

As to the nature of your questions, I prefer your initiative.

I would not know in what aspect of psychology you are particularly interested, I also cannot assume that our interests are the same.

An interview should not last longer than one hour at the most, as I easily get tired on account of my old age.

Since I am not informed about the size of your grant, I should like you to tell me frankly what you intend in the way of an honorarium.

I hope you are sufficiently aware of the unreliability imposed upon me by my age.

Whatever I promise is necessarily subjected to the ulterior decision of fate that can interfere unexpectedly.

Sincerely yours

I’m sure that you can imagine the delight with which we greeted this reply and the haste with which we proceeded in the direction of further planning.

The following correspondence between Dr. Jung, myself, and Dr. Jung’s secretary, Mrs. Aniela Jaffe, is self explanatory and traces the lines of events that

led us to set up a firm appointment for four days in August of 1957.

Professor Doctor C. G. Jung

Seestrasse 228

Kusnacht, Zurich, Switzerland

Dear Professor Doctor Jung,                                                   April 18, 1957

We are all delighted to receive your letter of April 12.

On the day that your letter arrived, it happened that we were discussing some of your contributions to personality theory in my Psychology of Personality class, and when I read your letter to the class, it was, indeed, a dramatic note.

The dates that you indicate that you can see us for the purpose of filming interviews, August 5, 6, 7, and 8, are just fine.

Dr. Meaney and I would probably arrive in Zurich a few days prior to this, of course.

In looking over our budget, an honorarium in the amount of five hundred dollars would appear to be feasible. Does this seem to be sufficient?

If not, please let us know and we shall make every effort to make some adjustment.

With respect to the content of the interviews and the kinds of questions that I would ask you, it would be our desire to direct the discussion to the level of the undergraduate college student in psychology.

Examples of the areas of discussion that would be of interest at this level would be the unconscious, introversion, extroversion and the ways in which these tendencies interact with the factors in your tetrasomy (feeling, thinking, intuition, sensation), the Word, Association Method, views of human personality development and maturity, and so on.

Naturally, we shall endeavor in every way to direct our interviews to meet with your complete approval.

On behalf of Dr. Meaney, our psychology department staff, and the University of Houston administration, I wish to thank you for your graciousness in accepting our proposal, thereby allowing our project to begin on such a distinguished note.

Cordially yours

Richard I. Evans, Ph.D.

University of Houston

Cullen Boulevard

Houston 4, Texas


Dear Prof. Evans,                                     April 1957

Thank you for your kind letter.

The proposed honorarium of five hundred dollars will suit me completely.

Thank you also for giving me an outline of the questions you are going to ask.

I sincerely hope that I shall not be too complicated.

Looking forward to our meeting, I remain, Dear Prof. Evans,

Yours sincerely

Professor Doctor C. G. Jung

Seestrasse 228

Kusnacht, Zurich, Switzerland

Dear Professor Jung:                                                     May 16, 1957

We were delighted that the honorarium of five hundred dollars will be satisfactory.

We are also pleased that the general discussion areas which we listed will be agreeable.

May I raise an additional point?

Dr. Meaney, who will, of course, be filming our interviews, would like your opinion of the lighting situation which for film work is very important, as you know.

For example, at four in the afternoon during the early days of August when we have our appointments with you, is the lighting outside sufficient so that we may actually film the interviews outside in the front of your house, perhaps?

From a technical point of view, this would make it unnecessary to set up special lighting which might be necessary if the interviews were filmed, perhaps, some place in your home.

Sound could also be more effectively recorded outside.

Your comments concerning these points will be greatly appreciated.

Incidentally, as a matter of routine, our University requires your signature on the enclosed form.

We would appreciate it if you would sign it above your name.

The extra copy is for your files.

Please return the copy bearing your signature with your reply to this letter.

Needless to say, Dr. Meaney and I are very excited about our trip and the prospects of meeting and spending a few hours with you.

Our students are already asking us when our filmed reports of the interviews will be available for them to see.

Thank you again for making this venture possible for us.

Cordially yours.

Prof. Richard I. Evans, Ph.D.

University of Houston

Cullen Boulevard

Houston 4, Texas


Dear Dr. Evans,                                                May 30, 1957

I assume that you know the chaotic conditions of European weather. Cancedente Dea, we have the most beautiful bright sunlight.

But, if the Nephelegeretes Zeus prefers to envelop our beloved country in shrouds of mist and rain, it may even happen that we have to put on the lights in the room.

If the weather is good and hot, we have a lot of noise near the house on account of a public bathing place.

In that case, we should retire to a remote corner of the garden, where there is no electricity.

In this case, you would need about 100 yards of wire.-Well, I have to leave these technical decisions to yourself.

Here enclosed you also find the signed declaration.

Au revoir in summer!

Sincerely yours