Jung, My Mother and I

May 14, 1937

On our way to Ragaz, I went to see Uncle.

We had the hour in the little summer house by the lake.

It was lovely. Uncle was so simple and nice when he came forward to greet me.

I told him how unnatural I was, and how I had been unnatural with certain English people I had dined with.

He said I might well have had feelings of inferiority with rather natural people.

The mere fact of trying to be simple and natural is a sign of not being natural, for the mere fact of trying is in itself not natural!

Natural people don’t try.

Not being natural, or simple, is a game one plays inside.

Instead of just being something, one thinks it, and reacts to it – then one is not natural.

He told the story of a toad who asked a centipede how he managed to know which foot to put first and where he put his feet?

The centipede began to think and fell into a ditch!

You cannot force yourself to be natural. If you get rid of your feeling of inferiority you will be natural.

With Americans this unnaturalness has to do with something primitive.

Minnie [her mother] is afraid to let her primitive side come out.

These colonials cannot be natural because they would be like natives.

I would not be that way, because I have more the European style.

But Minnie has had always to be self-conscious, for if she had been natural she would have done things which were not correct.

That is the primitive in her! I told Uncle how they liked her in the U.S. but not me!

He said that in America they can deal with such people as everyone has something of it.

I have more of the European style … Americans all have the [primitive side] and forgive it.

I told him of Janion [Aubrey Janion, known as ‘Jane,’ was a skiing friend of Tommy’s] and his primitivity, his Venezuelan mother, which means colored or Indian blood, and his living so long in Hawaii etc.

He whistled, then said that Janion, having passed through an English school and having got the ‘Form,’ could afford to be vulgar.

Terribly well-bred people can do things that others, less well-bred, cannot do – they can do something really shocking, and say, “I am terribly vulgar,” and you can say nothing about it.

Uncle said he would be afraid that he might make a mistake in form, but form is ingrained  n these people so they can afford to be vulgar.

English people can afford to wear dirty clothes.

That perfect form of the British is something that cannot be imitated.

Other people have to be careful – try to relax and trust the good form will hold out as one is accustomed, and one can try to let the temperament manifest itself so that the form doesn’t break.

Uncle said that I do not need to be stilted, but I have to be more careful than if I had been brought up in an English school.

He continued, “We Swiss have to be more careful than the English as our education does not contain much form.”

Uncle said that he could not allow himself the ‘leeway’ of an Englishman of noble family.

“We Swiss have a more modest kind of family. We don’t possess these forms they have developed in England which gives these people their extraordinary certainty,” he said. ~Katy Cabot, Jung My Mother and I, Pages 144-146