Zarathustra Seminars

Miss Wolff: Peter Gast was an unimportant person. Nietzsche could not accept a man who was his equal as his friend; he was a human being who just needed to be alone. If he had such a friend, he was a rival at once, it was too much on the basis of competition.

Prof. Jung: The friendship with Peter Gast was rather an unhappy story.

Peter Gast felt terribly emptied and found it exceedingly difficult, and everybody else who had to deal directly with Nietzsche found it difficult.

You may remember that little anecdote about Nietzsche:

Once when he was talking very enthusiastically about Italy in his lecture at Basel, he happened to catch the eye of one of the young men in
his audience, and Nietzsche instantly imagined that there was a friend for him.

So after the lecture he said to him,” We will go together to Italy!”

But the young man had no money and naturally thought of his empty pocket.

“But Herr Professor!” he stammered, and then the bottom dropped out of the world and Nietzsche simply made off disgusted.

That is Nietzsche.

He did not think of the reality, that the poor student had not the necessary money to take a trip to Italy, and of course he never would have thought of paying for him.

If the young man has said, “Yes, I am coming with you,” of course Nietzsche would have been delighted, without thinking that the fellow had no money to do it; you see, the reality which presented itself at that moment was enough to put him off completely, and the man was simply lost to him.

That was his kind of friendship.

The friend ought to exist, and then in the right moment he ought to disappear, and then he should be there again-that is exactly what Nietzsche expected of him, and that of course is the inevitable result if one is identical with the self.

“Be at least mine enemy!”-thus speaketh the true reverence,
which doth not venture to solicit friendship.
If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to
wage war for him: and in order to wage war, one must be capable
of being an enemy.
One ought still to honour the enemy in one’s friend. Canst thou
go nigh unto thy friend, and not go over to him?
In one’s friend one shall have one’s best enemy. Thou shalt be
closest unto him with thy heart when thou withstandest him.”

This is surely very wise and in a way very true, but it is again a truth which is too high.

It is so exaggerated and so paradoxical that it cannot be believed in a human atmosphere of human feeling; the ordinary feeling simply does not stand such a strain.

This is tremendously exaggerated because of the utterly overwrought feeling. ~Zarathustra Seminars, Page 628-629

There you have it, men are not capable of friendship either.
Oh! your poverty, ye men, and your sordidness of soul! As
much as ye give to your friend, will I give even to my foe, and will
not have become poorer thereby.
If he gives to his friend what he gives to his foe, it is a pretty bad bargain.
I would not wish for a friend who gave as much to his foe as he
gave to me.

There is comradeship: may there be friendship!

Thus Spake Zarathustra.

I must say I should prefer comradeship, because that is just and generous
and human above all; I care not at all for a friendship that is such
a hysterical and unvalued thing. You see, this chapter allows us a
rather interesting view into the soul of the neurotic.

Miss Wolff: Of course he tried to have reasons for his projections onto women. He put too much feeling into his men friends so he wanted a woman friend, but she had to be a disciple. He always wanted to be accepted with his ideas. That is of course why it did not work with
women; they didn’t want to be mere disciples.

Prof. Fierz: Did he have any experience with women of society, a worldly friendship?

Prof. Jung: I happen to know a woman who tried to get at him, but I always thought she was trying to catch him just as a cat catches a bird;
she was after his biography.

Miss Wolff: That was Lou Salome; she told him she would be a wonderful disciple; he wrote and tried to give her his ideas.”

Prof .Jung: Well yes, but she had nothing of the sort in her mind, she was trying to catch a bird.

Mrs. Jung: I think one should consider the time in which Nietzsche wrote, I think it was not merely his own psychology. That was the time
when everybody left too much to the persona and did not realize the shadow side, and Nietzsche was the first to point to this background.
In this chapter on friendship, there is a lot of ordinary psychology and I think it was very important that somebody said it. For instance, where he speaks of the woman here, I think it is because she, the anima, represents the relating function, and when he speaks of friendship he must have this function, so he has to bring in this anima psychology here.

Prof. Jung: That is surely true.

He could not form any kind of relation without considering his anima: that is the conditio sine qua non.

Therefore, he had to consider this psychology which was unknown in his days, as you rightly say.

The psychology of the eighties when he wrote Zarathustra consisted of bourgeois ideas, of persona ideas-it was all on the surface-though I should say it was known before that time that man had a shadow.

But the nineteenth century began to forget it because the intellect became so all-powerful through the development of science and technique; consciousness attained to such autonomy that it really could walk off the earth and leave the shadow behind ape a sort of perfect man with perfect ideas-until that whole fantastical show broke down utterly with the world war.

But to the people of that time it was a valid psychology.

Mrs. Jung: Then I also wanted to point out that it appears to be somewhat prophetic, as in Germany now friendship between men plays such a role.

Prof. Jung: Yes, it looks exactly as if Nietzsche had anticipated a great deal of the future of his people, and that he faced problems which
were the problems of his nation.

It is a most remarkable characteristic of modern German psychology that the Puer Aeternus motif plays a much greater role than the anima.

Very characteristic literary manifestations have appeared representing both kinds of psychology.

In the West, Benoit’s L’Atlantide is the most conspicuous example of anima stories, but there are lots of others, such as Rider Haggard’s in the English language.

There are certain anima figures in German literature naturally, but none is any way comparable to the English or French examples.

But one finds there very conspicuous examples of the Puer Aeternus psychology-Das Reich Ohne Raum, the kingdom without space, by Goetz, is the most characteristic one I have come across.

Then that psychology is marvelously organized in the school of Stefan George, the poet, which is imbued with a kind of homosexuality.

For the Puer Aeternus always contains homosexuality, real or imaginary: it is the psychology of the enterprising youth.

The woman only plays a role as wife and mother and appears to be thoroughly unproblematic.

While in the West woman is most problematic, and the friendship between men seems to have attained the unproblematic level-I mean as a social phenomenon, not as a personal problem or phenomenon.

Miss Wolff I think many women have almost a Puer Aeternus psychology; they are men’s comrades or friends, but they are not women,
but sort of boys.

Prof Jung:

Those are more modern developments.

Miss Wolff: Yes, there is a great difference between the women in the time of Nietzsche and women of today.

Mrs. Sigg: It seems to me that Nietzsche had very good friends, at least until he was thirty-five. He wrote Zarathustra in ’83, which was before his friendship with Peter Gast, when of course he was in a terrible state of mind. But before that his relation was very good with Overbeck, and with the two friends of his youth, Wilhelm Pinder and Gustave Krug.

Prof. Jung: If you study those friendships carefully you will see that they were very far away; they wrote nice letters to each other.

Overbeck always handled Nietzsche with gloves; I knew him.

He was a typical, refined historian, a very learned man, and in all his ways exceedingly polite and careful not to touch anything that was hot; he appreciated the great genius in Nietzsche, but the man Nietzsche he handled most carefully.

Of course Nietzsche called anybody a great friend of his, and people were very polite naturally, but they could not touch him.

For instance, I knew a man whom Nietzsche considered one of his great friends.

He was a professor of internal medicine, a highly educated man, very musical, and Nietzsche would often go to his house-one never knew exactly when; he would appear suddenly and sit down at the piano and play for hours on end.

He spoke to nobody and nobody could speak a word to him. And then he went away and said what a nice evening it had been.

Exactly like those two men from the Canton Grison who had not seen one another for twenty years: they said, “Ciao” and made a movement suggesting that they might go to the inn, so they had their wine together and stayed until twelve o’clock, speaking not a word, till when they left one could not help saying, “Wasn’t it a nice evening?”

So if you surrounded Nietzsche with care and let him enjoy himself, you were a great friend, but woe unto you if you had some impulse of your own.

Overbeck was really a loyal friend: he went to Turin when he heard that Nietzsche had gone over the border and fetched him back to Basel; he was the only one who took any care of him.

But in his personal relation I am quite certain that he had to be very careful with him.

So I think those good friendships are doubtful though there was a great deal of appreciation. ~Zarathustra Seminars, 633-637