On March 24, 1925, Zurich. Cary Baynes noted:
Yesterday began the new order, that is to say, the first of the seminars. these latter like the ancient wars as described in
the school text-books, have their immediate and their remote cause, of which the former is luminously set out in Jung’s circular letter.
It is said that when Miss Corrie received said letter she felt as though her father had died.
There was general weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth among the faithful, but rejoicing from this of the “Four Winds.” as i have had only two analytical hours since the first of December, it seemed a golden opportunity.
We meet Mondays and Thursdays from 4.30 to 6 P.M. in the rooms at gemeinde Strasse.2
Yesterday there were present the following: dr. Shaw, dr. Kay (aet. 28, hailing from Australia, seen by me for the first time, and notes as being very nice looking), Miss Sergeant, Kristine Mann, dr. Ward, dr. Gordon, Beckwith, (looking as though stung by a bee convinced that the seminars mean the loss of his hour with Jung, which they do not but his anima was holding him to the conviction as long as possible),
Murray (aet. 32, lately arrived from Cambridge, England, but sometime from the a.s.a.p.—came with 60 questions, and has understood the Types—stammers to the Queen’s taste, much more attractively than i do—chemist by profession, owns a piece of wilderness in Vermont whither he hopes to lure Jung for a conference, when told of California replied that the latter was unsuitable because it had a future and that after the site of the conference was chosen within two weeks an apartment house would be built, Vermont on the other hand would be the same 80 years hence—this was thought by me to be a conservative estimate.
I think he might have said 800), Aldrich, Mrs. Dunham (Chicago), myself, Miss Hincks and Miss Corrie. in this order we sat around the walls and looked wise.
Jung said he would begin with a historical review of analytical psychology, and that we would then put in whatever questions we might have as we did at Cornwall, and he would select the one’s suitable for discussion.
I reminded him there that we had agreed upon a general theme, (transference), and asked if he would choose the theme now.
He said he would not, preferred to have us talk about what we were interested in just as we would in a personal analysis. dr. Shaw said she wanted to know something more about the principle of enantiodromia—more than was given in the Schiller chapter.
Go to it, said Jung, or words to that effect, but formulate it in a question.
Mr. Aldrich said he would like to hear Jung develop his philosophy of life, and that the people who were planning to practice analysis could reserve their questions for their private hours with him.
I protested at that and said some of us were not having any such, and would be very disappointed if the seminar was not a liberal opportunity.
Whereupon Jung said that Aldrich was only mustering out his horns against the preponderating female element, at which there were loud cheers.
From Aldrich’s put upon tone, you could have supposed he had suffered terribly from people who were going to practice analysis.
Jung said that as to his discussing his philosophy of life, that was much too big a mouthful and that Aldrich would have to break it up into questions, then Miss Corrie protested against a historical review, saying she would rather have something from himself.
I was glad she said that, because i too, thought he planned to go over the introduction he had given us at Cornwall, and that would have been a pity, but he meant something very different, he meant the course of the development of his own ideas of analysis, and that of course was a theme we all welcomed.
He said he was always being impressed with the width of the field that analytical psychology embraced, and so he thought it useful if one had a sort of view of that field, and then he began his talk, which as far as i am able i will give in his own words because then perhaps will come back some of the vivid quality of Cary Baynes’s vivid account of the good-humored commencement of these seminars breaks off here.
The audience, clearly, had no inkling of what Jung was about to present.
But before turning to this, we need to look at Jung’s situation in 1925.
Jung in 1925
In 1921, Psychological Types had appeared, to widespread acclaim.
The English edition appeared in 1923 and received many laudatory reviews.
In a two-page spread in the New York Times Book Review, Mark Isham concluded: “this volume is drastically serious, positive, didactic, classic, and yet more than stimulating. it is energizing, liberating and recreative.
The author shows an amazingly sympathetic knowledge of the introvert of the thinking type, and hardly less for the other types. . . . Jung has revealed the inner kingdom of the soul marvelously well and has made the signal discovery of the value of phantasy.
His book has a manifold reach and grasp, and many reviews with quite different subject matter could be written about it.”
In terms of publications, the period following Psychological Types up to the present seminar was one of the quietest in Jung’s career.
The year 1921 saw the publication of a contribution to a symposium at the British Psychological Society, “the Question of the therapeutic Value of ‘abreaction’”; 1922 saw the publication of a lecture to the Society for German language and literature in Zurich, “on the relation of analytical Psychology to literary artworks.”10 15.
Uncharacteristically for him, there were no new publications in 1923 and 1924.
This may be not unconnected with the fact that his mother died in January 1923.
Two articles appeared in 1925, the publication of a 1923 summary paper on “psychological types” delivered at the international Congress of education in territet, Switzerland, and a contribution to Count Hermann Keyserling’s edited volume on marriage, “Marriage as a Psychological relation.”
The center of gravity of Jung’s creativity was clearly elsewhere, namely, in the transcription of Liber Novus, the Red Book, and in the commencement of the building of his tower at Bollingen, on the upper shores of lake Zurich.
The genesis of the work may be briefly stated. in the winter of 1913, Jung deliberately gave free rein to his fantasy thinking and carefully noted what ensued. he later called this process active imagination.
He wrote down these fantasies in the Black Books.
These are not personal diaries, but rather the records of a self experimentation.
The dialogues that form these active imaginations can be regarded as a form of thinking in a dramatic form.
When the First World War broke out, Jung considered that a number of his fantasies were precognitions of this event.
This led him to compose the first draft manuscript of Liber Novus, which consisted in a transcription of the main fantasies from the Black Books, together with a layer of interpretive commentaries and lyrical elaboration.
Here, Jung attempted to derive general psychological principles from the fantasies, as well as to understand to what extent the events portrayed in the fantasies presented, in a symbolic form—developments that were to occur in the world. the work, though never published during Jung’s lifetime, was intended for publication.
The overall theme of the work is how Jung refound his soul and overcame the contemporary malaise of spiritual alienation.
This is ultimately achieved through enabling the rebirth of a new image of god in his soul and developing a new worldview in the form of a psychological and theological cosmology.
Liber Novus presents the prototype of Jung’s conception of the individuation process.
The material went through a number of drafts, and was then recopied by Jung in an ornate gothic script into a large red leather folio volume, to which he added historiated initials, ornamental borders, and a substantial number of paintings.
Jung had completed the manuscript of the first two parts of Liber Novus in 1915, and the third part, “Scrutinies,” in 1917.
Thereafter, he was engaged in its painstaking transcription.
The paintings initially started out as illustrations of the fantasies in the text, and thereafter could be considered active imaginations in their own right, at times referring to contemporaneous fantasies in Jung’s Black Books.
Jung abruptly broke off the transcription around 1930.
By January 1921, he had reached page 127 of the calligraphic volume, and by august 1925 he had reached the end of page 156.
In 1920, he purchased some land on the upper shores of lake Zurich in Bollingen. he felt the need to represent his innermost thoughts in stone and to build a completely primitive dwelling:
“Bollingen was a great matter for me, because words and paper were not real enough. i had to put down a confession in stone.”
The tower was a “representation of individuation.” over the years, he painted murals and made carvings on the walls.
The tower may be regarded as a three-dimensional continuation of Liber Novus: its “Liber Quartus.”
In 1924 and 1925, the publication of the work seems to have been one of the foremost issues in Jung’s mind.
At the beginning of 1924, he asked Cary Baynes to make a fresh typed transcription of the text and discussed with the issue of publishing the work.
She noted in her diary:
So then you said i was to copy down the contents of the red Book—once before you had had it copied, but you had since then added a great deal of material, so you wanted it done again and you would explain things to me as i went along, for you understood nearly everything in it you said. In this way we could come to discuss many things which never came up in my analysis and i could understand your ideas from the foundation.
At the same time Jung discussed the form of a possible publication with his colleague, Wolfgang Stockmayer.
In 1925, Peter Baynes made a translation of the Septem Sermones ad Mortuous, which was privately published by Watkins in England.
While engaged on the transcription, Cary Baynes urged Jung to do a seminar on the work. in her diary, she noted:
When i asked Baynes if he would not like a seminar on the red Book i had nothing other in mind than what you were doing with him. Since i began to read it i have thought it would be a very fine thing, if instead of your discussing it with me as you said you would, Mona Lisa should be included too. Perhaps she knows all that is in it so well, and understands it so completely that this would not appeal to her, but i thought it would . . . he [Peter Baynes] asked me . . .why it was such a problem with me about publishing the red Book. i could have slapped him sharply by saying it was a problem to me because you had so presented it . . . then you told him your own idea about it, and he was thoroughly non-plussed. . . . When i said i wanted to hear you speak of the red Book out of doors and you willed to think i had in mind a pink tea, i struck back at you in kind, and said that if the red Book was not big enough to be talked about out of doors, then you would have to do something about it.
It is not known whether such seminars took place. however, it is likely that these discussions played a role in Jung’s decision to decide to speak openly in public for the first time about his self experimentation and some of the fantasies in Liber Novus.
During this period, Jung withdrew from the Psychological Club, which he had founded in 1916.
On November 25, 1922, he, together with Emma Jung and Toni Wolff, left the Club.
During the period of Jung’s withdrawal from the Club, he gave his seminar series in Polecat, Cornwall, England, in July 1923.
In the previous year, the analytical Psychology Club in London had been founded.
The seminar was organized by Peter Baynes and Esther Harding, and twenty-nine people attended.
The seminar had two main themes—the technique of analysis and the historical psychological effects of Christianity.
During this period, an increasing number of people from England and America made their way to Zurich to work with Jung, forming an informal expatriate group.
On august 22, 1922, Jaime de Angulo wrote to Chauncey Goodrich issuing “a challenge to all brother-neurotics—go, my brethren, go to the Mecca, i mean to Zürich, and drink from the fountain of life, all ye who are dead in your souls, go and seek new life.”
On April 30, 1923, there was an initiative from Eugen Schlegel that the Club should try to involve Jung again. a correspondence ensued later that year between Jung and Alphonse Maeder in this regard.
Jung’s position was that he would only return if his collaboration was clearly and unanimously desired.
Within the Club, there was heated discussion concerning this.
For example, on October 29, 1923, von Mural contended that Jung used people for his personal ends, that personal relations were difficult with him unless one accepted his theories, and that his attitude toward people wasn’t one of an analyst, and so on.
One can imagine Jung’s response to finding himself in a situation in which an institution he had founded, based on his vision, was being taken to other destinations, while he was being cast in the role of an obstructive patriarch.
In February 1924, Hans trüb stepped down as president of the Club, and a letter was sent to Jung asking him to return, which he did a month later.
Later that year, Jung commenced giving a three-part lecture in German on the psychology of dreams (November 1, December 8, February 21, 1925) followed by a discussion on May 23, 1925.24
It is significant to note that while the present English-language seminars were held at the Psychological Club, they were not officially “Club seminars”—no mention of them is found in the Club minutes or annual report, and of the fifty-two members and three guests of the Club in 1925, only a handful attended them.
Jung had commenced Psychological Types by commenting on the subjective conditioning of knowledge, the “personal equation.”
He noted that in psychology, conceptions “will always be a product of the subjective psychological constellation of the investigator.”
Recognizing the effects of the personal equation, which constituted the subjective determination of knowledge, constituted the precondition for the scientific appraisal of other individuals.
In this seminar, Jung spoke candidly of his personal equation—not of his biography as such, but of his orientation, the formation of his psychological viewpoint, his subjective orientation.
For the first time, he spoke of his psychological type. he began his presentation by indicating that he intended to give a “view” of the” width of the field” of analytical psychology, and began this by sketching the genesis of his own conceptions, commencing with when he became preoccupied with issues to do with the unconscious.
Strikingly in contrast to the Freudocentric presentations of his work, Jung did not then move directly to this association with Freud, but to his prior readings of Schopenhauer and von Hartmann and involvement with spiritualism, thus situating his work within a completely different intellectual and experiential trajectory from that of Freud.
Jung made clear that it was only after having formed his initial conceptions of the unconscious and the libido and having made his mark through his experimental researches in psychopathology that he came into contact with Freud.
While he felt that he independently confirmed some of Freud’s theories, he maintained reservations right from the start. in his published work, Jung had indicated his theoretical differences with Freud.
Here, he spoke candidly of their relationship for the first time, and of Freud’s personal shortcomings—his dishonesty concerning his cases, his inability to take criticism, and finally, placing his own authority above truth.
This formed Jung’s first response to Freud’s ad hominem account of their relation in his on the history of the Psychoanalytic Movement in 1914.
Jung then noted powerful dreams that Freud was unable to understand correctly, which gave him a new sense of the autonomy of the unconscious.
He then came to realize that in Transformations and Symbols of the Libido (1912), he had been analyzing his own fantasy function.
Consequently, he set about to do this in a more systematic manner.
Jung then narrated his visions on the way to Schaffhausen in October 1913, which, after the outbreak of the war, he took to be precognitive and the commencement of his active imaginations.
He focused on his dialogues with his soul in the autumn of 1913, his first visual descent on December 12, his dream of slaying Siegfried on December 18, and his encounters with Elijah and Salome shortly thereafter.
In sum, the period of his self-experimentation, which Jung covered in the seminar, ran from October to December 1913, which forms the basis of the first part of Liber Novus, Liber Primus.
Coupled with discussion, this forms the main body of this seminar. this was the first and indeed the only time in which Jung spoke in public about this material.
Significantly, however, while narrating these episodes, Jung never directly referred to Liber Novus, which would clearly have aroused great curiosity.
The seminar can be considered an experiment in presenting analytical psychology in the first person voice, with his own “case” as the clearest example of his theories.
At the same time, he pointedly told his audience, “i have told you a very great deal, but do not assume that i have told you all!”
His presentation here went some way toward answering Cary Baynes’s request for a seminar on Liber Novus, and it is possible that Jung was interested in viewing the audience’s response in connection with the question of his deliberations concerning publishing the work.
Jung’s discussion of these episodes by no means replicates his commentary on them in the second layer of Liber Novus, and can be considered a third layer of commentary.
As opposed to the lyrical and evocative language of the second layer of Liber Novus, Jung here employs his psychological concepts—to be more precise, he attempts to show how he derived his psychological concepts from his reflections upon these encounters.
As he tellingly noted, “i drew all of my empirical material from my patients, but the solution of the problem i drew from the inside, from my observations of the unconscious processes.”
At the same time, his presentation served a pedagogical function. the audience was largely composed of people he was working with, and we may presume that the practice of active imagination played a key part in their work.
Thus he was in effect using his own material as a teaching exemplar, showing how his personal psychological typology was portrayed and played out in his fantasies, how he encountered and came to terms with the figures of the anima and wise old man, and the genesis of the transcendent function as a resolution of the conflict of the opposites.
In addition, a significant part of the discussion in the seminar centered on the significance of modern art and how it could be understood psychologically.
The question of situating his own creative work appears to have been in the background of Jung’s mind.
After the presentation and discussion of his material, Jung then presented a generalized schema showing how such figures could be understood.
From a historical perspective, one may regret that the participants did not press Jung into presenting and commenting on more of his personal material.
The seminar concluded with a class assignment, in which the participants were asked to study three popular novels dealing with the theme of the anima, rider Haggard’s She, Benoît’s L’Atlantide, and Meyrink’s das grüne Gesicht (the green Face).
At the request of the class, a work dealing with the animus, Marie hay’s The Evil Vineyard, was substituted for Meyrink’s work.
As Jung put it, the purpose of this exercise was to give him “a good idea of what you have gained from these lectures.”
This was not the first time that Jung had turned to popular writings to illustrate his work.
The fifth chapter of Psychological Types featured his analysis of the Swiss author Carl Spitteler’s novel, Prometheus and Epimetheus.
Spitteler had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1919.
Published in 1887, rider Haggard’s She continued to be a best seller.
The production of a silent film based on the novel, for which rider haggard wrote the film’s intertitles, was completed in 1925.
The utilization of popular novels served the function of demonstrating the fact that the psychological dynamics at play within the individuation process were by no means a purely esoteric affair.
A few weeks following the conclusion of this seminar on July 6, Jung went to England to deliver another English-language seminar series in Swanage, in Dorset, between July 25 and august 7.
The seminar was organized again by Peter Baynes and Esther Harding.
The subject was dream analysis, and around one hundred participants attended.
Jung commenced by presenting a history of dream interpretation and followed this with an analysis of a series of dreams in a fifty-three-year-old widow.
Cary Baynes took notes of the seminar, and soon after the seminar, there was discussion concerning the possible publication of the notes, which seems to have first been proposed by dr. Harriet Ward.
In a diary entry of September 26, 1925, Cary Baynes wrote an account of some of these deliberations:
After talking with Emma about the notes and finding that her reaction to the printing of them is just what my own was, all my resistances to that idea have now come back upon me very strongly, and i would like to put the matter before you once more.
I think those lectures you gave last spring are the most important thing that has happened in psychology in this century, because in them you give the passage of an idea from its place in nature as an archetype, to the position of an abstraction, or a concept, the last refinement of human ingenuity, you might say.
Such a thing has never ever even been dreamed of in the world before, much less done, and therefore i think those lectures ought to be treated in a way that befits the importance of their content.
But you will say, what better way is there of treating them than having them printed?
But i think the printing of them just exactly falsifies them in a very painful way.
It is generally accepted that when a thing is printed it is to be looked upon as in a more or less permanent form, but those notes are in no form at all, they could not be, and do not profess to be more than a schematic rehearsal of what you said.
They partake of the nature of the sculptor’s ébauche [mock up] in clay, and as such they have magic, but as soon as they are forced into something they are not, the magic goes out of them and they go flat.
Moreover, when you make something with spoken words, you can build extraordinary structures in a short space of time, but when it comes to the written or rather the printed word, the structures have to have visible foundations under them if they are to carry, that is in the field of science.
Now all three series of lectures, Swanage, those here, and Cornwall, are filled with fugitive thoughts that flew with sureness when you spoke them, but go limping across the pages of the notes with only half a wing power.
If you wrote them they would fly again, but as notes they won’t, and so it is another reason i think they ought not to be presented with the formality that printing gives them.
They should be kept just as they are, rough laboratory material, until such time as you will work up the ideas in them into a book which you will undoubtedly do in the course of time.
The best way to keep them in their place seems to be to have them mimeographed and given only to members of the class with a half a dozen exceptions such as Baynes, Shaw and a few others like that. . . . last spring when i talked to you about it, you would look at it only as a harmless phantasy of Ward’s, this printing idea.
I have no doubt you thought the same thing when Hinkle proposed translating the Wand lung [transformations and Symbols of the libido], but look how far from harmless that phantasy proved to be!
One can imagine the impact that these seminars, with their level of detail concerning Jung’s self-experimentation, would have had had they been published at that time.
Cary Baynes perceptively highlighted the most striking aspect of the seminars, namely the manner in which Jung’s account provided a unique window into the creative process, through charting the sequence from the emergence of his fantasies, to his reflections upon them, to their end result in the form of psychological abstractions in a new conception of human psychology.
Cary Baynes’s proposal concerning the limited distribution of the seminars was adopted.
Jung took the notes with him for review when he left for his trip to Africa.
On October 19, he wrote to her “off Lisbon”: “i faithfully worked through the notes as you will see.
I think they are as a whole very accurate.
Certain lectures are even fluent, namely those which you could not stop your libido from flowing in.”
Jung’s close check of the text of this seminar distinguishes it from the notes of most of his other seminars, and assures their reliability.
From her distribution list of the first fifty copies, in addition to those who attended the seminar, copies were given to the following:
Dr. Peter Baynes, Mrs. Sigg, Chauncey Goodrich, Miss von Surry, Mrs. Folkstyle, Professor Vodaz, dr. James young, dr. Irma Putnam, dr. Elizabeth Whitney, dr. Wolfgang Kranefeldt, Mrs. Altherr, Miss n. Taylor, Frances Wickes, Wilfred lay, dr. Helen Shaw, Willard Durham, dr. Adela Wharton, Miss M. Mills, and the Psychological Club.
Following the preparation of the seminar notes, while Jung was in Africa, Cary Baynes returned to her work transcribing Liber Novus.
After his return from Africa in April 1926, he took up again his work transcribing Liber Novus into the calligraphic volume.
However, from this point until he left off the transcription in 1930 (before taking it up one last time in the late 1950s), there are only ten full text calligraphic pages, two complete paintings (the “window unto eternity” and “golden castle” mandalas and one unfinished painting)
In 1926, Jung published The unconscious in the Normal and Sick Life of the Soul: An overview of the Modern Theory and Method of Analytical Psychology.
This was a revision of his 1917 book, The Psychology of the unconscious Processes: An overview of the Practice and Theory of Analytical Psychology.
The main changes between this edition and the second edition of 1918 was the revision of the material on psychological types, an expansion and revision of the discussion of the unconscious, together with additional material on individuation and psychotherapy.
In 1928 he published The Relations between the I and the unconscious, and a greatly revised and expanded version of his 1916 article, “the Structure of the unconscious.”
The chapters on the confrontation with the anima, animus, and mana personality elaborate some of his presentation in the present seminar, citing rider Haggard’s and Benoît’s books, without presenting any of the personal background.
When Jung published three of his paintings from Liber Novus in his commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower in 1929 as examples of “European mandalas,” they were presented anonymously.
Henceforth, Jung would eschew the first person voice, either in the form of his presentation in this seminar or through a publication of Liber Novus.
In the late 1950s, when Aniela Jaffé was engaged in her biographical project that resulted in Memories, dreams, Reflections, she raided sections of this seminar to supplement the material from her interviews with Jung, in particular, Jung’s discussion of his relation with Freud and of his self-experimentation, in her chapter on his “confrontation with the unconscious.”
Unfortunately, the manner in which the material was combined and sequenced in this chapter makes it impossible to establish a clear chronology of this period and loses the coherence of the discussion in this seminar.
It also did not distinguish between Jung’s discussion of the material in 1925, when he was still engaged in the transcription and painting, from his subsequent recollections and reflections more than thirty years later.
The foregoing has served to indicate the uniqueness of this seminar in Jung’s canon, which was not widely grasped when it was finally published in 1989.
The publication of Jung’s Liber Novus in 2009 enables it to be read in a new light, and to be seen as an essential companion to that work: a further chapter in his working through of the material and its elaboration into a conceptual form, as well as a pedagogical experiment.
Its unique combination of the personal, historical, and conceptual make it the clearest single-volume introduction to Jung’s psychology.