Carl Gustav Jung, 1875-1961 : A Memorial Meeting, New York, December 1, 1961

F.S. C. NORTHROP PRECIS 1

The two most important developments of our century have occurred in mathematical physics with Planck and Einstein and their successors and in psychoanalytic psychology with Freud and Jung.

Freud’s original genius consisted in the discovery that people can be sick, not merely because of the usual biologically hereditary and infectious causes, but also because of inner conflicts which may not appear in normal conscious awareness but are hidden in the patient’s so-called unconscious.

It is perhaps not an overt exaggeration to say that Freud went on, without experimentally confirmable justification, to find the source of such inner conflicts largely, if not completely, in biologically sexual factors and the failure of the conventional customs of society to give such a biological source of the conflict ample expression.

The genius of Jung consists in the discovery that the inner conflicts and resultant sickness of a patient can arise from any incompatible moral imperatives whatever and that culturally conditioned moral imperatives may be more at the root of a patient’s submerged inner conflicts than are biological stimuli.

Put more concretely, what this means is that cultural anthropology, rather than sexually overemphasized biology, is, in some cases at least, the cause of a patient’s sickness or disease.

This happens to be a scientific theory which can be experimentally confirmed by the quite independent data of other scientists, namely, the cultural anthropologists.

Such independent confirmation has, in the observer’s judgment, never been given for the Freudian, heavily biologically laden, speculative hypothesis.

Jung’s connection of the source of inner conflict within a patient with the independent data of cultural anthropology occurred when his psychoanalytic methods elicited from the patient’s unconscious the mandala, which cultural anthropologists find to be the key symbol of the ancient Aryans of India.

This essential connection between Jung’s analytical psychology and comparative cultural anthropology needs to be further pursued.

There are reasons for believing that none of us will be whole and healthy persons until the old, inadequate and conflicting, most deeply scientific and metaphysical beliefs that are fighting one another inside us are transcended or sublimated under a freshly creative and consistent philosophy of both what is and what ought to be. ~F.S.C. Northrup, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961   Page 39-40

  1. Professor Northrop’s address was a greatly expanded version of this precis.

 

ARNOLD J. TOYNBEE: A MESSAGE

When I read some of Dr. Jung’s writings for the first time I felt as if a new dimension had been added to my picture of the world.

This first feeling of mine has been confirmed by further study.

What I find particularly inspiring in all Dr. Jung’s work is the way he brings out the same fundamental elements of human psychology in many different contexts which might seem, at first sight, to be unrelated to each other.

An acquaintance, however inadequate, with Dr. Jung’s thought cannot fail, I should say, to enlarge and clarify one’s vision of human nature and human affairs. ~Arnold J. Toynbee, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 41

JOHN M. BILLINSKY

Pascal believed that the virtue of man should be measured, not by his extraordinary accomplishments, but by his whole life as he lived it from day to day.

Much in the same spirit, Longfellow bade us to remember that Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time.

Tonight it is given to us to look back on the life of Carl Gustav Jung and, with our faulty vision, to note the footprints he has left-footprints that we, like Longfellow’s Forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.1

With a great intellectual and religious heritage, Jung chose a way of life that was to be marked by unfailing respect for man and for man’s capacity to achieve wholeness.

For Jung, the honesty and intellectual integrity of man always remained sacred, never to be violated.

In spite of a growing knowledge of the weaknesses and frailties of humanity, Jung’s fundamental faith in man never wavered.

Rather than make dogmatic assertions about man and his nature, Jung chose to pursue truth as he saw it, believing that “truth can always stand on its own and that only opinions that have shaky foundations require the prop of dogmatizing.”

For Jung, the search for truth became the way of life, and each day offered a new opportunity to see that truth-or aspects of it-in a new dimension.

Of him it could be said: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Independent in thought and dignified in his relations with others, Jung lived a life of truth and honesty.

Knowing the light and the darkness, the light that is in the darkness and the darkness that is in the light, he won the devotion of countless men and became a power in their lives.

Because of Jung many came to know something of the mysteries of the universe and of man’s nature, for he had the gift of putting the most profound observation and the most erudite reflection of the wise into the simple language of a scholar.

With the temper of a scientist, this quality of mind, and an instinct for the mystery of life, Jung gave himself to the quest of the undiscovered self.

His mind was not only inquisitive and insistent but also patient and persistent, and was always oriented toward the future.

Again and again Jung would remind us: “In the past nothing can be altered, and in the present little, but the future is ours and capable of raising life’s intensity to the highest pitch.”2

The future that is ours to shape has its beginning, he believed, in our readiness to accept ourselves as we are.

Jung was convinced that nothing is more fruitless than to speak of the way things ought to be and nothing more important, if we are to achieve wholeness, than to deal with ourselves in the midst of things as they are.

Such wholeness is not a matter of quantity but of quality; for what may appear to be a fragment may in reality be the most meaningful thing on earth.

There was wonderful alchemy in Jung’s soul that worked wonders with those who invaded his study or with whom he was brought into contact by chance or circumstance.

He gave from his heart, and those whose natures he touched often responded in kind. Indeed, it was difficult not to respond when, with his characteristic enthusiasm and eloquence, he would say: “the most immediate effect of the discovered self is not that the mysteries of heaven are revealed but that we ourselves arerevealed to ourselves.

Our strengths and weaknesses, our beliefs and unbeliefs, our greatness as children of God and our smallness as children of man come into recognition, and we stand at once humbled and strengthened in the presence of the very God Himself.”

This was not mere rhetoric, for Jung believed that the spiritual life in man was of the same jet as the spiritual life in God.

He never ceased to believe in the significance of man’s religious experience.

“No matter what the world thinks about religious experience,” he wrote, “the one

who has it possesses a great treasure, a thing that has become for him a source of life, meaning, and beauty, and that has given a new splendor to the world and to mankind.”

Jung’s quest to learn more and more about man’s nature, purpose, and, destiny never ended, even though his sensitiveness to, and knowledge of, man’s nature enabled him to take a thousand seeds of the past and plant them in a soil of the present, a soil that without this sowing would never have fostered the finest flowerings of man’s knowledge about himself.

Jung’s entire life was determined, not so much by things as they are, as by his vision of the way to completeness; not so much by his possessions, as by his dreams.

There was about him a quality of timelessness, for his life was lived in the dimensions of the Eternal.

Our lives are much richer because he lived, much wiser because he taught, and much more hopeful because he left us a legacy of hope. ~John M. Billinsky, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 42-45

  1. H. W. Longfellow, “A Psalm of Life.”
  2. C. G. Jung, “Some Crucial Points in Psychoanalysis: A Correspondence between Dr. Jung and Dr. Loy,” Coll. Works, Vol. 4 (London and New York, 1961), p. 289.
  3. C. G. Jung, “Psychology and Religion,” Coll. Works, Vol. 11 (London and New York, 1958), p. 105.