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Encounters with C. G. Jung: The Journal of Sabi Tauber (1951–1961)


At the turn of the year 1954/55:

For C. G. Jung:

Full of blessings

be your life

in the new year!

And true

may become, please,

that center

in spirit and meaning

where all our hearts dwell within.

For Butzli (Marianne):

Make me truthful

in the new year,

so that I want the same

as you, dear God!

When I visited Jung for the first time in the new year, I was touched by how loving and caring he was.

With increasing eagerness, he proceeded to explain why one shouldn’t be a coward toward life.

“Especially the dark side of life has to be accepted wherever it presents itself; only by having lived and accepted this life completely is one redeemed forever.

And there is only one situation where shirking something is allowed, namely when the burden of being a coward (the knowledge of it) is as great as the ‘holy sin’ one would commit otherwise.”

He said that he himself could not afford to be a coward, because he simply couldn’t stand it.

“I had to accept life. Exactly where one is a coward and shirks from the darkness, incest with one’s children begins. What I don’t do, my children have to do. Sexuality still has a totally different task besides begetting children.”

I had read Elisabeth Haich’s book, lnitiation, and so I asked Jung whether there wouldn’t be a possibility of creating something like a “School of Initiation” within the framework of the Psychology Club.

Jung pondered: “With an outstanding leader, it would most likely be possible, but not without. Perhaps there could have been something like a European ashram, similar to the East, where the disciples gather around a guru – but then I couldn’t have written my books, and I simply had to write them.”

In mid-February he sent the following letter:

Dear Frau Doctor!


Li could give you all the information you need: Care of the cow: female principle of acceptance. (!:J. = sign of the flames!)

The fire serves to raise consciousness (it does not only give heat, but also light.)

It flares up, goes out and comes back.

It is the emotional element without which nothing is really seen and understood.

It gives also you the light to find out which way is your way, if you can only rein in your animus.

He usually advises you the wrong thing.

With kind regards


C.G. Jung

This spring, Jung was healthy and exuberant.

Right then it hit him like a thunderbolt: his wife had to undergo major abdominal surgery.

He had lived so securely in this long-lasting partnership that it came as a real shock.

Thank God, by summer they could both celebrate his 80th birthday with full confidence and quiet happiness.

After the grand celebrations and bestowal of the umpteenth honorary doctorate, they danced a waltz together in their own garden to the music of the village band!

Every once in a while, I had had a dream about Mrs. Jung.

She had been a living example to all of us women of how to love without being possessive, and how to suffer without turning bitter.

She was wonderfully grand!

Because of it, her partner gave her the greatest gift: the path to one’s own God.

At the beginning of the following year she would no longer be with us.

He’ll be carrying it with his wholeness, great and quietly – waiting.

Still, in that healthy, joyful spring I had the following dream: I am in Jung’s garden.

A young, strong elephant came by, saluted Jung reverently with its trunk – and then stood in our way on the stony path that Jung and I wanted to take.

Suddenly I wasn’t quite sure any more whether the elephant was good or bad.

Its keeper gave a warning and then ran away into the darkness.

Jung pulled his sword and yelled: “Padro!” (that was the name of the elephant).

After that, I don’t remember any more whether he stabbed the elephant to death, or whether it followed Jung willingly back into its cage, for I was shrouded in darkness.

Jung’s first question was: “What do you feel when visualizing the elephant?”

I answered: “A lot of power.”

And Jung said: “So that’s the nature of the elephant. Overwhelming power, God-power.

You are confronted with such a power.

In the beginning, it was favorably disposed, but then you doubted whether it was good or bad.

That you should not have done.

You shouldn’t have made such moral considerations – that’s why the power turned negative and evil.

To kill the obstacle (Jung with sword) is to analyze it intellectually.

That is one possibility, but more important is to make oneself invisible (be shrouded in darkness).

Because it is dangerous! One may not provoke this power!

You should have stood there motionless and announced yourself, for example by talking loudly or calling its name.

These are good ‘bush-manners.’

It means to somehow manifest oneself, to emphasize oneself, that is, to liberate

oneself through one’s own activity, to express the present moment, simply to react humanly.

Then it probably would have left.

You were not friendly enough toward this power.

In such a case one has to completely rely on un-reasonableness to be sure to express: ‘yes, I want to realize you!’

That was the reason for the elephant to stand in our way: it wanted to be accepted, integrated.

It is God-power that wants to incarnate.

One has to learn to deal with such a superpower, for it wants to be part of you!

Divinity is caught in its own power of creation, world-creating but blind (an animal, an elephant, for example).

Thus, Job did not know God in the beginning; he did not fathom his power. You are at present under the pressure of the elephant!”

Then Jung gave me a couple of examples concerning ‘bush-manners’: Once he was traveling with an Englishman and an American in Africa.

Both called themselves ‘gentlemen,’ but only the American was: When he was in a bad mood, he stepped out of the tent, came back in and announced loudly, ‘I’m in a bad mood.’

This way everybody knew, himself included, and one could be on guard.

The Englishman said nothing; he simply became unresponsive until the others were angry.

He infected them.

The same goes for infectious diseases: One also says, ‘I have measles.’

A farmer rode his bicycle through the jungle, on a steep descent around a curve.

Suddenly an elephant stood in his way.

The farmer had way too much speed to be able to stop abruptly.

In desperation, he sounded his horn (an instinctive move) – and the elephant took a leap sideways into the forest.

The farmer had ‘announced’ himself, had expressed himself.

Jung’s friend since childhood, Albert Oeri, was known to be very entertaining and witty in social occasions.

For that very reason he was once invited to a fancy party (expected to be the entertainer).

Noticing it, he simply could not say a thing anymore.

Throughout dinner, the atmosphere was cold and stiff.

Suddenly he said into the  dreadful silence, “I still don’t have an idea!”

(meaning, he was aware of his inner situation and expressed it).

Everyone laughed and the ice was broken!

Jung continued: In this way one can liberate oneself from the pressure of an overwhelming power.

At present, you are under such pressure. (The reason for the car accident in Bivio!)

The elephant forces you into an unusual situation, so you can get to know and prove yourself.

Only in life-endangering situation can one see what one is capable of.

Just don’t fail, by all means, and don’t ruin God’s “game of incarnation” with nonsense or sexual adventures!

To prove oneself in the fire!

In civilized, everyday life there is no opportunity for that.

But everyday life and daily chores are like eating and drinking.

We need that, otherwise we die, and God cannot incarnate himself.

He can’t do it on unhealthy grounds – not in folly and stupidity.

Without the reality of everyday life, the plant of eternity cannot grow and thrive.

It wants to grow in this world, here and now. God himself wants to grow!

Surely, through my encounter with Jung, something is growing within me.

But I must not keep pulling and tugging at it, otherwise it cannot root firmly, and it will die.

Jung: This need to always do and accomplish something is Western extraversion and is wrong!

Something can also be made in the dark, and it grows by itself.

This is your practice now, because you are so active and impulsive, namely to do nothing, to endure, to let it grow in the dark.

There is no need for “sins,” that is a stupid idea.

Live as if you had a hundred years to waste.  That equals the realization of eternity.

So, I had to realize my feelings, to express them as best I could.

Through my experiences with Jung I receive my individuality; I recognize myself in them and become myself.

(Now I understand why he loves Goethe’s poem, The God and the Bayadere so much!)

My everyday life got a new face.

But it remains difficult to weave it into a worthy cloth for eternity.

For if I drown in my daily chores, I become “senselessly unhappy” – there must be free time, not just for “happiness,” but also for “meaningful suffering.”

Fig. 18: Sitting by the well.

Out of light and bitter juice

made into a tree,

thus I root deep in the earth,

with every leaf and branch a “becoming.”

I long for sun and wind –

come, move across my leaves

and call me your child. Juppa, Avers-Tai, July 1955

In the mandala of the mountains

I sit deep down at the well,

praying all by myself:

God, do bring back light!

What is, say, “transference”?

a word so gray and cold –

hurt does not stop there –

only where the heart bursts open

and pours into the well,

completely and in its depth,

turning the water crimson –

such great distress –

and yet, not dead?

No, I must live, doubly strong!

And my wound, deep in the marrow?

Does it create this life?

Is it the source of heaven and hell?

In hot and cold

grow old!

and perhaps quietly

a bit wise so as to thank the far-away —

which brought the luminous stars

in the depth of night

to shine. ~Saba Tauber, Saba Tauber: Encounters with Jung, Page 81-88