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999 encounters

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


Perhaps I’m getting better at living through the storms within my heart, while all around me, the waves are subsiding.

“To suffer because of others” certainly hurts, but it also leaves a vague feeling of impotence and insincerity.

“To suffer oneself” is not easier, but it gives dignity and a chance to act. It is experienced as essential, right, central.

One day in March, with a heart in turmoil, I sat vis-a-vis Jung, his face lit by the evening sun.

It seemed deeply akin to me, known since times immemorial.

For a while, though, I was unable to summon up the courage to talk honestly about what was on my mind, until I heard Jung’s encouragement, “Just say everything straight out, as essential as you can be!”

My question nevertheless must have sounded rather shy and a bit nebulous, but his answer was unequivocal and courageous:

“What is right in the first, biological phase of life is not right in the second, other phase of life.

There is a total reversal in values.

If values and perspectives don’t change, a neurosis will surely develop at forty, midlife.

A complete transformation has to take place, lest there be death.

The passage to the second phase starts at the darkest end.

Men, for example, generally believe that it starts with sexuality (brothels are sustained by married men).

But the development in the second phase must lead to the great eras that holds the human community together (which is transpersonal, not personal).

Men get hypnotized only by the sexual character of this eros, but it’s not sexual at all.

If someone still tries to solve the problem on the sexual plane, he ends up in a depression because he missed the meaning.

A man has to serve his anima (La maittresse) like a knight, just as the animus should

serve the woman and not dominate her!

Then both are redeemed.

In the case of identification, the servant (animus) has become master and vice versa.

Animus and anima are true half-gods.

If a man comes to feel his anima, he has to stop and say to himself: ‘Still, be quiet, the goddess is present!’

He has to go into submission and be committed to her.

But if a man has only cursed and suppressed his anima, then of course she remains inferior, dull, and stupid.

He has, then, to make her aware of her unconsciousness!

A woman who cannot include her soul in intercourse is mere anatomy.

Women must have an enormous claim.

Sexual intercourse in the second phase of life can oftentimes feel deeply humiliating for the wife in a marriage, if she functions as the legitimate prostitute of her husband.

One must see it absolutely as it is.

The real marriage begins where adultery seems to take place.

At that point a true, real relationship may begin, actual love begins!

If nothing is there, the marriage has no value.

If one partner loves someone outside the marriage, it is his very own, personal business, perhaps following his innermost law.

No special ‘gestures’ are needed, like touching, sexual intercourse etc.; they do not matter.

The subjective inner truth is the absolute essence (independent of gestures); that is the innermost freedom.

This problem reaches everybody who has a claim to spirituality – precisely because it means spiritual growth.”

Then I asked, what actually is a depression?

Jung answered: “Whoever is standing too high is, in fact, depressed, that is, his expectations of himself are too high and he is living in the clouds instead of down to earth.

He has to come down and see himself in the lowliest role.

If it is a man, he has to let himself be employed as the servant of his anima.

Face-to-face with a woman of value he must be aware of his own unworthiness, otherwise instinct does not live within the relationship.

For example, at a party I may think of myself as the distinguished ‘Herr Professor’ and all

the ladies behave perfectly (none of them will suddenly jump at my throat!)

But if I am at the same time aware of my humanness, of my gorilla-nature, then instinct is alive too, is a reality that lives within, alongside.

Body means reality. Sometimes the body is an abyss and one gets engulfed, while spirit flutters around by itself like a butterfly.

A dangerous separation ensues that leads to death, for one lives outside of reality. Vitality in its fullest is experienced when one lives totally within the body and with the body!

Every spiritual progress includes a better connection to the body. (Yoga!)

An earthly union wants to form.

Without connection to the body, spiritual progress is simply nonsense. Where a soulful connection exists, we should think: ‘Beware, you are in higher presence!’

A God or a Goddess is present.

It doesn’t matter who it is.

It is a sacred mystery that belongs wholly to oneself. It is pure experience, and the freedom of the soul!”

It was precisely what I experienced right then and there, during this sacred hour of the evening.

It was so strong that I felt like bursting.

I simply had to cry.

Jung said calmly, “As your husband I wouldn’t understand your tears.

I would get angry, just as I did with my wife, because, as husband, I couldn’t satisfy that claim.

These tears don’t come from being sad, but from being alive, and from the presence of

the god and the goddess.

It is a claim of the soul, a soul-connection, which I can satisfy now because I’m not your husband, but a god.

Your husband can’t do this, because he satisfied your biological needs of the first part of your life.

Soul-connections outside the marriage are absolutely legitimate in the second half of life.

I told him how there were moments now when I would feel life very intensely, as if before I had never really lived.

“This is the joy of one re-born,” he said softly into the serene peace of the evening.

In the middle of May, Jung brought his mana for the second time into our home, making himself available for an evening with us and our closest circle of friends.

Our house was filled with joy and expectation long ahead of the event.

We all, adults and children alike, cleaned up our own rooms and then the whole house, as if in preparation for a very special ‘holy day.’

He felt it.

His eyes were radiant, and the magic of his words filled our hearts with a sacred fire.

He sat in Ernst Jung’s ‘grandfather chair’, which Lotti had fetched with a handcart.

Our friend Peter brought his favorite wine.

There were colorful flowers and candles everywhere.

Those who had the courage to ask open and honest questions were greatly rewarded.

We all listened with rapt attention. ~Saba Tauber, Saba Tauber: Encounters with Jung, Page 100 -102