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999 encounters

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


 Journal Continued October 31, 1956

Half a year has passed. Am I wiser now?

Perhaps a little bit – how else would I deserve the gift of an invitation to visit Jung in Bollingen?

And so, on this last day in October, I’m driving through golden autumn splendor with a solemn mood of celebration.

The car is part of me; I am the golden trees; the people gathering fruit in the fields, that

I am too: A big, sacred harvest!

And yet, perhaps a world war has erupted.

Thank God for the inner world!

As I’m approaching the lake, the sun breaks through the clouds with an intense light – dear radiant sun, warm him well!

He is sitting in his dark den, sipping tea and inviting me to join.

He wants to know the latest news.

Perhaps, he ponders, the extreme tension might gradually discharge in smaller eruptions in the East, hopefully preventing another world war.

Then Jung gives me the tour of the tower, showing me the remodeling he did, the carved stones I haven’t seen yet, while talking about his plan of painting the ceiling.

He is incredibly active – and a real artist!

At last I follow the old man in his heavy wooden clogs up the small trodden stairs to the tower room.

It is warm here and cozy, but the air weighs heavily.

One has the feeling of important things happening here all the time.

He stretches out comfortably in his old, shaky armchair (which, I fear, threatens to break down at any moment), lights the pipe, and looks at me – and under this gaze one is transported at once into the core of the universe, the place where fate is forging the future.

Jung starts speaking: In the second half of life people change.

The eros of a woman becomes masculine, active, almost brutal at times.

The man becomes feminine in his eros, passive, and thus suddenly understands the

feminine psyche; he is longing, expecting, and waiting, like a young woman.

The woman starts to talk “objectively” and to see the things like a man.

He, on the other hand, wants to be sexually “introduced” (ars amandi), but the woman refuses because she doesn’t want to be his mother.

It just doesn’t work anymore; the cogwheels don’t fit together any longer.

It is a very difficult time and one must not become embittered.

The only salvation is insight and an understanding of this transformation.

The man becomes effeminate, almost to a degenerate degree.

The woman experiences a spiritual heightening and is in danger of degenerating into masculinity.

She wants to talk “matter-of-factly,” get to the essence, call things by their true name.

She is seeking a clear religious attitude, “honesty,” and only what has meaning is

important, everything else is nonsense.

The man, on the other hand, loves the twilight; he is seeking to lull in eros, and everything takes on a mystical glow (“0 zarte Sehnsucht, suf3es Hoffen.”)

It seems to be a cruel joke of nature.

The change happens gradually after midlife, which is why the physical aspect of the relationship is no longer essential, like it was in youth.

For the woman, it becomes often meaningless, a waste of time, not essential, not convincing.

Outside the marriage, with another man, it might work for a while, but then the same problem would surface.

Biologically, it is a joke nature has with us, but psychologically the process of maturation is implied.

There is a Persian myth to demonstrate it: After death, man has to go across the bridge Chinvat, which for one person seems wide, for another narrow.

One gets across, another falls into the river; one meets a beautiful maiden on the other side, another an old hag.

It means that the transition is dangerous!

For the “righteous” the transition is not dangerous and he meets a maiden; for the “unrighteous” it is dangerous and he meets an old hag.

Such is the inner meaning for a man who is evolving his feminine side: he realizes his unconscious, nuances of feeling from which he forms a woman (a feeling-infused darkness).

In his youth, the man is clear and determined; he has firm intentions, an enduring will.

He first develops his logos.

The young woman has vague wishes and goals; she lacks differentiation.

She is passive, she adapts to her man.

Her interests are drawn to this and that; she develops her feeling first, and logos comes second.

Man develops his logos first, then it all reverses.

For the woman, increasingly more weight is given to the animus – he forces her to name things, to recognition, the search for meaning, development of logos, lucidity of feeling, spiritual development in general.

The man, through his anima, is driven away from logos into the feminine sphere, has longings for feeling states.

Just look at all those who sit in bars, flirting with the waitresses.

They are looking for Gemutlichkeit – a cozy atmosphere.

This is why alcohol is such a danger, because it induces the longed-for state of non-clarity.

It is perhaps a rather comical outer expression of the man, but, inwardly, ‘it’s the doing of his anima, the carrier of his future.

Then he meets the maiden and not the old hag!

Anima and animus become the carriers of life; man and woman stand still. Hence there are dire consequences if a man hasn’t worked on his anima. He will fall from the [Chinvat-] bridge.

For the woman the animus has the positive, alive energy that gives life its meaning.

The man feels in his anima a transfigured power that creates “ambiance”; she has a motherly aspect wherein he feels contained.

Comprehension! Insight!

If the woman insists on describing everything with words, being overly discriminating, the atmosphere is spoiled.

For him, it has to stay blurred, in the twilight, warm, full of hope and longing.

Jung continues by telling me that he experiences the most meaningful period of his life right here and now, in Bollingen.

Here he leaves the world of thought and intellect behind, and existence becomes timeless.

He forgets who he is, living in relationship with Mother Nature, touching on endlessly profound, enigmatic things without wanting to understand them, only touching.

Being in touch with the trees, the stars, and the water.

Everything has a secret charm, touching on the great depths in man.

But no talking!

He, who earlier in his life aimed so much for clarity and consciousness, now takes great pleasure in not understanding, not clarifying something.

He lets it fly in and out unhindered, while drifting somewhere else.

“That’s usually how women are,” he said.

Earlier he’d had terrible resistance against such fickleness.

Once he sent his wife to town, to go buy little bags for the grapes (so the wasps could no longer get to them), and waited impatiently for her return.

She came back with dust cloths – she had ended up in a fabric store where there weren’t any grape bags, so she thought … He became terribly angry!”

This whole transition, though, is a path we only take reluctantly. This path is, biologically, nonsense; one finds it ridiculous. But woman’s way to clarity and man’s way to twilight, both, are paths into the Bardo; they are mystical paths.

In the / Ching, the woman is presented to the ‘Mountain of the West’ only when she is in clear possession of her logos; conversely, the man only when he has already left all clarity behind and can say, ‘I don’t know.’

(At this point Sabi remembers lectures where she should have gained clarity!)

I’ve already forgotten what I’ve written.

Something has taken me away from it, far away.

I’m living in a semi-bemused twilight and love the not-understanding.

I am no longer aware of my responsibility.

In a way it is a moral defeat, this twilight, and the aversion to clarify it.

I’d like to let everything rest, and this, however, is real progress – inwardly.

There are then women who get on your nerves with their urge for clarity! But this is not necessarily possession!

One absolutely must have first attained a state of clarity.

A man who has always been in a state of confusion will be possessed by his anima and devoured by the Great Mother!

Women, too, are in danger of being possessed by the animus – then they are ridden by an opinionated devil!

Their urge for clarity may get on a man’s nerves.

A strong animus is always a danger; he is god-like! I have had a very strong anima, otherwise I would never have come to psychology.

This is why I had to work in the first place.

Neither would you have come to psychology without your strong animus.

I brought a dream from September 13, 1956 (in brief):

By passing through horse stables I gained access to a mansion.

I had to greet the owner personally.

He was like a god, came very close to me, and wanted to enchant and tempt me with all the pleasures of this world.

But I was not allowed to look at him; I had to fix my gaze on a point at the horizon.

It was almost impossible; the temptation was maddening.

But I was able to do it.

He gave a sigh of relief, thanking me for my steadfastness, saying that I had redeemed him, but I wasn’t allowed to go with him to his castle.

I had to continue my life here on earth.

Jung commented, “By all means, you have to fix your gaze on this point, that is, you have to keep your goal in mind with all your might, otherwise you will lose your consciousness – and God wants our consciousness; he needs it for his redemption.

If you keep your eyes fixed on the far-off point, the castle always remains close by.

That’s how it’s supposed to be.

The beauty of this world is a true divine power, and one comes under its spell by looking at it directly!

You may not enter the castle, lest you lose consciousness, and then God would feel betrayed, for, by Himself, he is an anonymous power without a reflecting consciousness.

One has to keep the goal in mind, then the power follows.

In a man’s psyche, the sorceress in the castle spins a web around him; he is being abducted like Merlin and has to go on in the twilight, swaying blindly, moved by currents, suspended, swimming.

Then the magic being stays close, just like you have the castle close by.

But if he would enter directly, he’d be swallowed up by the terrible Mother, and then the Mother is betrayed!

The man must have already won clarity when he enters the twilight, otherwise he is lost!”

Jung, then, pointed out how the two of us, Ignaz and I, are especially blessed in being able to understand each other, because of our opposite typology: Ignaz, by nature rather feminine, has now a desire for clarity, so his task is to find clarity while simultaneously being in the twilight.

He is grateful for “gifts of clarity” from my side.

I, Sabi, on the other hand, by nature rather masculine, now love “ambiance” and all things incomprehensible, while at the same time must struggle for clarity and meaning.

I am grateful for Ignaz’ warmth and his irrationality!

Anima and animus are only valuable on the inner path, the path to God!

Jung had lit the petroleum lamp.

Two hours had passed; it was the dark of night.

And the Holy had come between us.

He accompanied me to the gate. I was walking in the eternal realm.

After the gate had closed behind me, I went to the lake shore and had to emerge both

hands deep into the water.


A dark, solid tower by the lake –

hidden, unmoved,

holds a room deep within

filled with humanness and warm light

wherein the old wise one

lives – and, softly,

a veil hovers around him,

and whoever perceives it


the sacred!

And his hands are both on fire –

Woe but

he cools them deep in the Lake. ~Sabi Tauber, Sabi Tauber: Encounters with Jung, Page 116-121