Carl Jung 1875-1961 – A Memorial Meeting
The whose memory we have gathered to honor was my personal teacher and the friend of forty years, and so it is not easy to speak of him as a world-renowned figure, whose writings and teachings have influenced the thought of three generations and whose professional work in the consulting room has brought healing to hundreds of distressed individuals.
These things are facts-but there is also another side to the story.
Dr. Jung was never caught by the picture of himself as an important man.
Indeed, one of his daughters came home from school one day and told at the dinner table of her great surprise when her father had been mentioned, during a lesson on contemporary Switzerland, as one of the leading people in the country.
She said, “I thought Father was just a country doctor!”
It always seemed to come as something of a surprise to him when he was singled out for special recognition, but he carried his many honors with dignity and played his part in public meetings with apparent ease.
Yet even under the most impressive circumstances, his simple humanness was the most impressive thing about him.
He believed so implicitly in the value and importance of the individual human being that he never acted “the great man.”
He was always an individual vis-a-vis other individuals.
So, too, he never fell under the spell of generalities, or what he called “fat ideas.”
In his lectures, given in English over many years, he used simple and colloquial language, spiced with humorous stories and witty sallies.
He was a most creative person, a genius, and new and revolutionary thoughts often crowded in upon him in such profusion that when he came to write about them there was danger that in following his own train of thought he might lose the clarity necessary to convey them adequately to the reader.
This is one reason why he documented his writings, especially his later books, so heavily with research material, feeling the need, perhaps, to present as wide a base as possible for conclusions that are often so far in advance of contemporary thought.
It must have taken great self-restraint for him to defer writing about some of his most important discoveries for years, until he could gather sufficient evidence from his
investigation of the unconscious of modern persons to convince himself beyond any doubt of their validity.
He says, for instance, that he waited ten years before writing about the part alchemical ideas play in the unconscious of modern people.
This fact I can vouch for from my own knowledge.
He imposed a similar probationary period on himself in regard to the role of mandala symbolism in the individuation process, while the material of his latest books, Aion and Mysterium Coniunctionis, was withheld for at least a decade.
For his sense of integrity and scientific accuracy was so strong that it could hold the flood of creative thought in check until the time seemed ripe for it to be given to the world.
In each of these last two books alchemical and Gnostic ideas have figured largely.
This must seem strange to the modern scientifically trained individual.
But, since Gnostic literature contains the fantasy of a whole epoch and sprang directly from a contact with the unconscious, it furnishes a unique source for the study of the psychic bedrock of mankind, which changes with such infinite slowness throughout the centuries.
And when it is realized that alchemy was really an attempt, albeit for the most part an unconscious attempt, to bring about a transformation of the alchemist himself, it does not seem so unlikely that the findings of these highly intelligent men should yield some fruitful notions relevant for modern depth psychology.
For alchemy was a discipline that aimed at the psychological development of man.
The first stage of the work was concerned with the restoration of the natural man-and was it not Freud’s aim to restore man, especially psychically sick man, to his natural being by making him aware of his instinctual nature?
But the alchemists were not satisfied with this result.
They undertook to search for a further stage in the development of their material that should result in the birth of a new man in man.1
It is with a corresponding phase of psychological development that Jung’s method of analytical work is mainly concerned.
For he found that as middle age approaches the unconscious places squarely before
the mature man or woman the task of discovering within the psyche what can only be called the higher man, a new center or focus of psychic life, a value superior to the ego,
containing elements from the unconscious as well as those from the conscious.
This is the factor that Jung called the self.
Because he had devoted himself to the task of his own inner development through the constant exploration and analysis of his own unconscious contents, Jung demonstrated
in his own person the truth of his teaching.
He became a truly great man.
In spite of his greatness, his towering stature, or perhaps because of it, he was and
remained a very modest person.
He loved to wear his old clothes, to work in his garden, to cook his own dinner, and he actually helped to build his house at Bollingen with his own hands, joining the masons’ labor union in order to do so.
He loved life, and he loved laughter and good fellowship.
He talked on equal terms with the simple people of the villages and mountains.
He knew many of them personally, and they spoke to him of the legends of the countryside and even of the magic that is still practiced in the remote parts of Switzerland, of which they will not speak to a stranger.
But then they did not consider him a stranger.
And indeed he was not a stranger to any human experience that was the measure of his humanity.
It might have been said of him: “Nothing human was alien to him.”
In Africa the medicine man called him brother; New Mexico a Navaho chief was his friend; in India a Tibetan lama in the far north and a Brahman priest in the south, both accepted him as one of themselves, an enlightened one, and spoke to him freely of the sacred mysteries of their religion.
And in the symbolic images they used he recognized many that were familiar to him
from his exploration of the deeper reaches of the human psyche.
When an individual consulted Jung professionally, however reticent he might be, however anxious lest his peculiar thoughts might mean he was “crazy,” in a few minutes he would find himself unburdening his heart to this stranger, who was no stranger but an understanding friend.
And the sense of isolation and of worthlessness would be dispelled, for the moment at least, because he felt himself understood, accepted, and respected by this great and simple man.
For Jung lived in his own life the truth that he also taught, namely, that it is the individual human being who is the carrier of life and that on him depends the welfare of the world.
The dangers to civilization and to the world itself depend on the psyche of man; he alone can save or destroy his world and himself.
In writing of the critical situation in the world today, Jung pointed out that the shadow side of the individual, containing his unrecognized and unaccepted impulses, should be made conscious as part of his own psyche.
It should no longer be projected upon “the other” who is then suspected of all the evil the individual will not admit as lying dormant within himself, so that “the other” is then seen as “the enemy.”
Only through a long and painful confrontation with the evil within himself can the individual really change.
“The effect on all individuals, which one would like to see realized,” Dr. Jung writes, “may not set in for hundreds of years, for the spiritual transformation of mankind follows the slow tread of the centuries and cannot be hurried or held up by any rational process of reflection, let alone be brought to fruition in one generation.
What does lie within our reach, however,” he continues, “is the change in individuals who have, or create, an opportunity to influence others of like mind in their circle of acquaintance.
I do not mean by persuading or preaching-I am thinking, rather, of the well known
fact that anyone who has insight into his own actions, and has thus found access to the unconscious, involuntarily exercises an influence on his environment.”2
This is the kind of influence that Dr. Jung himself exerted.
One could not be in his presence without being affected by it.
He might or might not convince by his written word, but he did convince by his presence.
His being spoke louder than his words.
One feels this unconscious effect of his personality on seeing the filmed record
of an interview with him.
Even that remote contact impresses the observer deeply-how much more the face-to-
Jung was indeed a great-a wonderful-man.
His last word has been spoken, his last book written, but his spirit lives on; and it is our task to see that the light he has kindled shall continue to burn in the hearts of men. ~M. Esther Harding, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 1-9
- Rudolf Bernoulli, “Spiritual Development as Reflected in Alchemy and Related Disciplines,” Spiritual Disciplines (Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, 4; New York, 1960), p. 323.
- C. G. Jung, The Undiscovered Self, tr. R. F. C. Hull (Boston, 1958), pp. 108-1og.
From his published writings we know the subjects that engaged Jung’s creative interest in the later years of his life.
It may be of interest to try briefly to convey what a personal contact with Jung over the past few years revealed as to his other interests and his daily occupations during those years.
In the first place it should be noted that two activities which had occupied an important part of his earlier working years had diminished to almost nothing during his later years.
These two were his professional analytical sessions and the writing of lectures and scholarly papers to be read at meetings of various kinds.
On the other hand, there was to the very last a powerful continuing urge toward the expression in writing of his conceptions and convictions.
This took the form of the publications of the last years and a number of other works, including collaboration on a volume of recollections shortly to be published.
In connection with a forthcoming book of essays, he wrote during the last year of his
life an introduction which, originally planned to be of relatively moderate size, finally ran to nearly one hundred pages of handwritten manuscript.
The fresh flow of the man’s creativity was remarkable, considering the state of his health and the limits of his strength.
The drive to create, to give birth, to express, was plain to see, as well as the subsequent reposeful satisfaction of the creator when the task was done and the tension a thing of the past.
It must by no means be forgotten that during the last ten or twelve years of his life Dr. Jung made massive revisions of his earlier works to prepare them for inclusion in his Collected Works in Bollingen Series, for whose existence we can all be so grateful to Mr. Mellon and his associates.
The boldness and energy which were required to undertake the profound and far-reaching changes Jung made in several of his earlier texts could well have overtaxed the capabilities of a far younger man.
Once, when I commented on this, Dr. Jung said that this program had not been accomplished without a severe drain on his strength and energies.
Many people who are here this evening are acquainted with Jung as a correspondent.
His profession and his own nature had, throughout his life, made him a prolific writer of letters, and so it is not surprising that an important part of the work of his later years was the voluminous correspondence he carried on with people all over the world. Hundreds of people know the conscientious and painstaking manner in which Jung addressed himself to the questions and personal problems people brought to his attention in the hope that a reply might shed light on their perplexities or their troubles.
Because he took his responsibilities so seriously and knew that the meaning of each word he wrote would be weighed with the greatest care by the recipient, the writing and dictation of letters was for him a ponderous and, in the later years, a wearing task.
In addition to the personal letters, Jung carried on a large correspondence with scholars in many different fields.
A great many of these letters amounted to short but illuminating essays on psychological and philosophical subjects, with especial emphasis on the psychological aspects of religion.
Although his analytical practice was reduced to a minimum, during his later years Jung had appointments almost every day, when he was at Kusnacht, with many of his former pupils and co-workers.
He gave freely of himself in consultation and counseling, and was most generous of his time and effort in reading, correcting, and making suggestions in connection with the many manuscripts which were laid before him by their authors.
Although not work in the professional or literary sense, Jung’s sculpture in stone, briefly referred to by Dr. Harding, because of its creative nature deserves to be mentioned at this point.
It is not widely known that Jung was a highly competent artist in working with stone.
In the garden of his house at Kusnacht are several of his sculptured works.
There is the small erect head of a snake.
There is the figure of a bearded man with three pairs of arms, which reproduces in stone the wood carving of his childhood that played such an important part in the inner life of his years as a boy.
Also at Kusnacht is the beautiful plaque in limestone which Jung carved in the months following his wife’s death.
We see, delicately and tenderly done in bas relief, the branch of a fig tree with four leaves remaining and one which has just fallen off.
At his summer home at Bollingen, on the upper Lake of Zurich, Jung carved over his fireplace the challenging words: “Quaero quad impossibile” (I seek that which is impossible).
Those who have visited there will remember the striking limestone cube which was left over by the builders of the tower and which, beautifully chiseled in Latin and Greek by Jung, describes itself as an orphan.
At the base of one of the towers is carved the face of a fool, that face which Jung saw laughing at him at just that spot when the statistics of the first draft of his article on synchronicity went awry.
Close by the fool are Jung’s most recent carvings, which consist, on the one hand, of a bear with a sphere and, on the other, of a kneeling female figure whose hands are upraised to receive milk from the udder of a sacred cow.
As an offset to Jung’s work there was his rest and recreation.
His rest consisted as a rule of a reasonably good night’s sleep and an after-lunch nap.
And it was not only a normal offset to his work, not only the proper thing for a man of advanced years, but also the necessary response to the many illnesses with which Jung had been afflicted since the trip to India in the winter of 1937-1938.
This is not the occasion to discuss the place of illness in Jung’s life, but anyone who was in close contact with him during his last years knows that he bore his infirmities with fortitude and patience.
Although it had its moments of serenity and rich enjoyment, his old age was by no means always tranquil and untroubled.
But meet it every day he did, with energetic and never-failing positiveness, with intense concentration on whatever he was engaged in, and with complete immersion in every activity, whether it was a philosophical discussion, the dictation of a letter, the carving of a roast, the chopping of kindling for his fire, or the detailed study of a map as preparation for our day’s drive.
After Jung’s days as a walker, a cyclist, and a yachtsman were over, his recreation consisted principally of his activities while at Bollingen and the drives he took in his own automobile and in those of friends.
We do not have the time tonight to do more than touch on Jung’s life at Bollingen, but it would be improper not to speak of it because, as it had been over so many years, Bollingen was of great importance to Jung in the last decade of his life.
It was here that he got away from the strenuous routine of his life at Kusnacht.
It was here that life was more simple, more informal, and, above all, closer to nature:
the water of the lake, the wind, the trees which surround the tower, the low mountains which were the familiars of the place.
Here Jung’s sense of participation in nature, and what he felt to be the primordial quality of simple living, restored his strength and provided him with quiet satisfaction.
It was here at Bollingen that Jung enjoyed being the highly competent cook that he was, producing with the devoted help of others the delectable dishes which he was capable of.
There was work to be done in the garden, firewood to be chopped, and all the other activities of country life which Jung enjoyed and which gave him so much.
And here, too, were quiet opportunities for meditation and for creative writing.
The second form of recreation which assumed a large place in Jung’s later years was the motor trips that took him into every corner of the Switzerland he knew so well and loved so much.
All his life, starting from his walking and bicycling days, Jung was a great traveler.
By the time he had reached his latter seventies, however, it seemed as if for physical reasons the days of his travels were pretty well over, as if his geographical horizon, once of global dimensions, had shrunk to virtually the immediate surroundings of the Lake of Zurich.
Fortunately, this did not finally prove to be the case, for there began in the early 1950’s a series of drives which grew in frequency and length from year to year.
Every spot in Switzerland was visited and excursions were made into the neighboring regions of France, Germany, and Italy.
The result was that Jung had the pleasure of seeing once again the places where he had been as a youth and a young man, and of widening his extensive and extraordinarily
detailed and intimate acquaintance with every part of his beautiful and richly interesting country.
Thus it was that the circle of his travels, instead of contracting during his latter years, expanded in such a way as to afford him satisfactions which he had previously not thought possible.
And so passed the days and years of Jung’s last decade.
Through it all and to the end, he was fully engaged in living, in vigorously carrying out his responsibilities, in honoring his relationships to other people, in pursuing his varied interests, and in creating-always creating.
Did Jung at times speak the word that lives, the word that nourishes?
Different people will of course have different answers to this question.
But I will give you the answer of one woman.
Two or three years ago, when Jung was attending an art exhibit in Zurich, a woman introduced herself to him and expressed her gratitude for what he had done for her.
Dr. Jung asked her if this had come about through reading his books. Her reply was: “Those are not books. That is bread.” ~Fowler McCormick, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 10-16
HENRY A. MURRAY
CARL G. JUNG’s life and works have given all mankind multiple causes for wonder, gratitude, and homage, and a galaxy of qualities to celebrate.
Certainly in the coming years-if there are any for our species -a procession of biographies and commentaries will be published, mostly in praise-in praise of the generative power of his ideas and of the wholeness of his charismatic personality; but also to some extent in opposition, for Jung was fearlessly, even recklessly, outspoken-a distinctively controversial genius.
Here it will be my part and pleasure to portray one hour of the Old Man in action, as experienced by countless individuals in quest of help.
For forty years or more, men and women in distress, persons with blocked horizons, emotionally impoverished or crippled, were lured to Kusnacht from all parts of the earth with their anticipations raised to an extraordinary pitch by reading something Jung had written that excited, baffled, beckoned, all at once, or by hearing of his daring intellectual vigor, clairvoyance, and wisdom.
Generally speaking, the hopes of these questers were as high as their need-bred fantasies were capable of lifting them, so high indeed that the uninitiated would most naturally assume that disillusionment was inevitable.
But instead f experiencing disillusionment, instead of encountering the replica or equivalent of what they had fervently envisaged, they were almost invariably astonished: reality outran imagination.
As foreseen, they found in Dr. Jung not only “a river of waters in a dry place and the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” but, in addition, wine from an ageless vineyard, which evoked in each of them “an echo and a glimpse of what he thought a phantom or
a legend until then.”
And those with a sufficient apperceptive reach would leave with the conviction “as invisible as music but positive as sound” that what they now knew they could “say thereafter to few men.”
Jung was humble before the ineffable mystery of each variant self that faced him for the first time, as he sat at his desk, pipe in hand, with every faculty attuned, brooding on the portent of what was being said to him.
And he never hesitated to acknowledge his perplexity in the presence of a strange and inscrutable phenomenon, never hesitated to admit the provisional nature of the comments he had to make or to emphasize the difficulties and limitations of possible achievement in the future.
“Whoever comes to me,” he would say, “takes his life in his hands.”
The effect of such statements, the effect of his manner of delivering his avowals of uncertainty and suspense, was not to diminish but to augment the patient’s faith in his
physician’s invincible integrity, as well as to make plain that the patient must take the burden of responsibility for whatever decisions he might make.
There have been scholars in our time whose erudition was more extensive and precise than Jung’s.
There have been doctors and priests who were capable of bringing their whole devoted minds to an equally sharp focus on the immediate plight of a suffering individual.
There have been poets who could digest into more captivating metaphors the essence of an enduring verity.
And there have been other creative moralists notable for their discernment and sagacity.
But whom can we name who has combined these powers with such beneficent and transformative effects?
Who-hour after hour, day after day -has been so acutely perceptive of the unique particularities of feeling, thought, and action manifested by the individual confronting him?
and also so penetrating and infallible in putting his finger on the crux of that individual’s dilemma?
and also so imaginative at the timely moment in culling from so vast a store of knowledge, personal experience, and reflection whatever was most pertinent to the understanding of that dilemma?
and also such a master of apt and pithy utterance that he could transmute his understanding into words which at their best would memorably convey not only a new and startling revelation of the existential difficulty, but a clue to its solution, an intimation of the saving way, and the courage to embark on it?
Emily Dickinson must have had in mind somebody with powers similar to Jung’s when she wrote:
He found my Being-set it up
-Adjusted it to place-
Then carved his name-upon it –
And bade it to the East.1
In the words of one young man who went to Kusnacht for the first time: “Dr. Jung was the first full-blooded, all-encompassing, spherical human being I had ever met, and I knew of no fit standards, no adequate operations by which to measure his circumference and diameters.
I had only the touchstone of my own peculiar tribulation to apply to his intelligence with the importunate demand that he interpret what I presumably knew best-myself.
He proved more than equal to this exacting test, and within an hour my life was permanently set on a new course. In the next few days ‘the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open,’ and I experienced the unconscious in that immediate and moving way that cannot be drawn out of books.
I came to see that my on-going life was small adventure and the world as I had known it no conclusion.
Instead of remaining framed by the standard judgments of my locality and time, I saw myself as the inheritor and potential bearer and promoter of mute historic forces struggling for emergence, consciousness, fulfillment, and communication.
All this and more I owe to Dr. Jung.”
For any number of us, no doubt, memories of comparable occasions will keep the heart and mind of this great man throbbing somewhere in our souls as vitally as ever.
And now, looking beyond us to prospective generations, we have abundant reasons to predict that:
Despite what current science disavows
Of his deep wisdom and physician’s skill,
There’s ample truth that fashion cannot kill,
To which posterity will cleave as time allows.
Whether or not they read him they shall feel
At crucial times the vigor of his name
Against them like a finger for the shame
And emptiness of what their souls reveal
In values prized as altars where they kneel
To consecrate the flicker, not the fiame.2 ~Henry A. Murray, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 17-21
- Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Vol. 2 (Cambridge, 1958), p. 46
- Adapted from Edwin Arlington Robinson, “George Crabbe.”
We pause this evening, drawn together from many different walks of life and a multitude of activities, to honor one of the great men of our time.
It is a meeting symbolic of the man himself.
His discoveries have immensely widened our psychic horizons and have given us glimpses into an inner universe without limit.
Like the vast, uncharted space of our outer universe, this one too has its terrors, and its profound beauty as well.
And in the end he has unified them, drawn all together in the concept of the union of the opposites and the integration of the individual personality.
I am here with you to honor Dr. Jung, not only in my individual capacity and as a personal friend, but also as a representative of Bollingen Foundation.
The Foundation began its work in 1941,1 in effect, largely as a vehicle for the dissemination of Jung’s ideas in America, for the publication of his own writings and other writings pertinent to analytical psychology.
I am sure you all know that “Bollingen” is the name of the village where Dr. Jung had his personal retreat, at the far end of the lake from Zurich.
While the Foundation began with this limited purpose, it soon developed into a wider concept and undertook more diverse activities. In publishing alone, it became apparent that other fields of scholarship needed support and required new channels for the expression of important ideas.
For many years we have published works in the fields of comparative religion, symbolism, mythology, philosophy, psychology, social anthropology, archaeology, cultural history, literary criticism, and aesthetics -areas which received deep attention from Dr. Jung himself and which reflect reading and research with which he was occupied during the greater part of his life.
One might say that they embody the history of man’s struggle toward consciousness as revealed in anthropological and archaeological data, as represented in the classics of both Eastern and Western literature and in the religious experience and philosophy of past and present civilizations.
The Foundation’s publications, called “Bollingen Series,” as well as its allocation of fellowships for writing and research, follow this orientation very closely.
During the last fifteen years the Foundation has granted between fifty and seventy fellowships each year to qualified scholars in these same fields.
The fellowship program, we feel, is also a direct reflection of one of Dr. Jung’s clearest and deepest beliefs-that the development of the individual, of his creative forces, and of his total spiritual and intellectual capacity is the ultimate goal of education and of life itself.
It can be seen that while Dr. Jung’s own scientific work, his own writings, today form only a small segment of the Foundation’s total production, they still remain central to its general plan.
One might say they form the keystone.
The idea of an edition of the Collected Works of Jung was conceived immediately after World War II, and talks between our President, Mr. John Barrett, and Sir Herbert Read, of the firm of Routledge and Kegan Paul of London (which had the English-language rights), led steadily on toward a joint undertaking with that firm.
This undertaking finally crystallized in an agreement reached at a meeting held in Dr. Jung’s house in K8snacht in the summer of 1947.
Dr. Jung, Sir Herbert Read, Barrett, and I were present (together with Dr. Michael Fordham and Dr. Gerhard Adler, who with Sir Herbert formed the Editorial Board).
Out of this meeting developed a broad plan for the retranslation and republication of the complete works, regrouping in a series of volumes shorter articles with longer works which were related in subject, and showing, both by this grouping and in a chronological sense, the development of all of Jung’s basic ideas.
Subsequently, Mr. R. F. C. Hull was chosen as translator, a choice which, as volume follows volume, has seemed more and more fortunate.
It might be of interest to the audience to know that the new German-language edition is following the exact pattern of the English-language edition, and an Italian edition using the same structure is also planned.
The Foundation is also supporting the work of the translator and editor of the French edition, which is being carried on independently.
If I have dwelt overly long on Bollingen Foundation, it is because we see it as an integral part of the life and work and thought of Dr. Jung and as the extension of his
intellectual influence into the far distant future.
But some personal history may also be necessary, since it is inseparable from the Foundation’s affairs.
The Foundation was established by my first wife, Mary Conover Mellon, and myself.
We had spent the
first winter of the war, 1939-1940, in Zurich, drawn there, and to Dr. Jung, by her overpowering attacks of asthma and by her conviction that her illness was largely a psychological rather than a purely physical affliction.
Though she was never cured (one never knows: the war intervened, and she died immediately afterwards, in 1946), both she and I were tremendously moved and
impressed by Jung’s teachings.
Extensive reading of his works had made us much more aware not only of our
inner selves but of the outer world; but this influence was highly magnified when we came into direct contact with his wisdom and humanity as actual patients.
With Mary, intuition and high intelligence fanned flames of understanding and recognition which demanded outward expression-and the most valuable outward expression eventually became Bollingen Foundation.
In my own case, as we all know, a plurality of riches does not guarantee peace of mind and often makes common cause with a paucity of real values. In many ways Dr. Jung’s clear expositions of his theories, his deep wisdom, his humor, his great simplicity, opened out sunnier and wider vistas down which to view the world.
I walked with him one spring for two or three days up in the hills behind Ascona and Locarno, in the Tessin taking a little train each day far up into places where one hardly ever saw a human being.
One heard the bells of a few goats and saw some of them grazing, or in the distance heard the sound of a mountain cataract.
He was peaceful, serene, and had a hearty and ribald humor.
But the thing I remember most about Dr. Jung was his simplicity: the directness of his vision and the aptness of his descriptions.
Of the simple religious shrines one saw everywhere, even on remote paths, he said something like this: they are in the same places where the forefathers of these people worshiped their nature gods-the gods of the crossroads or the forest, the tree or the stream-and often at places of potential danger.
These too are to ward off evil. It is man’s awareness of danger, of the Devil.
We who are so civilized and unsuperstitious would do better perhaps to have a little more superstition and to be closer to nature to take the Devil into account.
I talked to him about Thoreau, saying that Thoreau seemed to use the word unconscious in the same sense as himself.
He said, “Anyone who has lived in a primitive way and who also thinks will naturally come to know about the unconscious. It only goes to show how many silly asses have done it who don’t think.”
As we were about to leave for America in the spring of 1940, he told me he had had a letter from a very good and intelligent American woman, a friend of his, who asked him to be on a committee of one hundred of the most intelligent people in the world to confer on how to bring about peace.
He said, “I wrote back to her on the reply postcard, ‘Dear—: Please don’t do it. One hundred intelligent people together in a room only makes one big idiot.’ ”
He was wise and wonderful, and the privilege of knowing him, however briefly, was great and rewarding.
It is most probable that the image of Jung that history will reveal will be far greater even than the image we have of him today.
Today we think of Jung the scientist, the explorer of men’s minds; Jung the philosopher and the humanist; Jung the deeply religious lover of all mankind.
It may well be, however, that without our being completely aware of our good fortune we have been in the company of the Socrates of our own day. ~Paul Mellon, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 22-27
- Bollingen Series, a program of publication, was established in 1941 as an undertaking of Old Dominion Foundation. Bollingen Foundation was established in 1945, embracing the Series and other programs.
MANY of Jung’s ideas are of great help to theology and especially to Protestant theology.
His criticism of Protestantism as a continuous process of “iconoclasm” (of the breaking of images and symbols) is one which our intellectually or morally impoverished Protestantism should not disregard.
The same is true, partly for the same reason, of his doctrines of the self and of the
polarities in the development of the personality.
It is true of his understanding of the relation between the divine and the demonic.
But I want to restrict myself to one particular problem, a problem which I have had occasion to discuss with Catholic theologians, for the solution of which, I believe, Jung’s doctrine of archetypes is a decisive help.
In discussing the theory of religious symbols, the question is often asked how a symbol taken exactly in the sense in which Jung defines it (as an “image of contents which for the most part transcend consciousness”) relates to what in scholastic theology has been called analogia entis.
A presupposition of the question is an agreement about the distinction of symbol from sign as well as from allegory, about the necessity of using symbols in order to grasp dimensions which cannot be grasped in any other way, about the mediating, opening-up, healing power of symbols, about their arising from a union of the collective unconscious with the individual consciousness, and so on.
Protestant and Catholic theologians could, to a large extent, agree with Jung about these points, which seem to me the basic elements of a meaningful doctrine of symbols.
But on this basis the difference between the Roman Catholic and the Protestant positions becomes visible when the question of analogia entis and symbolic expression has been raised.
The difference is twofold: it refers to the creation and the transformation of symbols.
The theory of ”analogy of being” emphasizes the rational character of the theological statements about the transcendent.
They can be supported by valid arguments and they grasp something which is true in itself, whether it is grasped or not.
From this follows the other point. The analogia entis is essentially static.
The symbols, produced in terms of analogy, are final, since the subjectivity of the symbol-experiencing group does not participate in its creation.
The symbolic content has become a known thing.
Changes caused by changing human experiences are not considered.
In contrast to this rational-static doctrine of analogia entis, the Protestant attitude toward religious symbols should be existential and dynamic.
Symbols are born out of the revelatory experience of individuals and groups; they die if these experiences can no longer be revived and the symbols in which they have
been expressed have lost their creative power.
But such an understanding of religious symbols, which I consider to be the genuine Protestant one, leaves a problem which is hard to solve on this basis.
It is the question of a lasting element in religious symbolism.
Catholicism has an answer in its rational-static type of natural theology.
Orthodox Protestantism has an answer in a strictly supranaturalistic doctrine of revelation.
According to it, a particular revelation-the Biblical one gives the eternally valid symbols.
If neither the one nor the other answer seems acceptable-which is my conviction-
the symbols seem to be reduced to a complete relativism, without criteria and without continuity.
An awareness, however, of this situation by a symbol-experiencing person or group would deprive the symbol of the powers we attributed to it above.
In this situation, Jung’s doctrine of archetypes can point to a way out.
It distinguishes between symbols and archetypes.
Symbols are the infinitely variable expressions of the underlying, comparatively static archetypes.
It is important that Jung attributes to the archetypes another ontological status than that attributed to the symbols.
They are potentialities, while the symbols are actualizations conditioned by the individual and social situations.
The archetypes lie in the unconscious and break into the conscious life in experiences which show something of the ecstatic character attributed to revelatory experiences.
That they are preformed in the unconscious as potentialities makes understandable both the wide range of their variability and the traits of a definite structure which limit the possibilities of variation.
This, of course, leads us to the question of the nature of the archetypes.
And here I must confess that it is hard to get a clear answer from Jung.
The reason for the difficulty is partly Jung’s anxiety about what he calls metaphysics.
This, it seems to me, does not agree with his actual discoveries, which on many points reach deeply into the dimension of a doctrine of being, that is, an ontology.
This fear of metaphysics, which he shares with Freud and other nineteenth-century conquerors of the spirit, is a heritage of this century.
If he calls the archetypes “primordial,” this term oscillates between early past and eternal past, namely, a transtemporal structure, belonging to being universally, and sometimes the latter is necessary (“eternal and primordial image”).
In taking the biological and, by necessary implication, the physical realm into the genesis of archetypes, he has actually reached the ontological dimension “imprinted upon the biological continuum.”
And this was unavoidable, given the revelatory power he attributes to the symbols in which the archetypes express themselves.
For to be revelatory one must express what needs revelation, namely, the mystery of being.
But my task is not to discuss the Ungrund or unergrilndliche Grund) which expresses itself first in archetypes which are still potential, then in symbols which are actual.
My task is to show the significance of these ideas for the inter-theological discussion of religious symbols.
The basic answer has already been given, namely, that the archetypes represent the lasting, the symbols the variable, element in the development of religion.
This, naturally, leads to the question of their relation in a concrete religious set of symbols.
If the archetypes remain mere potentialities, how can one recognize, distinguish, and describe them?
It seems to me that this is possible only if one compares a large number of symbolic expressions and discovers similarities which point to a common archetypal basis.
But if one tries to determine this basis concretely, one has another symbol and not an archetype.
I sometimes feel that Jung’s naming of archetypes is, because of this situation, somehow casual and not directed by a principle of selection.
Theologically this would mean that the lasting element in the growth and development of religious symbols cannot be separated from the variable element.
It appears always as background, but if it is drawn to the foreground it becomes a symbol.
The archetypal forms behind all myths belong to the mystery of the creative ground of everything that is.
Nevertheless, they give permanent determinations to the variable element, as in Christian thought the Logos is the mediator of creation; and the essences of all things, the eternal ideas, are contained in it.
But what appear are not the eternal structures of the Logos of Being but its manifestation through the symbols and myths which arise in revelatory experiences.
Jung wants to understand the symbols; he cannot accept them in believing subjection; he wants to demythologize them, although he knows that this contradicts their very nature.
He is in the same dilemma in which critical theology finds itself: It lives in a world of symbols, which is its concrete foundation, and tries to understand the symbols, with the risk every anti-literalistic criticism runs of losing the power of the symbols.
To avoid just this was one of the main concerns of Jung’s life work. ~Paul Tillich, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 28-32
We have come together today to honor the memory of a very great man, one whose work has opened a new phase in the possible development of the human spirit.
His real importance is only slowly being recognized at its true worth, for his days were spent largely in the quiet of his own study on the shore of the Lake of Zurich, with books and material from the unconscious of persons living and dead as his companions.
Other speakers this evening have already given a brief picture of his powerful but kindly personality.
He could be the friend of all sincere men, because he could understand and accept them.
When someone once asked him, “When you have such an opportunity to see the seamy side of human nature, how is it that you still like folks?”
his answer was, “Because I have no illusions about them!”
He knew the human animal, but also the human spirit, and accepted both.
But of course it is by his work that Jung would want to be remembered.
Although not in the least a prestige seeker, he realized fully the importance of his discoveries.
And they are so monumental in depth and magnitude that, even at a memorial meeting, it is well-nigh impossible to say anything about them.
It is like trying to give a thumbnail picture of a whole new dimension.
Nevertheless, while admitting the temerity of the attempt, I would like at least to indicate what seems to me to be Jung’s greatest gift to humanity.
It has two parts: first, the scientific discovery and description of the collective
unconscious; and second, the psychological approach to religion which this discovery has made possible.
Early in his career, while trying to interpret the dreams and fantasies of a borderline psychotic woman, he recognized that there was something far more significant in the unconscious than had ever been dreamed of before.
He felt that he must explore this vast, and perhaps dangerous, unknown, which he called the “collective unconscious” because its content was drawn not from the personal life but from a common human source in dreams, inspirations, and the products of the insane.
He once told me that his colleagues had warned him, “Lookout, Jung, that way lies lunacy!”
But like a true explorer, he felt that this background of all psychological experience held such importance for him that he must take any risk involved.
But not yet for his patients.
He would not lead them into unknown country until he had been there
and charted it himself.
Anyone who has experienced the fearsome aspect of the collective unconscious personally, even with the guidance of a trusted analyst, will know something of the courage that was required to be the first to invoke its eerie terrors voluntarily.
Jung immediately realized that the images from the unconscious were symbols, a sort of picture language.
And just as pictures, rather than concepts, express the experience of primitive man in his magical world, so the language of the symbol expresses our experience in the unknown and timeless inner world.
As Jung has said, “The chief thing about the unconscious is that it is unconscious!”
But it reveals itself in these “archetypal images,” as he called them.
In this material from the unconscious he found an indefinite number of such images.
Many of them appear repeatedly in myth motifs and religious beliefs and are met with all over the world and in all ages.
They are manifested also in universal symbols, such as the cross, the square, the circle, and many others.
The reality of psychological images such as these is of a very different kind from that of a clod of earth or a star.
But they are no less truly effective because their truth is symbolic.
By comparing the context of these images as though deciphering a code, Jung discovered that the normal psyche has a goal, which is wholeness, to which its basic energy is devoted.
This he called individuation.
This is the way an acorn grows, as though it has but one object to which every bit of its energy is directed, and that is the oak.
Not just any oak, but this particular one whose potentiality lies hidden in this one acorn.
No two trees are exactly alike, though their differences are much less than those between two human psyches.
But the very nature of both oak and psyche is to fulfill an individual pre-existent pattern.
However, in the case of the psyche a new factor enters in. This is consciousness.
When the conscious ego, with its power of choice, seeks to understand and co-operate with the law of its deeper nature as expressed in the natural language of the symbol, then the individual pattern, the self, becomes the ultimate authority, the ultimate meaning of this unique life.
And is this not one definition of its God: to be the ultimate authority, the ultimate meaning of its life?
This meaning has always been expressed in terms of the relation of the individual to the fundamental religious archetypes, God, death and rebirth, and all the stages of the life and death of the hero, including the story, ritual, and dogma of the Christian and other living religions.
And just as the physical organism is sick unto death if it is not based on the instincts, so is the psyche, the inner life, the soul, equally sick if it is alienated from the archetypal forms of its spiritual being.
And this dissociation occurs when the rational intellect, with the prestige of material science behind it, sterilizes the beautiful and moving old forms of living religious experience and leaves behind only the rootless, ego-dominated intellect.
Now this is the condition we see around us on every hand.
For many people find little to put up against the flourishing “isms” of the day, which act like man-made gods promising so much but devouring everything.
And towering over a darkened world is the ever-increasing threat of a world-wide atomic war.
But as Jung says, it is not the bomb that is the danger but the psychology of the men who control it.
For “when the individual does not become conscious of his inner contradictions, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposite halves.”
It is a historical truth that the great man rises out of the need of his time. Today there is no question about the need.
And here is the great man, whose work was in just the field where the need is most pressing.
Jung never addressed himself to the crowd but only to the individual.
For he knew that the influence of a great and devoted individual may produce effects far beyond any the power of the crowd can bring about.
He knew that wars cannot be ended by those who are themselves dominated by the power motive.
And he knew that peace can come to an angry world only when the leaders of men give up hate and strife and serve some central value with a truly religious attitude.
But many people of these days have lost all religion along with their religious “beliefs.” They echo the words of Jung, “Either I know or I don’t know. If I know, I don’t need to believe, and if I don’t know, why should I believe?”
But they can get no further than the question.
To them he would point within, to the great collective unconscious, which is not only the repository of the past but the womb of the future.
There his own direct experience was so convincing that belief was indeed not necessary.
These depths of the human psyche he found were the source of all religious experience.
Religion, he saw, was a natural product of the psyche.
It was expressed in symbolic form because spiritual realities are ineffable, beyond comprehension by the rational intellect, and therefore can have no better expression.
And he was able to show others the way to similar experiences.
Before Jung, the science of psychology had not progressed far enough to have words, or even concepts, to express this religious aspect of the collective unconscious, and therefore its contents could get into consciousness only in projected form, as objects of belief or dogma.
The images appearing in the religious mysteries had to be taken literally or, at best, have only the superficial reality of a parable.
But Jung showed the sacred stories, beliefs, and dogmas, when psychologically interpreted, to be symbolic expressions of the deepest truth.
He recognized that the psychological impact of those august figures, which have been worshiped as God incarnate, does not depend upon the affirmation or denial of their historicity or their concrete reality.
That is a theological question, outside the province of the psychologist.
Jung leaves such questions, whose ultimate answer lies in the unknown, to the
experience and choice of the individual.
But for those modern men and women who demand evidence so that they may “know,” Jung has provided the most important thing in life, a way to an actual contact with a living archetypal source of meaning in the nonpersonal psyche itself.
This way is through a symbolic interpretation of spontaneous psychological products,
whether they occur as personal dreams and fantasies or as collective ideas, myths, and beliefs.
Thus he has given us back as symbols what science took away as dogma.
Once more life can have a religious meaning without protest from the intellect, for the old spiritual realities have gained a new language consonant with our ability to understand.
Thus it was that, at the end of a long life, the greater part of which was spent studying the abounding manifestations of the spirit, Jung could say, “I do not need to believe, I know.” ~Eleanor Bertine, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 33-38
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
- Professor Northrop’s address was a greatly expanded version of this recis.
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
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
- H. W. Longfellow, “A Psalm of Life.”
- 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.
- C. G. Jung, “Psychology and Religion,” Coll. Works, Vol. 11 (London and New York, 1958), p. 105.
EDWARD F. EDINGER: CLOSING REMARKS
Jung was active and creative up to the very end of his long life.
Some of his writings are still not published.
It will be many years before his full significance is established, and no one can predict the verdict of posterity.
However, we who have been most affected by Jung’s work feel that there has been a giant in our midst, one who in many respects was ahead of his time.
The epochal nature of Jung’s work still remains to be generally recognized, but when it is, we believe he will be considered as the originator of a whole new era in man’s understanding of himself. Jung the man is dead.
The consequences of his creative genius are just beginning. ~Edward F. Edinger, A Memorial Meeting, New York Dec. 1, 1961, Page 46