Carl Alfred (C. A.) Meier: April 19, 1905 – November 15, 1995
If you take a map (of Greece) in one hand and Pausanias’ “Baedeker” … in the other, you will soon realize that what you are actually looking at is the geography of the human soul. (Healing Dream and Ritual, p. 125)
- A. Meier was a connoisseur of the classical soul: born in Swiss Schaffhausen in 1905, he was fascinated by the swiftly flowing waters of the nearby Rhine and the dark depths of Lake Constance, which he spent his student summers researching.
He maintained a lifelong passion for the Mediterranean World, in particular Greece and Italy, both of which he roamed and came to know well, and he drank deeply of their wines.
Meier met C. G. lung while still a schoolboy; a mutual affection developed, and, with the help of dreams, he changed his focus from marine biology to the human psyche.
The parallels were ever apparent to him, and, to his last days, he could be seen fingering his pipe and his stones “on the surface” while plumbing the depths for subterranean riches.
He was also a great aficionado of music, losing (and finding) himself in it, playing the bassoon until well into his eighties, and loving nothing better than to sit back in the opera (most of all, La Scala) and study the score while immersed in the totality of sounds and images around him.
In each of these realms, his approach was the same-a firm grip on the “here and now” with an orientation to let go and experience the fascination of the depths.
He continued to take the plunge throughout his life in the most varied of outer and inner waters.
The contributions made by Professor Meier to the history and development of Analytical Psychology are unlatched by anyone except for Jung himself.
He was instrumental in the founding of the C. G. Jung- Institut Zurich (and its first president for nine years), the SGFAP, SGPP, IAAP, the German-language journal Zeitschrift fur Analytische Psychologie, the Klinik am Zurichberg (the world’s first and only Jungian-oriented psychiatric clinic), and far more.
Without him, the correspondence between Freud and Jung would never have made it into print; he brought about the Codex Tung; and his last major effort was to edit the invaluable correspondence between his dear friend, Nobel Prize winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli, and C. G. Jung (published by Springer, Heidelberg, 1992).
While he will be remembered for his unmitigated directness, which cost him some of his most precious relationships, he also cherished many deep and lasting friendships with other individuals from near and far: Pauli, Laurens van der Post, Benjamin
Britten, Susan Bach, Hilde and Tames Kirsch, to name but a few.
Meier was a prolific author, with well over one-hundred articles from his pen, and several books.
The first and best known of these was Ancient Incubation and Modern Psychotherapy (the revised edition is entitled Healing Dream and Ritual, 1988), in which his beloved Greece and its relevance for analytical work are beautifully described and meticulously documented.
He was a firm believer in today’s analytical students being taught the “basics” of Jung’s work and thought-in particular, the word association experiment and its derivatives, such as typology-before they go on to conduct their own research.
In both these regards, he was often disappointed.
- A. Meier was named Jung’s successor as Professor at the E. T. H. (Technical University in Zurich) in 1949, and the fruit of his many years of teaching was the four Jungian textbooks for which he will long be remembered.
The English edition of the fourth volume, Personality: The Individuation Process in the Light of C. G. lung’s Typology (1995) was presented to him at a ninetieth birthday celebration in April of this year, to his great satisfaction. -Robert Hinshaw, Carl Alfred (C. A.) Meier: April 19, 1905 – November 15, 1995