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999 encounters

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

Chats on the Way Home

On the way home, he told us about the Seven Sleepers Day: If it rains that day, it’ll rain for a long time thereafter.

The conversation revolved around northern countries, how Sweden, for example, has

only had a theology for the last fifty years, Jung noted, evident in the latest sermon given by the archbishop of Stockholm (rather dull, “father as fate,” nothing else).

People in the north were closer to nature, Jung said, more pagan, rather less spiritual, if only because of the big, long-lasting darkness through the winter months.

One knew more of almost every other nation.

In Germany there has been  a philosophy since Carus, a cultural wealth that still hasn’t been completely absorbed.

It takes a lot of time.

Ignaz talked about his ongoing struggle between his practice and his scientific work. Jung told him that he’d only really started to do scientific work after he’d become an invalid.

“I owe the best part to my practice; everything came out of it. There is meaning in

having helped others. One feels justification. A scientist is always too one-sided; egotism looms large, and human satisfaction is missing.”

And so, this Seven Sleepers Day came to an end.

In the legend from about the 6th century, it is said that seven young Christians fled the persecution of the emperor Decius and were walled in on Mt. Achilleus.

After about two hundred years, God reawakened them, so that through the example of their fate, they could teach the emperor Theodosius the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.

The legend is not solely Christian.

It also contains elements of Kabir worship in the Near East, the myth of Endymion,

the nine sleepers of Sardinia , the Assumptio Mosis, the legend of Abimelech, et cetera.

How much longer do we have to sleep?

The dormouse hibernates through winter for many months (and is especially active at

night) – so that there always will be a new spring – and a new day.

On January 3, I had the following dream:

We receive a red and golden box from Jung, with “something precious and substantial” in it. I was very happy.

It wasn’t anything written, no books, but I put it among his books and was really glad that it wasn’t a book, but something “truly real.”

A great weariness seemed to lay itself upon Jung. Only rarely did we get to see him.

A brief greeting, a visit with flowers, hearing about him.

These things widened the distance and prepared for the last farewell.

“I wanted to go a long time ago, but you keep holding me back with ropes,” he’d supposedly said.

Still, Jung celebrated his 85th birthday with visible joy. Elsi Attenhofer regaled him with her play at the Grand Hotel Dolder, Zurich.

fig 29

Cornelia Brunner’s birthday address spoke to our hearts and minds:

“This celebration is cause for deep gratitude, foremost because we have our dear jubilarian with us today and can celebrate with him, and because the fullness of days for the completion of his great work was given to him.

We want to thank you that you continue to change our lives with your work.

For this is the greatness of your psychology: that it seizes people and transforms their lives.

What we own innately, we have received again through the insights gained from psychology.

Beyond our brief, daily existence, our lives have gained meaning and significance for us and for our environment through you.

You have given us the key to access the treasures of the unconscious and, with it, to the seeds of the future.

With this treasure we are no longer so blindly at the mercy of fate; we can recognize the ‘patterning’ and learn to put ourselves in the service of inner order.

As a woman I would like to thank you especially in the name of us women.

You reinstated for us the lost feminine god-image as a primal archetypal image of the feminine principle, in all of its dignity and eternal significance.

Thus, we are no longer solely dependent on orienting ourselves according to the masculine moral principle.

We are given the possibility to find our way back to our own feminine being with its own ethos of feeling.

At the same time, you also have helped us with our spiritual development from the source of our own inner nature.

Instead of the duty to believe, you have given us the possibility of direct religious experience that reaches back into the past, to the natural roots of the eternal images.

One of your most important gifts is a new valuation of the here and now.

You help us to recognize and form the dormant germs of life until they become lived reality.

Thereby you unite the Otherworld and This World, unconscious and consciousness – nothing is as difficult to bear as unlived life!

You expect from a man that he tries out his ideas in life, and from a woman that she becomes conscious of life.

It is not through flight from life, but through consciously living life that we attain spiritual meaning.

All of us received the same task from Jung:

If we don’t break down over our mistakes, but instead learn from them; if we can approximately fulfill the challenge that life has set for us; if we are able to build on what is given to us; if we are heard by others in small or large circles – then we all carry out Jung’s mission.

With Jung and through Jung a new epoque has begun for us.”

A year, a year/ Has passed again. / And though we often went through grief / There were many happy hours too. / Let us sing: brother! / You are my comrade, I You are my comrade! (Soldier’s song by Kurt Onken, World War

II.) A feeling along these lines has long been nudging me to bring the “Wild Geese” to Jung. Finally, I wrote him a letter, describing our “Wild Geese Club.”

Apparently, he found pleasure in it and wrote back at once [fig. 30].

Fig 30

This was the last note we received with his signature.

How overjoyed I was! Unfortunately, not all of the “Wild Geese” could (or would want to) be with the party – their loss.

Present were Maria and Hans Baumann, Helen and Peter Stierlin, Alice Rusch, Ignaz

and Sabi Tauber.


Fig. 30: Invitation to the “Wild Geese” gathering.

Letter of C. G. Jung to Sabi Tauber, January 21, 1961.

Dear Frau Dr. Tauber,

As I recovered reasonably well from my illness this past fall I believe that it will be possible

for me to grant you the wish of a “Wild Geese gathering.”

I suggest tentatively 3 March at 5 pm, receiving you here in Kusnacht.

I’m relieved if you are able to come to my place.

Hoping that nothing will interfere, I remain with cordial regards to you and your


Your devoted

C.G. Jung ~Sabi Tauber, Sabi Tauber: Encounters with Jung, Page 223-231

Fig 31