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


Mother Earth had held us in her grip for another long winter.

Now she is trembling in her dark, innermost core.

Outside there is no sign yet that thunder has touched her, but soon the life force will burst forth, a new source, flowing and quickening all beings.

Spring is coming, in March 1957!

I am still heavy with darkness, though, and cannot find the source.

ls it buried forever? ls there joy of life, even for the tired and for those who can see?

(Such is my mood as I am once again facing Jung.)

“For heaven’s sake -you yourself are sitting on your source, blocking its flow!” he thundered. ”

You have become a stylite, so thin and ethereal! Are you sick? Why don’t you eat?”

I am desperately fighting my tears.

He continues more quietly:

“Dach im Erstarren such’ ich nicht mein Heil

Erschauern ist der Menschheit bester Teil.

Your animus has wrapped you up in one big vapor of ideas, rendering you blind for what is close, true, and alive!

Don’t be so complicated!

Tolerate your warm, genuine feeling, even if it hurts the damnedest!

You want to avoid the pain, so you incarcerate your feeling in a deep cellar and close the door.

Well, and then what happens?

The animus takes its place with his empty haze of ideas, and you sit in the dryness.

Life is wiped out.

Thank God you’re not that prissy, so I can talk with you in fractura.

You have to be like a child and take yourself completely seriously.

You have to make gifts to your empty heart, follow your ‘appetites,’ really do ‘stupid things,’ only the animus thinks one will be laughed at.

You may never again suppress your feeling, lest life become a wasteland.

Take it seriously; ‘it’ is always right!

Le cceur conna’it des raisons, que la raison ne conna’it pas.

Who doesn’t live this truth doesn’t live, he dries out.

Never think how the people around you might react – it only matters what it means to you.

The simpler one is, the greater is life, for then it is on the level of nature.

Whenever you feel that your life force is vanishing, simply ask your unconscious, ‘What do you want?’

Seek your own water, your own source, otherwise you automatically drain that of thers.

One has to concretely seek life! I, for example, let my hand sometimes go along my bookshelves, and all of a sudden there is a kind of inner twitch.

That’s the book I take out – and look here, there’s meaning!

That’s what my unconscious wanted to tell me.

Or, I might simply look all around me, questioningly, and discover a face in a rock.

I paint it and talk to it – and life is with me!

I’ve also had moments smoking my pipe imploringly, until it occurred to me that I could write X a letter.

That was it!

Or I had the desire to visit Y, so, for once, I could tell him that.

Libido is inclination!

Pay attention to where it is inclined within you; be mindful of your ‘desires.’

To look for a source means to dig in the dirt until it becomes increasingly wet.

Then one first has to let the dirt settle until one can collect the clean spring water.

That is reality: to dig into life!”

My eyes grew wide open in wonderment.

I mused, “You really are an artist!”

He laughed freely, “Life is an art – unfortunately we have to learn this lesson anew, because we are distorted by culture to such a degree that we have forgotten how to follow the flow of water, like an underground waterway, that is, to follow the potentials in a totally irrational manner.

Pour water onto a plain, and it will immediately find even the slightest gradient and start to flow.

We have to do it the same way.

That’s what we have to learn again, to be as simple as the water.

But we are at war with ourselves.

Criticism suffocates our heart, which, after all, has been created by God, so we must love it and listen to it at all times!

A gnostic, a Carpocratian, once pointed out that one should find a different reading for the particular paragraph in the Bible where Christ says, something like, ‘Before you place a gift onto the altar of God, go and make peace with your brother, otherwise you will have to appear before the judge and be dragged into prison.’

Taken subjectively, related to yourself: ‘Make peace with the brother within you, before you stand before God.’

Sometimes it is helpful to simply write down all that comes to one’s mind, whatever wants ‘out.’

It frees the imagination.

Once, a very cultivated lady came to see me.

She was a professional in a high position, with a lot of responsibility.

But the joy of life had left her. Duties and manners had suffocated her heart.

I suggested that she might do just that: write down in a journal whatever came to her

mind, even if it was bad or impolite.

The next time she came in, she threw the journal onto the table with a provocative gesture, ‘Well, there you go!’

And what did I find in it? Nothing but slurs!

Even some that were new to me – I could even learn from her!

But from then on, her imagination was liberated and the source of life was freed.

With her sense of duty and politeness she had sat like a cork on the bottle.

Now the cork had popped and she was liberated!”

Listening to Jung I became acutely aware of how much I still suppressed,

and how that was blocking my way to life.

To my own astonishment I told him about my longing for him, a feeling I most of the

time locked up deeply, so that I didn’t know it myself any more – for fear of dependency.

I would like to be entirely free, only belonging to God and never attach to another human being again.

It is too painful. The direct way is better.

I said, “It is the sacred within you that I love so much, so I only want to belong to it and not be attached to you!”

My own words frightened me.

But he only shook his head “If you want to catch the pearly dew of God/ Just hang unshakably on to his mankind.” A saying by the German mystic Angelus Silesius (1624-1677).

Born hermits are very rare.

The world would have disintegrated into single cells, were it not for a connecting eros holding it together.

This societal cohesion is only achieved by a free libido that is not bound up by family.

You need contact with other people; your free libido wants to achieve something.

Accept life where it approaches you!

You have a warm, sincere feeling, but if you don’t use it, the animus takes its place and messes it up.

Why don’t you write me letters – try it (it’s not so easy, by the way, to write a truly meaningful letter!).

That is legitimate, and I will profit from it too.

And then the animus is in his right place.

Only where he replaces feeling is he wrong.”

And he told me again the example of the strawberries.

I told him, that now and then I have the desire to talk to other people, but lack the courage and thus often decline to engage, because I don’t have a degree and therefore have no “right.”

Jung replied, “When there is joy and desire, it is right.

You must accept it, for your sake!

Why shouldn’t we talk to each other, as far as humanness goes?

Simply react naturally.

You might want to call it ‘psychological counseling,’ just not ‘analysis.’

But you can still charge a fee because it takes time, and time costs money these days.

Even a little bit of consciousness has the effect of a magnet on others; it is

sensed all around.

On one of my crossings to America, I kept running into a lady dressed in black.

It seemed to me that she had something to do with the East, but of course I had no idea.

On the last day, she suddenly stood beside me at the railing and – I don’t know how

it came about – told me her whole life story in the shortest time.

She had spent half of her life in the East and was on her way to her husband in Japan after burying her son in Berlin.

Afterwards she was embarrassed about her candor; I was a stranger after all.

But I could comfort her, explaining that, at bottom, I wasn’t ‘really’ a stranger.

By the way, this happens to your husband Ignaz as well.

But he should be careful with his somewhat unbridled intuition that everywhere

aims directly for the center, as with the trunk of an elephant.

Only, he lets himself be pulled way too much into things.

He participates too strongly with his heart, and that burdens him far too much.

He should consciously distance himself and not accept too many psychological


Jung wants to spend the whole month of April at Bollingen to experience springtime.

In May he might come for another visit in Winterthur.

I asked him whether there was really no wish we could fulfill, or gift we could give him.

“Just become simple, very simple, like water – that is my wish … and never forget, keep doing something for your own heart – a fond perdu!”

It poured in buckets, as I slowly drove out of the gate, and from Kusnacht back to Winterthur.

In between is Zurich, and while stuck in traffic I suddenly remembered the beautiful spring dress in a shop window that had tempted me a few times already.

This time I stopped – “for my heart, a fond perdu,” it sang within me – and I entered the

store and ordered the dress.

Strange, I found it to be absolutely right.

Then I drove along a country road towards the forest and cried, until I myself became the continuous, mild rain.

“In May I might come again to Winterthur.”

That’s what Jung had said.

Which May, I wondered, could he have meant – the one in the “Otherworld” or the one here?

It all depends whether our eyes will open.

Suddenly there is a telephone call from Mrs. Jaffe, late in the day: “Prof. Jung will be at your house on the 29th in the evening.”

How could I have doubted!

As always, he had talked about the real, natural May!

Ignaz and I picked him up in Bollingen, much too early of course.

But Jung, too, was ready, lovingly outfitted by Miss Bailey with hat,

cane, and coat.

He teased her on the way out, to be sure to let him back into the house late at night!

We drove back to Winterthur in snail-tempo, holding our breath while listening to his outrageous ideas about flying saucers.

It was more thrilling than an adventure novel.

There already was a finished manuscript ready in the tower.

How will the world receive it?

At home, meanwhile, the children had welcomed our guests, so that Jung entered a living room that was crowded, warm, and almost bursting with anticipation.

Roswith welcomed him at the piano with a piece by Brahms, whereupon Ignaz addressed him.

(Participants: Families Tauber and Ernst Jung, Peter und Helen Stierlin, Maria und Hans Baumann, Lauchli, Rupli, Mimi und Jacob Fopp-Fink, Arnold Renold, Alice Rusch, S. Keiser, L. Zimmermann)

Fig. 22: C. G. Jung being fetched at Bollingen, Mai 29, 1957. 122-129