Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Journeying with Jung 15

Chapter 14: Enough Women:

Freud's Ego Again

One aspect of Freud's personality that jumps out at one from this book is the extent to which he believed in his own theories at the level of a fundamentalist believer in a new and all-embracing religion.  His language about psychoanalysis is, in short, that of a religious fanatic:

According to Jung, Freud asked him to promise that he would never abandon the sexual theory, and became emotional, saying: 'You see, we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark.'  To the question: 'Against what?' he answered: 'Against the tide of mud - of occultism.'  As Jung saw it, 'unconscious religious factors' were erupting in Freud.  (Hayman, 141)

It would be hard to disagree with Jung in his contention here given the over-the-top fundamentalist language Freud used of his own theory.  However, it is equally difficult to disagree, indeed, with Barry Silverstein's contention (and Silverstein is a professor of psychology at William Paterson College in New Jersey) that Jung's memories of his father as a man who wanted him to believe - not to think - were sometimes projected onto Freud who was very much a father figure for him.  (See Hayman, 141-142 and this link Here).

As well as religiously over-wrought language Freud also used metaphors taken from the twin fields of battle and discovery, viz.,

'I do not know why you are so afraid of my criticism on questions of mythology.  I will be very glad when you plant the flag of libido and repression in that territory and return as a victorious conqueror to our medical homeland.'  (Quoted Hayman, 142)

Hayman goes on to mention that here Freud was reasserting himself as commander-in-chief of his troops, situating mythology away out there in the distant far-flung lands, very far away indeed from their natural homeland, namely pure Freudian psychoanalysis.  So the father of the new science wanted to reassert his autocratic control of his 'science' of the mind.

However, Jung was far too much a free spirit and a free thinker to bend the knee at the Freudian shrine.  He went on and on in his pursuit of evidence for his psychological theories in the stuff of mythology.  Indeed, if Jung were a polar explorer he certainly wished to plant his very own flag in those far-flung areas, not necessarily that of Freud.  He asked advice less and less of his father figure, out from whose shadow he was progressively beginning to climb.  He went on also making independent efforts to redefine libido and other psychological qualities too.

Jung read widely in all types of mythology, astrology and arcane sciences - as well as the orthodox ones, stating in metaphorical language that he would return 'with rich plunder for our knowledge of the human psyche.' (Ibid., 143)  Freud told another close colleague, Dr Sandor Ferenczi that Jung wanted to 'lead a crusade' into the 'field of occultism.'   He warns Jung in a letter to wary of 'mysticism' and not to stay too long in 'the tropical colonies'.  You have to reign in the homeland.'  Again we are not surprised by Freud's use of language and his heavy use of metaphors.  (Ibid., 142-143)  All the while Jung was reading widely for his next published book called Transformations and Symbols of the Libido.  In mid-August 1911 part one of this book is published in the yearbook.

Those Women Again:

Early in the year Sabina Spielrein took her finals and left for Munich and later in August moved to Vienna from where she sent Jung a copy of her paper on the death instinct for the yearbook.  Like Otto Gross's , her ideas, memories and emotions interpenetrated his and some of this was absorbed into Transformations.  Alluding to how their relationship had given birth to an imaginary psychic son called Siegfried she wrote in the letter which enclosed her article: 'Receive now the product of our love, the project which is your little son, Siegfried.' (Ibid., 145)

Freud arrived in Kusnacht to stay with Jung but there was tension between the two men - he had read the first part of Transformations and had realised how far Jung was now going it alone on his very own explorations.  He said nothing to Jung and the tension increased. Emma noticed it, needless to say and Freud found it easier to talk to her stating that his children had become more troublesome as they grew older.  Emma knew he was referring to his own children, but she felt instinctively that Freud numbered her husband among his 'sons'.

Freud also noted how all the women fawned on Jung.  By this time both Maria and Martha, of whom I have written about in previous posts, had been promoted to the rank of assistants.  According to Freud Jung's affair with her lasted at least until the end of 1912.  Otto Gross had certainly influenced Jung in his lust for several women outside of his wife.  Hayman reports that it was said that once his mother appeared at the Burgholzli and said to him:  "There are not enough women in your life." (Ibid., 147)

Insight into Schizophrenia:

In September the International Psychoanalytic Association held its conference in Weimar and in a paper he delivered Jung asserted  that to understand schizophrenic delusions, historical parallels must be adduced, because the patient is suffering from 'the reminiscences of mankind'.  Unlike the hysteric, the schizophrenic thinks in terms of ancient images that have universal validity.  (Ibid., 148)

Break with Freud in the offing:

During 1912 Freud wished to avoid a quarrel with Jung as his relationship with Dr Alfred Adler, another loyal 'follower', was rapidly deteriorating.  Whereas Freud believed that relationships between siblings mattered less emotionally than relationships with parents, Adler took the opposite view.  By 1908 Adler had been criticising Freud's view of the libido's dominance in psychic life, and at the 1911 conference he suggested that Freud was over-estimating the importance of sexuality.

Insight into Freudian Versus Jungian Techniques:

In an article for the yearbook in 1912 Freud observed that analysts should never volunteer personal information, never encourage new forms of sublimation and never lend books and articles to patients.  Jung did all these things.  (See Hayman, 153)  Jung was still lost in his mythological, alchemical and astrological researches much to Freud's annoyance and the latter wrote to his protégé stating that he was hiding behind his 'religious-libidinal cloud.' (Quoted, ibid., 153)  In increasingly irregular letters Jung managed to sustain a friendly tone while Freud was becoming ever more bitter and resentful.  All the while Jung was not as perturbed as the founding father and he maintained that any good teacher is poorly rewarded by pupils who remain pupils.  It's hard to disagree with Jung's insight in this last statement.  However, the friction between the two men was increased by the fact that Sabina was now attending Freud for analysis and Jung had not quite rid himself of his obsession with her.

Above I have uploaded a picture of Freud and Jung - at either end of the front row - at a conference in 1909 - in America, I think.

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