Sunday, October 26, 2008

Journeying with Jung 23

There is Greatness in You:  Chapter 21

In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night we read "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them". (Quote Act II, Scene V).  Jung looked into his soul and found greatness inside of him.  he also looked into the souls of his patient's and found greatness therein too.  This is at the heart of this chapter and also at the heart of his skill as a wonderful analyst and therapist.

Jung's Harem:

Jung quite candidly believed in polygamy.  Toni Wolff, as well as many others, was a sexual partner of Carl Gustave Jung.  Once again let me quote Hayman here:

Dignified and good at concealing pain, Emma [his wife] was scrupulously polite when Toni came to Kusnacht.  Unquestionably the children suffered, but Emma and Toni behaved with dignity, camouflaging their frustration, while their tolerance of each other was sustained by realisation that neither of them could have made Jung monogamous.  As she told Freud in 1911, Emma had given up hope of keeping him to herself, and the Sabina episode had illustrated the therapeutic value of sexual involvement.  (Hayman, 233) 

Jung's household was unusual and strange to say the least, even by today's standards - domestic servants to look after the children and the house, who largely also looked after the children as Jung was busy with his practice and his patients; a wife who was a loyal and good wife and mother; a mistress who also lived under the one roof - Toni; and a growing retinue of patients, some of whom who might have stayed over for their consultation.  He starts to look for a house where he could spend time alone with his thoughts and with his soul.  He would eventually build a castle/tower, often single-handedly, at Bollingen for this purpose.

It was at this stage 1920 and Jung was now 45 years of age.  From the 15th March until late in April of that year he left with his friend Hermann Sigg on a trip to North Africa.  Once again Jung was indulging his obsession with primitive society.  He realised from his journeys throughout Tunisia that the Africans were more at home with themselves, more natural and consequently 'closer to life' than Europeans who were oppressed by their own rationality and rationalism.  In short the European and the American were living life with much less intensity and had condemned their primitive personality to an underground existence.'  (Quoted, ibid., 236)

As Jung's fame grew women flocked to him from all over the world, bringing lots of money and a desire to be dependent on the great man and guru.  Men came too, mostly husbands of those fawning women, but his male clients were very few and far between.  Hayman goes on to point out that outsiders noticed the high proportion of women among his patients and followers.  One of his answers to this observation was: "What's to be done?  Psychology after all is a science of the soul, and it is not my fault that if the soul is a woman."  (Quoted ibid., 237)

Jung's Method of Analysis:

One of his patients or client's summed up his method as follows:

All kinds of people big and small found through his their uniqueness. His greatest quality as an analyst...was the sense he gave of accepting everything that came up in the session not only rationally, intellectually, but with his whole being.  He never reduced material from the unconscious to something infantile; he always asked himself: "Now, where does it lead to?2 He gave us a feeling "There is a Greatness in you, and we must serve this." Another remembered his marvellous laugh which shook the room... (Quoted ibid., 236-7)

Jung undoubtedly was a most exceptionally welcoming and accepting and non-judgemental man.  This allowed him to be a unique and wonderful therapist.  It's at this stage that it would be profitable and salutary to look at the differences between Freudian and Jungian analysis.  Freud allowed his patients to free-associate and consequently go off wherever these associations would lead them - dreams, fantasies, childhood, guilt feelings and so on and on.  Freud concentrated on their relationships with others and with personages and events in their past.  However, Jung was to concentrate  on his patients' relationships with themselves, God, their purpose in life, their relationship with the universe.

In this light Hayman sums up Jung's achievement in the filed of therapy and analysis:

In fact he succeeded in bringing a new soulfulness to many people and giving them faith in the work they must do on themselves to unearth the buried treasure.  (Ibid., 240)

The buried treasure refers to all the inner gifts that reside in the soul, which will be yielded up after all the hard work done by client and therapist in the process of integration and individuation.  His aim in his therapy Jung said was 'to open people's eyes to the fact that man has a soul, that there is buried treasure in the field and that our religion and philosophy are in a lamentable state.'  (Ibid., 240)

Jung's charisma was so great that patients wanted to change their lives to be more like their new master.  This often frustrated Jung, seeing that many of his patients wanted to become analysts like him.

The Influence of Richard Wilhelm and the I Ching:

What impresses me with Jung is his total openness to new ideas and to incorporating the best of everything into his therapy and into his analysis.    In Darmstad Jung met a former missionary called Richard Wilhelm who had spent most of his life in China.  This man was well acquainted with the Tao and with the I Ching.  Jung called his encounter with this virtual Chinese master 'one of the most significant events of my life... Indeed I feel myself very much enriched by him that it seems to me as if I have received  more from him than from any other man.'  (Quoted ibid., 247)  This same Wilhelm had devoted ten years to studying and translating the I Ching, a series of oracular statements which may have originated in the second millennium BC.  Hayman goes on to state:

Wilhelm published his German version of the I Ching in 1924.  Already interested in the book before the end of the twenties, Jung had been working with an English translation that had come out in 1882, but he deepened his familiarity with the text when Wilhelm came to stay with him.  (Ibid., 247)

For Jung who saw that the Western mind was very much one-sided and unbalanced because it was was preoccupied with causality it was necessary and complementary, to say the least, to have that mindset balanced by the opposing Chinese disposition to coincidence or to synchronicity, a term which he would go on later in his career to coin and to define.

Above I have uploaded the famous symbol of Taoism the Yin-Yang symbol.

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