The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:16 pm

Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER FIVE: Volkisch Utopianism and Sun Worship

NINETEENTH-CENTURY Europe witnessed a revival of what has been termed volkisch ("folkish") movements, nationalistic groups bonded together by a common ethnic and cultural identity (the idea of Volk) and seeking a political and cultural return to an idealized past or golden age. A new utopian golden age of the Volk could then be established. Heredity became infused with social and political aims, and supported by "scientific" medical and psychiatric theories of hereditary degeneration. Many volkisch groups -- especially Pan-German and Pan-Slavic groups -- elevated notions of racial purity to a quasi-scientific, quasi-mystical ideal. Although Zionism is essentially a volkisch movement, as historians such as Carl Schorske have pointed out, it is primarily the Pan-Germanic movement of the nineteenth century that is meant by the term volkisch or Volkstumbewegung ("volkisch movement").

On and off since the sixteenth century wistful reference has been made to "the old Teutons" that are the mythic ancestors of ethnic German peoples. As with most national myths, very little in fact is known about the beliefs and actions of the actual Teutonic or Germanic tribes of pagan Europe. Most of the information upon which such fantasies are based comes from an ancient Roman source: the Germania by Tacitus. Historian Ekkehard Hieronimus has summarized the interest in Germanic religion since the recording of Germanic sagas and myths by Snorri Sturulson (1179-1241) until what he claims is the "late" (nineteenth-century) interest of German scholars in the history, life, and thought of the German Volk due to the "strong fixation of historians on the Greco-Roman area as the only world of culture."  [1] Such nineteenth-century research on the Germans, Hieronimus argues, was adopted by neopagan groups devoted to reexperiencing the Germanic mysteries. Indeed, a return to the golden age and "natural" life of the Teutons has frequently been invoked by German groups appealing to renewal or rebirth.

In Germany and Switzerland, the Pietist movement in the early eighteenth century used such volkisch appeals in its efforts to revive religion by fashioning a specifically German brand of Protestantism. By the mid-1700s, according to Hermand, it was "often difficult to distinguish between the concepts of an 'inner' and an 'outer' fatherland in Pietist writings." [2] Furthermore, "in these circles the secularization of a number of bourgeois/protestant concepts such as the family, the community, and the notion of a sacrificial death was characterized by an increasing patriotism which drew parallels between Christ's martyrdom and the martyrdom of national heroes like Siegfried or Arminius." [3] These very same themes of sacrificial death and the identification of the Christian god with the Teutonic god would resurface prominently two centuries later in a signal work by a descendant of German Protestant pietists -- Jung's noted Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (1912). [4]

In the 1800s, the idea of uniting the dozens of German principalities and other political units was based on an appeal to reunite and revive the ancient Volk. Pan-Germanism spread throughout all the traditionally areas as well as throughout Austria-Hungary and even in Switzerland. Before Pan-Germanism developed into a predominantly anti-Semitic movement at the end of the century, many secular Jews seeking greater political influence through more thorough assimilation into Christian circles (rather than further segregation through Reform Judaism) participated in Pan-Germanic activities. The young Freud was such a person, briefly caught up in Pan-Germanism during his student years. However, his experience with anti-Semitism during this time "put an end forever to the phase of German nationalistic enthusiasm through which he passed in early years." [5]

By the fin de siecle, small German volkisch groups, influenced in no small part by the occult revival of the nineteenth century, began forming throughout Germany and Austria-Hungary, and especially in Switzerland. Germanic seekers of renewal and rebirth who had perhaps started out in spiritualism or Theosophy began to become attracted to philosophies based on more mundane nationalistic, hereditarian, or anti-Semitic principles of renovatio. Thus, as in the case of the prominent Viennese occultist Friedrich Eckstein (1861-1939), participation in a Wagnerian Bund led to further metamorphoses into spiritualism and Theosophy. [6] Eckstein was the founder of the prominent Vienna Theosophical Society in 1886 and was a close associate of composers Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler, Viktor Adler (leader of the Austrian socialists), Franz Hartmann (a prominent Theosophist), and Steiner.

It was not long before volkisch groups began to adopt the methods of spiritualism and Theosophy to seek rebirth. Such an evolution seemed natural:

The uses of theosophy for political purposes consisted in its universal and non-Christian perspective upon the cosmos, against which the sources of Teutonic belief, customs and folk-identity could be located. Indeed the very structure of theosophical doctrine lent itself to volkische thought. The implicit elitism of the mahatmas with superhuman wisdom corresponded to the whimsies of a master race; the notion of an occult gnosis in theosophy, notably its obscuration by Christian orthodoxy, accorded with the attempts to ascribe a long pedigree to German volkische nationalism, especially in view of its really recent origins. [7]

Circa 1900 volkisch groups that promised direct initiations into the mysteries of the ancient Teutonic tribes began to appear. Admittedly, most of these neopagan groups were rather fluid and left little recorded history, but as Hermand notes, this period was clearly marked "by a veritable deluge of the most diverse groups, parties, fraternities, and lodges" in which it is apparent that "the politically immature bourgeoisie has become intoxicated with Teutonism." [8] The innumerable pamphlets and booklets of volkisch groups have been lost to us as the ephemera or "fragments of a faith forgotten," but some scholars have devoted attention to what little remains. [9]

Common characteristics across many of these groups seem to have included the following: a rejection of Christianity in favor of a mystical Volk connection with the ancient Aryan peoples (especially the Teutons); nature-worship, hiking, and nudism; [10] neopagan rituals (dancing around bonfires, magical ceremonies invoking the Norse -- and sometimes Greek -- gods); the study of the Aryan roots of occult symbolism (such as the swastika, popularized in the writings of Blavatsky, and the Norse runes, which the Nazis later used as symbols on their uniforms and to represent various Nazi associations); the idealization of the ancient Teutonic warrior (such as Siegfried); the exaltation of "the deed" (die Tat) over mere words; the preference of intuition over rational judgment; techniques for the direct experience of God without Christian intercessors; a fascination with the medieval Grail legends and Wagner's Parsifal, with the purity of Aryan blood depicted as the grail that must be sought and protected at all costs; [11] and, of course, anti-Semitism.

The best documented circle is the Guido von List Society, founded in Vienna in March 1908. Von List (1848-1919) was a Viennese mystic and magician who, among many other activities, participated in ancient German pagan rites in a Hungarian castle with his colleague Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels and playwright August Strindberg. As a youth List had an unusual experience in a cathedral that he later interpreted as his call to become an initiate into the mysteries of the ancient Teutons. He experienced a pagan mystery initiatory experience, he claimed, as a fourteen-year-old exploring the subterranean crypt of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. Through visionary experiences, the secret wisdom of the ages were passed down to him from the ancient Aryan brotherhood of spiritual beings known as the Armanen. The similarities between this idea and Blavatsky's secret doctrine and brotherhood are many, for indeed List and his closest followers had extensive connections with Eckstein's Vienna Theosophical Society and other Theosophical groups.

Among the important information imparted to List was the true occult interpretation of the Nordic runes. Also, since the "life-force" of the universe flowed from nature, List believed that being close to nature brought one closest to "truth." List trained his closest disciples to enter trances and attempt to listen to nature and "see with one's soul." The highest initiates in the hierarchical List society were said to possess the capacity to communicate directly with the spiritual Teutonic brotherhood of the Armanen. In "Ariosophist" organizations such as this, then, volkisch utopian theories are pursued with practical methodologies derived from spiritualism and Theosophy.

"We must read with our souls the landscape which archeology reconquers with the spade," List often said about his method of achieving "Intuitionen," according to his biographer Joseph Baltzli. [12] Such a methodology finds similarities with those of the Romantic Naturphilosophen, Blavatsky circa 1875 and, circa 1916, Jung and his technique of "active imagination."

During this time other Germanic neopagan groups appeared that also completely rejected Christianity and sought to replace it with a revival of old Germanic "Wotanism," or "Odinism," or new forms of Germanic paganism. These groups began to appear with great frequency after the death of theologian Paul de Lagarde (1827-1891), who called for the establishment of a neopagan "Germanic Religion" in his seminal volkisch text of 1878, Deutsche Schriften. His essay in this volume on "The Religion of the Future" ("Die Religion der Zukunft"), may be said to be the blueprint for all the neopagan religious Lebensreform groups that would appear in the early twentieth century (including perhaps, if indirectly, Jung's). Lagarde placed the doctrine of the promise of the rebirth (Wiedergeburt) of the individual at the center of his new natural religion. As Fritz Stern notes, Lagarde "regarded rebirth as an incontrovertible fact of all human experience, hence as a valid basis as his hope for a religious revival." [13]

Some of these groups limited their membership to those of "pure" Aryan stock, pledged to keep the blood of their children pure, and resurrected ancient Germanic pagan holidays to replace Christian holy days in which the sun and nature were worshiped and at which animal sacrifices were offered. Perhaps the oldest of these groups was the Germanic Faith Fellowship (Germanische Glaubensgemeinschaft) of Ludwig Fahrenkrog, a professor of art, which was founded in 1907. Fahrenkrog's group grew out of Haeckelian monism as it emphasized the worship of the "life-principle" in all matter. However, an additional feature was a belief in the immortality of the soul. As the Germanic Faith Fellowship completely repudiated Christianity, the Bible was replaced with the sacred texts of the Elder Edda and the writings of Goethe.

The most influential of these neopagan groups was the Tannenberg Foundation of General Erich Ludendorff and his wife, Mathilde von Kemnitz, a famous v6lkisch writer, who became Frau Ludendorff in September 1926. A widely used symbol by the Tannenberg Foundation (and by many others of these neopagan groups) was the sacred hammer of Thor. General Ludendorff was an early ally of Hitler's and assisted him in the planning of the botched 1923 Munich putsch. However, in the late 1920s and early 1930s Ludendorff became an opponent of Hitler, and therefore when the latter assumed power in January 1933 the Tannenberg Foundation was banned. Nonetheless, in the years following the Great War Ludendorff campaigned for a new pantheistic Aryan-Germanic faith based on the old Indo- Aryan Urreligion. As Paul Banwell Means describes it, "In line with the Tannenberg program for the restoration of the ancient Germanic religion, General Ludendorff, accompanied by a few young men, would from time to time retire to the forests near Munich, where a bonfire was lighted and a horse sacrificed in honor of Thor, the god of Thunder." [14] As Ludendorff knew, horse sacrifice seems to have played a central role in the ancient religion of the Indo-Europeans. [15]

Other neopagan groups that wanted to institute a new Germanic paganism were the Society of German Believers (Deutschglaubige Gemeinschnft, founded in 1911); the Nordic Faith Fellowship (founded in 1927); the All-Aryan federation; the German Church of God; the Thule Society (which counted Haeckel and Rudolph Hess among its many members); the Midgard Federation; and the Society of Native Religion (Heimatreligion). The Germanic Faith Movement of J. W. Hauer, founded in 1933, differed from these groups only in the extent to which Wotanism would replace Christianity: Hauer and many in his movement opted for keeping some elements of Christianity, but this primarily entailed recasting Jesus as the "Aryan Christ."


Perhaps the most central neopagan element in German volkisch movements was sun worship. [16] The worship of the sun was extolled as true ancient Teutonic religion, and while it was primarily a literary device and a powerful rhetorical metaphor for the experience of God, actual solar-worship rituals did take place among some volkisch groups during the annual summer solstice, especially between the very early 1900s and the 1930s. As a direct consequence of this Germanic neopaganism, in the 1930s the Nazi government banned the celebration of traditional Christian holidays and instead substituted others more appropriate for the "New Germany." The summer solstice was designated as one of these holidays. [17]

From at least the Romantic era, sun worship was offered by prominent Germans as the most rational alternative to Christ worship. Sun worship was the image at the center of fantasies of a return to "natural" paganism. This was most clearly stated by Goethe:

What is genuine except everything excellent which stands in harmony with purest nature and reason, even today serving for our highest development! And what is counterfeit except everything absurd, empty, dumb, everything which bears no fruit, at least no fruit of value! If the genuineness of a biblical document is to be decided by the question whether everything it tells us is true, then in a few points the genuineness of even the Gospels could be doubted .... And yet I consider the Gospels, all four, to be genuine; for there works within them the reflection of a majesty which preceded from the person of Christ. It is of such a divinity as any the deity has ever assumed upon earth. If I am asked whether it accords with my nature to give him reverent worship, then I say, "Completely!" I bow before him as the divine revelation of the highest principle of morality. If I am asked whether it accords with my nature to worship the sun, then I say once again, "Completely!" For it, likewise, is a revelation of the most high, and in fact the mightiest which has ever been granted us mortals to perceive. I worship it in the light and creative power of God, whereby alone we live and move and have our being, and all plants and animals together with us. [18]

Hence we have the noble Goethe equating Christ with the sun and making an appeal to the rationality of pagan sun worship. These same pagan sentiments stayed very much alive in the underground of German society in the nineteenth century, never far below the surface of "the bourgeois-Christian world," and erupted openly during the fin de siecle with volkisch neopagamsm.

These neopagan groups were influenced-indeed legitimized -- by the solar interpretation of the roots of all myths (especially hero myths) from their alleged ancient Aryan sources by the German Sanskrit scholar and comparative mythologist Friedrich Max Muller(1823-1900). [19] His famous essay, "Comparative Mythology" (1856), helped lead the way for the creation of the academic discipline of the history of religions. Indeed it was Muller who named this new discipline the "science of religions" or the "comparative study of religions." [20] In England he is often credited for single-handedly founding the academic disciplines of comparative philology, comparative mythology, and comparative religion in that country. [21]

The "Solar Mythologists" promoted a theory that dominated the study of the history of religion in Central Europe and that was hotly debated (especially by skeptical British scholars such as Andrew Lang) until Muller's death in 1900. [22] Muller argued, on philological and comparative mythological grounds, that the appearance and disappearance of the sun, its worship as a source of life, was the true basis of most, if not all, mythological systems, especially among the Aryan peoples. "Is everything the Dawn? Is everything the Sun? This question I had asked myself many times before it was addressed to me by others .... but I am bound to say that my own researches lead me again and again to the dawn and the sun as the chief burden of the myths of the Aryan race." [23] Muller could even say, "Why, every time we say 'Good Morning' we commit a solar myth." [24] All European religions, therefore, could be traced back to the worship of the sun of the ancient "Aryans," a term that Muller argued should be used instead of "Indo-Europeans" to distinguish what was, in his opinion, a dichotomous division in European culture of persons depending on their "Aryan" or "Semitic" language. [25]

As historian Leon Poliakov has argued in his magisterial work, The Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalist Ideas in Europe (1971), these essential cognitive categories were accepted by almost every cultivated European by 1860, [26] due to the influence of Muller (in England and Germany) and his friend Ernest Renan (in France). [27] Muller and Renan had many predecessors, such as Friedrich von Schlegel, who resurrected the term "Aryan" in 1819 from the works of Herodotus, Joseph von Gorres, Friedrich von Schelling, Hegel, Jacob Grimm, and a favorite of Jung's, Friedrich Creuzer.

This familiar schematic distinction between Indo-European or Indo-Aryan and Semitic that formed the central cognitive categories of nineteenth-century European thought arose primarily from the work of linguists in the highly respected science of comparative philology. In the scientific search for the ultimate origins of the human race, it is often forgotten what a central role comparative philologists played in intellectual circles in the decades before Darwin shifted this "grail quest" to evolutionary biology and ethology. It was thought that by comparing and analyzing the similarities and differences between languages that the original families of humankind could be identified. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries this was, of course, traced by many scholars to mythic Biblical genealogies. Although Sir William Jones, a Chief Justice of India and a founder of the Royal Asiatic Society was the first to remark, in 1796, on the possibility that Sanskrit was the root language of Latin, Greek, Persian, and the modern European languages, the term "Indo-European" was coined in 1813 by Thomas Young in a review of a multivolume work (Mithradates, by Adelung) that linguistically analyzed the Lord's Prayer in its various translations.

However, it was German comparative philologist August Schleicher (1821-1868) who systematically analyzed the linguistic history of each of the Indo-European languages and attempted to reconstruct the earliest Indo-European form of the words being compared. Schleicher's was the first attempt at a reconstruction of the original, proto-Indo-European language that is the concern of historical linguists today. [28] It was Schleicher who first drew the diagram of the "genetic tree" model to illustrate the differentiation of language in the Indo- European family. According to linguistic historian J. P. Mallory, Schleicher was inspired by his "profound interest in biology." [29] These diagrams were later widely adapted by Blavatsky and the Theosophists to give the appearance of seriousness and scholarly legitimacy to their genealogical trees of the "esoteric phylogeny" of the "five root races" of mankind. The "first sub-race" branch of the "fifth root race" was the" Aryan race" according to the spiritual "mahatmas" Koot Hoomi and Morya in their spiritualist communications from beyond to Blavatsky's colleague A. P. Sinnett, and it was the race that contained the highest spirituality of all mankind. [30]

The methodology of philological science began to be used for purposes other than tracing the structural and historical origins of language. Etymological analysis, for example, could unlock the secrets of mythology. An early example of this approach is the 1835 analysis used by Jakob Grimm to trace the hidden presence of Teutonic gods and spirits in Germanic folklore. [31]

Muller -- a philologist and Sanskrit scholar himself -- built on the work of Schleicher, Grimm, and others by using etymological analysis as a way to uncover details about the ancient religions of the Aryan, Semitic, and "Turanian" (Mongolian, Chinese, etc.) peoples. His hypothesis was that these three areas were not only great language centers but also important religious centers. Linguistic and religious experience were thus intertwined. Muller also firmly believed that one could set aside the world of rationality and think the thoughts and feel the feelings of the ancients by learning to read "childish fables ... in their original child-like sense." [32] Muller often noted that to the rational mind of the average bourgeois-Christian scholar, the tales in the "sacred books of the East" would seem like nothing more than gibberish. Therefore, to some degree, the scholar must fantasize about the material he is studying and make it come to life in a playful, childlike way without allowing rational cognition to impede access to the living religious thoughts of the ancients.

Muller dominated the scholarship on comparative mythology of his age, and as a prime force behind establishing the scientific status of the Aryan myth, his many works were used as a source of inspiration for many educated Volk. Since the work of comparative philologists like Schleicher and Muller established linguistic and mythological differences between the Indo-European and Semitic peoples dating back thousands of years, after Darwinian evolution through natural selection entered the world in late 1859 it was only natural that these scientific findings would be integrated with new biological speculation about origins. [33] With the shift of focus to the problem of biological inheritance and evolution, it was a very short step to infer that the seemingly vast differences between the Indo-Aryan or Indo-European peoples and the Semitic peoples were due to essential biological differences between these groups. The actual geography or natural world one lived in could also shape heredity, for the "soft-inheritance" transmission of such experiential factors was advocated by Darwin under the name "pangenesis." Basic biological units of heredity independent of environmental influences ("hard inheritance") were not posited until 1883 (August Weismann's "germ-plasm") and beyond ("Mendelian units" in 1900, and "genes" in 1909). [34] This line of thought made perfect sense in the evolution-mad late nineteenth century and formed the central cognitive categories of thought of that era. As we shall see, thanks to the scientific stature of philologists like Muller and Renan, it also formed the essential basis of Jung's early work.

The grounding of mythological, religious, and linguistic differences in biology, therefore, became the raison d'etre of volkisch mysticism. The scholarship on ancient Aryan origins provided the content for elaborate fantasies about ancient Teutonic origins and religion that served political, social, and spiritual Lebensreform goals in fin-de-siecle German Europe. Once the biological factor had entered into the discussion about "origins" in a meaningful way with Darwin and Haeckel (after 1860), volkisch individuals could claim that their anti-Semitism had a scientific basis. Additionally, some felt they could advocate a literal return to the rituals of sun worship and find additional scientific support to justify their behavior and beliefs.

Haeckel, in fact, did not hide his anti-Semitic bias, and therefore, given his tremendous international stature as a noted scientist at the turn of the century, he bears significant responsibility for adding the "biological inferiority" twist to the Jewish question. Like others in the "volkisch establishment," such as Lagarde and Chamberlain, Haeckel gave public support to the fantasy of an Aryan Christ. Although the primary goal of Haeckel and the Monistic League was to deny even the reality of the historical Jesus, a secondary goal was at least to revise the essential myth in Aryan terms for those volkisch persons who were too uncomfortable with the idea of completely repudiating the trappings of Christianity. In the best-selling The Riddle of the Universe (1899), Haeckel first attacks the "pseudo-Christianity" of the nineteenth century, then introduces a "more credible" story: that Jesus was only half-Jewish because he was the bastard son of a Roman officer who seduced Mary, his mother. The full passage needs to be read to be believed:

The statement of the apocryphal gospels, that the Roman officer Pandera, was the true father of Christ, seems all the more credible when we make a careful anthropological study of the personality of Christ. He is generally regarded as purely Jewish. Yet the characteristics which distinguish his high and noble personality, and which give a distinct impress to his religion, are certainly not Semitical; they are rather features of the higher Arian [sic] race, and especially of its noblest branch, the Hellenes. [35]

Here we see yet again the "tyranny of Greece over Germany." If despite the superior program of monism many still desired to embrace Christian symbols, then Haeckel's logic was to let them worship a Hellenic Christ, not a Semitic one.


Eugen Diederichs and the "Sera Circle"

The best documented neopagan cult devoted to sun worship was that of Eugen Diederichs (1867-1930) of Jena, a prominent publisher of volkisch material in books and his journal, Die Tat ("The Deed"), although apparently he was not politically attracted to anti-Semitism or Nazism. [36] Due to his keenly felt calling to resurrect German culture through publishing German mystics such as Meister Eckhardt, Angelus Silesius, and Jacob Bohme, works on Germanic folklore (including fairy tales and mythology), and a wide variety of theosophical, anthroposophical, and mystical "nature religion" or pantheistic tracts, after establishing the Eugen Diederichs Verlag in 1896 he became perhaps the most highly influential aristocratic patron of the neo-Romantic and volkisch pantheistic elements in Central Europe. To be published by the Eugen Diederichs Verlag was to be accepted in intellectual circles in a way that publishing perhaps the same occultist material by the Theosophical Society would not be, although the publications of the Theosophical Society were nonetheless also widely read. Although other neoconservative publishers also helped to legitimize the ideas that laid the groundwork for the rise of National Socialism in the 1920s, the Eugen Diederichs Verlag was the highly respected voice of neopaganism and the religious -- not the political -- arm of the great volkisch movement. [37]

Like any educated Germanic European from this era with interests in Lebensphilosophie in its manifold forms, Jung's personal library contains many volumes published by the Eugen Diederichs Verlag, including editons of the Eddas and books by one of the analysts of the Zurich School who defected with Jung in 1914, Adolph Keller. [38] Indeed, Diederichs was perhaps the most important disseminator of Lebensphilosophie in Central Europe from 1896 to 1930. Diederichs personally chose the types of volumes he wished to reprint and that he felt should be read by his contemporaries, and his agenda was to deliberately resurrect the vitalism of the Lebensphilosophen to "help [it] achieve a greater contemporary effect." [39] Not surprisingly, many of the topics converge remarkably with the sources of Jung's intellectual influences. For example, in 1901 Diederichs began printing a multivolume series under the title Gott-Natur (God-Nature) that reprinted the works of Giordano Bruno, Paracelsus, Lamarck, Goethe, Carus, and other early nineteenth-century proponents of speculative Naturphilosophie upon which Jung built his theory of the archetypes.

Like Jung, Diederichs believed, in his words, that "being truly religious means being irrational" and that his calling as a publisher was to "push the irrationalist character of religion into the foreground" and assist in creating "a new mythos" or "mystique" for the spiritual reawakening of the Germanic peoples. [40] According to historian Gary Stark, "Diederichs hoped to complete the process and create a new religion in Germany in which God would be replaced by the irrational, vital life-force of the cosmos" and that therefore "genuine religion must be grounded on a subjective, intuitive metaphysics." [41]

As Lukacs argues in The Destruction of Reason, such Lebensphilosophie movements that appealed to the reliance upon intuition instead of reason inevitably also required an initiated elite that had developed such intuition to its highest and that therefore would be capable of leading the rest of society to redemption. Indeed, Diederichs called for just such a spiritual aristocracy to lead what he termed an "organic people's state" (organischer Volksstaat) after the Great War. Diederichs's brand of spiritual elitism was a familiar one and echoed that of Jung, Keyserling, the Monistenbund, the Tannenberg Foundation, and others (including, it may be argued, the Nazi SS). Using the seventeenth-century Rosicrucians, in part, as his model, Diederichs's metaphysically trained spiritual elite was to be, in his words, "a secret yet open Bund of those who have the Geist." [42] Here again is the fantasy so prevalent in Germany between 1890 and 1933 of an "open yet authoritarian elite." Jung, as we shall see, likewise envisioned an elite "few" who would develop their "function of intuition" and lead a utopian "analytical collectivity" from his base of operations in Kusnacht-Zurich after the war.

Also like Jung, Diederichs was virulently anti-Christian in his agenda and preferred a return to the nature religion of the ancient Teutons. Following his spiritual mentor Lagarde, whose works he reprinted, Diederichs wanted to see a new Germanic religion rise up in Central Europe based on the central experience of rebirth (Wiedergeburt). Other than his works on Germanic folklore and mythology, which gave his readers just such a view of the ancient Teutons, Diederichs fought orthodox Christianity by deliberately reprinting texts that the Church had long considered heretical. Although classical scholars such as Hermann Usener, Wilhelm Bousset, Albrecht Dieterich, and Richard Reitzenstein had all begun to publish densely inaccessible scholarly studies on Gnosticism starting in the late 1890s, Diederichs widened the distribution of these ideas (as did the Theosophical Society at this time) by publishing works for the lay public on Gnosticism between 1903 and 1910. Jung owned a later (1924) study of these early heretical groups by Arthur Drews. [43] Diederichs also commissioned works by prominent but unorthodox theologians with Monistenbund connections to deny the historical existence of Jesus. The two most controversial were Drews's Die Christusmythe (The Christ Myth) of 1909 and Albert Kalthoff's Das Christusproblem (The Problem of Christ) of 1903, but he published nine other such works which, in the words of Stark, he hoped "would eventually reduce the figure of Christ to a mere symbol for the cosmic life-force." [44] Jung cites these works in his own, especially in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, which, as I will argue in later chapters, was a work that repudiated orthodox Christianity and promoted the volkisch mysticism of sun worship.

By the 1890s many volkisch individuals believed the sun "the sole God of the true Germans." [45] There was much talk of the Germans finding their "place in the sun." The swastika, an ancient Indian symbol of the continual regeneration of life (at least according to volkisch scholars), was placed within a circle symbolizing the sun and depicted on a flag as early as 1908. [46] Diederichs expressed the beliefs of many during this time: "My view of God is this, that I regard the sun as a source of all life .... I only want to experience within me the growth of the Geist." [47]

To experience this life-giving spirit (Geist) within, neopagan sun-worshiping rituals were performed by the "Sera Circle" (founded in 1904 by the not-so-youthful thirty-seven-year-old Diederichs) and its "German Youth Movement" members beginning in 1906. [48] These were rituals that involved hiking (a staple of the famous Wandervogel movement, which was founded "officially" in 1901), German folk dances, and a modern re-creation of an ancient Germanic festival of the "changing sun" (Sonnwendfest). As Stark describes it, "Carrying banners depicting the ancient Germanic 'sun wheel,' the group sang Germanic ballads, recited pantheistic poems and 'fire prayers,' and ended their celebrations by leaping through a bonfire." [49] These same rituals were repeated during the celebrations of the summer solstice after the Nazi government made it a state holiday in the 1930s. As late as 1918, in a talk before the students of Munich University on "Science as a Vocation," Max Weber lauded the religious feeling behind the rituals of the German Youth Movement as "something very sincere and genuine." [50] Weber-like many others, including, it may be argued, Jung-was impressed by the depth of spiritual fervor of the neopagan movement and its potential for a revitalization of Germanic culture even if fault could be found with its other aspects.

The merger of two ancient Indo-Aryan symbols -- the Germanic sun wheel and the swastika -- formed the basis of the symbolism of the National Socialist movement starting circa 1920. The Nazi flag, of course, contained a red field that symbolized the purity of Aryan blood, at the center of which was a white solar disk representing the sun. The swastika in the center of this white disk symbolized the recurrent energies of life, and, in order for the initiate to experience the life-force radiating from the sun in the center of the flag, the swastika was to be visually imagined as actually spinning around in this solar disk. Due to the influence of prominent persons such as Diederichs and his noted authors, interest in the Indian mandala symbolism of the ancient Aryans began to spread in Germanic Europe. Jung, for example, drew his first mandala in 1916 and then later expounded upon its significance as a symbol of the self or the "god-image within." [51] Mandala-like solar-disk symbols appeared on posters, arm bands, banners (such as that of the Sera Circle), the covers of publications, and elsewhere throughout Central Europe during these years. The circle as sun was the symbol of God to many intoxicated by volkisch utopianism and Naturreligion.

Haeckel, Ostwald, and the Monistenbund

In addition to the contributions of comparative philology and comparative mythology, which were true sciences in the early nineteenth century sense of the word, volkisch mysticism found further scientific backing in the ideas of Haeckel, when, by the late nineteenth century, German notions of science had come to mean the methodologies of the natural sciences, such as biology and comparative anatomy. It was Haeckel who reaffirmed, in his esteemed scientific opinion, that "a spirit [Geist] lives in all things." [52] It must be emphasized that Haeckel himself was not advocating a materialistic monism (unlike, for example, his eminent scientific critics such as Ludwig Buchner): "An immaterial living spirit is just as unthinkable as a dead, spiritless material; the two are inseparably combined in every atom." [53] Diederichs published many monist authors and invited them to his sun-worshiping rituals with his youthful disciples. Diederichs's journal, Die Tat, which he took over in 1911, was originally founded in 1909 as a monist publication.

Not surprisingly, Haeckelian monism, the "scientific religion," and volkisch nature worship were fused in the minds of many at this time. [54] In his important study, The Scientific Origins of National Socialism, Gasman calls Haeckel "the Volkish Prophet" and persuasively documents his thesis that "proto-Nazi Volkism did not invariably originate in opposition to science and modernism." Gasman argues that "one of the earliest, if not the earliest comprehensive program embodying National Socialist principles in Germany" was Haeckel and Ostwald's Monistic League, and therefore National Socialism arose "in the context of a movement which prided itself on its scientific ideology and modern view of the world." [55]

Part of this "scientific" monistic program was the view that if one was to insist on having a religion, sun worship was the most rational choice of all other alternatives (especially Christianity). In The Riddle of the Universe, Haeckel makes the following argument, additionally adopting the scientific doctrine of geological vulcanism or plutonism (the theory of the igneous origin of the Earth) to justify sun worship, and sounding, indeed, very much like Goethe:

The sun, the deity of light and warmth, on whose influence all organic life insensibly and directly depends, was taken to be such a phenomenon [of naturalistic monotheism] many thousands of years ago. Sun-worship (solarism, or heliotheism), seem to the modern scientist to be the best of all forms of theism, and the one which may be most easily reconciled with modern Monism. For modern astrophysics and geogeny have taught us that the earth is a fragment detached from the sun, and that it will eventually return to the bosom of its parent. Modern physiology teaches us that the first source of organic life on the earth is the formation of protoplasm, and that this synthesis of simple inorganic substances, water, carbonic acid, and ammonia, only takes place under the influence of sunlight. ... Indeed, the whole of our bodily and mental life depends, in the last resort, like all other organic life, on the light and heat rays of the sun. Hence in the light of pure reason, sun-worship, as a form of naturalistic monotheism, seems to have a much better foundation than the anthropistic worship of Christians and other monotheists who conceive of their god in human form. As a matter of fact, the sun-worshippers attained, thousands of years ago, a higher intellectual and moral standard than most of the other theists. When I was in Bombay, in 1881, I watched with the greatest sympathy the elevating rites of the pious Parsees, who, standing on the sea-shore, or kneeling on their prayer-rugs, offered their devotion to the sun at its rise and setting. [56]

Solar worship was also an obsession of the Nobel-laureate Ostwald, who mentioned it in many publications of his between 1910 and 1920. "The sun is the mother of us all, and we must be grateful to it for everything that we are and do," Ostwald says in an article published in Die Sonne (The Sun), the publication for the Monistenbund's youth movement. [57] Like the other monists who published in the many journals of the Monistenbund, Ostwald, too, blended solar symbolism and volkisch neopagan sentiments with prophesies of the rebirth or regeneration of Germany.

Following Haeckel's suggestions, the Monistenbund cosponsored with Diederichs sun-worshiping festivals based on their romantic concept of the ancient Teutonic "changing of the sun" ritual on the biannual solstices (21 June and 22 December). The journal Del' Monismus (Monism) published the text of the reputed liturgy of the sun worshipers in an issue that appeared in 1910. The reference to the "children of the sun" (Sonnenkinder) comes directly from the work of the matriarchical cultural theorist Johann Jakob Bachofen (to be discussed in a later chapter) and the vulcanist or plutonist geophysical theory of Buffon and others (see below) that the earth was originally a fireball that had been flung off the sun:

We are all children of the sun. Out of its womb our planet was born. An eternal law of nature compels us to be within its sphere and influence. The immensity of space is cold, still and lifeless -- our luminous mother sun, warming and ripening our fruit, appears as the simple, true element of life. Our ancestors knew this in ancient times. Thus their justifiable joy when the sun made its slow victorious spiral across the sky. They then remembered that all those trees, which concealed their greenness in the wintertime, were consecrated to the god, Wotan. [58]
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:06 am

Part 2 of 2

Keyserling and the School of Wisdom

Those Germanic souls for whom sun worship struck a deep chord and who may not have been comfortable in the growing fusion between the Monistenbund and the politics of German nationalism between 1914 and 1920, or those who perhaps no longer found Theosophy or Anthroposophy attractive, could find a home in Darmstad t after the Great War, with the circle gathered around Keyserling (1880-1947), who has been called "the most influential guru of Central Europe between 1918 and 1933." [59] After almost dying from a dueling wound in 1900, Keyserling began to explore philosophy and metaphysics, and also developed close connections with Wagnerism and the Bayreuth Circle. Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who was to emerge as one of the most dominant figures in Bayreuth, dedicated a book to Keyserling on Kantian philosophy that was published in 1905. [60] This book, and many others written and published around this time, contained Chamberlain's racial theories of the Aryan Christ and the superiority of Aryan biology and culture.  [61] Keyserling, in turn, dedicated his own first philosophical work to Chamberlain. [62]

Keyserling maintained a friendship with Chamberlain until the latter's death in 1927 and sought his financial support (unsuccessfully) for establishing his School of Wisdom in 1920. Chamberlain was perhaps the leading racial theorist and internationally perhaps the best-known anti-Semite at the turn of the century, and so with the change in the political climate after the start of World War II Keyserling denied he had shared these views with Chamberlain, "somewhat implausibly," in the view of historian Geoffrey Field. [63]

Whether or not Keyserling was anti-Semitic, it is certainly clear that he was unabashedly a volkisch German in his metaphysical outlook. The work that won him international fame, Das Reisetagebuch eines Philosophen of 1918 (first English translation: The Travel Diary of a Philosopher, 1925), is an esoteric biography of his travels around the world in 1911. He wrote the work on his estate in Estonia between 1912 and 1918 where he waited out the war. It is primarily a volkisch exposition on how geography shapes the souls of the inhabitants of each of the lands he visits. Keyserling's work is thus very much an exaltation of the mid-nineteenth-century concept of Bodenbeschaffenheit, the "formative forces of the soil." The places he visits give him the necessary stimuli to expound on his philosophy, and India reminds him of the religious practice closest to his heart: sun worship. He writes:

The more I advance in recognition, the more do I profess sun-worship myself .... Metaphysical recognition is nothing else but this becoming-conscious of the profoundest elements of being .... Thus, all sun-worshippers are right before God. For the man who believes in myths, there are no facts in our sense; he knows nothing of the sun of the physicist. He prays before what he feels as the immediate source of his life. The man of later days, whose emancipated intellect raises the question of correctness in the first instance, must, of course, deny sun-worship; for him there is only the fact of astronomy, and this is undoubtedly no divinity. The spiritualized being does justice once more to the ancient faith. He recognizes in it a beautiful form of expression of a true consciousness of God. He knows that all truth is ultimately symbolic, and that the sun expresses the nature of divinity more appropriately than the best conceptual expression. [64]

The School of Wisdom was a forum for the teaching of yoga and other esoteric doctrines, as well as a place where once or twice a year conferences were held where Keyserling and noted scholars could lecture. [65] The School opened in 1920 and was in operation annually until only 1927 when in-house organizational tensions between strong personalities halted the programs. After this, Keyserling devoted much of his time to traveling. A final special tenth anniversary meeting in 1930 drew approximately three hundred people. When the Eranos Conferences began in Ascona, Switzerland, in 1933, many of these same lecturers began to appear in this new venue. Jung was the most prominent of them.

The School of Wisdom was to be the vehicle through which Keyserling trained his metaphysically superior elite to lead the spiritual reawakening of the world. His goal was "to develop sages from fragments of men" and to develop "the true leader of the future." [66] In the late 1920s he sought funding for a new "church of the intellect" that would be organized "aristocratically and hierarchically." [67] By 1929 Keyserling could express great confidence in the eventual success of the few who were the metaphysically "chosen" agents of cultural change in the modern world:

The spiritually minded minorities are more spiritual today all over the world, and that in a deeper sense than ever before .... In the eighteenth century, the masses believed in everything, the elite in nothing; today, even those of the elite who twenty years ago were at best indifferent to spiritual questions are either grasping the reality of the spirit or groping for it. And from the point of view of the future, the spiritually minded minorities count more than any minorities have ever counted in the past. [68]

Among the most prominent lecturers at Keyserling's Schule der Weisheit were Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930), the famous German expert on Chinese religion and the translator of the I Ching (published by the Eugen Diederichs Verlag), and Jung, who became a close personal friend of Wilhelm's. [69] In an appendix to MDR on Richard Wilhelm, Jung says, "I first met Richard Wilhelm at Count Keyserling's during a meeting of the 'School of Wisdom' in Darmstadt. That was in the early twenties. In 1923 we invited him to Zurich and he spoke on the I Ching at the Psychology Club." [70] Jung, Keyserling, and Wilhelm knew each other well, and the bulk of Jung's missives between 1927 and 1930 in his collected Letters are to these two men. [71] The letters to Keyserling are filled with solicited interpretations of Keyserling's dreams and indicate that Keyserling looked up to Jung as a quasi-guru. Jung's letters to Wilhelm are warmly collegial and ever-encouraging. [72]

During the late 1920s and early 1930s Jung wrote three very positive reviews of volumes of metaphysical social criticism published by Keyserling. [73] In the final review, from 1934, Jung even goes so far as to tell the world that Keyserling "is, in the truest sense, the mouthpiece of the Zeitgeist, or, to be more accurate, the Zeitgeist of the spiritual man .... Keyserling's mediumistic gifts have gathered together the loose, fluttering, fragmentary thoughts of a whole epoch." [74]


In a symbolic gesture of the volkisch sympathy between Jung and Keyserling, Jung wrote an essay on how the "earthly environment" shapes the human soul specifically for a book that Keyserling edited, Mensch und Erde (1927). By this point Jung had already moved away from a purely biological or racial model of the unconscious mind (in fact, he had done so by 1916 when he proposed a collective unconscious) and instead embraced the more transcendental claims of mysticism and old Romantic Naturphilosophie. However, as we saw, the volkisch movement, with the prominent backing of Haeckel, continued to embrace quasi-Lamarckian notions of Darwinian pangenesis that gave scientific justification for such environmental influences.

The idea of Bodenbeschaffenheit gained further scientific credibility in an age of increasing materialism through a volume by the German natural scientist Bernhard von Cotta, Deutschlands Boden: Sein Bau und dessen Einwirkung auf das Leben der Menschen (Germany's Soil: Its Construction and Effect on the Life of Humans), published in 1853. [75] Cotta's thesis was to demonstrate "what influence the geological structures of countries have on their peoples." [76] The union of Volk with landscape, of Blut und Boden, was supported by Cotta's vision of "ideal natural regions" that were interpreted by other volkisch commentators as justification for the idea of a German nation-state as an organic, natural body. Such "soft inheritance" was still a credible idea in some German scientific circles at the turn of the century. Sounding very much like Keyserling in his Travel Diary, Jung makes the following claims of pangenesis:

Just as, in the process of evolution, the mind has been molded by earthly conditions, so the same process repeats itself under our eyes today. Imagine a large section of some European nation transplanted to a strange soil and another climate. We can confidently expect this human group to undergo certain psychic and perhaps also physical changes in the course of a few generations, even without the admixture of foreign blood. [77]

As evidence, Jung cites the "marked differences" between Spanish, North African, German, and various Russian "varieties of Jews." He then goes on to predict the "Indianization of the American people," who were originally a "predominantly Germanic people." As evidence, Jung recalls watching "a stream of workers coming out of a factory" in 1912 in Buffalo and remarking to a friend that "I should never have thought there was such a high percentage of Indian blood." His American friend laughingly told Jung there wasn't a drop of Indian blood in any of them. Backpedaling, Jung deduced that it must have been the geography that shaped their phenotypic expression, not "Mendelian units" (genes). In an effort to further back up this typically volkisch logic, Jung cites the anthropometric work of the noted American anthropologist Franz Boas, whom Jung claims "has shown that anatomical changes begin already in the second generation of immigrants, chiefly in the measurements of the skull." [78]

The first indication of Jung's fascination with the idea of Bodenbeschaffenheit that was used so extensively by members of the Volkstumbewegung (especially by its most racist and anti- Semitic elements) is a report in a letter to Freud dated 6 April 1910 that he is reading a book by Maurice Low, The American People: A Study in National Psychology (1909), that "holds the climate largely responsible for the frequency of neurosis in America." Although the effect of climate in causing psychopathology is an idea dating to the ancient Greeks, Jung then gives it a decided volkisch twist by surmising, "Perhaps a harshly continental climate really is ill-suited to a race sprung from the sea." [79] Such logic could be reversed to argue that Jews whose ancestors were Semites from an arid, dry desert land do not fit in in Europe. Although Freud does not respond to Jung's comment, he was acutely aware that such logic was a major element in anti- Semitic rhetoric at this time.

Other than the "Mind and Earth" essay in Keyserling's 1927 book, perhaps the most nakedly volkisch essay Jung ever wrote was "Uber den Unbewusste" (translated as "The Role of the Unconscious" in the Collected Works), which appeared in a popular Swiss monthly in two parts in 1918. [80] This essay is important not only because of its volkisch theories, but also because it is the first major new piece to be published by Jung after his 1916 proposal of a collective unconscious, which he refers to in this 1918 essay as the "suprapersonal unconscious" as well. According to Jung, "Christianity split the Germanic barbarian into an upper and a lower half, and enabled him, by repressing the dark side, to domesticate the brighter half and fit it for civilization." This is, of course, the familiar distinction that runs throughout Germanic culture since the time of Goethe between the natural man and his contemporary, imprisoned civilized counterpart. In volkisch contexts, speaking of the Germanic barbarian is not necessarily an insult but may be an idealization of the purely instinctual man. "But," Jung adds, "the lower darker half still awaits redemption and a second spell of domestication." [81] This lower half of the Germanic soul is rooted to the earth (its "chthonic quality," Jung terms it) and "is found in dangerous concentrations in the Germanic peoples." [82]

However, Jung says that "in my opinion this problem does not exist for Jews," because Jews are not "rooted" to the land as the Germanic peoples are. The Jew "is domesticated to a higher degree than we are, but he is badly at a loss for that quality in man which roots him to the earth and draws new strength from below." Furthermore, "The Jew has too little of this quality -- where has he his own earth underfoot? The mystery of the earth is no joke and no paradox." [83] Jung's use of the concept of rootedness to explain psychological differences between Aryans and Jews places him squarely within the volkisch tradition of his day, for as Mosse explains:

The term rooted was constantly invoked by Volkish thinkers -- and with good reason. Such rootedness conveyed the sense of man's correspondence with the landscape through his soul and thus with the Volk, which embodied the life spirit of the cosmos. It provided the essential link in the Volkish chain of being. Moreover, rural rootedness served as a contrast to urban dislocation, or what was termed "uprootedness." It also furnished a convenient criterion for excluding foreigners from the Volk and the virtues of rootedness. In addition, the concept of rootedness provided a standard for measuring man's completeness and his inner worth. Accordingly, having no roots stigmatized a person as being deprived of the life force and thus lacking a properly functioning soul. Rootlessness condemned the whole man, whereas rootedness signified membership in the Volk which rendered man his humanity. [84]

Jung additionally says in this 1918 essay, "The soil of every country holds some such mystery. We have an unconscious reflection of this in the psyche; just as there is a relationship of mind to body, so there is a relationship of body to earth." [85] Therefore, since the relationship of Jews to the earth is different than that of the Germanic peoples, the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Adler could only apply to Jews. "But these specifically Jewish doctrines are thoroughly unsatisfying to the Germanic mentality; we still have a genuine barbarian in us who is not to be trifled with." [86] This Germanic barbarian within is, according to Jung, an "anti-Christian" one, and although Jung warns it can "turn against us" (that is, against Germans like Jung), "it is a still untouched fortune, an uncorrupted treasure, a sign of youthfulness, an earnest of rebirth." [87] Reaching this hidden pagan layer of the collective unconscious within not only redeems the individual, but can lead to the birth of a new world, for as Jung says, "in reality only a change in the attitude of the individual can bring about a renewal in the spirit of the nations. Everything begins with the individual." [88]

The morality now prevailing ‘gilds, deifies, transports beyond the tomb, the non-egoistical instincts of compassion, self-denial, and self-sacrifice.’ But this morality of compassion ‘is humanity’s great danger, the beginning of the end, the halting, the backward-glancing fatigue of the will, turning against life.’ ‘We need a criticism of moral values. The value of these values is first of all itself to be put in question. There has hitherto been no hesitation in setting up good as of higher value than evil, of higher value in the sense of advancement, utility, prosperity, as regards man in general, including the future of man. What if truth lay in the contrary? What if good were a symptom of retrogression, a danger, a seduction, a poison, a narcotic, by means of which the present should live at the cost of the future? Perhaps more comfortably, less dangerously, but also on a smaller scale, more basely? So that precisely morality would be to blame for the fact that the highest might and splendour possible to the human type should never be attained? So that morality should be precisely the danger of dangers?’

Nietzsche replies to these questions thrown out by him in the preface to the book Zur Genealogie der Moral, in developing his idea of the genesis of present morality.

He sees at the beginnings of civilization ‘a beast of prey, a magnificent blond brute, ranging about and lusting for booty and victory.’ These ‘unchained beasts of prey were free from every social restraint; in the innocence of their wild-beast conscience they returned as exultant monsters from a horrible train of murder, incendiarism, rapine, torture, with an arrogance and composure as if nothing but a student’s freak had been perpetrated.’ The blond beasts constituted the noble races. They fell upon the less noble races, conquered them, and made slaves of them. ‘A herd of blond beasts of prey, a race of conquerors and masters, with military organization’ (this word ‘organization’ should be noticed; we shall have to revert to it), ‘with the power to organize, unscrupulously placing their fearful paws upon a population perhaps vastly superior in numbers, but still amorphous and wandering—this herd founded the State. The dream is dispelled which made the State begin with a contract. What has he to do with contracts, who can[422] command, who is master by nature, who comes on the scene with violence in deed and demeanour?’

In the State, then, thus established there were a race of masters and a race of slaves. The master-race first created moral ideas. It distinguished between good and evil. Good was with it synonymous with noble; evil with vulgar. All their own qualities they felt as good; those of the subject race as evil. Good meant severity, cruelty, pride, courage, contempt of danger, joy in risk, extreme unscrupulousness. Bad meant ‘the coward, the nervous, the mean, the narrow utilitarian, and also the distrustful with his disingenuous glance, the self-abasing, the human hound who allows himself to be abused, the begging flatterer—above all, the liar.’ Such is the morality of the masters. The radical meaning of the words now expressing the concept ‘good’ reveals what men represented to themselves as ‘good’ when the moral of the masters still held sway. ‘The Latin bonus I believe I may venture to interpret as “the warrior.” Provided I rightly trace bonus to a more ancient duonus (compare bellum, duellum, duen-lum, in which it seems to me that duonus is contained). Bonus, then, as a man of discord, of disunion (duo), as warrior: whereby it is seen what in ancient Rome constituted the “goodness” of a man.’

The subjugated race had naturally an opposing morality—the morality of the slaves. ‘The slave looks with envy on the virtues of the powerful; he is sceptical and distrustful; he has the cunning of distrust towards everything honoured by them as “good.” Conversely, those qualities were distinguished and glorified which served to ameliorate the existence of sufferers. Here the place of honour is given to compassion, to the complaisant hand ready to help, to the warm heart, to patience, diligence, humility, friendliness, for those are here the most useful qualities, and almost the only means by which the burden of existence can be borne. Slave-morality is essentially utilitarian morality.’

For a certain period the morality of masters and slaves subsisted side by side, or, more accurately, the one above the other. Then an extraordinary event occurred—slave-morality rebelled against master-morality, conquered and dethroned it, and set itself in the place thereof. Then ensued a new valuation of all moral concepts. (In his insane gibberish Nietzsche names this ‘transvaluation of values’—Umwerthung der Werthe.) That which, under the master-morals, had passed for good was now esteemed bad, and vice versâ. Weakness was meritorious, cruelty a crime; self-sacrifice, pity for the pain of others, unselfishness, were virtues. That is what Nietzsche terms ‘the slave revolt in morality.’ ‘The Jews[423] have brought about that marvel of inversion in values. Their prophets have melted into one substance “rich,” “godless,” “wicked,” “violent,” “sensual,” and for the first time minted the word “world” as one of opprobrium. In this inversion of values (to which belongs the use of the word “poor” as a synonym of “holy” and “friend”) lies the importance of the Jewish race.’

The Jewish ‘slave-revolt in morality’ was an act of vengeance on the master-race which had long oppressed the Jews, and the instrument of this vast vengeance was the Saviour. ‘Has not Israel, by the very subterfuge of this “Redeemer,” this seeming adversary and destroyer of Israel, attained the final goal of its sublime rage for vengeance? Does it not belong to the secret black art of a truly grand policy of vengeance, of a far-seeing, underground, slowly-gripping, foreplanning vengeance, that Israel itself should deny the proper instrument of its vengeance before the whole world, as something deadly inimical, and nail him to the cross, in order that the “entire universe,” viz., the enemies of Israel, might unhesitatingly bite at this very bait? And on the other hand, would it be possible, by all the refinement of intellect, to imagine a more dangerous bait? Something that should resemble in enticing, intoxicating, bewildering, corrupting power that symbol of the “holy cross,” that awful paradox of a “God on the cross,” that mystery of an ineffable final and utmost cruelty, and self-crucifixion of God for the salvation of man? It is at least certain that sub hoc signo Israel, with its vengeance and transvaluation of all values, has hitherto triumphed again and again over all other ideals, over all nobler ideals.’

To this passage I would most specially direct the reader’s attention, and beg him to transform into mental images all that jingle and clatter of words. Well, then, Israel wished to revenge itself on all the world, and therefore decided to nail the Saviour to the cross, and thereby create a new morality. Who was this Israel which conceived and executed the plan? Was it a parliament, a ministry, a ruler, a popular assembly? Was the plan, before ‘Israel’ set about realizing it, submitted for general deliberation and resolution? Before the total insanity of this string of words can be distinctly seen, an effort must be made to bring clearly to the mind, in all its actual details, the event described by Nietzsche as premeditated, intended, and of conscious purpose.

Since the Jewish slave-revolt in morality, life, till then a delight, at least for the powerful and bold, or the nobles and masters, has become a torment. Since that revolt the unnatural holds sway, under which man is becoming dwarfed,[424] enfeebled, vulgarized, and gradually degenerate. For the fundamental instinct of the healthy man is not unselfishness and pity, but selfishness and cruelty. ‘No injury, violence, exploitation, annihilation, can in itself be a “wrong,” inasmuch as life operates essentially—i.e., in its fundamental functions—by injuring, violating, exploiting, annihilating, and is absolutely inconceivable without this character. A legal regulation ... would be a principle hostile to existence, a destroyer and dissolver of man, a mark of lassitude, a crime against the future of man, a secret way to nothingness.’ ‘There is at present universal enthusiasm, even in scientific disguises, concerning coming conditions of society in which the exploiting character is to disappear. That sounds in my ears as if someone should promise to invent a life which should abstain from all organic functions. Exploitation does not belong to a decayed, imperfect, or primitive society: it belongs to the essence of living things, as organic function.’[375]

Thus the fundamental instinct of man is cruelty. For this, in the new slave-morality, there is no place. A fundamental instinct, however, is not to be uprooted. It still lives and demands its rights. Hence a series of diversions have been sought for it. ‘All instincts, not discharged outwardly, turn inwards. Those terrible bulwarks with which political organization protected itself against the ancient instincts of freedom—and punishments belong to the front line of these bulwarks—had for their result, that all those instincts of the savage roaming at large were turned backwards and against man. Animosity, cruelty, the joy of pursuit, of sudden assault, of change, of destruction—all that turns itself against the possessors of such instincts is the origin of a “bad conscience.” The man who, from the absence of external foes and opposition, forced into the oppressive constriction and regularity of custom,[425] impatiently tore himself, persecuted, gnawed, hunted, maltreated himself—this animal which it is sought to “tame,” wounding himself against the bars of his cage; this destitute creature, consumed with homesickness for the desert, who had to create his adventures, his places of torture, his insecure and dangerous wildernesses, out of his own self—this fool, this yearning, despairing prisoner, became the inventor of the evil conscience.’ ‘That inclination to self-torture, that retreating cruelty, of the human brute, forced into inner life, scared back into himself, he who had invented evil conscience that he might torture himself, after the natural outlet of this wish to inflict pain was stopped up,’ formed also the concept of guilt and sin. ‘We are the inheritors of the vivisection of conscience and of animal self-torture of thousands of years.’ But all administration of justice, the punishment of ‘so-called’ criminals, the greater part of art, especially tragedy, are also disguises in which primitive cruelty can still manifest itself.

Slave-morality, with its ‘ascetic ideal’ of self-suppression and contempt of life, and its tormenting invention of conscience, allowed the slaves, it is true, to take vengeance on their masters; it also subjugated the mighty man-beasts of prey and created better conditions of existence for the small and weak, for the rabble, the gregarious animals; but it has been pernicious to humanity as a whole, because it has prevented the free evolution of precisely the highest human type. ‘The collective degeneration of man to that which, in the eyes of socialistic ninnies and blockheads of the present day, seems their “man of the future”—their ideal!—this degeneration and dwarfing of man to the perfect herd animal (or, as they say, to the man of “free society”), this brutalizing of man to the animal pigmy of equal rights and pretensions,’ is the destructive work of slave-morality. In order to discipline humanity to supreme splendour we must revert to nature, to the morality of the masters, to the unchaining of cruelty. ‘The well-being of the most and the well-being of the fewest are contrary standpoints of valuation; we will leave it to the simplicity of English biologists to hold that the first as such is undoubtedly of the higher value.’ ‘In opposition to the lying watchword of the privilege of the majority, in opposition to the desire for abasement, humiliation, levelling, for the downward and duskward of man,’ we must sound forth ‘the watchword of the privilege of the minority.’ ‘As a last indicator of the other way appeared Napoleon, man most unique, and latest born of all time, and in him the incarnate problem of the aristocratic ideal as such,—Napoleon, that synthesis of the inhuman and the superhuman (Unmensch und Uebermensch).’

The intellectually free man must stand ‘beyond good and[426] evil’; these concepts do not exist for him; he tests his impulses and deeds by their value for himself, not by that which they have for others, for the herd; he does that which causes him pleasure, even when, and especially when, it torments and injures—nay, annihilates others; for him holds good the secret rule of life of the ancient Assassins of the Lebanon: ‘Nothing is true, all is permissible.’ With this new morality, humanity will finally be able to produce the ‘over-man.’ ‘Thus we find, as the ripest fruit on its tree, the sovereign individual, resembling himself alone, freed again from the morality of custom, the autonomous super-moral individual (for “autonomous” and “moral” are mutually exclusive)—in short, the man of his own, independent, long will.’ In Zarathustra the same thought is expressed dithyrambically: ‘“Man is wicked,” so spake to me in consolation all the wisest. Ah, if only it is yet true to-day! For wickedness is man’s best strength. Man must become better and more wicked, so I teach. The greatest wickedness is necessary to the best of the over-man. It might be good for that preacher of little people that he suffered and bore the sins of man. But I rejoice in great sins as my great consolation.’

-- Degeneration, by Max Nordau

Speaking of the word 'humanity', Fichte wrote: 'If one had presented, to the German, instead of the Roman word "humaneness'' its proper translation, the word "manhood", then ... he would have said: "It is after all not so very much to be a man instead of a wild beast!" This is how a German would have spoken — in a manner which would have been impossible for a Roman. For in the German language, "manhood" has remained a merely phenomenal notion; it has never become a super-phenomenal idea, as it did among the Romans. Whoever might attempt to smuggle, cunningly, this alien Roman symbol' (viz., the word 'humaneness') 'into the language of the Germans, would thereby manifestly debase their ethical standards ...' Fichte's doctrine is repeated by Spengler, who writes: 'Manhood is either a zoological expression or an empty word'; and also by Rosenberg, who writes: 'Man's inner life became debased when ... an alien motive was impressed upon his mind: salvation, humanitarianism, and the culture of humanity.'

-- The Open Society and Its Enemies, by Karl R. Popper

As is clear from his 1918 and 1927 essays, Jung openly held this common idea of volkisch mysticism during the 1920s, and found it so important that he taught it to American and British disciples who most likely would not have a contextual understanding of the Germanic cultural heritage of this philosophy. Perhaps most importantly, they would not have fully understood its political use by the anti-Semitic elements in the volkisch movement to establish the superiority of the Aryan peoples of verdant Northern Europe over those Semitic peoples whose inferior souls were shaped by millennia in the dry, arid lands of the Middle East. On 13 January 1925, during a trip to the United States, Jung gave a talk to a group of American disciples in the apartment of Kristine Mann (1873-1945), a physician and one of the first Jungian analysts in America. According to the notes in the diary of another major disciple, Esther Harding (1888-1971), Jung "spoke on racial psychology and said many interesting things about the ancestors, how they seem to be in the land. As evidence of this, he spoke about the morphological changes in the skulls of people here in the USA. and in Australia." [89]

Jung's 1925 seminar on analytical psychology contains more evidence of his reliance upon nineteenth-century geographical and geological metaphors to express the forces at work in his psychological theory. His 6 July 1925 lecture contains a diagram of the human personality in the form of a geological chart, which Jung calls his" 'geology' of the personality." [90] It is a useful example of how Jung utilized well-known concepts and images from evolutionary biology and the earth sciences to make his more metaphysical ideas comprehensible to his students.

This is how Jung describes the relationship of the individual to the collective unconscious according to this diagram:

I have often been asked about the "Geology" of a personality, and so I have tried to picture this after a fashion. Diagram 10 shows individuals coming out of a certain common level, like the summits of mountains coming out of a sea. The first connection between certain individuals is that of the family, then comes the clan which unites a number of families, then the nation which unites a still bigger group. After that we could take a large number of connected nations such as would be included under the heading "European man." Going further down, we would come to what we call the monkey group, or that of the primate ancestors, and after that would come the animal layer in general, and finally the central fire, with which, as the diagram shows, we are still in connection. [91]


A = Individuals.
B = Families.
C = Clans.
D = Nations.
E = Large Group (European man, for example).
F = Primate Ancestors.
G = Animal Ancestors in general.
H = "Central Fire."

Figure 1. Jung's diagram of the geology of the human personality (from Analytical Psychology, p. 133).

Jung's use of the geological metaphor of the fiery magma of the earth's core as the central fire that connects all life, human and nonhuman, is related to an image that Jung invokes frequently during this period: that of the sun as the core of the human personality. This image of the psyche is represented in Jung's very first mandala drawing of 1916. [92] Indeed, geographical diagrams depicting a cross-sectioning of the earth and its magma core can indeed be seen as representing a fiery sun or star embedded at the center of the earth. If one accepts the theory that the earth was originally jettisoned from the sun, then indeed the hot core of the Earth is truly "sun." In a sense Jung owes this metaphor of the human personality, in part, to the Naturphilosophen for whom the earth was an anthropomorphized entity with its own soul or, indeed, psyche. [93] Psychotherapy could thus be imagined as a mining expedition or geographical exploration to reach the central source of life at the "core." As we shall see in a later chapter, this was indeed the case in the analysis of Hermann Hesse by one of Jung's disciples.

Both scientists and occultists have proposed a dynamic hot core similar to a sun deep within the planet. The French naturalist and philosopher the Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) believed that the earth had once been a fireball flung off from the sun, and that the crust was therefore the cooling exterior of a still volatile and extremely hot core of star matter. The material of the human body, it could thus be claimed, was made of star matter, making us all Sonnenkinder, "children of the sun." The often-cited maxim of the alchemists that was so dear to Jung, "as above, so below," thus takes on new meaning, as does another of Jung's favorite images -- the account of Apuleius (through the character Lucius) in Metamorphoses (Book 11) who claims "I saw the sun in the middle of the night" ("nocte media vidi solem") during a subterranean Isaic mystery-cult rite of initiation. Naturalists since the eighteenth century cited the worldwide prevalence of volcanoes and their lava flows as compelling scientific evidence of a hot molten core beneath the earth's crust, and the hypothesis of central heat or a central fire was a primary assumption of the vulcanist or plutonist school of geologists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. [94] Geophysics and Naturphilosophie commonly overlapped at many junctures.

Thus, cross-sectional images of the planet since that time show a mandala-like sequence of concentric circles, indicating the Earth's various geological strata, with a central glowing spherical core of intense heat at its center. Such illustrations were common in the German popular-science journals that began to appear in the 1850s and would have been familiar images to the adolescent Jung. Jung's "geology of the personality" is hence based on a vulcanist or plutonist geophysical vision borrowed from his training in the natural sciences.

Also significant in Jung's 1925 lecture is his clear statement that he does not consider the collective unconscious to be solely inside the brain and nervous system. Since it can be located outside the brain, Jung says that "on this basis the main body of the collective unconscious cannot be strictly said to be psychological, but psychical." [95] This is an early appearance of a theoretical distinction Jung would make later in his career (in 1946) about the transcendental, quasi-physical, quasi-psychological, "psychoid" nature of the archetypes. Jung borrowed the term "psychoid" (as an adjective, not a noun) from the twentieth-century version of speculative Naturphilosophie and vitalism expounded by Bleuler, on "the natural history of the soul." [96] Both Bleuler and Jung attempted to distinguish themselves from the more nakedly vitalistic use of the term "die Psychoide" by Hans Driesch (1867-1941). [97] Jung's own full return to Naturphilosophie is never so clear as when he remarks,

We cannot repeat this distinction too often, for when I have referred to the collective unconscious as "outside" our brains, it has been assumed that I meant hanging somewhere in mid-air. After this explanation it will become clear to you that the collective unconscious is always working upon you through trans-subjective facts which are probably inside as well as outside yourselves. [98]

With these examples of his mystical geological vision of the human personality, and from his relationship to Keyserling and others who shared this vision, we can see how deeply connected Jung remained to individuals and ideas in the volkisch movement and its occult establishment. Jung's vocal connection to the Volk was not fully understood by his predominantly American and British disciples of the 1920s, nor especially those who entered Jung's Kusnacht-Zurich orbit in the 1930s and who, in the aftermath of Hitler, could only see these ideas as belonging to the heritage of another volkisch movement of this era: National Socialism.

Perhaps most of the continuing controversy over whether Jung (or Keyserling, for that matter) was or was not a Nazi, or was anti-Semitic, -- an argument that is often framed in unenlightening black or white dualistic terms -- can be resolved by offering a third way: the larger context of pre-Nazi era volkisch philosophy that both was and was not used by Nazis and anti- Semites for their own ends. Perhaps what many critics are sensing in Jung is his essential volkisch identity, of which there is much evidence. Jung's is not merely a folk-psychology, but a "Volk-psychology." The claimed evidence of the active, open espousal of anti-Semitism or Nazism by Jung is, in my opinion, less directly compelling (hence the greater controversy over it), and is perhaps more fruitfully framed -- from the historian's point of view -- in its deeper volkisch context. As historians such as Mosse have continually stressed, anti-Semitism and National Socialism, while derivatives of this volkisch tradition, are not to be regarded as completely identical with it and its multiple offshoots, of which Jung and his analytical psychology is only one of many. It would make sense from a historical point of view to see overlaps between those in Jung's circle (himself included) with those in National Socialist circles during the 1930s, as indeed has been documented. [99]


Switzerland has a many-centuries-old tradition of being a land of heresy and unconventional sects. During the Middle Ages the Free Spirits, Waldensians, and even the Cathars made inroads into the lives of many in this region. [100] Southern Germany and Switzerland were primary centers of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, and the splintering of Protestantism into insular "sects" continued in Switzerland until the present century. The official Swiss census of 1 December 1888 counted 10,697 persons living in sects but only 8,384 Jews in a total population of 2.9 million, dominated by 1.7 million Protestants and 1.2 million Roman Catholics. [101] Although most of these sects were somehow connected with Christian ideas, there were some that operated as charismatic cults with bizarre belief systems that promoted intergenerational incest, the ingestion of urine and sperm, and other unconventional spiritual practices that led to their separate category in the Swiss census. The Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) became fascinated with such sects near the end of his life and produced four publications of psychoanalytic ethnography that focused on two charismatic leaders of one such Swiss sect. [102]

Between 1900 and 1920 a Munich to Ascona countercultural axis seemed to be in full operation, making this circuit somewhat similar in spirit if not in size to the California of the 1960s. Switzerland and southern Germany became the home of these neopagan, sun-worshiping, nudist, vegetarian, spiritualist, sometimes anarchist, sexually liberated groups experimenting with new life-styles or a new experience-based philosophy of life. [103] Aschheim refers to these groups as "varieties of Nietzschean religion." [104] Taking their inspirational cue from Nietzsche's proclamation that "god is dead" in Also Sprach Zarathustra, they created their own forms of personal religion. When describing her impressions of the materially impoverished but spiritually adventurous life-style of these Bohemian colonies in Switzerland, Marianne Weber uses the same word that her husband Max employed to describe the essence of charisma: ausseralltagliches ("extraordinary," or "out of the everyday routine of life"). [105] Swiss authorities were considered relatively benign compared to the more heavy-handed Austrian or Bavarian police. The groups operating in this Swiss version of the fin-desiecle New Age -- some of them with volkisch concerns but most probably not -- have been documented in Green's extraordinary work. [106]

Some neopagan groups took their sun-worshiping ideas from ancient Persian sources. At the turn of the century there was a resurgence of both scholarly and Theosophical interest in Persian mythology (primarily Zoroastrianism or Mazdeanism and Mithraism). The proximate cause of some of this interest in the 1890s was no doubt due to Nietzsche, as "Zarathustra" was the name used in Greek writings for Zoroaster (circa 600 B.CE.), the prophet who converted the early (probably shamanistic) Indo-Iranian peoples to his religion based on the supreme deity Ahura Mazda. Zoroastrian religion went through many revisions over one thousand years and in its latter forms is especially noted for its dualism and hierarchies of demons and angels. Classical scholars such as Franz Cumont (1868-1947) from Belgium traced the Hellenistic mystery cult of Mithras (100-400 C.E.) to ancient Persian roots, and Richard Reitzenstein (1861-1931) from Germany founded an entire school in the history of religions devoted to tracing the Iranian roots of Gnosticism, although this monomaniacal fascination with Iranian origins in the work of these two scholars has been rejected in recent years. [107]

The fascination of the Germans with Persian (Aryan) origins began during the Romantic Era of the early 1800s. Although Gustav Fechner (1801-1887), at first a professor of physics and later one of philosophy at the University of Leipzig, is best known for his Elemente der Psychophysik of 1860 (a work that is regarded as the first textbook in modern experimental psychology), he wrote many metaphysical works as well. [108] One of these, the Zend-Avesta (1851), a work of Romantic natural philosophy, takes its name from the title of the sacred books of the ancient Iranian Zoroastrians. [109] Zoroastrian solar mythology was extensively discussed by Muller in many of his publications. Jung himself cites Muller in this regard in his Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido. These, too, had found their way into occultist literature and in the earliest writings of Blavatsky in the 1870s.

By 1900 enough of the scholarly information had begun to seep into Theosophical publications and other occult literature, making such mythology available to neopagan cults. Around 1900 a "Cult of Mazdaznan" was founded in the United States by a German immigrant from Poznan, Otto Hanisch (1854-1936). Hanisch, who used an Iranian-sounding alias (Ottoman Zar-Adusht Ha'nish), alleged that he was born in Tehran and that his cult was a remnant of the Zoroastrianism of ancient Iran. The cult was based on vegetarianism, solar mysticism, and other practices derived from Hanisch's idiosyncratic interpretations of the Zend-Avesta. By 1910 the cult had spread to Europe and appears to have been based in Herrliberg, Switzerland (ten miles from Zurich) under the leadership of Karl Heise, a Zurich bookshop assistant, and a former student of Guido von List. Near Zurich, Heise was the charismatic leader of a commune ("university," as the cult described it) called "Aryana" that practiced solar worship and vegetarianism. As James Webb notes, "The university was known as 'Aryana"' because "only the fair-skinned 'Aryan' races were permitted to become bearers of the new ideal." [110] Heise was a dominant figure on the Zurich occultist scene around 1910 and wrote many books on topics such as sun worship, reincarnation, and the astral body that were published between 1907 and 1919. [111] It has been suggested that the Mazdaznans included several influential members of the Bauhaus movement and thus influenced German aesthetics, but by 1916 the group had moved its headquarters to California.  [112] Today the group seems to be most alive in France, and some occult bookshops in Paris have their own Mazdaznan sections for the group's more recent metaphysical and vegetarian literature.

It is not known if Jung knew of Heise or if he read any of Heise's occult works (none are listed in Jung's posthumous Bibliothek catalog), but it is interesting to note that it is precisely during this time (late 1909-1910) that Jung becomes fascinated with the literature on Zoroastrianism and Mithraism -- and their basis in ancient Iranian solar worship. [113] We do, however, have solid evidence from a late period that Jung was aware of this solar-worshiping cult so near to his base of operations, as he mentions, in an essay published in 1928, the Mazdaznan in the same sentence with "Christian Science, theosophy, [and] anthroposophy" as examples of extra-Christian "individual symbolformation" cults. [114] Jung appears not to have known Hanisch, for in remarks made during his "Zarathustra Seminar" in May 1934, Jung discounts the rumor that Nietzsche met Hanisch or his cult members in Leipzig as a student and hence got his idea for Zarathustra from them. Jung is also unaware that the cult originated in a later period. Jung is incorrect in his statement that "He [Hanisch] is certainly not the originator of the Mazdaznan sect; it is of older origin," thus also appearing not to have known Hanisch but did know of Hanisch's claims of an ancient origin for the Mazdaznans. [115]

Yet it is interesting that the first issue Jung chooses to clarify for his audience in his Zarathustra seminar is a critical denial of the role of the cult of the Mazdaznans as an influence on Nietzsche and therefore, by extension, on Jung himself. Given the fact that Jung was well aware of the Mazdaznans, and especially considering the prominent place Jung gave this cult among the other well-known occult traditions in his 1928 statement, it is probable that he did at least know of Heise and the sun worship of the Mazdaznans but did not want a public association with the cult or its philosophy with his own ideas.


Thus this thriving neopagan movement was operating within Jung's Switzerland and could not have escaped his attention. In addition to the countercultural, antipolitical neopagans were the many highly nationalistic members of the German Youth Movement who could be seen hiking through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland during these years, some of whom were fully imbued with the sun-worshiping rituals and pantheistic literature of Diederichs and his publishing company. Many of the casualties of these groups would inevitably end up at the Burgholzli. The most prominent casualty with Asconan neopagan beliefs -- the renegade psychoanalyst and anarchist Otto Gross (to be discussed later) -- was admitted and treated by Jung in 1908. He was no doubt one among several.

The Burgholzli was the largest psychiatric-treatment facility in Switzerland and was therefore easily accessible on the countercultural route between the Bohemian districts of Schwabing in Munich and the village of Ascona. Absinthe, cocaine, morphine, opium, and other substances sometimes went along with the Nietzschean "new ethic" with tragic results, and spiritual purification rituals involving fasting, unusual diets, excessive hiking, and so on, could sometimes induce a brief psychotic reaction. An analogous influx of similar patients appeared in psychiatric hospitals and clinics during the "Psychedelic Era" of the 1960s, and continues even today. The hallucinations and delusions of these spiritual explorers could indeed contain the components of the mystical ideas and symbolism they had studied in their search for pagan regeneration. Such was the nature of a small portion of the institutionalized patient population of the Burgholzli from which Jung made his clinical observations and from which he and his assistants (starting in 1909) collected data for the "phylogenetic" layer of the unconscious from which he derived his later (1916) theories. It was hardly a patient population free of exposure to occult or mythological material, whether through Theosophical or scholarly publications (especially those published by either the Eugen Diederichs Verlag or Verlag B. G. Teubner, or through direct participation in neopagan cult rituals.

Ascona, as Green has documented, grew into a spiritual center of sorts and was frequented by such gifted creative individuals as Hesse, D. H. Lawrence, Gross, Duncan, Mary Wigman, Rudolf von Laban, Keyserling, Franz Kafka, Max Brod, Paul Tillich, Weber (ironically, in 1913 and 1914), and in later years, Jung. Ascona, the countercultural mecca with its own circum~ ambulated qa'ba (Monte Verita) and bearded and long-locked Naturmenschen in Tannhauser-like sandals, became the site of the famous Eranos Conferences that Jung so dominated and which started in 1933. [116] Indeed, Carl and Emma Jung annually stayed in a villa on the "Mountain of Truth" (Monte Verita) itself. [117] By the time of the Eranos Conferences, however, the Naturmenschen were becoming scarce, for Ascona had begun to take on the air of a resort for the wealthy and "artistic" communities that it maintains today.

Laurens van der Post, a close friend and disciple of Jung's who is noted for his many books on his experiences exploring Africa, reports inviting Jung many times to join him on yet another voyage to the "dark continent" after Jung's fieldwork in Kenya in 1925. According to van der Post, Jung replied that before he could allow himself to return to Africa, "I found so much witchcraft in Switzerland I felt that I had to deal with all this witchcraft first." Perhaps we may now have a little clearer understanding of Jung's remark by understanding his Switzerland, which apparently did indeed have its share of neopagans and others participating in an occult underground -- and, indeed, noted persons such as himself at play in the network of the occult establishment.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:07 am

Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER SIX: Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido


ALTHOUGH A DISCUSSION of Jung's Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (1912) at this point removes it from the chronological development of Jung's life and thought that I will construct in part 2 of this volume, it is perhaps more important to include this section here where it follows discussion of the long Germanic tradition of volkisch sun worship that Jung was so much a part of.

It is true, as so many commentators have said, that Wandlungen is only a partially intelligible book. Although there is more cohesion in the much shorter first part than the enormous second part, Jung piles layers upon layers of mythological references into almost every paragraph in this four-hundred-page book. The connection between one thought and the next is not clear, and as Kerr has pointed out, there are many internal contradictions in the proposed revisions of the libido theory of psychoanalysis that made the work practically unintelligible to even the psychoanalytic community of Jung's day.

For Jung, the writing of the book mirrored a personal transformation process in himself. He began work on it early in 1910, and part 1 of the work formed the basis of his very first public lecture devoted to the psychological interpretation of mythological material. He delivered the lecture on 16 May 1910 to a group of Swiss psychiatrists in Herisau, Switzerland, and sent a copy of it to Freud for comments. Although this early manuscript has not survived, we have Freud's comments and criticisms in an undated letter from late June or early July of 1910: "Despite all its beauty, I think, the essay lacks ultimate clarity." [1] Whether Jung's essay ever developed any clarity is disputable.

Jung's self-professed haste in producing Wandlungen was due, in part, to his desire to be in print with his own unique interpretation of comparative world mythology. His associate from the Burgholzli, Franz Riklin, had been the first to do so with a psychoanalytic interpretation of fairy tales published in 1908. Between October 1909 and 1912 Jung and his associates read mythological works and then collected evidence of mythological content in the dreams, fantasies, hallucinations, and delusions of the patients of the Burgholzli. Jung had also by this time found a small publication by an American woman he never met, Miss Frank Miller, which contained many of her poetic reveries and visions. [2] Using this as a starting point, Jung wrote the massive two-part Wandlungen, published as a one-volume book in late 1912.


The unintelligibility of Wandlungen has often been attributed by Jung and his disciples to his haste, and by his detractors to his "encounter with narcissism" [3] or perhaps even psychosis. Peter Homans captures the flavor of the reader's first impression of Jung's text when he concludes, "It is, in short, a record of Jung's own fantasies, not an interpretation of the myths and symbols of the past." [4] Kerr -- who probably understands Wandlungen from a psychoanalytic perspective better than anyone ever has -- "second[s] Homans's view, the longest of these essays is nothing more or less than the record of Jung's own fantasy life, recklessly projected onto ancient symbols and myths." [5] However, both Homans and Kerr have tried to understand Wandlungen from a purely psychoanalytic perspective. Perhaps we can discern a different meaning in this baffling text.

It may be argued that the confusing combination of "several different essays hurriedly stitched together at the last moment"6 that comprise Wandlungen are due to its essential nature as a work of syncretism. Syncretism is usually defined as an attempted blending of irreconcilable principles or tenets, as in philosophy or religion. Or else it is the attempted blending of groups of individuals who adhere to seemingly irreconcilable religious or philosophical principles. Syncretic literature is almost always unintelligible at first to those not in the original melting pot that inspired the work in the first place, whether this is in a purely intellectual or a primarily social world. Trying to understand the Hellenistic Christianity of the various groups of two thousand years ago we call the Gnostics, for example, presents problems today for the devout Christian and occultist alike.

I propose that Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido is a syncretic work on several levels. It is, first and foremost, Jung's attempt at scientific syncretism in the nineteenth-century sense of Wissenschaft. Following Freud, Jung too claimed psychoanalysis was a science. Wandlungen was an attempt to prove this by blending the methodology of psychoanalysis with the esteemed Wissenschaften of comparative philology, comparative mythology, and evolutionary biology. It was an attempt to integrate the science of psychoanalysis with the other Geisteswissenschaften and Naturwissenschaften, indeed with the greater scientific body of knowledge of Jung's day.

A second syncretic agenda is perhaps a mystical one. It is a blending of different philosophies of personal religion based on notions of regeneration or rebirth. Psychoanalysis becomes not only a science but a way of cultural and individual revitalization -- and by this time a personal religion for Jung. In Wandlungen Jung cannot help but rely on the ideas of the volkisch movement, as around 1910 the most intelligent and accepted blend of the scholarly literature on comparative philology, comparative mythology, and evolutionary biology in German could be found in the various literatures of this movement on the differences between Aryan peoples and Semitic peoples. Volkisch ideas permeate scholarly publications from the eminent Muller and Haeckel on down to the esoteric books and pamphlets of Theosophists and other occultists, and many were used (and some cited) by Jung in Wandlungen. This is, perhaps, most apparent in the relentless syncretism of solar mythology and psychoanalysis that begins in the last section of part 1 -- "The Song of the Moth" -- and continues throughout the enormous part 2, thus making the second part of Wandlungen as bulky and unintelligible as the second part of Faust. It is especially in these sections that Jung's text becomes a liturgy of sun worship and volkisch Aryanism.

Here, perhaps, we can discern clues from Jung's personal life and letters. By 1911 and early 1912 Jung's growing estrangement from Freud was marked by a greater fascination with the symbolism of ancient mystery cults from the Hellenistic world than with traditional Freudian sexual symbolism and its application, a practice that William James, in a letter to Flournoy, called "a most dangerous method." It was the symbolism of the mystery cult of Mithras in particular that seemed to rival the sexual symbolism of psychoanalysis in Jung's own personal symbolic system during this period. [7] By 1912, Jung reenvisioned psychoanalysis as a way to achieve both personal and cultural renewal and rebirth, as is evident in some statements in Wandlungen, but which is most apparent in an article on "New Paths in Psychology" that also appeared in 1912. [8] Upon the completion and publication of this work Jung realized he could no longer live in the "Christian myth":

When I finished [Wandlungen], I had a peculiarly lucid moment in which I surveyed my path as far as I had come. I thought: "Now you have the key to mythology and you have the power to unlock all doors." And then I found myself asking what I had done after all. I had written a book about the hero, I had explained the myths of past peoples, but what about my own myth? I had to admit I had none; I knew theirs but none of my own, nor did anyone else have one today. Moreover, we were without an understanding of the unconscious. [9]


Jung opens Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido by suggesting that Freud and psychoanalysis can reveal something new and powerful about the ancient Greek culture so idealized by nineteenth-century Germanic Europeans. Winckelmann's serene and composed Hellas was already gone forever after the appearance of Heine, Nietzsche, and Wagner. Further, Jung implies in his introduction that ancient Greece, too, like the modern age, was the garden of sexuality. Jung reminds his reader that Freud's uncovering of the "Incest Phantasy" deep in the soul of every fin-de-siecle man, woman, and -- most shockingly -- every child, is the root of "the Oedipus legend." Even in ancient Greece, "similar passions moved mankind, and man was likewise convinced of the uniqueness of his existence." With Freud's insights, "suddenly there is opened a revelation of the simple greatness of the Oedipus tragedy," and a pulse of life originating in ancient Greece is thus found still alive in the souls of modern individuals. [10]

Jung says it is a "vain illusion" that modern individuals are more moral than the ancients, and he argues that our common bond with the people of antiquity has been forgotten. Yet this reminder by psychoanalysis has profound implications:

With this truth a path is opened to the understanding of the ancient mind; an understanding which so far has not existed, and, on one side, leads to an inner sympathy, and on the other side, to an intellectual comprehension. Through buried strata of the individual soul we come indirectly into possession of the living mind of ancient culture, and, just precisely through that, do we win that stable point of view outside our own culture, from which, for the first time, an objective understanding of their mechanisms would be possible. At least that is the hope we get from the rediscovery of the Oedipus problem. [11]

Let us examine this important statement more closely in its historical context. Winckelmann's beloved ancient Greece, so catalogued and institutionalized in museums by the twentieth century, had become banalized, reduced to pieces of statuary and mere literary references in the poetry and prose of a century of Germans. The rediscovery of the Greeks by Winckelmann, which had succeeded in awakening Kultur among the German peoples, had also revivified the Greeks and their pagan gods. Jung is arguing that modern individuals need to find the thought, passions, and especially the gods of ancient Greece that are still alive in each individual soul of today. This finding can be accomplished with the techniques of psychoanalysis, which are in Jung's pages allied with the uncovering methodologies of archaeology, philology, and comparative mythology.

Psychoanalysis literally becomes the archaeology of the soul for the first time in Jung's seminal work. It promises not only an understanding of the souls of individuals, but of modern culture as well. Perhaps most attractively, it is a way of objectively learning something new ("for the first time," Jung says) about ancient Greece and other ancient cultures. In the second part of Wandlungen, the title of the third chapter explicitly holds out such a promise: "The Transformation of the Libido: A Possible Source of Primitive Human Discoveries."

Psychoanalysis therefore can increase the knowledge of other sciences: it becomes a way to revive archaeology and philology, which had been longing for breakthroughs since the days of Schliemann and Schleicher. Schliemann used Homer as his guide to finding and uncovering the past, discovering the gold of Troy in 1873 and the graves of Mycenae in 1876. Schleicher used the language of Homer (and others) as his guide to finding and uncovering the original language of all Aryans (Indo-Europeans).  [12] Psychoanalysis was the new science for adding to our knowledge of these same ancient origins by tracing the historical development of the libido in individuals (ontogeny) and in the species (phylogeny). Psychoanalysis may thus take its place among the other revered Wissenschaften. Who knows what it may uncover?

In the first formal chapter of Wandlungen, entitled "Concerning the Two Kinds of Thinking," Jung uses the literature of philosophy, psychology, and psychoanalysis to distinguish between (1) directed, rational, focused thinking whose medium is words and (2) symbolic, alogical, fantastical thought that is irrational and expressed in images. The former is the hallmark and indeed the pride of the nineteenth-century bourgeois European; the latter is found in dreams, in children, in primitives, and in the mythological thought of pagan, pre-Christian antiquity. It is also found especially in persons with serious psychotic disorders, such as dementia praecox. Our personal sediment of infantile memories shades into the archaic levels of the mythological cognition of the ancients and of primitives. These two kinds of thinking comprise the main strata of the individual psyche. If the top layer of the individual psyche is disturbed, mythological material from the ancestry of humankind reemerges in the form of delusions and hallucinations.

The symbolic method of psychoanalysis as practiced in the literature of Freud, therefore, becomes a new Rosetta Stone. It is, however, a Rosetta Stone that translates the hieroglyphs of the second type of thinking into the psychoanalytic language of the first. Until the very last chapter of Wandlungen -- "The Sacrifice," about which more will be said later -- the dynamic energy or libido in humans as biological organisms was sexual energy only in all previous psychoanalytic works. In language that obscures his intent, Jung posits a theoretical revision that he develops more fully in later works, redefining libido as a more general term for psychic energy rather than strictly for sexuality. This incompatibility of ideas is, of course, the intellectual excuse for the break between Jung and Freud.

By confirming that psychoanalysis is a science that employs a historical method of uncovering the origins not only of the development of the individual, but also of the species, Jung implies that it is ultimately grounded in biological processes. As noted earlier, Haeckel's evidence that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" is the result of the successful application of the historical method to biology. Jung likewise in Wandlungen sets out to document the evolution of thought in the style of Haeckelian evolutionary biology. In Jung's case, patterns of human experience are categorized and analyzed to chart lines of development and typical patterns of strata. The basic schema, however, comes from psychoanalysis. Given Jung's attempted innovations and their internal contradictions in Wandlungen, other than the basic distinction of strata between "the two kinds of thinking," the psychoanalytic schema makes almost no sense to the reader after the first chapter.

Yet, since on a gross physical level each adult individual was once a fetus with reptilian features at one point in life, analogously, why could the thoughts and feeling, indeed echoes of libido, of the noble ancient Greeks not be evident somewhere in the soul of every European? Jung's deliberate use of Haeckelian evolutionary biology in Wandlungen implies the possibility that one day, through the historical science of psychoanalysis, biology and psychology would converge via the principle that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. This echoes Haeckel's similar proposal in 1899 for a "phylogenetic psychology" to study the "phylogeny of the soul." If typical stages in the development of human thought (as observable derivatives of transformations in libido) could be schematized, and then found to dovetail with the stages of biological development in humans, psychoanalysis could make a tremendous contribution to knowledge in a way unparalleled by any other science.

Again, the biological basis of his argument is implied by Jung in the first chapter of Wandlungen by invoking Haeckel's "Biogenetic Law," but not his name. Although in various places he offhandedly refers to biology, he does not develop a biological argument. [13] It is central, however, to the entire book. Biology is very much in Jung's mind when he says early in Wandlungen that: "Thus, there must be typical myths which are really the instruments of a folk-psychological complex treatment." [14]

Jung spends great effort attempting to blend the psychoanalytic method with those of comparative mythology and comparative philology. From the comparative mythology of Muller, Jung follows the method of piling example upon example of myths from different ancient cultures and those contemporary primitive cultures found in ethnographic literature. Three primary categories emerge, all interrelated: the comparative mythology of the hero, of self-sacrifice (usually in connection with the hero), and of solar myths and their predominance in all cultures and in the fantastical layer of thought in all human beings.

If examined outside of the context of the psychoanalytic literature, Wandlungen might very well be regarded as an eccentric work of Mullerian solar mythology. Jung's assumptions about the historical development of consciousness match Muller's ideas, and not surprisingly: Muller dominated European thought on the subject of comparative mythology for almost fifty years and Mullerian assumptions had seeped into the cognitive categories of nineteenth-century thought. [15] Over the course of his career, Muller developed what can only be called a cognitive theory of cultural evolution. [16] Muller argued that there was a period of human history that predated even the earliest Aryan civilizations in which human beings did not have adequate language for abstract thoughts and inexplicable experiences. This was, as Muller called it, the "mythopoetic age" in which the first Aryan gods were born. [17] The gods represented perhaps the most powerful and inexplicable forces that humans can encounter: the forces of nature, and in particular the dominant role of the sun in the natural world. As humans had a limited verbal capacity in these early days and could not process information efficiently, single words had to take on multiple meanings, both concrete and abstract. There were two primary cognitive processes at work here according to Muller, which served as heuristics: polyonymy, where one word had to carry many meanings, and homonymy, where one essential idea could become attached to several different words.

In this early mythopoetic age, many words could signify the sun, with multiple webs of associations attached to them, which would then overlap with other such webs. Thus, the ancient Vedic supreme god Dyanus could be associated with words for light, fire, brightness, clarity of thought, power, air, and dawn, among others. Muller hypothesized that as migrations separated the original Aryan peoples and as civilization developed, bringing about an increase in language and an increase in the ability to process greater and more complex loads of information, humans eventually forgot the seminal core complexes (usually Vedic gods) at the center of these webs of associations. Thus, through the decay or "disease of language," new stories were made up to account for the forgotten Vedic origins. Out of these stories Persian, Indian, Greek, Roman, Germanic, and other mythologies arose. This philological method allowed one to trace the development of the Aryan peoples step by step, back to an Edenic time before history was recorded.

Muller's excitement over peering into the dawn of human history is evident in much of his work. After arguing that the names of the "highest god" in Sanskrit (Dyaus), Greek (Zeus), Latin (Jove), and ancient German (Tiu) were essentially the same, he relates:

but I hardly dwelt with sufficient strength on the startling nature of this discovery. These names are not mere names; they are historical facts, aye, facts more immediate, more trustworthy, than many facts of medieval history. These words are not mere words, but they bring before us, with all the vividness of an event which we witnessed ourselves just yesterday, the ancestors of the whole Aryan race, thousands of years it may be before Homer and the Veda, worshipping an unseen Being, under the selfsame name, the best, the most exalted name, they could find in their vocabulary, -- under the name of Light and Sky. [18]

The symbolic method of psychoanalysis that Jung employs in Wandlungen is based on just such assumptions of the polyonymy and homonymy of the words used to describe the everyday experiences of fantasies and dreams. Often it is one idea -- sexuality -- attached to several different words that points to their ultimate origin. Jung takes this essential psychoanalytic premise and applies it to the content of world mythology ad infinitum in Wandlungen. The following digressive paragraph is only one of many such examples that fill the volume:

The symbolism of the instrument of coitus was an inexhaustible material for ancient phantasy. It furnished a widespread cult that was designated phallic, the object of reverence of which was the phallus. The companion of Dionysus was Phales, a personification of the phallus proceeding from the phallic Herme of Dionysus. The phallic symbols were countless. Among the Sabines, the custom existed for the bridegroom to part the bride's hair with a lance. The bird, the fish, and the snake were phallic symbols. In addition, there existed in enormous quantities theriomorphic representations of the sexual instinct, in connection with which the bull, the he-goat, the ram, the boar and the ass were frequently used. An undercurrent to this choice of symbol was furnished by the sodomitic inclination of humanity. When in the dream phantasy of modern man, the feared man is replaced by an animal, there is recurring in the ontogenetic re-echo the same thing which was openly represented by the ancients countless times. [19]

If Muller could be monomaniacal about tracing the origins of all human thought and culture to the sun, Jung as psychoanalyst could trace all human origins back to the genitals and their sexual functions. Jung even borrowed from the methodologies of philology and comparative mythology to do it. However, throughout this book, Jung is highly selective about the types of myths he chooses. He prefers solar myths and indeed draws his material disproportionately from Aryan cultural roots (India, Iran, and Hellenistic world, with a smattering of Wagnerian Teutonic mythology). Indeed, on the rare occasions on which Jung approaches the Semitic cultures (Jews, Arabs, etc.), it is generally with reference to Job or to Jesus and the Christian myth. He could have chosen to write, for example, a book interpreting African myths or North American Indian myths, but even in the places where, for example, Miller herself (who is quite lost in this book) provides a fantasy about an Amerindian (Chiwantopel), Jung turns to Aryan mythologies for amplification. [20] Jung's father was an Orientalist and knew Arabic and Hebrew and his maternal grandfather (whose poetry is cited in Wandlungen) was a professor of Hebraic Studies, and so sources of information about the Semitic cultures were not alien to Jung.

Hence, Wandlungen is an attempted syncretism of psychoanalysis and the German sciences most devoted to the study of Aryan culture. It is therefore a syncretic blend of sexual mythology and solar mythology as two major theories of the true ancient origins of the human soul and of human culture.

It is primarily in part 2 of Wandlungen that we find Jung also attempting to blend the historical method of psychoanalysis with the methods of comparative philology. Endless etymological digressions are inserted into the text. For the reader's sake I will not repeat any of them here. [21] When Jung was writing part 2 in late 1911 and early 1912, he apparently assigned Emma Jung to do this etymological research that appears in the book and lends it its scientific persona, at least by nineteenth-century German standards. [22]


It is not difficult to see how Jung's book would have been recommended reading among volkisch cultists or Asconan sun worshipers: almost every page contains references to solar mythology and its connection with world mythology and sexuality. Mixing sun worship with the new ethic of sexual freedom was a potent brew for Asconans thirsty for validation by established medical or scholarly authorities that they claimed so much to despise. These solar references increase in frequency starting in the chapter "The Song of the Moth" in part I, in which Jung interprets a romantic poem by Miller entitled "The Moth to the Sun." [23] Jung says that in this poem "Her Longing for God resembles the longing of the moth for the 'star.'" [24] In a manner resembling the methodology of Muller's solar mythology, Jung then reminds the reader that "in the preceding chapter the following chain of associations was adduced: the singer -- God of sound -- singing morning star -- creator -- God of Light -- sun -- fire -- God of Love." [25]

Jung's further analysis of the content of this poem makes it clear that the sun or star Miller is talking about is not an external one, but an inner one. Indeed, it is the god within. The resonance with the volkisch neopaganism of this time is accomplished by way of using psychoanalytic terminology. Thus:

In the second poem where the longing is clearly exposed it is by no means the terrestrial sun. Since the longing has been turned away from the real object, its object has become, first of all, a subjective one, namely, God. Psychologically, however, God is the name of a representation-complex that is grouped around a strong feeling (the sum of libido). Properly, the feeling is what gives character and reality to the complex. The attributes and symbols of divinity must belong in a consistent manner to the feeling (longing, love, libido, and so on). If one honors God, the sun or the fire, then one honors one's own vital force, the libido. It is as Seneca says: "God is near you, he is with you, in you." [26]

Here Jung offers the psychoanalytic term "libido" as a mystical substitute for "vital force" or even "God." Just as we feel the surge of vital power within us as living biological beings, so then are we also experiencing the god within.

As we shall see, the experience of the god within was always a key promise of Jung and his method of psychotherapy, as Homans astutely noted, and it is indeed a central part of Jung's repudiation of traditional Christianity that offered a God that was distant, transcendent, and absolute. [27] In the pages of Wandlungen we see the first liturgical exegesis of these core Jungian concepts.

Having a god within could lead to the experience of becoming one with God, or merging with this God-force in some way. It is clear from his many statements in Wandlungen that Jung felt that the central experience of transformation in the ancient mystery cults of the Hellenistic world involved just such a process or experience of self-deification. Jung mentions the mysteries of Isis and of Mithras especially in this regard. Jung relates the following observations:

To bear a God within one's self signifies just as much as to be God one's self .... There are even plainer traces, to be sure, in the "becoming- one-with-God" in those mysteries closely related to the Christian, where the mystic himself is lifted up to divine adoration through initiatory rites .... These representations of "becoming- one-with-God" are very ancient. The old belief removed the becoming-one-with-God until the time after death; the mysteries, however, suggest this as taking place already in this world. [28]

Bringing the experience of becoming one with God into the familiar present, Jung explains: "The identification with God necessarily has as a result the enhancing of the meaning and power of the individual." However, this is in fact a defense against the individual's "all too great weakness and insecurity in real life. This great megalomania thus has a genuinely pitiable background." [29]

Throughout "The Song of the Moth," and indeed throughout the rest of the book Jung dizzyingly unites the following in an associative chain of equivalences: the sun -- the phallus -- brightness -- god -- father -- fire -- libido -- fructifying strength and heat -- hero. To conclusively back up this argument, Jung mentions the famous case of the "Solar Phallus Man" -- a contemporary individual, institutionalized in the Burgholzli, who has a hallucination (or perhaps a delusion) that the sun has a phallic tube hanging from it that produces the wind. [30]This case found by Jung's assistant, J. J. Honegger, is the perfect exemplum of Jung's whole argument in this book and is a symbol of Jung's attempted union of sexual psychoanalysis and solar mythology.

Inwardly perceived, "divine vision is often merely sun or light," [31] as it is the "inner light, the sun of the other world." [32] Again: "The comparison of the libido with the sun and fire is in reality analogous." [33] Like Muller's concept of the "disease of language" through which the initial core concepts of associative webs lost their meaning as civilization forgot the "mythopoetic age" Jung argues, in a comparison of the Book of Revelation with the Mithraic Liturgy that:

The visionary images of both texts are developed from a source, not limited to one place, but found in the soul of many diverse people, because the symbols which arise from it are too typical for it to belong to one individual only. I put these images here to show how the primitive symbolism of light gradually developed, with the increasing depth of the vision, into the idea of the "sunhero," the "well-beloved." [34]

Echoing the words of Goethe, Haeckel, and so many others, in this chapter Jung also cites a very similar remark by Renan in his Dialogues et fragments philosophiques (1876), justifying the rationality of sun worship: "Before religion had reached the stage of proclaiming that God must be put into the absolute and ideal, that is to say, beyond this world, one worship alone was reasonable and scientific: that was worship of the sun." [35]

It is with this final burst of solar mythology that Jung mercifully ends part 1. Part 2, however, picks up right where he left off and the entire first paragraph of part 2 is Jung's appeal to the rationality of sun worship:

The sun is, as Renan remarked, really the only rational representation of God, whether we take the point of view of the barbarians of other ages or that of the modern physical sciences .... the sun is adapted as nothing else to represent the visible God of this world. That is to say, that driving strength of our own soul, which we call libido .... That this comparison is no mere play of words is taught to us by the mystics. When by looking inwards (introversion) and going down into the depths of their own being they find "in their heart" the image of the Sun, they find their own love or libido, which with reason, I might say with physical reason, is called the Sun: for our source of energy and life is the Sun. Thus our life substance, as an energic process, is entirely Sun. [36]

After this opening exposition on sun worship as experiencing God as the sun within, Jung cites long passages from Vedic literature to back up his assertions. He finds it important to use these Vedic texts to "join it to the idea most important for us, that God is also contained in the individual creature." [37] Jung interprets these Vedic texts with statements such as: "Whoever has in himself, God, the sun, is immortal, like the sun." [38]

The remainder of part 2 of Wandlungen is primarily an exposition on the hero and themes of sacrifice. It is this part of the book that Jung sees as containing the book's central message, for as he said during a seminar in 1925 about Wandlungen: "The problem it brought to focus in my mind was that of the hero myth in relation to our own times." [39] Typical mystery-cult scenarios such as going down into Mother Earth to receive one's initiation (usually a battle or struggle of some sort), which is translated into psychoanalysis as finding the wellsprings of one's own libido through a process of introversion. In part 2 Jung introduces his interpretation of Wagnerian opera, with Siegfried equated with Christ as sun heroes, "reborn sons," and as self-sacrificing gods. [40] They are also equated with Mithras, a solar deity from an ancient Hellenistic mystery cult.

Homans was perhaps the first to fully realize the anti-Christian implications of Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido. In his view:

the intellectual heart of this book is not the revised libido theory, or Jung's interpretation of the Miller fantasies, or even his analyses of the mythologies of the world. It is the fate of Christianity in the light of modernity and in particular the new science of psychoanalysis. Jung's libido theory may have been a departure from Freud's, but it still added up to a secular, non-Christian view of the present. [41]

How does Jung repudiate orthodox Christianity in Wandlungen? The key may be found in his ideas on Mithraism, which are found throughout the book.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:45 am

Part 2 of 2


Although these mystery cults had been extensively commented upon by previous generations of scholars, the fin de siecle was a time when the irrational elements of antiquity could finally be explored, and this included a new look at the mystery cults. Also, for the very first time, classical scholars finally felt comfortable analyzing the rise of Christianity in its pagan context. [42] Jung's information about Mithraism came primarily from Cumont and Dieterich who, along with German classicists, led this renaissance of scholarly interest in the Hellenistic mystery cults.

Cumont was the very first to gather all of the primary evidence of Mithraism in his magisterial two-volume Textes et monuments figures relatifs aux mysteres de Mithra. [43] It is a comprehensive, descriptive, and interpretive collection of all of the archaeological monuments, inscriptions, texts, and references relating to Mithraism from antiquity. A more popular edition of the "Conclusions" of the first volume of Cumont's magnum opus was published in French in 1900 and later in German as Die Mysterien des Mithra. [44] Jung's library contains the 1911 German edition of the latter book as well as Cumont's two-volume set.

Jung's view of Mithraism was largely Cumont's, which in turn was a Christianized one: Mithras was an ancient Iranian solar god (like Helios) and a god of correct order and behavior (like Apollo). He is referred to in inscriptions as Sol Invictus, the "invincible sun." Mithraism was a survival of the old dualist Mazdean (Zoroastrian) religion of ancient Persia, dating back to at least 600 B.C., but continuing to live underground, only to be adapted to the Roman world of late antiquity (100-400 C.E.). The all-male cult (primarily Roman soldiers and merchants) was based on a masonic lodge-type model of grades of initiations, of which (at least in Rome) there were seven. Cumont insisted that Mithraic mystery initiations involved sacramental feasts at which bread and water were consecrated and at which blood was offered as a sacrifice in ceremonies involving robed priests who offered prayers, sang hymns, and rang bells -- as in the Roman Catholic Church -- at the holiest moment of the ritual: the unveiling of the ubiquitous image of Mithras killing a bull, the famous tauroctony that Jung reproduces in his Wandlungen. Indeed, practically all of these basic elements of Cumontian Mithraism-which Jung refers to repeatedly throughout Wandlungen and, indeed, throughout his life -- can be found in a single chapter of Cumont's book on The Mysteries of Mithras entitled, "The Mithraic Liturgy, Clergy and Devotees."

Figure 2. Tauroctony with two trees (from M. J. Vermaseren, Corpus Inscriptionem et Monumentorum Religionis Mithriacae; reprinted by permission of the heirs of M. J. Vermaseren and of Kluwer Academic Publishers).

The problem today (and ultimately for Jung's argument in Wandlungen) is that recent scholars have called into question almost all of Cumont's basic assumptions about the ancient Iranian origins of the Roman Mithraic mysteries and about the Christian-like sacramental ceremonies. Using the same archaeological and textual evidence that Cumont was the first to compile, and hunting down new evidence and deducing new theories, Mithraic scholars now offer a very different interpretation of the mysteries. The main difficulty is simple: although there is a wealth of archaeological material that is well preserved because the Mithraeums were built underground, there is not one single recorded account of the central myth (hieros logos) of Mithraism. or does Mithraic iconography provide us with the story. [45] Any attempted interpretation of the myth of Mithras, then, is an imagining, a reconstruction, a fantasy.

The other Mithraic scholar .who was approvingly and repeatedly mentioned by Jung in Wandlungen and later works is Albrecht Dieterich (1856-1908). Dieterich was a professor of classical philology and religion at the University of Heidelberg from 1903 until his death. Along with Weber and other prominent scholars from many disciplines, Dieterich participated for many years in a discussion group on religion (which they called the "Eranos" circle), started in 1904 by theologian Gustav Adolf Deissmann, where he undoubtedly presented summaries of his research on Mithraism and the Greek Magical Papyri. [46] Dieterich's Eine Mithrasliturgie of 1903 posited that certain key passages from the famous Greek Magical Papyri were parts of an authentic Mithraic Liturgy." [47] This particular section of the Greek Magical Papyri begins with an announcement that it is a revelation from "the great god Helios Mithras." It then goes on to describe the celestial ascent of the initiate and a series of prayers of invocation that result in the appearance of, among other entities, Mithras: "a god immensely great, having a bright appearance, youthful, golden-haired, with a white-tunic and golden crown and trousers, and holding in his right hand a golden shoulder of a young bull." [48] Given these characteristics, it is not difficult to see how Jung could easily equate Mithras with the golden-haired Teutonic hero of Wagnerian opera, Siegfried.

The Mithraic Liturgy ends with some advice from Zeus, which Jung scribbled in the upper margin of a famous letter to Freud of 31 August 1910, suggesting it should be adopted as a "motto for psychoanalysis: Give what thou hast, then thou shalt receive." [49] Jung's playful appeal to Freud for a Mithraic credo for psychoanalysis indicates his increasingly strong identification with the Mithraic mysteries. The Mithraic Liturgy is also important in the development of Jung's later psychology for another reason: it is the source of the mythological material regarding a sun phallus. Although Jung used this example throughout his entire life as proof of the collective unconscious, there are serious problems with Jung's story. The story of the Solar Phallus Man will be told in a later section.

In several places in Wandlungen, Jung juxtaposes Mithraism with Christianity as "the two great antagonistic religions, Christianity on the one side, and Mithracism on the other," [50] especially since both rose in prominence in the Roman empire at about the same time (100-400 C.E.). Here Jung is following Cumont (and before him, Renan) in arguing that, if historical events had gone a little differently, the Western world would be Mithraic and not Judeo-Christian today. [51] Jung repeated this line (somewhat wistfully, perhaps) in Wandlullgen and in his 1925 seminars on analytical psychology. [52] It was clearly an idea that stuck with him for decades.

Although Jung points out the similarities between the two religions (as having a sacrifice as the central image, of being social systems for the restraint of animal impulses, etc.), there are some fundamental differences that Jung does not point out but that become apparent in light of the discussion above. Mithraism, as a survival of Zoroastrianism, is a far more ancient form of worship than Christianity, which only dates to the first century C.E. Mithraism is therefore an ancient Aryan religion, and Christianity originally a Semitic one. The rivalry between Mithraism and Christianity is the rivalry between an ancient Aryan sun god and a Semitic god. Here Jung follows Cumont, who refers to Mithras as "the old Aryan deity." [53] Indeed, the very first line of Cumont's The Mysteries of Mithra tells us that, "In that unknown epoch when the ancestors of the Persians were still united with those of the Hindus, they were already worshippers of Mithra." [54] This "unknown epoch" is, of course, the Miillerian "mythopoetic" Aryan epoch of tribal prehistory so often addressed in nineteenth-century scholarship.

Jung imagines Mithraism to be a form of nature worship and not a form of religion forged in the iron cage of civilization, as Christianity had been during the Roman empire. Jung says that Mithraic worship is "nature worship in the best sense of the word; while the primitive Christians exhibited throughout an antagonistic attitude to the beauties of this world." [55] Jung further charges:

In the past two thousand years Christianity has done its work and has erected barriers of repression, which protect us from the sight of our own "sinfulness." The elementary emotions of the libido have come to be unknown to us, for they are carried on in the unconscious; therefore, the belief which combats them has become hollow and empty. Let whoever believes that a mask covers our religion, obtain an impression for himself from the appearance of our modern churches, from which style and art have long since fled. [56]

The natural Urreligion of the prehistoric Aryans was Jung's idea of the true source of all the Hellenistic mystery cults (e.g., the Great Mother, Isis, Osiris, Dionysus), but this was especially true of Mithraism. Mithraism was a direct survival of the Urreligion from the primordial homeland or Urheimat of the ancient Aryans, the Indo-Iranian region. In Jung's view, based on the scholarship of his day, the ancient Greco-Roman mystery cults were all based on the experience of rebirth for their initiates through special secret rites of initiation that focused on the transformative experience of becoming one with god. In the Mithraic cult, therefore, this would mean becoming one with an ancient Aryan god. The Aryan peoples -- unlike the Semites -- held onto their natural religion longer than any other group and were thus closer to the Urreligion of the sun and sky of all original humans.

In light of the historical method of psychoanalysis offered by Jung for uncovering evidence for the phylogeny of the human soul, his geophysically informed vision is plain: in the individual psyche there are strata that comprise the sediment of two thousand years of Christianity. Two thousand years of Christianity makes us strangers to ourselves. In the individual, the internalization of bourgeois-Christian civilization is a mask that covers the true Aryan god within, a natural god, a sun god, perhaps even Mithras himself. This is as true as the scientific fact that within the earth is glowing sun-matter that is hidden by thousands of years of sediment as well. In society, too, Christianity is an alien mask that covers our biologically true religion, a natural religion of the sun and the sky. The scientific proof are the cases of patients with dementia praecox documented by Jung and his Zurich School assistants (Honegger, Nelken, and Spielrein) that demonstrate that there is a pre-Christian, mythological layer of the unconscious mind. It is archaic and corresponds to the thought and especially to the souls of our ancestors. It does not produce purely Christian symbols, but instead it offers images of the sun as god.

By documenting this phylogenetic layer of the unconscious mind one also learns about the earliest origins of the human race. Therefore, we learn something new about not only archaeology, but evolutionary biology. What Jung doesn't explicitly say -- but it is fundamental to his project to demonstrate the utility of psychoanalysis as the new Wissenschaft -- is that we also learn about the origins of the very planet we live on, and that this method can add to our knowledge of the earth sciences. The strong implication by Jung, especially after a brief flirtation with the cultural stages of Bachofenian theory circa 1912-1913, is that (1) the universality of solar symbolism in material from the phylogenetic unconscious and (2) evidence of still-existing sun worship in primitive societies around the world (which Jung would one day see for himself in Africa and in the American Southwest) are expressions of prephylogenetic memories from our inanimate history. As the earth sprang from the sun and took many millions of years to cool off before life emerged from nonlife and began the process of evolution, these memories of being torn from the sun must somehow be in the very matter that comprise our physical bodies. This is one of the areas in which Jung's line of thought parallels Henri Bergson's ideas and indeed may have been informed by them, for Bergson's hypothesis of a biological unconscious in which humans can intuit the memories of their evolutionary past was put forth in his books Mattiere et Memoire (Matter and Memory) in 1896 and L'Evolution Creatrice in 1907. Libido, Bergsonian elan vital, Lebenskraft (the old term of the Naturphilosophen and the vitalists for the "force of life"), and the sun are therefore indeed one. [57]

This form of holism, as historian Anne Harrington terms it, was not limited to Jung but became the response of many German researchers (such as the Gestalt psychologists) to the existential crisis of science in the period between the wars. [58]


The presence of solar symbolism in Semitic cultures (ancient Egypt, for example) was indisputable, but many scholars felt that evidence of other similarities with the religions of the ancient Aryans was lacking. Semitic cultures were not regarded by Jung as based as directly on the same natural sources or Urreligion as the ancient Aryans and therefore did not have "mysteries" in the sense of a direct experience of the divine through initiation rituals. This opinion was also found in the bulk of the work of nineteenth-century scholars concerned with Aryan and Semitic differences. In Eine Mithrasliturgie, Dieterich notes in a discussion of the motif of rebirth in ancient India, in the Hellenistic mysteries of Isis, and in other Aryan cultural contexts that, "the Jews do not have this image" (die Juden haben das Bild nicht). [59] The so-called mysteries mentioned in the literature of Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity (especially in the first three centuries C.E.) were not considered to be from original Semitic sources (as was the original "Christ cult" and "Jesus movement") but instead were a syncretic result of contact with the Hellenistic world and its Aryan mysteries. The metaphors of mysteria and initiation were borrowed from the pagans, but their initiatory rituals were not. [60]

In nineteenth-century German scholarship Christianity was more often than not portrayed as a Semitic religion alien to the Aryan cultures of Greece and Rome. This was also very much the view of those German Protestant theologians known as the Tubingen School whose iconoclastic ideas gained ascendancy in the 1860s. Jung shared these views of vast spiritual and psychological differences between Aryan and Semitic ancestries, and they are reflected frequently in much of his work until the late 1930s.

Hence, for the educated volkisch neopagan circa 1911 or 1912 who may have stumbled across this work, it would seem that Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido was the scientific confirmation of everything that one would believe about the necessity for the repudiation of Christianity and the practice of sun worship. Jung's volume is indeed the "volkisch Liturgy."


It is clear from an analysis of the intellectual sources of Jung's ideas, and the literature he cites, that he approves of the work of prominent volkisch scientists and scholars, many of them Monists. The cultural, linguistic, and especially biological differences between Aryans and Semites -- which, again, made sense in the scientific world of the fin de siecle without the Hitlerian taint such ideas have today -- are used pejoratively in the works of volkisch writers to promote the superiority of Aryans over Semitic peoples. Jung was well aware of the biases in the works he was citing. He, too, was very much concerned with the problem of differences in the psychologies of Aryans and Semites and openly discussed these nineteenth-century scientific issues with Freud, who also adhered to such a model of ethnic terminology. [61]

Freud himself uses the term "Aryan" to distinguish the non- Jews in the psychoanalytic movement in his correspondence to fellow Jewish psychoanalysts such as Karl Abraham and Sandor Ferenczi, as Peter Gay has documented in his biography of Freud. In letters to Ferenczi in May and June 1913, following Jung's formal break with Freud in January of that year, Freud tells him that psychoanalysis must remain independent of all "Aryan patronage." He also insists that because of fundamental cognitive differences between Aryans and Jews, psychoanalysis as a science should look only a little different depending on whether it is in the hands of the almost exclusively Jewish Viennese or the largely Christian Swiss. Freud tells Ferenczi: "Certainly there are great differences with the Aryan spirit. ... Hence there would surely be different Weltanschauungs here and there. [But] there should be no distinct Aryan or Jewish science. Their results should be identical; only their presentation may vary." [62]

We have already discussed at length the influence of Haeckel in Wandlungen, and his anti-Semitic views that go beyond mere thinking in terms of Aryans and Jews have also been mentioned. The work of Ostwald was also known and admired by Jung and must be taken into account as part of the uncited volkisch background to Wandlungen. We have also discussed Jung's selective attention to the literature of comparative philology and comparative mythology concerning the Aryan peoples and his relative neglect of extant sources of such information (admittedly much less developed) on Semitic or other peoples.

One very brief but very significant citation by Jung needs special attention. In the first part of Wandlungen Jung cites with approval the immensely influential 1899 work of historical speculation by Chamberlain, Die Grundlagen des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Foundations of the Nineteenth Century). [63] Jung briefly mentions Chamberlain's odd view of Christian asceticism as "biologic suicide because of the enormous amount of illegitimacy among Mediterranean peoples at the time." [64] The ease with which Jung cites Chamberlain demonstrates how acceptable volkisch racial philosophy had become among the educated elites of German Europe by this time. Mosse says that Grundlagen "had a deep impact on Volkish thought," for "culminating in [its] message of imminent victory for the German race, Chamberlain's book became a favorite book in the Volkish movement. In many ways it attained the stature of being the Bible of racial truth, thought and victory." [65] Field best sums up the seminal message of this sizable two-volume work:

All the major elements of German racism converge in Chamberlain's writing: Aryan supremacy, anti-Semitism, messianic and mystical notions of race, Social Darwinism, and recently developed doctrines of eugenics and anthroposociology. Above all he joined the Teutonic myth, German nationalism, and cultural idealism. For him -- unlike Gobineau -- race, nation and Volk were almost identical. Admittedly, he was careful to include Slavs and Celts along with the Germanic peoples in the Teutonic race, but his description made it clear that the purest and least corrupted specimens inhabited the German Reich. The vitality of Britain, Russia and France had been exhausted by racial degeneration and their growing adherence to foreign, particularly Semitic, ideals. [66]

Besides this notable but brief citation of Chamberlain, Jung also cites the volkisch work of Drews, who, in The Christ Myth (1910) and other works, "worked together with many Monists to spread the idea that Christ was not an historical figure, but a myth." [67] In the same footnote in which Jung mentions Drews he also cites with approval the work of the radical Protestant theologian Dr. Albert Kalthoff, the pastor of St. Martin in Bremen, who was the first working president of the Monistic League. Mosse says that Drews was the chief adviser to the Eugen Diederichs Verlag, which was the publisher of Drews and Kalthoff.  [68] It is clear that by 1911-1912 Jung was reading extensively in the literature of monism and volkisch racism.

This fact could not have been lost on Freud and the Viennese. Chamberlain was a known anti-Semite and his Grundlagen, published twelve years before Jung's citation of it, was well known for its racism. This reference must have jumped off the page at Freud. The most strained letters between Freud and Jung really begin after Freud's reading of part 1 of Wandlungen, and the open break in intimate relations between the two men is well under way by November 1912, when we have the first evidence that Freud has read part 2. As a Jewish intellectual in Austria-Hungary Freud could not have missed Jung's fascination with Aryan origins and his citation of monist and volkisch literature.

Jung was never openly anti-Semitic; the evidence for this seems clear. But given the estrangement from Freud and his Viennese Jews, and the citation of such threatening material in Wandlungen, it is no wonder that our first evidence of Freud's view of Jung as an anti-Semite comes in an exchange of letters with Ernest Jones in December 1912. "Jung is going to save the world, another Christ (with certainly anti-semitism combined)," Jones complains to Freud on 5 December 1912. Freud concurs in his 8 December response: "I thank you for your very just remarks about Jung .... In fact he behaves like a perfect fool, he seems to be Christ himself, and in the particular things he says there is always something of the Lausbub [rascal]." [69] In an 8 July 1915 letter to his American supporter, James Jackson Putnam, Freud could say that he liked Jung until he was taken over "by a religious-ethical 'crisis'" imbued "with higher morality, rebirth" and that Jung demonstrated "lies, brutality and anti- Semitic condescension toward me." [70]


Perhaps a brief review of some of my conclusions in this chapter will clarify any potential misinterpretation of my argument.

Jung's Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido of 1912 may very well be interpreted (and was by some) as a modern mystical contribution to the solar mythology of Muller, and in that sense it was an Asconan work of sun worship. However, a more defensible argument is that it is most assuredly a representative volkisch work of its era, although Jung's volkisch interests were not political ones. [71]

The compilation of mythological material in Wandlungen contains central volkisch themes that were regularly discussed in conversation and in the journals of the time, such as Die Tat and the many journals of the Theosophical Society and the Monistenbund: the hero as sun; the sun as God; the god as self-sacrificing deity; Siegfried, Christ, Mithras, and other pagans identified as related personifications of the same self-sacrificing Aryan god (hence Jung's implicit adoption of the "Aryan Christ"); mythic interpretations of Wagnerian opera and its Teutonic mythology (the Ring Cycle) and redemptive Holy Grail (Parsifal) imagery; the association of blood with the sun and with the hero; the presence of a pre-Christian ancestral layer (or racial or phylogenetic layer) of the unconscious mind within each of us that can be contacted and whose pagan ancestral images can be immediate and directly experienced; [72] and, especially, a fascination with the climax of ancient Greco-Roman mystery initiations resulting in the self-deification of the initiate (realizing the god within, the life-giving sun or star within, was a dominant volkisch catchphrase). [73] All of these themes, familiar to volkisch neopagans and Asconan Naturmenschen alike, are repeated over and over again in Wandlungen and in Jung's later writings.

Jung clearly identifies himself with the spirit of German Volkstumbewegung throughout this period and well into the 1920s and 1930s, until the horrors of Nazism finally compelled him to reframe these neopagan metaphors in a negative light in his 1936 essay on Wotan. [74] However, it must be pointed out that while he warns against the possible excesses and dangers of the return of Wotan in this essay, he seems nonetheless to hold the view that Wotan (and by implication not the Judeo-Christian god) is indeed the true god of the Germanic peoples, who therefore must make this knowledge conscious or risk "possession" by this ancient Aryan deity.

Jung's own consciousness of his German volkisch identity -- lost through decades of obfuscation of the historical Jung by a world blinded by Hitler and Nazism and by generations of his disciples who are more interested in the promotion of the eternal values of his ideas rather than the specifics of his life is boldly revealed in a letter of 26 May 1923 to Oskar Schmitz (1873-1931), a writer and a pupil of Jung's who introduced Keyserling to Jung's work in 1922 and who arranged for Jung to speak at Keyserling's School of Wisdom. In this letter Jung clearly identifies himself as a descendant of the pagan Germanic tribes who had the "foreign growth" of Christianity grafted onto them and argues against having any other alien philosophies from the Orient taught to those of Germanic heredity:

These antecedents do not apply to us. The Germanic tribes, when they collided only the day before yesterday with Roman Christianity, were still in the initial state of a polydemonism with polytheistic buds. There was as yet no proper priesthood and no proper ritual. Like Wotan's oaks, the gods were felled and a wholly incongruous Christianity, born of monotheism on a much higher cultural level, was grafted onto the stumps. The Germanic man is still suffering from this mutilation. I have good reasons for thinking that every step beyond the existing situation has to begin down there among the truncated nature-demons. In other words, there is a whole lot of primitivity in us to be made good.

It therefore seems a grave error if we graft yet another foreign growth onto our already mutilated condition. This craving for things foreign and faraway is a morbid sign. Also, we cannot get beyond our present level of culture unless we receive a powerful impetus from our roots. But we shall receive it only if we go back behind our cultural level, thus giving the suppressed primitive man in ourselves a chance to develop. How this is to be done is a problem I have been trying to solve for years .... We must dig down to the primitive in us, for only out of the conflict between civilized man and the Germanic barbarian will there come what we need: a new experience of God. I do not think this goal can be reached by means of artificial exercises. [75]

A 1916 document included later in this volume demonstrates how Jung sought to solve this problem practically by developing his Own method of giving individuals -- through analysis -- a "new experience of God," and uses symbols of volkisch mysticism such as Parsifal, Goethe and even the "World Tree," a very common symbol invoked at this time by volkisch Germans as a reference to Wotan and his sacred groves as an alternative to the Semitic Christian "tree" (crucifix) of Jesus.

Again, to repeat: it would not be fair to characterize Jung or his work during this early period as "prefascist" or "pre-National Socialist." Not all volkisch neopagan groups pursued political aims. The best that can be said is that the evidence is compelling that Jung's work arose from the same Central European cauldron of neopagan, Nietzschean, mystical, hereditarian, volkisch utopianism out of which National Socialism arose. Like Jung and his small Psychological Club and later international movement, the leaders of National Socialism conducted their movement as if it were a mystery cult and made great use of the symbolism (runes, swastikas) of the occult. And, perhaps, like Hitler, who immersed himself in volkisch mythology, occultism, and even the Monistic Religion books of Haeckel during his lean years in Vienna between 1908 and 1913, it may be said that Jung, too, made "a religion out of Parsifal."


Jung's earliest psychological theories and method can be interpreted as perhaps nothing more than an anti-Christian return to solar mythology and sun worship based on Romantic beliefs about the natural religion of the ancient Aryan peoples. What Jung eventually offered to volkisch believers in sun worship circa 1916 was a practical method -- active imagination -- through which one could contact ancestors and also have a direct experience of God as a star or sun within.

Jung's aim, in one form or another, was always religion. By 1921, after forming his cult and publishing his theories on the collective unconscious and the archetypes, Jung could have very well included himself within the heritage of the "German genius" when he says, "The solution of the problem in Faust, in Wagner's Parsifal, in Schopenhauer, and even in Nietzsche's Zarathustra is religious." [76] The solution of the problem in Jung is religious, too. It was also the preferred solution of many other neopagan groups in Central Europe at this time who also did not pursue political answers to the questions of existence. Jung knew the leaders of many of the more "establishment" neopagan movements, such as the German Faith Movement of Hauer, with whom Jung co-led seminars in the 1930s. It was in these religious movements of the volkisch world that Jung found kindred spirits. As one contemporary observer would remark in 1935, "In fact, one might almost say that the National Socialist party represented the political aspect and the Germanic Faith Movement the religious aspect of a common folk-movement."  [77]

The original Jung cult in Kusnacht-Zurich did not become like the other vegetarian and Theosophical neopagan groups because these were too countercultural for the essentially bourgeois Jung to emulate. Many (but certainly not all) of them tended to be apolitical, anarchistic, or sexually libertine, and did not fuse their spirituality or sexuality with racial or political agendas. Jung was more comfortable with the volkisch mysticism that had penetrated the bourgeois educated classes of Central Europe, from which National Socialism disproportionately found its membership in the 1920s. As Mosse reminds us in The Crisis of German Ideology, "It was the literate bourgeoisie that was saturated with the [volkisch] ideology. This class came to comprise the largest single bloc in the movement, and at the turn of the century the anti-Semitic stereotype and the Aryan ideal came close to being commonplace bourgeois notions." [78]

The similarity between Jungian psychology and National Socialism is that both movements promoted Weltanschauungs based on (1) the traditional Germanic symbolism of volkisch mysticism and (2) "Nietzscheanism" in the elitist and pseudo-liberational sense astutely identified by Tonnies. They both, in their unique ways, offered what Stern calls "the promise of miracle, mystery and authority" to those of predominantly Aryan heredity. [79] I therefore argue that the Jung cult and its present day movement is in fact a "Nietzschean religion," with all of the internal contradictions between the words and deeds of its disciples implied by this oxymoron. It was founded on Nietzschean principles by Jung himself and promotes a Nietzschean philosophy using seductive Dionysian metaphors from Nietzsche.

Organizations for Escape

Immediately after the war, two organizations became active, "The Spider" (Die Spinne) and "Odessa" (Organization der ehemaligen SS-Angehorigen-Organization of Former SS Members), which had the task of making possible the escape of National Socialist war criminals, SS leaders, and high officials of other Nazi organizations into foreign countries, simultaneously maintaining the interconnections within these farflung networks of these "old boys." Later, came other organizations, such as the HIAG (Hilfsgemeinschaft auf Gegenseitigkeit der Soldaten der ehemaligen Waffen-SS e.V., Society for the Aid of Former SS Soldiers, Inc.), and "Quiet Aid" (Stille Hilfe) of Princess Ysenburg, organizations which often overlapped in their personnel.

How was the escape organized? Hundreds of escapees assembled at previously arranged locations, and were taken by the assistance organizations, in close connection with their foreign friends, via different routes abroad. One of these routes was the so-called Cloister Route, where the "clients" were disguised in monks' robes and moved from cloister to cloister through Austria to Italy.

-- The Hitler Book, edited by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

I make this argument in the sections that follow in part 2 of this volume. It may seem quite disturbing to many that Jung's earliest ideas and cult (circa 1916) are based primarily on the volkisch mysticism of sun worship. The most blatant survival is the central place of the concept of the self in Jung's later psychology, which most commonly presents itself as an image of God or as an experience of the god within in the form of a circle or an Indian (Aryan) mandala. God, of course, has many thousands of faces, but out of all of the possibilities it is this central metaphor that Jung invokes time and time again. Sun worship is perhaps the key to fully understanding Jung and the story I tell in this book.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:46 am


Chronology and Biography

CHAPTER SEVEN: Spirits, Memory Images, and the Longing for Mystery


EARLIER I NOTED that Jung's prime years of maturation were during a period of an unusually potent convergence of familial and cultural preoccupations with the spirituality of antiquity, heredity, evolution, memory, and the dead. Through the long historical excursion above I have attempted to sketch only those cultural elements of this matrix that greatly influenced Jung but which have rarely been discussed by Jung scholars. Those who are longtime readers of the works of Jung will understand the relevance of the preceding historical introduction, and it is hoped that those new to Jung will better understand the argument I make in the remainder of this volume.

Given the cultural matrix outlined in part I, we shall see below that it is arguable that Jung set out to design a cult of redemption or renewal in the period beginning as early as 1912. This was a mystery cult that promised the initiate revitalization through contact with the pagan, pre-Christian layer of the unconscious mind. By doing so, one would have a direct experience of God, which was experienced as an inner sun or star that was the fiery core of one's being. One could also thereby learn to enter the "Land of the Dead" and contact one's ancestors. Thus, as I shall argue, by 1916 Jung had successfully integrated the core nineteenth-century concerns of the spirituality of antiquity, memory, heredity, evolution, and the dead into his psychological theories and methods and in the foundation of the Psychology Club in 1916 -- the true formalization of the Jung cult.

This section is concerned with the evidence from Jung's life and work that presage the formal founding of his cult of redemption in 1916. Although the discussion has primarily been historical up to now, a brief chronological summary of Jung's life and work during these years is provided in the following chapters to assist the reader in understanding the sequence of events that served as a prelude to cult building. The history of the development of many of Jung's later ideas is also evident here. Therefore, we must first return to his medical-school days, where Jung's first experiences in cults with elitist or transcendental concerns are evident.


Jung entered the medical school at Basel University on 18 May 1895 and completed his studies there in the winter semester of 1900-1901. During his first year, Jung's father died, on 28 January 1896. On 11 December 1900, Jung took up his position as an assistant staff psychiatrist at the Burgholzli.

Jung's participation in the Zofingia fraternity during these years has fortunately been preserved for us in The Zofingia Lectures. The transcripts of these five lectures (given between November 1896 and January 1899) reveal Jung's early interest in the literature of spiritualism (Sir William Crookes, Johann Karl Friedrich Zollner, as well as David Friedrich Strauss on the "Seeress of Prevorst"), philosophy (Kant, Schopenhauer, von Hartmann, and Nietzsche), and in theology (especially Albrecht Ritschl).

We can also learn a great deal about the education he was receiving in evolutionary biology from these lectures. He refers to Darwin's theory of natural selection as the mechanism that produces variation in evolution but that, Jung insists in May 1897 (following the opinion of most Germans of that time), "cannot adequately explain evolution." [1] Instead Jung argues, "In the field of phylogeny, more than in any other, it is necessary to postulate the existence of a vital principle," which Jung refers to as "soul. ... an intelligence independent of time and space" and as such possibly immortal. [2]

This vital principle and talk of an immaterial soul approaches the metaphors used openly by von Hartmann and even Haeckel during the 1890s, although in a later lecture (January 1899) Jung seems to equate Haeckel with mechanistic science and not with his beloved vitalists. [3] Although Jung read Haeckel, he instead allies himself with philosophers such as von Hartmann and his Philosophie des Unbewussten (Philosophy of the Unconscious) of 1868, despite the fact that by the 1890s a combination of vitalistic and volitional factors made the works of these two men very similar. [4] Jung's early identification with the vitalistic school of evolutionary biology and his rejection of the mechanists can be seen in the following rhetorical flourish that also betrays a hint of Jung's elitism:

One day people will laugh and weep at the same time over the disgraceful way in which highly praised German scholars have gone astray. They will build monuments to Schopenhauer, who linked that materialism with bestiality through the conjunction "and." But they will curse Carl Vogt, Ludwig Buchner, Moleschott, DuBois-Reymond, and many others for having stuffed a passel of materialistic rubbish into the gaping mouths of those guttersnipes, the educated proletariat. [5]

Jung never deviated from vitalism throughout the remainder of his career. It was with the vitalistic school of evolutionary biology and it origins in the Naturphilosophie of the Romantics that Jung was always to remain -- even when new discoveries in genetics and other areas seemed to legitimize the predominant scientific worldview in the twentieth century that includes a biology based only on mechanistic materialism. As we shall see, Jung was most modern in his scientific worldview during these student years, after which his ideas slowly retreated further back into a philosophy that more closely resembled early nineteenth- century biological science and its Romantic idealism.


In the Zofingia lecture of January 1899, "Some Thoughts on the Interpretation of Christianity, with Reference to the Theory of Albrecht Ritschl," we find the first evidence that Jung has opted for the direct experience of mystery over the sterile Christian religion of his day and its absolute, distant, transcendent God. Lauding Ritschl (1822-1889) for the philosophical basis of his theology, Jung nonetheless uses the Protestant theologian's denial of the mystical element in religion to make the point that such approaches are doomed to fail, for as Jung argues "the mystery will remain in the human heart until the end of time." [6] This lecture is significant, too, because in it Jung reveals he has digested Nietzsche by the age of twenty-three, making many references to Zarathustra. It is also significant because in his opening remarks Jung describes Jesus as a "god-man" with the unmistakable characteristics of Schopenhauer's description of genius. [7]

These references to Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and von Hartmann abound because, after searching the spiritualist literature in vain, Jung took up the study of philosophy (not the psychiatric literature) to understand the trances of his mediumistic first cousin, Helene Preiswerk, during seances that Jung himself may have initiated as early as June 1895. Jung later claimed the seances only took place from July 1899 to the fall of 1900 and were not organized by him. [8] In any event, Jung used hypnotic techniques to place his fifteen-year-old cousin Helly into "somnambulistic" trances in which alternate "spirit" personalities would emerge and speak through her, including dead ancestors such as his maternal grandfather (and common relative of Jung and the Preiswerk women in the circle), Samuel Preiswerk (1799- 1871). Through her "control" spirit personality "Ivenes," Helly even impersonated the legendary woman whom Goethe seduced to allegedly become the mother of Jung the Elder. The Jung family legend of Goethe as ancestor was thus impressive even to Helene, who by this time had additionally fallen in love with the budding genius Jung.

Jung took copious notes and eventually based his doctoral dissertation on Helly (in which she is called "5. W."), which was published in 1902 under the title, "On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena." [9] He analyzed her hysteria and somnambulistic symptoms according to the German and French psychiatric literature of his day. He based its style on the acclaimed book by Flournoy, From India to the Planet Mars (1899), who during the same period in Geneva sat in on the seances of a "Helene Smith." Flournoy traced all the fantastic content of her spiritualistic trances (previous lives on Mars and in ancient India), to previous experiences in her life or to previously read published sources, even though she herself apparently had no conscious memory of exposure. Such hidden memories that seemed like new experiences when resurfacing in conscious awareness was evidence of a function of human memory called cryptomnesia. In later years, especially during the process of his break with Freud, Jung made many trips to visit his "fatherly friend" Flournoy in Geneva. [10]

While the publication of his doctoral dissertation on "S. W." did much for furthering his career as a physician and university professor, it upset the Preiswerk family and further stigmatized Helly as a hysteric and therefore a hereditary degenerate. Basel was still a relatively small city in the 1890s, especially for those of the Pfarrerstand caste, and it was relatively easy to see through Jung's pseudonyms and scant fictionalizations. Based on the interviews that he conducted with family members, Ellenberger explains that, "In those days considerable stress was put on heredity, and the whole maternal side of the family appeared to be tainted with insanity. Rumors circulated that the younger Preiswerk daughters could not find husbands because of Jung's dissertation and that Helene had died from a broken heart. Actually, she died from tuberculosis at the age of thirty." [11]

Jung's concern over the fateful degeneracy latent in his own blood may have influenced his sudden decision to specialize in psychiatry, for by the standards of the dominant medical philosophy of his day, Jung was a prime candidate for eventually exhibiting and suffering the stigma of hereditary degeneration: besides Helly's hysteria, Jung's mother had bouts of mental illness, and Jung himself may have been a "bad seed," suffering from hysterical fainting fits as a child that were diagnosed as degenerative "epileptic fits" by one doctor. [12] Later, as a man, he must have feared that his confrontation with the unconscious may have been the prodromal phase of a lifelong degenerative psychosis. The theory of hereditary degeneration has been called, and rightly so, "the Christian notion of original sin embodied in the nervous system," [13] and it obsessed persons at all levels of society at the turn of the century. [14]

Spiritualism and evolutionary biology, then, formed the earliest basis of Jung's later psychological theories and methods. Jung read widely in the literature of psychical research, which was a field taken much more seriously in Germany at the time and was the original experimental psychology there in the nineteenth century. The first German Society for Experimental Psychology was not devoted to the more mundane subject matter of Wundt, who was known as the founder of modern experimental psychology, but instead was devoted to psychical research. [15] Jung's interest in spiritualism remained throughout his years of psychiatric activity at the Burgholzli (1900-1909) and his involvement with Freud, whose disdain for Jung's fascination with occultism is well known. Jung attended seances with Bleuler and others in the early 1920s and then again in the 1930s. [16] Communication with the dead resurfaced as a dominant concern during his confrontation with the unconscious (1912-1918 or so) and Jung often refers to the collective unconscious after 1916 as the land of the dead. The phenomena of spiritualism and the literature of psychical research were the primary topics of Jung's as-yet-unpublished seminar on modern psychology, which he gave from October 1933 to February 1934 at the Swiss Poly technical School in Zurich, covering the work of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Carus, Flournoy, and especially Justinius Kerner and the Seeress of Prevorst. [17] Spiritualistic concerns were never very far away from either Jung's psychological theories or his psychotherapeutic techniques. [18]



During these years Jung achieved international fame as an experimental psychopathologist with the diagnostic word-association studies conducted by him and his colleagues at the Burgholzli (1902-1909). [19] These experimental studies are still an unacknowledged precursor to modern cognitive science, as they are concerned with the quantitative exploration of such contemporary foci of cognitive research as attention, differential processing of information, and implicit memory. [20] Jung was fascinated with the processes of human memory and the phenomena of memory disorders, as his earliest psychiatric publications attest. [21]

Jung's interest in the psychological processes of memory, however, is first in evidence in his Zofingia lectures referring to Christ, and it resurfaces in the seminal 1916 document concerning the forming of the Psychological Club. Ritschl used the philosophical and psychological literature of his day to accentuate his theology, for which Jung admires him and yet attacks him for using the language of Wissenschaft to remove the mystery necessary for religious experience. According to Jung (who, like Ritschl, had read the works of Fechner, Lotze, and Wundt on mental images and contents) "the Christ present to the Ritschlian Christian constitutes the sum of all the images in memory handed down by tradition, that is, of all mental images concerning the person of Christ, in conjunction with the feeling of value that we confer on the totality of these images." [22] Ritschl argues that "exact memory is the medium of personal relationships" and also of the relationship between "God or Christ and ourselves." [23] Jung further chides Ritschl for condemning mystics who claim a direct relationship, a unio mystica, between man and God, as Ritschl claims this experience is always mediated by the personal and cultural contents of one's individual memory images. In January 1899, when this talk was given, Jung could reject the mediatory role of memory, but he later reveals his adoption of a similar idea in his 1916 manifesto by claiming that with Christ's death, his "Imago" (memory image) arose in the "collective soul of mankind" (our transpersonal long-term memory-storage bank) and itself became a personified symbol of the collective soul. Memory (images in the collective soul) mediates the relationship between the historical Jesus and the modern individual. The motivating force of an ideal comes from its affective tone in one's memory.

Memory is the essential problem of consciousness, for if we understand memory, we understand our individual experience of the continuity of the self. The early experimental psychologists understood this, and this is why memory was such a focus of interest to these researchers. [24] Memory is also the essential problem of heredity and evolutionary biology. Why do children look like their parents? And yet, why are they also somewhat different from them? Biologically, what is "remembered" from one generation to the next? Hence, the problem of evolution soon became the problem of distortion in biological memory. Most importantly, it became Jung's "problem." Jung's early interests in the problem of memory posed by evolutionary biology, Ritschlian theology, and Parapsychologie (psychical research) are at first explored spiritualistically, then experimentally, then psychoanalytically, and then united in his theories of the collective unconscious (1916) and the archetypes (1919).

Embourgeoisement and Its Unraveling

Fresh from medical school, Jung began his psychiatric career in December 1900 at the Burgholzli under Blelder. The Burgholzli was not only the insane asylum of Canton Zurich, but also the Psychiatric Clinic of Zurich University where its medical students were trained. Jung's first position was as Assistant Staff Physician (1900), then Senior Assistant Staff Physician (1902), then Senior Staff Physician (1905), making him second-in-command to Bleuler until Jung left the Burghblzli in the spring of 1909 to move into his new house in Klisnacht and to devote his full energies to his private practice, writing, teaching, and involvement with the psychoanalytic movement. From 1905 to 1913 Jung taught at Zurich University under the title of Privatdozent (lecturer). We therefore see in the life of Jung his successful pursuit of a bourgeois life as a physician and a university professor that was very much in the tradition of his forefathers.

On 14 February 1903 Jung married Emma Rauschenbach of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, the daughter of a wealthy German industrialist. Under Swiss law at this time, the husband had complete access to his wife's assets and could use them at his disposal without her consent. The financial resources that Emma Jung brought to her marriage, while not specifically known, are regarded as considerable and maintained the stability of a bourgeois lifestyle in Switzerland that allowed Jung to risk the many changes in his occupational life between 1909 and 1914, by which time he had severed all ties with institutions or his primary professional associations. This was one major sign that Jung was rejecting many of the external trophies of the bourgeoisie and was evolving into a less conventional, more modern lifestyle.

Cracks in the foundation of Jung's Christian-bourgeois character began to appear very shortly after he took up residence at the Burgholzli in December 1900. An erotic attachment to a Jewish patient sent shock waves through his psyche. Early evidence of Jung's inner conflict survives in the form of his own word-association test protocol, which is thinly disguised in the very first publications (in 1904-1905) of the results of this research. [25]

In this report, it is Jung who is "Subject 19," a "Physician, 25 years old." The entire "complex-constellation" relating to Jung's erotic attachment to this Jewish patient is highlighted and analyzed in a special section introduced with the following remarks:

The subject had, during the time of the experiments, formed an attachment to a young woman. To make the experiments understandable it must also be mentioned that the young man had also not yet outgrown adolescent internal conflict, and as he had a strict Christian upbringing, his inclination for a Jewish girl worried him a great deal. Let us call her Alice Stern: we shall be keeping as near the truth as is necessary for the experiment. [26]

Jung was further challenged in 1904 after the arrival of yet another "Jewish girl" at the Burgholzli, the eighteen-year-old Sabina Spielrein (1885-1941). Spielrein was admitted as a patient at the Burgholzli with a diagnosis of "psychotic hysteria" on 17 August 1904 and remained as a patient there until 1 June 1905. It was during this time, on 28 April 1905, that she registered as a medical student at Zurich University. [27] Spielrein was Jung's first case of hysteria to be treated with psychoanalytic techniques. After some therapeutic success, Spielrein assisted Jung, Riklin, and their colleagues in conducting the word-association experiments. Jung developed an erotic attachment to Spielrein at about this time, and their mutual erotic attraction and relationship has been documented elsewhere. [28] Their "closer erotic relationship" probably began at some point in 1907. [29]

In January and February 1907 Jung participated as a subject in Ludwig Binswanger's association experiments at the Burgholzli. As Kerr has noted, Jung's erotic attachment to Spielrein and its similarity to that revealed in his earlier protocol of 1901-1902 are extensively revealed in this second protocol in the form of Jung's "star complex." As Binswanger notes, Jung used the word "star" as a response several times and it seemed to be associated with a complex of feelings related to Spielrein. [30]

Thus, even in Jung's word-association protocols early in his career we have evidence of the first eruptions of the problems of Aryan/Semitic differences and the use of the word "star" (or sun) as a metaphor of significant meaning for Jung. During these early years, as the foci of his fantasies and secret erotic desires, first the unknown Jewish girl and then Spiel rein were each, in turn, the "star within" for Jung.

Freud and Psychoanalysis

These years in Jung's life also mark the beginnings of his involvement with Freud and psychoanalysis. As I noted earlier, these years of association with Freud and psychoanalysis are the best documented period in the biography of the historical Jung and need not undergo further examination here. The important point to remember, however, is that during these years with Freud, Jung never gave up his interests in evolutionary vitalism, in spiritualism, in the dissociational psychology of Janet and the French clinical tradition, or in the spirituality of antiquity -- all of which would resurrect and converge in the psychology he developed after his break with Freud.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:49 am

CHAPTER EIGHT: Otto Gross, Nietzscheanism, and Matriarchal Neopaganism



THE YEAR 1908 marked a turning point in the history of psychiatry and in the history of the psychoanalytic movement. It is also the year in which we have the first evidence that the neopagan Bohemian netherworld of Ascona invaded the bourgeois-Christian sanctuary of Jung's soul.

Bleuler published a paper in this year in which the term schizophrenia was used for the first time. [1] Bleuler coined the term as an alternative to dementia praecox, coined by Kraepelin in 1893 to refer to a group of psychotic disorders that were all progressively degenerative in course and that seemed to lead to death. Bleuler, while recognizing that such hopelessly degenerative cases did indeed exist, documented that there were a large number of chronically ill patients whose symptoms seemed to plateau or even, in rare cases, remit. Not all cases of persons with dementia praecox degenerated to the point of death. Hence, Bleuler's new concept was a major step away from the dominance of theories of hereditary degeneration in psychiatry.

Jung presented a paper on "The Content of the Psychoses" in the Zurich town hall on 16 January 1908 and repeated essentially the same ideas at the very first psychoanalytic congress, held in Salzburg, Austria, on 26-27 April 1908. [2]
Following the antihereditarian basis of psychoanalysis, Jung, too, denied that dementia praecox was due totally to hereditary degenerative factors and cited the role of childhood trauma in producing psychological complexes that may then only secondarily stimulate the production of a "toxin" in the brain. [3] As his Freudian colleagues (such as Karl Abraham, who argued viciously with Jung over this issue) realized, Jung's theory was not the total rejection of degeneracy theory that they would have preferred and upon which psychoanalysis staked its claim as a science and healing art.

It was also in this year that Jung's associate, Riklin, presented and published the first psychoanalytic treatment of fairy tales. [4] This set the entire psychoanalytic movement off in a different direction, for until this time it was a clinical movement that relied on observations of patients who could talk back and give associations to their dreams and fantasies. This was the basis of the argument that psychoanalysis was a science. Myths and fairy tales, however, do not talk back. Hence, as Kerr argues in A Most Dangerous Method, 1908 was the year that psychoanalysis became a Weltanschauung with a mission to transform the culture at large and revise its history. In 1908 the psychoanalytic movement was a physicians-only club and Freud wanted it to remain such: "We are physicians, and wish to remain physicians," Freud told Otto Gross at the 1908 Salzburg conference after Gross spoke on the "cultural perspectives of science." [5] Despite Freud's wishes, very soon after this time, the psychoanalytic literature began to tackle European culture as a whole (its literature, fairy tales, myths, Wagnerian opera, etc.). Because of this, it began to attract the broader attention of luminaries in the arts and in academia.


1908 is also important because it marked the fateful encounter between the Nietzschean physician, psychoanalyst, and later anarchist Gross (1877-1920) and Jung. By many accounts, including Freud's, Gross was a brilliant, creative, and charismatic individual. [6] According to Jones, Freud "expressed the opinion that Jung and Otto Gross were the only true original minds among his followers." [7] Gross had written many insightful psychiatric and psychoanalytic works and had worked under Kraepelin in Munich. He was also trouble. His morphine and cocaine addictions necessitated numerous psychiatric hospitalizations (starting in 1902) at the Burgholzli and elsewhere, beyond this May 1908 institutionalization under the care of Jung. He was the most radical prophet of the new ethic of eroticism and had an enormous effect on many famous people of his era. He appeared as a character in many novels written by people who knew him. [8] Gross was a valuable addition to the psychoanalytic movement not only because of his genius, but also because he was not of Jewish descent and was, perhaps most importantly, the son of Hanns Gross, a professor at Graz in Austria and the father of modern scientific criminology. [9]

Gross developed an interest in Freud at least as early as 1904 and was a respected participant in the psychoanalytic movement during its first years of true international recognition (which started in earnest in 1906 or so). However, also during this time Gross had sunk deeper into chronic morphinism and, using Nietzsche as his theoretical basis, became interested in practical methods of changing Germanic society. Gross used psychoanalysis as the practical technology of Nietzscheanism, but pushed it to extremes not advocated by Freud, Jung, or other psychoanalysts. Gross could give impromptu all-night psychoanalytic sessions in the cafes in Schwabing and convince those who were spellbound by his personality to act out their sexual desires without shame or guilt.

The Case of Friedrich Nietzsche

The absolute height of Romanticism, or rather the nadir of general culture, where raving folly and emotional infantilism turned into aggressive mania, the welding point between the Romantic muddleheads and the Nazis -- this was the world of Nietzsche, whose works can only be described as the mind running amok.

This self-hating, joyless psychotic could not tolerate the idea of reason; he hated Socrates, Schiller, Beethoven, and Humboldt. In his confused writings he attempted, if incoherently, to rewrite history, emphasizing not the classical and Renaissance periods as the Weimar classics had done, but the Dark Ages, the dionysian and bacchanalian orgies, the dances of St. Vitus and the flagellants. He regarded the scientific mode of questioning as man's arch-enemy, just as the Greens do today. Everything the Nazis later made into reality was already lurking within Nietzsche's tormented brain, darting about with increasing frenzy: the volkisch idea, a deep hatred of industrial progress, the "biological world outlook" of "blood and soil," the idea of a master race, the mystically inspired hatred of Christianity, and its final and ultimate form, the Ecce Homo, where Nietzsche cries out: "Have I made myself clear? -- Dionysus against the Crucified .... "

Nietzsche, celebrated along with Dostoevsky as the prophet of the Conservative Revolution, was the spiritual pathfinder for the nihilism of the National Socialists and the existentialist philosophers.

The most extreme form of nihilism is the recognition that every belief, every notion of truth is necessarily false, since a true world does not exist. It is thus an illusion of perspective .... Let us think this thought in its most frightening form: Existence, such as it is, without purpose and without aim, but ineluctably returning, without end, into nothing -- this is the only return. This is the extreme form of nihilism: nothingness ("purposelessness"), eternally!

Nietzsche's sick cultural pessimism has had many variants, from Lagarde, Langbehn, and Oswald Spengler through to Jean-Paul Sartre, but he has never been outdone. The Nazis, Pol Pot, and Khomeini have seen to the practical application of his world outlook. An equally devastating effect was inflicted on German intellectual life by the works of Wagner and Dostoevsky. The latter was translated by Moeller van den Bruck, who in a fit of inspiration coined the name for the "Third Reich." By this expression he meant a third historical empire to follow the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations and Bismarck's Empire; but his primary aim was a final empire, where "right" and "left" would be transcended in a single synthesis.

-- The Hitler Book, edited by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

He naturally found his way from Schwabing to Ascona by 1905, and lived there on and off until 1913. This was a countercultural sphere of social intercourse that Gross dominated, but it should be remembered that this world was one that was totally distasteful and very foreign to the bourgeois universe of Freud and Jung in 1908. Gross's domain was, in fact, the familiar nineteenth-century world of "Bohemia" -- that fluid realm of art, youth, ambition, addiction, ingenuity, and criminality that was so antithetical to bourgeois life. According to its innovative cartographer, Henry Murger, Bohemia maintained the following boundaries: "Bohemia, bordered on the North by hope, work and gaiety, on the South by necessity and courage; on the West and the East by slander and the hospital." [10] There is no more apt description of the contours of the Bohemian world in which Gross lived, loved, and died.

By 1909 it was clear that Gross was more of a liability than an asset, and so Freud declared him persona non grata and his works were rarely cited thereafter in the literature of psychoanalysis -- a leading reason why Gross's works have only relatively recently been collected and reprinted. [11]

Vin Mariani, concocted by the French chemist Angelo Mariani, was made by steeping wine in coca leaves, whose taste was so bitter that care had to be taken to keep the concentration low. In fact, Mariani’s policy was to choose the least bitter leaves in his stock, and those were the ones containing the least cocaine. The drink did induce a high, thanks to the fact – unknown to anyone before 1990 – that alcohol and cocaine together produce a third potent intoxicant, cacaethylene. But no amount of Vin Mariani or other coke-laced products would have been likely to result in cocaine addiction. As a result, the broad public was slow to perceive a social problem with cocaine. And many doctors remained complacent about the drug because they, too, were aficionados of Vin Mariani.

Freud’s own underestimation of the drug’s risks, however, derived not from ignorance of its power but from his own thrilling introduction to it. Cocaine itself, in the purest form then known, began at once to warp his judgment. Though close to penniless, he had purchased an expensive gram of the alkaloid from Merck. On April 30, 1884 – Walpurgisnacht, or the folkloric night of supposed witchcraft and trafficking with the Devil – he tasted cocaine powder and imbibed his first .05 gram solution of it, marveling at its mood-elevating capacity. And from that night forward he would regard the drug as the most precious and restorative substance on earth.

-- Freud: The Making of an Illusion, by Frederick Crews

Gross is perhaps most famous for his associations with persons who were to become major literary figures, or with persons who would, in later years, spread Gross's Nietzschean gospel to such figures. Gross's famous sexual liaisons with both of the von Richthofen sisters (Else Jaffe and Frieda Weekly, who both, like Gross himself, were married), and the influence of Gross that these sisters then transmitted to their later lovers (Frieda to her later husband, D. H. Lawrence, and Else to her mentors and lovers, Max Weber and "mini-Max," his brother Alfred, also a famous sociologist) have been documented by Martin Green. [12] Both Gross's wife, Frieda Gross (a longtime friend of the von Richthofen sisters), and Else Jaffe gave birth to sons he sired in 1907, and both mothers named these children Peter. Max Weber was the godfather of Gross's son by Jaffe. [13] Since Jaffe was a student and intimate member of Max and Marianne Weber's circle in Heidelberg, an Apollonian world of intellectual discourse and patriarchal bourgeois-Christianity, Gross quickly became identified as the charismatic but dangerous Nietzschean prophet of immorality.

In 1906 and 1907 Gross stayed with Jaffe and her husband Edgar for short periods in their home in Heidelberg, eventually converting the latter, too, who was a close associate of Weber, to his new sexual ethic. During these visits the Webers met Gross, to whom Max "attributed an almost charismatic power" in a letter to Jaffe dated 13 September 1907. [14] This letter is also important because it contains Weber's reasons for rejecting an article submitted by Gross to the Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaft in the summer of 1907. The article (which has not survived) was entitled, "Uber psychologischen Herrschaftsordnung. I. Der Psychologismus seit Nietzsche und Freud." Weber sent the manuscript to Jaffe for her to return to Gross, claiming that the paper was not a work of scholarship but filled with "metaphysical speculations" about a psychiatric ethics of societal reform. Weber tells Jaffe, therefore, "it seems to me that it is not necessary to wash these apparently inescapable diapers in our Archiv." [15]

Around this time, Weber had read the few major works of Freud in existence, concluding that

there is no doubt that Freud's thought can become a very significant source for the interpretation of whole series of phenomena in cultural history, particularly in the history of religion and of manners and morals -- although from the viewpoint of a cultural historian its significance is by no means as universal as assumed by Freud and his disciples in their very understandable zeal and joy of discovery. [16]

Freud’s hyperactive state when assembling his fortnight’s worth of skimming resulted in an extraordinary number of inaccuracies. He transcribed the Surgeon-General’s bibiliography erroneously, misstating, names, dates, titles, and places of publication. His reference form was inconsistent, resulting in no fewer than five ways of specifying one periodical, the shady Therapeutic Gazette. Even his chemical formula for cocaine was imprecise; and when he “corrected” it in his second paper, he got it wrong again. Such carelessness amounted to a revealing departure from the standards maintained in his previously published articles. Surely cocaine itself was impinging on Freud’s willingness and ability to edit his hasty work.

At various points “On Coca” hinted that its author possessed a long and judicious familiarity with cocaine and its effects. “Time and again” (zu widerholten Malen), wrote Freud, as if looking back on many years of pharmaceutical experience, he had relieved his colleagues’ stomach problems with cocaine. [22] Copious experience with patients could also be inferred from his endorsement of cocaine regimens to intervene against depression, heart problems, and “all diseases which affected him personally, Freud remarked, “I have observed the same physical signs of the effect of cocaine in others, mostly people of my own age.” [23] How many people of any age, with or without digestive problems, could he have studied in two months while going about his hospital duties? To say that those subjects were “mostly” his coevals implied an improbable number of subjects and an exaggerated span of study.

In his enthusiasm, Freud was especially drawn to reports by the earliest European coca researcher, Paolo Mantegazza, a boisterous Italian neurological, anthropologist, and sexual reformer. “I have carried out experiements and studied, in myself and others, the effect of coca on the healthy human body,” Freud wrote; “my findings agree fundamentally with Mantegazza’s description of the effect of coca leaves.” [24] And a few pages later he offered this reassurance: “Mantegazza’s exhaustive medical case histories impress me as being thoroughly credible.” [25] Those were irresponsible statements. Freud’s “experiments” and “findings” were nonexistent. Indeed, it had been scarcely two weeks since he had begun reading the standard literature.

More basically, Freud was confounding “the effect of coca leaves” – the leaves that Mantegazza had been excitedly gnawing in Peru in 1858, three years before cocaine had been chemically isolated – with cocaine itself. The very title of Freud’s paper – not “On Cocaine,” as it is sometimes cited, but “On Coca” – fostered that same confusion, which was never rectified in the body of the text. The misrepresentation was as gross as if he had judged the physiology of wine consumption by citing that of grapes, or as if he had confused hashish with hemp.

-- Freud: The Making of an Illusion, by Frederick Crews

Beginning in 1908, this was indeed the direction that the psychoanalytic movement took. However, even as early as 1907, Weber had observed that Freud's circle had taken on the appearance of a charismatic cult centered on Freud's genius and person, and that psychoanalysts such as Gross (and even Jung at this time) vigorously proselytized their doctrine as if it were a religion by making the appeal to experience. Weber discussed this in his critique of Gross's manuscript:

The categorical imperative which reads, "Go to Freud or come to us, his pupils, in order to learn the historical truth about yourself and your actions; otherwise you are a coward," not only betrays a somewhat naive "departmental patriotism" [Ressort-Patriotismus] on the part of a psychiatrist and professional directeur de l'ame [spiritual advisor]' but, owing to its unfortunate amalgamation with "hygienic" motives, deprives itself of any ethical value. But, as I have indicated, from this essay, which is moralizing from beginning to end, I cannot derive any other practical postulate but this "duty to know oneself" with psychiatric help. Where is there the slightest indication of the substance of those new relativistic and yet ideal (nota bene!) values that are to serve as the basis of the critique of the "old," "dubious" values? [17]

The most pressing problem in the historiography of eugenics, though one which most scholars assume to have been settled, concerns the relative stress laid by eugenicists on class and race. The latter, ostensibly more pernicious emphasis, is usually associated with the strict hereditarianism and its 'perversion' into blood and soil ideology in certain strands of Rassenhygiene of Weimar Germany and the racially motivated genocide of the Third Reich. [3] The former, by contrast, is associated with the class-ridden societies of Britain and, to a lesser extent, the USA. The middle classes in Britain, so the assessment goes, felt trapped between a still dominant old elite and an emerging working class clamouring for rights. The differential birth-rate between the professional classes and the fast-breeding lower orders, especially the 'submerged' (the lumpenproletariat) and those labelled 'feebleminded', was supposedly at the root of the eugenics movement, which was just one movement among many through which the middle classes could articulate their fears and aspirations. [4] Typical of this position was the statement made by the Oxford philosopher and eugenicist Ferdinand Schiller: 'We must get rid, therefore, of our unproductive and parasitic classes, alike of the idle rich and of the unemployables, and stimulate the rest to more and more efficiency.' [5]

-- Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain, by Dan Stone

Weber's critique of the Nietzschean, "pseudoliberational" philosophy underlying psychoanalytic technique as practiced by Gross is equally applicable to Jung's early circle and its survival in the present-day Jungian movement. If open-ended transformation and reform are offered as the promise of individuation, then where, indeed, are the substantive values underlying this new state of being? Belief in such open-ended perpetual evolution then renders the individual susceptible to influence from elites who claim to be "in the know" about the vague course of such a "process" and who make their livelihood by selling the promise of rendering such knowledge to their clients. This was a danger that Weber identified early and warned against.

Jaffe's pregnancy and Gross's arrival in Heidelberg in 1907 disturbed the Webers and ignited an open debate on the role of passion in a bourgeois life guided by ethical idealism. The Webers confronted Gross and his followers, and Marianne Weber says in her third-person biographer's voice that "they had endless discussions with the adherents of the 'psychiatric ethos.'" [18] The Webers were shocked by Gross's disciples, but to their credit they did not launch a campaign to condemn them, attempting instead to understand these young sexual revolutionaries. "Indeed, [the Webers] had to admire the courage of those who risked themselves by sinning and then overcame the sin." [19]


PRIEST 1: Brethren, good tidings from Rome thanks to Proconsul Volventius. The Emperor Gratian has reinstated Priscillian as the Bishop of Avila.


HEAD PRIEST: Thus we are justified. The heretic is not I, but he who sits on the throne of Peter, and who has taken the title of the Pope. Our doctrine is the right one, and soon we will proclaim it publicly to all. Let us give thanks unto God. Our soul is of divine essence.


PRIEST 1: Like the angels, it was created by God, and it is ruled by the stars.


WOMAN 1: In punishment for a sin, it was united with a body. This body is the work of the devil.


WOMAN 2: The devil exists from the beginning, like God himself.

HEAD PRIEST: A thing so unworthy and impure as our body, couldn't have been created by God.


WOMAN 3: The body is the prison of the soul. The soul, to free itself, must gradually become separate.


WOMAN 4: The body must be humiliated, and detested, and constantly subjected to the pleasure of the flesh.

PRIEST 1: So that the purified soul may return after death to its celestial abode.


HEAD PRIEST: Swear never to betray this secret!

EVERYONE: We swear it!


HEAD PRIEST: It is not I who have harvested thee; it is not I who have kneaded thee; it is not I who have put thee in the oven.


I am innocent of all your sufferings. And may all those who have caused them, know the same agony.


-- The Milky Way, directed by Luis Bunuel

This is how Marianne Weber describes Gross and his ideas in her biography of her husband:

A young psychiatrist, a disciple of S. Freud with the magic of a brilliant mind and heart, had gained considerable influence. He interpreted the new insights of the master in his own fashion, drew radical conclusions from them, and proclaimed a sexual communism compared with which the so-called "new-ethics" appeared quite harmless. In outline his doctrine went something like this: The life-enhancing value of eroticism is so great that it must remain free from extraneous considerations and laws, and, above all, from any integration into everyday life. If, for the time being, marriage continues to exist as a provision for women and children, love ought to celebrate its ecstasies outside this realm. Husbands and wives should not begrudge each other whatever erotic stimuli may present themselves. Jealousy is something mean. Just as one has several people as friends, one can also have sexual union with several people at any given period and be "faithful" to each one. But any belief in the permanence of feeling for a single human being is an illusion, and therefore exclusiveness of sexual community is a lie. The power of love is necessarily weakened by being constantly directed to the same person. The sexuality on which it is founded requires many-sided satisfaction. Its monogamous limitation "represses" the natural drives and endangers emotional health. Therefore, away with the fetters that prevent a person from fulfilling himself in new experiences; free love will save the world. [20]

Yet, as the Webers found, "it was a delusion to build up certain psychiatric insights into a world-redeeming prophecy." [21] Indeed, Max Weber could sharply conclude, "since the 'psychiatric ethic' only demands, 'Admit to yourself what you are like and what you desire,' it really makes no new demands of an ethical nature." [22] Gross's version of a Nietzschean psychoanalytic ethic that promoted perhaps nothing more than a form of permanent Dionysian revolution as individuation was distasteful and indeed dangerous in the eyes of the Webers. However, they had great difficulty convincing certain of their friends that this new ethic was a delusion, and they could only watch from the sidelines as marriages bent and broke around them.

Marianne Weber says that, "The Freudian was successful and his message found believers. Under his influence both men and women dared to risk their own and their companions' spiritual well-being." One such person who underwent a tremendous personal conversion experience to this sexual Nietzscheanism through direct contact with Gross was none other than Jung.


At Freud's suggestion, shortly following the Salzburg conference (which was also attended by Gross), Jung began an intensive psychoanalytic treatment to save Gross from his addictions. In May, Gross was admitted as a patient to the Burgholzli. Despite certain erotic temptations, and despite his interest in psychoanalysis and its sexual obsessions, in 1908 Jung was still very much a nineteenth-century bourgeois-Christian physician. Although philosophically a Nietzschean himself, he detested everything that Gross enacted in the name of Nietzsche (drug abuse, sexual licentiousness, and even orgies). After meeting Gross at a conference in 1907 at which Jung made his first public defense of Freud, Jung writes a letter to Freud in which he first admits he envies psychoanalyst Max Eitington's "uninhibited abreaction of the polygamous instinct," and then launches into a condemnation of the very similar ideas of Gross:

Dr. Gross tells me that he puts a quick stop to the transference by turning people into sexual immoralists. He says the transference to the analyst and its persistent fixation are mere monogamy symbols and as such symptomatic of repression. The truly healthy state for the neurotic is sexual immorality. Hence he associated you with Nietzsche. It seems to me, however, that sexual repression is a very important and indispensable civilizing factor, even if pathogenic for many inferior people. Still, there must always be a few flies in the world's ointment. What else is civilization but the fruit of adversity? I feel Gross is going along too far with the vogue for the sexual short-circuit, which is neither intelligent, nor in good taste, but merely convenient, and therefore anything but a civilizing factor. [23]

Thus it is not surprising that we find in a 13 May 1908 letter of Jones to Freud the following statement, written after Gross had agreed to submit himself to treatment: "I hear that Jung is going to treat him psychically, and naturally feel a little uneasy about that for Jung does not find it easy to conceal his feelings and he has a pretty strong dislike to Gross; in addition, there are some fundamental differences of opinion between them on moral questions. However, we must hope for the best." [24]

But it was Jung, not Gross, who was most transformed by the experience. An amazing reversal in Jung's attitude occurred. Jung and Gross spent exhausting analytic sessions of twelve hours or more together, with Jung telling Freud, "Whenever I got stuck, he analyzed me. In this way my own psychic health has benefitted." [25] By the end of it, even after Gross suddenly escaped by jumping over a garden wall to seek a return to his source of drugs, the disappointed Jung could still say, "In spite of everything he is my friend, for at bottom he is a very good and fine man with an unusual mind .... for in Gross I discovered many aspects of my true nature, so that he often seemed like my twin brother -- except for the Dementia praecox." [26]

What did Jung discover about himself in Gross? Based on his behavior and interests after this encounter, Jung discovered he was more modern, irrational, and passionate and had much less Hellenic composure or fewer bourgeois-Christian attitudes than he had been previously willing to allow. Jung began to view himself -- and his life -- with new, modern eyes. Gross helped Jung to begin making the difficult transition from bourgeois-Christian to modern consciousness. Perhaps the natural state of humans who were civilized only in the last few thousand years after a million or so of evolution was indeed the primal polygamy of our ancestors. If the complex adaptations of a species come about only gradually and over very long periods of time, as Darwin suggested, then perhaps the human species could not have had sufficient time to develop complex new adaptations to the demands of the civilized world. Civilized urban life and its moral and social constraints would thus be a crushing pathologizing impediment to a form of life whose complex adaptations -- such as the brain and the human mind or soul -- were only suited for tribal life in a small Gemeinschaft of hunters and gatherers. Just such a view of the powerful determining forces of our ancestral biology on present behavior was widely held by fin-de-siecle figures such as Gross and Jung, if not in these precise terms. If they were still alive today they would indeed be intrigued to find specifically this notion of biologically based polygamous impulses from an ancestral past as a major determinant of human social behavior gaining scientific ascendancy in the work of sociobiologists and "evolutionary personality psychologists" in the 1990s. [27]

Jung's relationship with Spielrein took a sudden erotic turn due to the encounter with Gross. Whether Jung and Spielrein had engaged in a sexual relationship prior to this time is unknown, but the conditions for such a possibility blossomed after Gross converted Jung to his philosophy. Sometime in late 1908 or 1909 Spielrein writes in her diary:

I sat there waiting in deep depression. Now he arrives, beaming with pleasure, and tells me with strong emotion about Gross, about the great insight he has just received (i.e., about polygamy); he no longer wants to suppress his feeling for me, he admitted that I was his first, dearest woman friend, etc., etc., (his wife of course excepted), and that he wanted to tell me everything about himself. [28]

In later letters to Freud in 1909 and 1910 we have Jung's confessions of his "polygamous components" that got him into a scandal with Spielrein, [29] and later Jung's cryptic assertion that, "The prerequisite for a good marriage, it seems to me, is the license to be unfaithful. I in my turn have learnt a great deal." [30] Jung has clearly adopted the language and philosophy of Gross by this time. He also by this time had begun his intense study of mythology and would have been reminded of the central role of polygamy in the prehistorical matriarchal society envisioned by Bachofen (1815-1887), the famous eccentric private scholar from Basel who was a local celebrity of sorts due to his challenge to the Judeo-Christian conception of a society based on the patriarchal family. Bachofen had a certain notoriety in academic circles, and although regarded as an outsider, nonetheless entertained university professors, including Nietzsche, in his home. Jung reports seeing his scholarly heroes Burckhardt and Bachofen walking the streets of Basel and he -- like most educated persons -- certainly knew the scandalous implications of Bachofen's theories. [31] So did Gross. Gross, however, was very interested in putting such theories into practice.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:48 am

CHAPTER NINE: "The Mothers! The Mothers! It Sounds So Strangely Weird!"


"Die Mutter! Mutter!-'s klingt so wunderlich!"

-- Goethe, Faust, part 2, act 1


DURING those long hours with Gross, Jung must have learned of Gross's confrontation with Weber and his circle, his sexual liaisons and illegitimate children, and his deep involvement in the Schwabing-Ascona countercultural axis that Jung would have been too bourgeois and too afraid of ruining his career to explore himself. Included in this analysis was no doubt a heavy dose of Gross's own Weltanschauung, a Lebensphilosophie of sexual liberation and Nietzschean spirituality, which must have included a discussion of his exploits at Ascona among the neopagans. Perhaps most importantly for our discussion, Jung probably heard Gross expound upon his adoption of the Asconan nature philosophy (if not the practice) of sun worship. Jung also no doubt heard Gross explain Bachofen's theory of the matriarchal origins of human society that Gross and other Asconans were attempting to reintroduce into European -- especially patriarchal German -- society through their own communal social experimentation. Gross's immersion in these areas has been amply documented in Green's fascinating works.

According to Green, "Otto Gross was familiar with every kind of heresy" and that "his teachings attacked not just Christianity but the whole complex of secular faiths that had grown up around Christianity in the West, and had largely stifled and supplanted it." [1] Like many attracted to the Schwabing-Ascona counterculture, Gross was smitten with ideas of a return to pre-Christian forms of society and pagan spirituality -- which in his mind included the freedom to engage in sacred group sexual practices as he envisioned our ancestors doing. In his last years Gross even promoted a form of psychotherapy based on the practice of sexual orgies that he referred to as the "cult of Astarte."  [2] By 1911, after giving Gross's philosophy and orgiastic practices serious consideration, Jung could then write with Gross perhaps very much in mind, "The existence of a phallic or orgiastic cult does not indicate eo ipso a particularly lascivious life any more than the ascetic symbolism of Christianity means an especially moral life." [3]

By the time he had met the von Richthofen sisters in 1906 and Jung in 1907, Gross had gone beyond his psychiatric, philosophical, and psychoanalytic training and began developing a Lebensphilosophie that additionally incorporated Bachofen's theories of ancestral human polygamy and matriarchy.


Ellenberger has performed a useful service by devoting attention to the considerable (but often uncited) influence of Bachofen on Nietzsche, Freud, and Jung. [4] Indeed, Ellenberger states: "The influence of Bachofen's ideas reached psychiatric circles through various channels, and his influence on dynamic psychiatry has been immense." [5] Gross, with his influence on Jung, is arguably one of the most potent sources of Bachofen's influence on Western culture through its dissemination in the Jungian movement of the twentieth century. Bachofen's ideas were also taken quite seriously among many other prominent scholars, such as Jung's friend and colleague, the Indologist Heinrich Zimmer. [6]

Bachofen spent considerable time in the 1850s analyzing the remnants of Greco-Roman culture, whether in museums or on trips to Italy. In his attempts to decipher the hidden meanings of the symbols of antiquity, he began to believe that he was finding traces of a lost period of human experience that was literally prehistorical. In his view, he was finding evidence of a matriarchal world that had been deliberately obliterated by the patriarchy that eventually overthrew it. Although the first formations of his ideas can be found in an earlier book on mortuary symbolism, his main theory was outlined in the 1861 book, Das Mutterrecht (The Law of Mothers). [7] It reflects certain dominant leitmotifs of nineteenth-century German intellectual history, especially those of an earthly paradise and of the fascination with the powers of the "chthonic." [8] Jung's personal library contains the 1897 edition of Das Mutterrecht, plus several other volumes of works by Bachofen. [9]

Bachofen hypothesized that the human race passed through three stages, the first being one of polygamy and equality, the second being matriarchical, and the third and present stage patriarchal.
It must be noted that while some modern feminist theorists support the idea of a prehistoric matriarchy, there is no historical precedent for matriarchy nor any uncontroversial prehistoric evidence for such a society, although some anthropologists and sociobiologists see evidence of a polygamous prehistory in which women shared equal power with men. [10]

Bachofen's stages of human development were as follows:

1. The stage of "hetairism," in which polygamy (meaning both polyandry and polygyny) was the norm in this wild, instinctual, nomadic, communistic, and liberated society. Both sexes lived instinctually and freely, but also cruelly and savagely by nineteenth-century bourgeois standards. There was no agriculture, and no marriage, for women were free and promiscuous and did not know or care to know the fathers of their children. The goddess of this "tellurian" phase marked by its earth symbolism was an ancient form of Aphrodite.

2. The second phase of history was the true phase of mother right (Das Mutterrecht), which Bachofen said was a lunar phase in which agriculture became the economic and social basis of a society identified with Mother Earth. The first laws that promoted the continuation of a society based on egalitarian values came into being. The most serious crime in this society was matricide. The body and the earth were glorified and the intellect or Geist (spirit) were not. The night and the darkness of subterranean caves were exalted as sacred, and so nocturnal and subterranean initiations into mysteries began in this era. There was also a fascination with the dead and contact with their spirits. Bachofen thought that the Eleusinian mysteries of the Hellenistic world had their origins in this period of matriarchy. Indeed, the great goddess of this era was none other than Demeter, the mother-goddess of Eleusis. This was fitting as Demeter was a goddess of the grain, and Bachofen believed women invented agriculture.

3. A relatively brief transitional phase in which Dionysus is the most prominent deity follows this second stage and leads to our present stage of patriarchy, symbolized by the sun, the glorification of the intellectual sphere, and rule by men. The god of this era was Apollo. Once patriarchy was established, all signs of matriarchy were systematically wiped out
, although Bachofen sees it everywhere in the same way that Blavatsky claimed to see evidence of the "secret doctrine" hidden away in the world's great religions and philosophies.

In a very patriarchal Germanic Europe, Bachofen's ideas were either ignored or condemned by scholars and cultural critics in the greater Fatherland. So prevalent did Bachofen's ideas become during the fin de siecle (however embarrassingly for the academic world) that in 1900, when Marianne Weber began writing her first book on Wife and Mother in Legal Development, she devoted considerable space to attacking the matriarchical theories of Bachofen and Friedrich Engels before constructing her own argument against patriarchal marriages. [11] It has been said by Guenther Roth that in this volume, "Marianne Weber waxed most eloquent in passages that can be read as a general indictment of German law and German husbands." [12] Yet, the condemnation of patriarchal power structures did not necessarily mean an advocacy of Bachofen and a return to matriarchy. Indeed, to cite Bachofen with approval (tacit or otherwise) in a scholarly work could ruin one's academic career and credibility. To use a modern analogy, Bachofen was the Erik von Daniken of his age. Therefore, despite his admiration for the man, Jung only cites Bachofen once in all twenty volumes of his Collected Works, and only in an essay written much later in his career.

The case was different with Gross. His four 1913 essays in the anarchistic/communistic/sexual liberationist journal Aktion that he wrote in Berlin after fleeing Ascona in that year give full expression to his syncretic amalgam of Nietzscheanism, psychoanalysis, anarchism, utopianism, and Bachofenian theory that he had been espousing for years in professional meetings, cafes, publications, and even in his analytic sessions with Jung. In "Zur Uberwindung der kultirellen Krise" ("On Overcoming the Cultural Crisis"), which appeared in Aktion in April 1913, Gross makes the following argument in revolutionary language that is also used by Jung in his 1912 "New Paths in Psychology" essay and in some of his writings during the Great War. [13]

Gross begins by stating that, "The psychology of the unconscious is the philosophy of revolution" ("Die Psychologie des Unbewussten ist die Philosophie der Revolution"). Psychoanalysis is called upon to ferment revolt within the psyche and thereby liberate one's own unconsciously bound individuality. The revaluation of all values that will be fulfilled in the coming age begins with Nietzsche's thought and Freudian technique. Freud's is a practical method through which we can liberate the unconscious for empirical knowledge so that we can know ourselves. With this a new ethic is born that is based on the moral imperative to really know oneself and one's neighbors. Gross then expounds upon the idea that we will subsequently realize that we are only fragments of our true potential selves and that this fragmentation results, in part, from the conflicts of our sexual lives. Sexuality is the motive for an eternity of inner conflicts. These conflicts, however, are the result of impositions of the outside world tragically introduced on the individual in childhood and are due to the conflict between individuality and one's own introjected authority. Previous revolutions succeeded because these revolutionaries carried their introjected authority within their own psyches, and this therefore resulted in the establishment of further patriarchal states. We must be aware that it is in the family that this authority originates, and that the fusion of sexuality and authority that results from patriarchal family structures imprisons each person's individuality. The time of crisis in high culture is due to the imprisonment of the wife and family unit in slavery. The revolutionary of today, with the help of the psychology of the unconscious, fights oppression in its most basic form: the father and patriarchy ("gegen den Vater und gegen das Vaterrecht"). The coming revolution is the revolution for matriarchy ("Die kommenden Revolution ist die Revolution furs Mutterrecht"), concludes Gross.

Bachofen's influence is obviously evident in this essay. Nicolaus Sombart, reviewing Green's The van Richthofen Sisters, agrees that, "Otto Gross participated intellectually here in the myth of matriarchy that took place in Schwabing at the turn of the century as the spiritual counterpoint to its antithesis, the authoritarian male society." [14] Bachofen's matriarchy was linked not only with the new ethic of sexuality (hence the emphasis on polygamy by Gross, and its later acceptance and practice by Jung), but with political and social aims as well. Sombart colorfully describes the circumstances under which Bachofen's theory blossomed in countercultural circles:

[Culled from various sources -- the offshoots of German romanticism, religious philosophy and mythology, Marian heresies, irrational protest movements, occult eastern sect-theologies -- a notion developed in the nocturnal discussion groups of a society of outsiders (writers, artists, homosexuals, flipped-out Contessas, Professors' daughters and Jews with an identity crisis), the notion of an archaic, prehistoric, ideal social order which was wonderful and wondrous, the ideal of a golden age in which mankind was happy because men had not yet snatched away power for themselves, because private property was not yet the basis of power and the state not yet an instrument of repression, an age in which war had not yet become "a regular form of communication" among nations, an age in which women -- or to be more accurate, the Female principle -- decided the forms of socialization and cultural life. [15]

Perhaps the most important of these "nocturnal discussions" were held in the Schwabing-Munich group known as the kosmische Runde (the "Cosmic Circle") between 1897 and 1903. [16] The main members were independent scholar Alfred Schuler (1865-1923), philosopher and graphologist Ludwig Klages (1872-1956) -- both of whom would become prominent in the volkisch movement -- Karl Wolfskehl, a Jewish poet and professor of literature from the University of Munich, and, intermittently, the noted poet Stefan George (1868-1933). After 1903 George later had his own cult-like circle known as the Georgekreis and although he himself disdained politics, his volkisch metaphors in his poetry inspired many prominent members of the political volkisch movement. George formed an artistic mystery cult complete with recitals of prophetic poetry, ceremonial talismans and gowns, the wearing of bishops' miters, etc. [17] This sort of formal costume ceremonialism had long been associated with various occult circles in Europe and underwent a revival with the decadent "satanist" movement in France and later in England in the 1880s among the culturally elite members (including W. B. Yeats) of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. [18] The group of young men (Schuler was thirty-two, the rest in their twenties) met to read and discuss mythology, cultural history, and literature. Among their favorite authors were three of Jung's most powerful influences: Nietzsche, Carus, and Bachofen. [19]

In 1899 Klages introduced Bachofen's Mutterrecht to the group, which collectively began an intense period of study to understand the implications of Bachofen's research. [20] Soon the Cosmic Circle conducted elaborate ceremonial invocations and rites of worship to the Great Mother Earth (Erdmutter) and glorified in theory and practice Bachofen's initial stage of hetairism (das Hetiirentum). [21] The cult promoted open opposition to Judeo-Christian culture and the bourgeoisie. After the growing anti- Semitism of Klages and Schuler led to a break with George and Wolfskehl in 1903, Klages and Schuler combined their ideas of an Earth Mother cult and hetairism with the vitalism of evolutionary biology and promoted a volkisch paganism based on the mystical sacralization of "blood" (die Blutleuchte). They eventually joined forces with Diederichs and his Sera Circle and the German Youth Movement to participate in sun worship rituals and other forms of volkisch neopagan spirituality. [22] Echoing opinions expressed in 1936 by Marianne Weber, Green agrees that "the prewar Schwabingites were the richest source of all those anti-Christian and antibourgeois tendencies which Germany had to deal with in the late thirties." [23]

A more extensive study of Jung's connections with members of these circles still needs to be written, since we have indications that he had direct contact with individuals who were part of George's circle at one time or another. For example, Jung's German colleague Gustav Heyer, who was a frequent lecturer at the Eranos Conferences in the mid-1930s and an associate as well of Hauer, had connections with the George circle in Munich and was himself a devotee of Klages's volkisch Lebensphilosophie. [24] Although Jung does indeed refer to Klages during his seminars on Nietzsche's Zarathustra in the 1930s, these references are not very revealing as to their personal relationship. In the 1920s Klages lived in Kilchberg, Switzerland, not far from Jung. Alongside his other volkisch pursuits, Klages had pioneered handwriting analysis as a way to discern personality traits and had set up a Graphological Institute in Munich as early as 1897. Although primarily an author of philosophical works, his brand name for his practical psychology was "characterology."  [25] So-called "expression analysis" and characterology formed the core of German psychology during the Nazi era and into the late 1950s. These techniques were used most prominently for the selection of German military officers during the Nazi era. [26] Evidence concerning the relationship between Klages and Jung has not yet come to light. Given the sanitizing of Jung's biography and image by his disciples, this is not surprising, for Klages was and is still viewed by many as a precursor to German fascism and Nazism. [27] What we do know is that in 1925 Jung published a paper on psychological types in the very first issue of a Munich journal on characterology edited by Klages, which indicates a closer association between these two men than has previously been realized. [28]

As the members of these Schwabing and Ascona circles overlapped considerably, Gross was connected to the Cosmic Circle through his relationship (probably quite intimate) with the lover of Klages and Schuler (among others, including Rainer Maria Rilke), the Contessa Franziska ("Fanny") zu Reventlow (1871- 1918). [29] Klages described her as a "pagan saint," and like Lou Andreas-Salome, who also intersects these circles, she was acknowledged by many for her intellect and spirit and as a major inspiration for the work of many of her friends and lovers. In her 1913 autobiography she described the circle of Schwabing as "a spiritual movement, a niveau, a direction, a protest, a new cult, or rather an attempt to use old cults to achieve new religious possibilities." [30] This Schwabing-hatched ideal proved to be the core passion of not only Klages, George, and their circles, but also that of Gross and especially Jung.


By 1911, Bachofen's theories of the evolution of human culture begin to appear in a recognizable form in Jung's thought. Jung's Haeckelian unconscious was, as we shall see, briefly a Bachofenian unconscious as well. Like Klages, Jung combined biological vitalism with the Earth Mother cult and Bachofenian matriarchy to create a volkisch movement of his own. [31]

Bachofen is evident in Jung's very first theory of a phylogenetic unconscious, as described in his Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido in 1911 and 1912. Indeed, it is in the letters and publications of Jung in 1912 that we find the height of Bachofenian ideas in his thought before declining in importance after this specific year. Let us now examine the implications of Jung's "Bachofenian Unconscious."

Jung, well aware of the negative reception of Bachofen by scholars in the primary centers of science in German Europe, the universities, does not dare to cite the eccentric Bachofen's works. However, beginning with the chapter entitled "The Unconscious Origin of the Hero" in part 2 of Wandlungen, it is Bachofen's theory of human development that Jung uses as his basis for identifying the strata of transformations of the libido that he has excavated in his study of the phylogenetic unconscious. Indeed, this chapter in particular is pure Bachofen and sets the stage for Jung's discussion of hero myths and their relation to the mother complex in the remainder of the book.

Jung begins this very important chapter by once again reviewing his phylogenetic hypothesis of part 1: "The unconscious is generally diffused, which not only binds the individuals among themselves to the race, but also unites them backwards with the peoples of the past and their psychology. Thus the unconscious, surpassing the individual in generality, is, in the first place, the object of a true psychology, which claims not to be psychophysical." [32] Jung then also reviews his syncretic discussion of solar myths and psychoanalysis of this previous section:

Comparison with the sun teaches us over and over again that the gods are libido. It is that part of us which is immortal, since it represents that bond through which we feel that in the race we are never extinguished. It is life from the life of mankind. Its springs, which well up from the depths of the unconscious, come, as does our life in general, from the root of the whole of humanity, since we are indeed only a twig broken off from the mother and transplanted. [33]

Figure 3. Jung's four images of cultural evolution, as derived from Bachofen (from Psychology of the Unconscious, p. 198).

Jung then introduces Bachofen through a discussion of his own archaeological observations. Jung tells his readers that, "In the antique collection at Verona I discovered a late Roman mystic inscription in which are the following representations." [34] Jung then reproduces these four symbols, beginning with an obvious representation of the sun. Jung says: "These symbols are easily read: Sun-Phallus, Moon-Vagina (Uterus)." What is remarkable is that these four images represent exactly, and in the correct temporal order, the stages of human cultural evolution identified by Bachofen. Patriarchy is the Apollonian stage represented by the Sun; the phallus represents the transitional Dionysian phase; the moon is the stage of matriarchy and the vagina (uterus) is the stage of undifferentiated hetairism. Ellenberger has diagram med how this exact sequence of stages in Bachofen corresponds to Freud's stages of psychosexual development: the ancient hetairic period corresponds to the infantile period of "polymorphous perversity"; matriarchy resembles the pre-oedipal, incestuous period of strong attachment to the mother; the transitional Dionysian period is represented by the phallic stage; and patriarchy by the genital stage. [35]

In Freud, Bachofen is perhaps the (unacknowledged) basis of psychoanalytic ontogeny; in Jung, Bachofen is the key to psychoanalytic phylogeny. Haeckel provides the unifying key from evolutionary biology: "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny." This, in a nutshell, is the basic structure of the theory of the mind that Jung develops in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido.

We can point to evidence in the correspondence between Freud and Jung to confirm this. In a letter to Freud dated 8 May 1912, and written at least two months after finishing part 2 of Wandlungen, Jung attempts to explain his new ideas on incest to Freud with a direct and obvious indication that he has accepted Bachofen's ideas as a basis for rejecting Freud and his Oedipus-complex theory of incest with its patriarchical bias. The Oedipal theory of cultural development only holds true in a patriarchical model. Jung tells Freud, in part:

A far more genuine incest tendency is to be conjectured for the early, cultureless period of matriarchy, i.e., in the matrilineal family. There the father was purely fortuitous and counted for nothing, so he would not have had the slightest interest (considering the general promiscuity) in enacting laws against the son (In fact, there was no such thing as a father's son!). [36]

Freud's curt response of 14 May 1912 first informs Jung that, "It will surely come as no surprise to you that your conception of incest is still unclear to me." Furthermore, Freud's letter not only contains an explicit statement favoring Darwin's "hypothesis in regard to the primordial period" over Bachofen's, but contains a jab at Jung's own polygamous behavior, which became known by this point. Freud lets Jung know that he is aware that Jung may be hiding behind Bachofen's theory to justify his own actions when he tells Jung: "Mother-right should not be confused with gynaecocracy. There is little to be said for the latter. Mother-right is perfectly compatible with the polygamous abasement of women." [37]

Thanks to the astute scholarship of Ellenberger, we can point to an even earlier indication that Freud found the revision of psychoanalysis along Bachofenian lines by Jung (and before him, Gross) absolutely repugnant. In February of 1912 a condensed summary of a book by the French art historian Sartiaux written by Freud appeared in the Zentralblatt fur Psychoanalyse and was a direct slap at Jung (the disciple "John" in the following excerpt) and his fascination with Bachofen and matriarchy (mother-goddesses such as Diana and Mary) in opposition to Freud ("St. Paul"):

Twenty centuries ago, in the town of Ephesus, the temple of Diana attracted numerous pilgrims, as Lourdes does today. In 54 A.D. the Apostle Saint Paul preached and made converts there for several years. Being persecuted, he founded his own community. This proved to be detrimental to the goldsmiths' commerce, and they organized an uprising against Saint Paul with the cry "Great is the Diana of the Ephesians!" Saint Paul's community did not remain loyal to him, it fell under the influence of a man named John, who had come with Mary, and promoted the cult of the Mother of God. Again pilgrims flocked, and the goldsmiths found work again. [38]

As Ellenberger wryly observes, "One need not be well versed in hermeneutics to guess its allegorical meaning." [39]

Let us return to Wandlungen. Using these four Bachofenian symbols as the basis of his evidence, Jung argues:

Let this suggestion suffice -- that from different directions the analysis of the libido symbolism always leads back again to the mother incest. Therefore, we may surmise that the longing of the libido raised to God (repressed into the unconscious) is a primitive incestuous one which concerns the mother. [40]

Jung then digresses from this point, comparing the travels of the sun in the sky to the typical wanderings of the hero in hero myths. Dying and resurrected "redeemers" such as Gilgamesh, Dionysus, Hercules, Christ, and Mithras, are cited by Jung as examples of wandering heroes. Heroes wander because they are like the sun, which "seeks the lost mother." The sun rises from and goes back to a mysterious realm in its wanderings each day, the Goethean "realm of the mothers." Therefore, hero myths are solar myths. Furthermore, Jung concludes: "But the myth of the hero, however, is, as it appears to me, the myth of our own suffering unconscious, which has an unquenchable longing for all the deepest sources of our own being; for the body of the mother, and through it for communion with infinite life in the countless forms of existence." [41]

Jung then ends this chapter with a long reproduction from Faust, part 2, in which Faust makes his initiatory descent into the eerie realm of the mothers. What is of note is that when writing this scene in late 1829 and early 1830, as we know from his comments to Eckermann and from other sources, Goethe had in mind the ritual descent of the initiate of the Hellenistic mysteries of the "Two Goddesses" of Eleusis, the mother-goddess Demeter and her daughter, the maiden (Kore) Persephone. [42] Although no firm evidence exists of what the initiatory experience entailed for the initiate into the Eleusinian mysteries, it is generally assumed that the initiate saw some representation or had a vision of Persephone in the underworld, which then gave the initiate "better hopes" for his or her position in the afterlife. In other words, the mysteries revitalized and redeemed the initiate through the ritualized descent to the underworld of the mothers. Goethe knew the descriptions of the Eleusinian mysteries from his reading of Plutarch, and of course both he and Jung would have known Cicero's statement that at Eleusis the initiate is shown "how to live in joy, and how to die with better hopes." [43] That is about all that we know about the actual experience of the initiate. The extraordinary experience of the Eleusinian mysteries -- which were formally conducted for more than one thousand years -- is one of the greatest kept secrets of antiquity.

Goethe, too, kept possession of this secret. When Eckermann asked Goethe during an interview held on 10 January 1830 to explain more fully Faust's experiences in the underworld, Eckermann reports Goethe's response: "He, however, in his usual manner enveloped himself in mystery, looking at me wide-eyed and repeating the words: 'The Mothers! Mothers! It sounds so strangely weird!'" [44]

The remainder of Wandlungen is subsequently predicated on Bachofen's theory of prehistoric hetairism and matriarchy and how hero myths reveal that a return to the mother is somehow revitalizing -- just as the initiate in the Eleusinian mysteries experienced renovatio through contact with the transcendent realm of gods. The sun hero descends to the realm of the mothers (or into Mother Earth) where he typically does battle and reemerges reborn. This is a classic scenario ritually enacted in the Hellenistic mysteries. The start therefore, is another expression of the sun in the night sky of the Motherworld or as the sun descended into the subterranean depths of Mother Earth. However, in Wandlungen, Jung is claiming that there is ontogenetic and phylogenetic evidence that through a return to the realm of the mothers (the deepest strata of the unconscious) within each of us, we are reborn. The first step to this new life is through introversion, when one's "libido sinks into its 'own depths'" into what Jung refers to, significantly, as "the world of memories." [45] Yet rebirth occurs only if this process of introversion is then reversed and one returns to the abandoned "upperworld": "But if the libido succeeds in tearing itself loose and pushing up into the world above, then a miracle appears. This journey to the underworld has been a fountain of youth, and new fertility springs from this apparent death." [46]

Given this theory, it was logically a very short step for the ever practical-minded Jung to eventually develop psychotherapeutic techniques of introversion -- active imagination -- in order to allow individuals direct access to this revitalizing realm of the mothers, or the underworld of the ancestors or of the dead. But as his discussion of the "Terrible Mother" in his chapter on the "Symbolism of the Mother and of Rebirth" suggests, this descent is not necessarily a pleasant experience. Indeed, although it may be revitalizing for some, "annihilation" may ensue from the hero's "battle of deliverance from the mother." As a work that uses published fantasy material from Frank Miller and especially clinical material (delusions and hallucinations) from the inpatient population of the Burgholzli, in Wandlungen Jung is much more interested in demonstrating that such fantasy material is the product of psychotic regression of dementia praecox.

The implication of Jung's theory is that the most regressed psychotics would exhibit the most pre-Christian, "tellurian" symbols in their delusions and hallucinations, as these formed the basis of the earliest societies of human beings, as Bachofen suggested. In the deepest tellurian stratum, earth symbols would be mixed with both solar and lunar symbols, both sun and star, which would be found fused together, especially in bisexual forms. In Bachofenian prehistory, the currents of libido these symbols represent would function in their natural state and present no problem to our ancestors. As humans evolved into lunar matriarchy and solar patriarchy, these stages and their representative symbols point to graduated differentiation and individuation from the earlier polymorphous and diffuse consciousness of hetairism. In the modern psychotic patient, whose psyche, biologically and psychologically, is no longer covered so tightly by many millennia of patriarchal consciousness (only the last two thousand years of which were Judeo-Christian), the emergence of these tellurian streams of libido in particular present major difficulties and incapacitate the individual. However, theoretically, by analyzing psychotic symbolism it might be possible to tell how regressed a patient is.

As we know, by the time he had published the second part of Wandlungen in 1912 Jung realized he was no longer a believer in the Christian myth and essentially realized his pagan spiritual roots and identity. That he chose the matriarchal theories of Bachofen and the Germanic scholarship on the Aryan peoples to give form to his new pagan identity is certain. What I argue here is that it was Gross that unlocked these mysteries for Jung and paved the way for the formation of Jung's own mystery cult of redemption by 1916, which Jung deliberately operated outside the bounds of the conventional academic and medical worlds. In this sense the Jung cult very much belongs to the Schwabing-Asconan tradition that also looked to Bachofen for clues to individual and cultural rebirth. As Sombart observes about these fin-de-siecle cults:

The myth of matriarchy was tied to the past, esoteric and elitist, and mixed with the most exceptional sun, blood and death cults. It was consciously aimed against an established academic science (and the academic business too). It had the character of a secret doctrine, whose proponents did not think about being enlightened or politically effective but trusted the personal magnetism of the "initiated" and "knowing." [47]

It is especially in this latter form, of a cult of individuals seeking guidance from a charismatic prophet, that the Jung cult existed from the very start and has attempted to preserve through its present-day caste of Jungian analysts who claim charismatic authority as true initiates of the Jungian mysteries within the Jungian movement. More will be said about this in the last chapter.

In his 1909 Jahrbuch essay on "The Significance of the Father in the Destiny of the Individual," which contains material from his mutual analysis with Gross, Jung ends his remarks with a cryptic Latin passage from Horace that may very well refer to the influence of his "twin brother" Gross on his life, both for better and for worse: "[Why this should be so] only the Genius knows -- that companion who rules the star of our birth, the god of human nature, mortal though he be in each single life, and changeful of countenance, white and black." [48]

Gross is only the most prominent and best recorded of the unknown number of unknown patients admitted to the Burgholzli with Asconan connections and a significant knowledge of mythology, occultism, and the Hellenistic mystery cults. Jung reports that, from 1904 to 1907, 1,325 patients were admitted to the Burgholzli, and we may conjecture that this number was probably not too different for the next four-year period of 1908 to 1911. [49] How many of these were Asconan casualties, or Theosophists, or others with mythological knowledge about sun worship and Bachofenian matriarchal symbolism we cannot say for certain. However, there is evidence that other patients there also may have had this specialized knowledge: in 1908 Jung mentions the case history of "a man between 30 and 40 years of age" (like Jung), "a foreign archeologist of great learning and extraordinary intelligence" who "published several outstanding works." [50] Who was this scholar? Was it someone whose monographs Jung cites in his own works? This special nature of the patient population of the Burgholzli should be kept in mind as we further examine Jung's claims for evidence for a phylogenetic and later collective unconscious.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:49 am

Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER TEN: Visionary Excavations of the Collective Unconscious



AT SOME POINT following his return from the September 1909 Clark Conference in the United States with Freud, Ferenczi, and others, Jung had his now-famous dream of descending temporally and spatially in an old house that he claims gave him his first ideas of a collective unconscious. In actuality, it gave him the idea for his first formal model of the phylogenetic unconscious. There are many versions of this famous dream in the literature on Jung (especially a highly embellished one by Jaffe in Memories, Dreams, Reflections), [1] but perhaps the most direct information about it can be found in Jung's remarks made on 6 April 1925 during his English-language seminar on analytical psychology. After describing how he and Freud analyzed each other's dreams on the American voyage (Freud, of course, less ably than Jung as dream interpreter), Jung says the following:

On my way back from America, I had a dream that was the origin of my book on the Psychology of the Unconscious. In those times I had no idea of the collective unconscious; I thought of the conscious as of a room above, with the unconscious as a cellar underneath and then the earth wellspring, that is, the body, sending up the instincts. These instincts tend to disagree with our conscious ideals and so we keep them down. That is the figure I had always used for myself, and then came this dream which I hope I can tell without being too personal.

I dreamed I was in a medieval house, a big, complicated house with many rooms, passages, and stairways. I came in from the street and went down into a vaulted Gothic room, and from there into a cellar. I thought to myself that I was now at the bottom, but then I found a square hole. With a lantern in my hand I peeped down into this hole, and saw stairs leading further down, and down these I climbed. They were dusty stairs, very much worn, and the air was sticky, the whole atmosphere very uncanny. I came to another cellar, this one of very ancient structure, perhaps Roman, and again there was a hole through which I could look down into a tomb filled with prehistoric pottery, bones, and skulls; as the dust was undisturbed, I thought I had made a great discovery. Then I woke up. [2]

Jung's "descent" temporally and spatially into the past in this dream reminded him of his previous career interest in archaeology and in prehistoric man. He told his audience in 1925 that he had "a strongly impersonal feeling about the dream" -- hence, the feeling that the images were not from a personal source but from a phylogenetic or transcendent one. Freud, however, interpreted Jung's dream as a death wish against certain people associated with him that he "wanted dead, and buried under two cellars." [3] Freud's interpretation was personal and ontogenetic.

Jung was not satisfied with Freud's interpretation, and in order to get at the meaning of the dream, Jung began spontaneously using a procedure that he later cultivated as the basis of his psychotherapeutic technique: active imagination. Indeed, Jung's first recorded use of active imagination may be traced to his September-October 1909 attempts to divine the meaning of his dream. Here Jung tells his audience how he used his imagination to make excavations into the phylogeny of the soul:

Involuntarily 1began to make fantasies about it, though I did not know anything about the principle of fantasizing in order to bring up unconscious material. I said to myself: "Isn't it fine to make excavations. Where am I going to have a chance to do that?" And actually when I came home I looked up a place where excavations were being made, and went to it. [4]

Here we have Jung resorting to visionary practices already quite familiar to him from his involvement with spiritualism and from his knowledge of the claims of Blavatsky and the initiated Theosophists that the ancestral past could be contacted directly through the imagination. Jung, however, reframes the practice to make it seem less occultist and more scientific by making an analogy to archaeology -- a style of translating or repackaging arcane or occultist ideas to make them congruent with the psychiatric and scientific terminology of his day. Jung was, after all, a famous scientist and physician and his disciples were disproportionately drawn from the bourgeoisie. Just as Guido von List told his followers, "We must read with our souls the landscape which archeology reconquers with the spade," Jung himself indulged in such a practice and taught it to generations of his own disciples. Such "visionary excavations" were very much au courant within the major occult traditions and the volkisch underside of Central European culture at this time.

Jung visited active archaeological sites and observed actual excavations into the prehistoric past. Immediately upon his return he began an intensive study of mythology and Hellenistic pagan spiritual practices in the classical scholarship of his day. "Archeology or rather mythology has got me in its grip," he writes to Freud on 14 October 1909. [5] On 8 November 1909 Jung additionally remarks, "All my delight in archeology (buried for years) has sprung into life again." [6]

He reports beginning his readings with the four-volume set by Heidelberg University professor Friedrich Creuzer (1771-1858), the Symbolik und Mythologie der alten Volker besonders der Griechen, originally published between 1810 and 1812. [7] If there can be said to be one single source of Jung's collective unconscious it is arguably to be found in Creuzer's highly influential works. This is true in two senses. First, Creuzer's work was the first truly comprehensive scholarly source in the German language for information about the spirituality of antiquity, especially about the ancient mystery cults of the Greco-Roman world. As a result, the information contained in it was widely disseminated in Germanic culture throughout the nineteenth century, and indeed the work went through several editions, making Creuzer perhaps the first source for any German scholar beginning a study of the mythology or the mystery cults. Creuzer was the foundation upon which successive generations of German scholars built their own ideas about Hellenic antiquity, whether they agreed with him or not.

As an example of what classicist Bruce Metzger has called the "precritical stage" of the study of the Hellenistic mystery cults, Creuzer (and others in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries) "believed that by the Mysteries a constant succession of priests or hierophants transmitted from age to age an esoteric doctrine, better and nobler than that of the popular religion. Whether this recondite science had been derived originally from the hidden wisdom of India or Egypt, or from the Old Testament, or even from a primitive revelation to all mankind, was debated with characteristic disregard for historical methodology."  [8] Therefore, when occultists mined this scholarly literature during the fin de siecle they found models upon which to base their secret doctrines and elitist, hierarchical cult structures and initiation ceremonies.

Creuzer's perspective on the ancient Hellenistic mysteries permeated Germanic culture through its influence on such individuals as Goethe and Wagner. Goethe's Bibliothek reveals that he owned both editions of Creuzer's work. [9] Whereas volume three is concerned with the themes of "heroes and daimons" in ancient Greek spirituality, the Dionysian mysteries, and Orphic cosmology, the entirety of volume four is devoted to the cult of the "Two Goddesses" (the Greek Demeter and Persephone, or the Roman Ceres and Proserpina) at Eleusis and the Eleusinian mysteries. When Goethe wrote the famous descent to the mothers scene in the second part of Faust that so captivated Jung, he used the original descriptions of the Eleusinian mysteries of Pausanias and Plutarch cited by Creuzer as well as Creuzer's own contemporary descriptions.

Wagner also digested Creuzer as preparation for writing the operas that Jung so admired. [10] Wagner's library at Bayreuth contains the original edition of Creuzer, and he admired Creuzer's intuition about the place of the irrational in the Hellenistic mysteries, although Winckelmann's Apollonian idealization of the ancient Greeks is quite apparent in Creuzer's work. In an entry in her diary for 1 December 1880, Cosima Wagner reports:

Friends in the evening. -- R. talks once more about Schelling and C. Frantz, and when somebody mentions the former's philosophy of mythology and recalls Creuzer, R. says: "All these people like Creuzer saw something, they made mistakes but they saw something. Their successors see nothing, just think they ought to say something, too." [11]

Through his pervasive cultural influence in the ongoing "tyranny of Greece over Germany," Creuzer's work is the headwaters of the long, flowing intellectual current that extends from Goethe to Wagner to Jung.

The second sense in which Creuzer's work is the true foundation of Jung's collective unconscious is in the use of it as an encyclopedic guide for identifying mythological clinical material by Jung and his colleagues. In early 1909 Jung had left his position at the Burgholzli to go into private practice in Kusnacht, so in the winter of 1909 he assigned his three psychiatrist assistants who were still at the Burgholzli -- Spielrein, Jan Nelken, and Honegger -- to read the works of Creuzer and others on mythology and archaeology and to collect data from the institutionalized patients there as evidence for a phylogenetic layer of the unconscious mind. Creuzer's particular slant on mythology and especially the mysteries thus frames, indeed biases, the data that Jung and his assistants claimed as pure and scientific. Nowhere is this more evident than in the strange case of the patient at the Burgholzli known now to us as the Solar Phallus Man.

The Problematic Tale of the Solar Phallus Man

Jung told the story of the Solar Phallus Man time and time again throughout his life as conclusive evidence of a collective unconscious.  [12] As Shamdasani has correctly observed, the Solar Phallus Man "carried on his shoulders the weight and burden of proof of the Collective Unconscious." [13] The Solar Phallus Man, Jung and his disciples claimed, had hallucinations and delusions with content that resembled an ancient Hellenistic magical text from the second century CE., and therefore this was convincing proof of a phylogenetic or (later) collective unconscious. As late as 1959, in the famous televised "Face to Face" interviews of Jung by John Freeman, when Freeman asks, "Is there anyone case that you can now look back on and feel perhaps it was the turning point of your thought?" it is the case of the Solar Phallus Man that Jung refers to. [14] What, then, are the circumstances surrounding the important case of the Solar Phallus Man?

The first fact, and one deliberately hidden, it appears, by Jung himself, is that the Solar Phallus Man was a patient of Honegger's, whose first clinical experience with institutionalized psychiatric patients began only in the winter of 1909 at the Burgholzli under Bleuler. In Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido there are two explicit references to Honegger that were removed by Jung in his extensive 1952 revision of this work, Symbols of Transformation. In these later works, Jung claims the Solar Phallus Man was his patient and makes no mention of any role by Honegger. In part 1 of Wandlungen, published in 1911, the case of the Solar Phallus Man is introduced as follows:

Honegger discovered the following hallucination in an insane man (paranoid dement): The patient sees in the sun an 'upright tail' similar to an erected penis. When he moves his head back and forth, then, too, the sun's penis sways back and forth in a like manner, and out of that the wind arises. This strange hallucination remained unintelligible to us for a long time until I became acquainted with the Mithraic Liturgy and its visions. [15]

Jung then cites a translation of a passage from the Mithraic Liturgy in a 1907 Theosophical publication by C.R.S. Mead. [16] In Wandlungen Jung also repeatedly cites the work that probably first drew his attention to the Mithraic Liturgy contained in the Creek Magical Papyri, the small book by Dieterich entitled Eine Mithrasliturgie. [17] Jung owned and used the second edition of this book (1910). Jung's claim throughout his life is that this institutionalized patient could not have had prior access to such mythological ideas and that therefore this was indisputable evidence of the collective unconscious. Jung's response to Freeman in the 1959 interview is typical of the many published references to the Solar Phallus Man Jung made when bolstering his arguments in print for a collective unconscious:

[Freeman] But how could you be sure that your patient wasn't unconsciously recalling something that somebody once told him?

[Jung] Oh, no. Quite out of the question, because that thing was not known. It was in a magic papyrus in Paris, and it wasn't even published. It was only published four years later, after I had observed it with my patient. [18]

It is clear that by the 1930s, long after Honegger's suicide in March 1911 and therefore long after he was forgotten except by only a very few intimates, the story of the Solar Phallus Man took on the following new shape:

1. The patient was Jung's and Honegger disappears from the history of analytical psychology.

2. Jung later claimed the patient's delusions were observed in 1906, although Honegger's clinical work began only in 1909, which would have been the only time Honegger could have "discovered" the Solar Phallus Man's hallucination.

3. The text of the Mithraic Liturgy was published in 1910, four years after Jung claims he discovered the Solar Phallus Man.

This latter story was maintained firmly by Jung and has been repeated by generations of uncritical disciples, many of whom were close to Jung in his later years and who knew the true story. [19]

Jung first took credit for the case of the Solar Phallus Man in the essay "Die Struktur der Seele" in 1930, which is the date of the foreword to the collection of his essays in which it appears, Seelenproblem der Gegenwart, but which was published in 1931. [20] However, although Jung most certainly knew the patient, we now know for certain that he was indeed Honegger's special case. Honegger's personal papers, which disappeared in 1911 after his suicide, reappeared in November 1993 in photocopies deposited by William McGuire at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and contain a written case history of the Solar Phallus Man. His name was "E. Schwyzer," and he was born in 1862. [21]

The contradictions in the story over priority and date of discovery are disturbing enough. However, perhaps most disturbing is that Jung later found out that a 1903 edition of Dieterich's work existed, but he still stuck with his story. This is indicated by a footnote added by the editors of the Collected Works: "As [Jung] subsequently learned, the 1910 edition was actually the second, there having been a first edition in 1903. The patient had, however, been committed some years before 1903." [22] Why, then, did he continue in print and in person (as in the 1959 BBC interviews) to stick to the false story?

If, as the London editors of the Collected Works claim, this patient was admitted years before 1903, this does not rule out the Solar Phallus Man's contact with such material through the widely available Theosophical literature in German or, perhaps, even through the work of Creuzer or Bachofen. As Ellenberger was the first to notice, Creuzer contains a brief discussion of the motif of a solar phallus (Sonnenphallus) in the third volume of his Symbolik und Mythologie der alten Volker. [23] In the introduction to Das Mutterrecht, Bachofen makes the statement that "the phallic sun, forever fluctuating between rising and setting, coming into being and passing away, is transformed into the immutable source of light." [24] Thus, the Solar Phallus Man, locked away in a Swiss institution, may have also had access to Bachofen's work either during or prior to his incarceration.

There are further contradictions. Indeed, in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, Jung himself cites the 1907 Theosophical work by Mead that contains a translation of the Mithraic Liturgy (with Theosophical commentary), and which Mead clearly indicates on the first page (the contents page) is based on Dieterich's Eine Mithrasliturgie. Mead's work came out a full three years before Dieterich's second edition. Furthermore, Jung's own copy of the second edition of Eine Mithrasliturgie is clearly labeled on the title page, right under the author's name and in the center of the page, "Zweite Auflage" (second edition). The case of the Solar Phallus Man, therefore, may most optimistically be regarded as one of biased cognition; at its worst, it may be regarded as evidence of deliberate distortion by Jung and his colleagues to keep the magical story of the Solar Phallus Man alive to bolster the belief of others in the collective unconscious.

The Zurich School Excavates the Phylogenetic Unconscious

Given the fact that Honegger, Nelken, and Spielrein were primed to look for certain mythological information consistent with the phylogenetic hypothesis, they obviously would tend to ignore other information that would be considered irrelevant to it. And given the century of Hellenic mythological education in German countries; the wide distribution of Theosophical materials; the equally available and more highly regarded folkloric, Gnostic, mythological, and solar-worshiping pantheistic publications of Diederichs Verlag; and the nearby neopagan movement between Schwabing-Munich and Ascona, such mythological material was not hard to find among the inpatients of the Burgholzli. It was from these patients that the scientific proof was allegedly found for an archaic, impersonal strata of the psyche.

In late January 1910 -- after three months of study, according to McGuire-Jung "gave a lecture in Zurich to an audience of student scientists, in which he aimed to show that 'in the individual fantasy the primum mavens ... is mythologically typical."  [25] This may be the first tentative public presentation by Jung of a psychological interpretation of mythological material for which he is so well known today.

On 30 and 31 March 1910, the Second Psychoanalytic Meeting was held in Nuremberg, Germany. On the first of these two days Honegger presented a talk entitled "On Paranoid Delusions," of which only an abstract published in the Jahrbuch in 1910 has survived. [26] In it, Honegger analyzes the delusional system of a case of paranoid dementia according to the mythological material he has learned from the books that Jung had assigned him over the past six months (since October 1909 at the earliest -- hardly enough time for the busy young institutional psychiatrist to master the literature on archaeology and mythology). The patient has delusions with themes containing "ancient mythological and philosophical ideas." Since the patient is a "store clerk, without higher education," Honegger claims he "could not have had an inkling of these myths and philosophies."

Honegger's abstract is important for two reasons: first, here we have the first recorded claim in print, so often repeated by Jung and his disciples, of the absolute certainty of the purity of the material collected from an individual and the absolute certainty of its phylogenetic source. Second, as is also the case with Jung and generations of his disciples, there is no indication that any effort was made to follow in the tradition of Flournoy (and Jung himself in his own doctoral dissertation of 1902) to first determine if these persons had somewhere, at some time, previously been exposed to mythological material but then had forgotten the source, i.e., the phenomenon known today as source amnesia, or in Jung's day, cryptomnesia. The only criteria for controlling the purity of the material (often cited as if they are independent variables in the experimental sense) are (1) the occupational level of the individual and (2) his or her educational level. It is astounding how often Jung himself uses these criteria throughout his life to validate his claims of the transcendental source of mythological contents in dreams and fantasies of everyday people. He assumes that only classical scholars, archaeologists, or perhaps university-educated persons were exposed to Hellenistic themes. This assumption is a major leap of faith and is unconvincing. Indeed, it is epistemologically and historically unsound. As I have established, such mythological knowledge was probably to be expected in the Central European populations that inhabited the back wards of the Burgholzli and the consulting rooms of psychoanalysts like Freud and Jung. [27]

A third reason that Honegger's abstract is important is that it is the first indication of the method of collecting evidence for a phylogenetic unconscious: the study of a single individual. In the evidence presented by Jung and his disciples in the decades since 1910, most of the case studies are devoid of much personal history and instead focus on the mythological interpretation of fantasies dissociated from the real-life circumstances of the subject. Assumptions about the collective or universal nature of mankind are based on information gathered from a very small number of single case studies in Jung's corpus. For example, Jung used the single case-study method to document the spontaneous appearance of mandalas and alchemical ideas in the paintings and drawings of a female American patient he treated in the late 1920s, his famous" A Study in the Process of Individuation" (1950). Jung assures his readers in his usual style that "all these ideas and inferences were naturally unknown to my patient" and that "there could be no question of my having unintentionally infected her with alchemical ideas." [28] This patient, as we now know, was the prominent Jungian Kristine Mann, who came to Jung only after an extensive interest and active participation in Swedenborgian circles and who had exposure to occult literature and ideas -- including alchemical symbolism -- long before her involvement with Jung. [29]

Honegger's abstract is also important as the first evidence establishing the Haeckelian basis of Jungian theory. Honegger claims, "The autochthonous revival of ancient myths, philosophical ideas and theories of the world, represents a regression that goes back not only to an individual's childhood but also to that of the whole human race. It can be compared in the sphere of anatomy to malformations representing ontogenetic throwbacks to early stages of phylogenesis." This is Haeckel's biogenetic law in Jung's own phylogenetic psychology, stated by Jung through his disciple Honegger.

In opening remarks to his first published essay on what was to later become Totem and Taboo (remarks that do not appear in his Standard Edition), and that appear in the inaugural issue of Imago (March 1912), Freud likewise makes this same leap of faith:

For everyone involved in the development of psychoanalysis, it was a memorable moment when C.G. Jung, at a private scientific gathering, reported through one of his students that the fantasies of certain mental patients (dementia praecox) coincided strikingly with the mythological cosmogonies of ancient peoples of whom these uneducated patients could not possibly have had any scholarly knowledge. [30]

On 16 May 1910 Jung himself presented his first extensively detailed psychological analysis of mythological material, particularly material relating to the Mithraic mysteries, to a group of Swiss psychiatrists in Herisau. The Herisau talk has been shown by Kerr to be the basis of part 1 of Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, which appeared in autumn 1911. [31]Jung during this time is experiencing dreams with mythological content, including a dream he associates with the cult of Mithraism in which herds of cattle break through the walls of a Gothic cathedra. [32] Jung tells Freud in a letter dated 20 February 1910 that "my dreams revel in symbols that speak volumes." [33] The dreams with vivid mythological content that was seemingly derived from his intense reading in comparative religion and mythology continued on and off for the rest of his life.

Jung's Vision of a Golden Age of Psychoanalysis

It is in 1910, while Jung was steeped in his researches of mythology, in particular the ancient mysteries, that we find our first direct evidence that he began to openly acknowledge his desire to form a religious sect of psychoanalysis. [34] In a letter to Freud dated 11 February 1910, Jung says that he, too, like Freud, has received an invitation from a "Bern apothecary" by the name of Alfred Knapp to join a new organization, the Internationaler Orden fur Ethik und Kultur (the International Order for Ethics and Culture), which was a forum for the practical change of society. In an earlier letter to Jung (13 January 1910), Freud seems to think such an association for psychoanalysis may be a good idea and asks Jung's opinion. [35]

Jung responds that the project appalls him. Jung feels the association will be an "artificial one," since "religion can only be replaced by religion." [36] Jung asks, rhetorically: "Is there a new savior in the I.F.? What sort of new myth does it hand out for us to live by? Only the wise are ethical from sheer intellectual presumption, the rest of us need the eternal truth of myth." [37]

Jung then seems to reveal to Freud his concept of psychoanalysis as a replacement for Christianity, and indeed as a movement of redemption and rebirth. The language is Nietzschean, indeed Dionysian, and would fit well with the mythologically based philosophies of cultural and individual renovatio of Gross, or of the members of the Cosmic Circle, or of any number of Asconan groups. Jung says that, "The ethical problem of sexual freedom really is enormous and worth the sweat of all noble souls. But 2000 years of Christianity can only be replaced by something equivalent," an "irresistible mass movement."38 This would, of course, be the new religion of modernity: psychoanalysis. Jung writes:

I imagine a far finer and more comprehensive task for [psychoanalysis] than alliance with an ethical fraternity. I think we must give it time to infiltrate into people from many centers, to revivify among intellectuals a feeling for symbol and myth, ever so gently to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of the vine, which he was, and in this way absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for the one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were -- a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal. That was the beauty and purpose of classical religion, and from which God knows what temporary biological needs has turned into a Misery Institute. Yet what infinite rapture and wantonness lie dormant in our religion, waiting to be led back to their true destination! A genuine and proper ethical development cannot abandon Christianity but must grow up within it, must bring to fruition its hymn of love, the agony and ecstasy over the dying and resurgent god, the mystic power of the wine, the awesome anthropophagy of the Last Supper -- only this ethical development can serve the vital forces of religion. [39]

Jung then concludes this passage by telling Freud that "[psychoanalysis] makes me proud and discontent" and that he would "like to affiliate it with everything that is dynamic and alive. One can only let this kind of thing grow."

Freud's response to all this was a reprimand: "But you mustn't regard me as the founder of a religion. My intentions are not so far-reaching .... I am not thinking of a substitute for religion: this need must be sublimated." [40] Freud was clearly put off by Jung's zealotry and his blend of Christian and Dionysian imagery that spoke to Aryans but not Jews. In Jung's follow-up letter (20 February 1910), Jung apologizes for "another of those rampages of fantasy I indulge in from time to time." [41] He tells Freud by way of explanation that, "All sorts of things are cooking in me, mythology in particular." [42] By 17 April 1910, Jung is so lost in his mythological studies that he tells Freud,

At present I am pursuing my mythological dreams with almost autoerotic pleasure, dropping only meager hints to my friends . . . . I often feel I am wandering alone through a strange country, seeing wonderful things that no one else has seen before and no one needs to see.... I don't yet know what will come of it. I must just let myself be carried along, trusting to God that in the end I shall make a landfall somewhere. [43]

Yet, by August 1910 Jung returns to the theme of a millenarian religion of psychoanalysis. He reveals in a letter to Freud that the adversaries of psychoanalysis "are saying some very remarkable things which ought to open our eyes in several ways." In particular, "All these mutterings about sectarianism, mysticism, arcane jargon, initiation, etc., mean something." Indeed, such outrage can only be aimed at something "that has all the trappings of a religion." Jung does not refute this charge of a religion-like nature to the psychoanalytic movement. Instead, Jung then suggests to Freud that psychoanalysis should create an elite (in essence a Nietzschean new nobility), to protect itself against its critics and then to finally usher in a golden age on earth. Jung is, of course, engaging in one of his rampages of hyperbole and his remarks are made partially in jest. What is interesting in this letter is that instead of denying the charges of cultism, Jung instead offers his admittedly excessive "apocalyptic vision" that seems to express his desires to promote such a secret society:

And finally, [psychoanalysis] thrives only in a very tight enclave of minds. Seclusion is like a warm rain. One should therefore barricade this territory against the ambitions of the public for a long time to come .... Moreover [psychoanalysis] is too great a truth to be publicly acknowledged as yet. Generously adulterated extracts and thin dilutions of it should first be handed around. Also the necessary proof has not yet been furnished that it wasn't you who discovered [psychoanalysis] but Plato, Thomas Aquinas and Kant, with Kuno Fischer and Wundt thrown in. Then Hoche will be called to a chair of [psychoanalysis] in Berlin and Aschaffenburg to one in Munich. Thereupon the Golden Age will dawn. [44]

What this letter establishes is that, even before Jung broke away and founded his own group, his fantasy of the psychoanalytic movement was one very much like Creuzer's (and others') of the ancient mystery cults of the Greco-Roman world: a hierarchical organization led by a select few hierophants or adepts who are privy to esoteric knowledge by rising in the ranks, initiation by initiation, until gaining entry into the governing elite. Such a sacred organization was to operate outside the usual conventions of society, offering an extraordinary experience of revitalization or rebirth to those brave enough to seek the challenge. By 1916, having long grown weary of Freud's reticence, Jung was well on the way to establishing such a sacred organization himself.


In the early part of 1911, Honegger committed suicide through a lethal injection of morphine. His scientific papers validating Jung's phylogenetic hypothesis were never published and instead vanished until recently. In 1912, papers validating the mythological content of Jung's hypothesized phylogenetic layer of the unconscious in psychotic patients are published by Nelken and Spielrein. Spielrein's paper, written in close collaboration with Jung, is highly supportive of the phylogenetic hypothesis. Nelken admits, however, that although he agrees with the hypothesis, his patient had a "more than superficial" exposure to mythological knowledge. [45] It is interesting to note that neither Jung nor anyone else has ever commented on Nelken's final revelation, which negates the validity of the entire thrust of Jung's theory and, in many respects, Nelken's own paper.

By mid-year Antonia Wolff has entered Jung's life as his assistant. Wolff, Jung's ex-patient, apparently introduces him to Eastern philosophies and astrology (most probably through the Theosophical literature). By June 1911 Jung is casting astrological horoscopes and, given the state of tension between the two men, Jung probably casts Freud's chart as well. [46] However, such a horoscope of Freud in Jung's hand has not yet been made public from his posthumous personal papers, nor have the raw horoscopic calculations Jung made of his patients and others that he knew. In autumn, the first part of Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido is published in the Jahrbuch. Freud, at this point, is still cautiously supportive.

Wandlungen is, as bears repeating, an extensive amplification of the psychoanalytic and mythological implications of a small group of published reveries of a remarkable woman Jung never met. [47] Although it is difficult to say precisely when Jung found the published fantasies of Frank Miller (Kerr suggests late 1910), [48] his attention to them made him aware of his own irrational, mythopoetic fantasy life for the very first time. This shocked his bourgeois image of himself as a rational, organized, sensible Herr Doktor with a keenly focused and directed mind and a strong will. To willingly fantasize, to welcome one's own irrationality, was a dangerous and degenerative lapse into modernity.

In writing Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, as we now know from his personal statements, Jung even used for his scientific method of psychoanalysis one very similar to that suggested to scholars by Muller for understanding the myths: suspend one's own rational bourgeois-Christian thought processes and read these fables with the eyes and mind of a child. Jung had begun using a similar technique as early as 1909 to gain access to unconscious knowledge, but apparently not to the extent of these later years. In doing so while working on Miller's fantasies, Jung realized for the first time that he had an autonomous fantasy life in his own mind.

I was in my consciousness an active thinker accustomed to subjecting my thoughts to the most rigorous sort of direction, and therefore fantasizing was a mental process that was directly repellant to me. As a form of thinking I held it to be altogether impure, a sort of incestuous intercourse, thoroughly immoral from an intellectual viewpoint. ... It shocked me ... to think of the possibility of a fantasy life in my own mind; it was against all the intellectual ideals I had developed for myself, and so great was my resistance to it, that I could only admit the fact in myself through the process of projecting my material onto Miss Miller's. [49]

Also during this autumn 1911 period Emma Jung began psychoanalytic treatment with Leonhard Seif, who breached medical confidentiality and briefed Ernest Jones, a rival of Jung's, on the intimate details she revealed in her sessions. Jones passed this private information on to Freud and it was no doubt later liberally shared among the members of Freud's "secret committee." This seems to have been a political maneuver to discretely coerce Jung into remaining under Freud's authority through his fear of the potential blackmail value of the personal details revealed by Emma. By autumn 1912, when Jung's defection seems certain, Jones remarks to Freud, "I am hoping that her influence over him will be of value to us." [50]

The Prototype of the Jung Cult

In January and early February 1912 the psychoanalytic movement came under attack from several directions in a debate published in a Zurich newspaper. The debate started when the Neue Zurcher Zeitung published a summary of a meeting held by the Zurich branch of the Kepler-Bund, an association with chapters in several localities in German Europe named after the famous astronomer and devoted to fighting "pseudoscience" in its manifold forms. The Kepler-Bund originally arose in opposition to Haeckel's Monistenbund, as many scientists considered Haeckel's works pseudoscientific and dangerous to society. The Kepler-Bund was, then, essentially an association of skeptics and debunkers. In early January 1912, the Zurich Kepler-Bund devoted an evening to debunking psychoanalysis.

In the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, psychoanalysis was attacked as being a pseudoscience along with hypnosis and other mind cures. [51] Jung's newly published essay on "New Paths in Psychology" (see below) was attacked for its obvious revolutionary rhetoric, and Jung wrote in to defend himself. A critic responded that one did not need to be a physician to see that psychoanalysis was a pseudoscience that had unleashed an unhealthy psychic epidemic. Jung and Riklin eventually sent in an imperious statement of protest under the guise of their official roles in the Zurich Psychoanalytic Association, still hiding behind the persona medici (the "mask of the physician") in their stated obligation to "energetically reject the insulting and severely disparaging accusations formulated by laymen against medical specialists." [52]

The critic ("F. M.," or Franz Marti) further accused the psychoanalytic movement of unscientifically extending their efforts to analyzing not only the living but the dead as well in the psychoanalytic assault on folklore, religion, and art. These are areas in which psychoanalysts are laymen, so how can they justify entering these areas?

Finally, even the distinguished retired director of the Burgholzli, August Forel, who was hardly a layman in medical or scientific areas, entered the debate. However, Forel was more interested in objecting to the critic's polemical association of hypnosis and other psychotherapies with Freudian psychoanalysis, which Forel himself despised. "I must definitely declare that lucid researchers fully agree with Mr. F.M. with his condemnation of the one-sidedness of the Freudian school, its sanctifying sexual church, its infant sexuality, its Talmudic-exegetic-theological interpretations." [53] Forel's parting shot at Jung and Freud in the 1 February 1912 issue thus ended the published debate.

However, the response to this assault on Jung and psychoanalysis by his circle in Zurich proved to have historical repercussions that are still with us today. With attacks coming from respected physicians such as Forel (who was also no doubt perceived as representing elements within the highly organized Monistenbund) and the scientists and physicians of the Kepler- Bund, the need for a formal group of loyalists who were not psychoanalysts and that was not led by Jung became apparent. Such a formal group of loyalists could themselves repel future attacks on psychoanalysis and thereby lend support to the Zurich Psychoanalytic Association, which was all too alone when defending itself against its critics.

In mid-February 1912, indeed almost exactly two weeks after the published debate had ended, the prototype of Jung's later cult was established in Zurich with Jung's close associate Riklin as the chairman. The public attack had served to more tightly bind Jung's disciples into a common identity and thereby greatly enhance the social cohesiveness of this group of outsiders. Indeed, it became the vehicle from which Jung culled the members of his elite Psychological Club in 1916. The group was called the Gesellschaft fur psychoanalytische Bestrebungen (the Society for Psychoanalytic Endeavors). Jung announces the founding of this group in a letter to Freud dated 25 February 1912, and refers to it (as he did to his later Psychological Club) as an experiment:

A more noteworthy news item is the founding of a lay organization for [psychoanalysis]. It has about 20 members and only analyzed persons are accepted. The organization was founded at the request of former patients. The rapport among its members is loudly acclaimed. I myself have not yet attended a meeting. The chairman is a member of the [psychoanalytic] society. The experiment seems to me interesting from the standpoint of the social application of [psychoonalysis] to education. [54]

Several aspects of this organization make it highly significant. First, these events in Zurich marked just one of the indications that psychoanalysis had truly become a cultural movement with its own Weltanschauung. No such formal organization of ex- and current patients who were not also psychoanalysts had ever been created within the various centers of the psychoanalytic movement. Lay organizations were outside the stated goals of Freud's view of psychoanalysis as they existed in February 1912. The only organized psychoanalytic groups were professional ones made up of psychoanalysts who were also physicians.

Although not accepted as members of the official psychoanalytic community, preapproved lay persons could attend lectures or psychoanalytic discussion groups led by official psychoanalysts. For example, Lou Andreas-Salome attended psychoanalytic discussion groups in Berlin (with Karl Abraham) and Vienna (with Alfred Adler) and was later accepted into Freud's Wednesday night meeting of his inner circle (in late 1912), but until her official acceptance as an analyst she was still considered very much an outsider. No one other than a physician and an approved member of the psychoanalytic association had published in a psychoanalytic journal when in January 1912 "Frau Lou" sent Jung, as editor of the Jahrbuch, a query about the possibility of a submission for publication. Jung's quandary over this precedent-setting decision is over how exclusive the psychoanalytic elite should remain. In a 2 January 1912 letter to Freud, Jung writes:

Frau Lou Andreas-Salome, of Weimar fame, wants to send me a paper on "sublimation." This, if it amounts to anything, would be a step towards the "secularization" of the Jahrbuch, a step to be taken with great caution but one which would widen the readership and mobilize the intellectual forces in Germany, where Frau Lou enjoys a considerable literary reputation because of her relations with Nietzsche. I would like to hear your views. [55]

Freud, to his credit, replied to Jung that "the 'secularization' of [psychoanalysis] is of no great moment now that we are bringing Imago into existence, and there is no need for the Jahrbuch to be 'stiff and proud.'" [56] Her paper was later published in the second volume of Imago in 1913, and by October 1913 when she saw her first patient in psychoanalysis, Andreas-Salome had gained significant influence in the psychoanalytic movement through her close relationship with Freud. [57] Thus, it appears that January-February 1912 marked the time when psychoanalysis fully became a cultural movement in practice after many years (since 1908) of preparatory theoretical innovations that indicated the movement would turn in such a direction.

However, the new group in Zurich went very far very fast in bringing about this transition. Indeed, it went much faster than any group associated directly with Freud or any of his close associates. Lectures applying psychoanalytic theory to the aesthetics of art, music, and other nonclinical cultural areas were part of the programs of the Society for Psychoanalytic Endeavors in 1912 and 1913. [58] The goal of the members of this Society was to extend the psychoanalytic Weltanschauung to the broadest reaches of world culture. The membership of this group probably comprised the majority of the students in the private seminars Jung began to give in 1912 and 1913 on his own theories and methods of psychoanalysis and the related material and presentations by Jung and others on mythology and comparative religion. [59]

A further important point to remember is just who these persons were who founded this organization. Although Riklin, as an officially approved psychoanalyst, lent legitimacy to the organization through his chairmanship, the actual members were those still rare Europeans who had sought out the modern and controversial treatment of psychoanalysis for their problems and had found great meaning in its view of human nature. These were individuals who had willingly submitted themselves to a form of treatment in which intimate sexual details of their lives were freely handed over to others. Such intimate self-disclosure proved to be a powerful act of liberation, while facilitating one's bonding to a new group of like-minded people. The most intimate sexual activities were then discussed in graphic terminology with other patients. It was only natural that they would seek each other out after meeting informally at lectures, in the waiting rooms of their analysts, or elsewhere, for who else in bourgeois-Christian society circa 1912 could they communicate with? How many of their friends, or members of their families, could really understand the keen insights into the world that psychoanalysis had given them? Each member of this group had undergone the experience and had been convinced of its value. Their conversion, as they soon realized, made them outsiders from conventional society.

A final point that must be emphasized is that it was Jung who was the true leader of this group. Jung's position as the president of the International Psychoanalytic Association, as editor of the Jahrbuch, and especially as Freud's hand-picked successor who nominally ran the psychoanalytic movement from Zurich (it was not run from Freud's Vienna), made Jung the crowning representation of a psychoanalyst -- and therefore the specialist who truly knew the secrets of psychoanalytic treatment. Coupled with Jung's vibrant personality and scintillating intelligence, these facts endowed Jung with considerable charisma among the psychoanalytic laity of Zurich, many of whom were patients of his at one time or another. Included in this latter category in February 1912 would be Wolff and Emma Jung, who both later became analysts.

Here, then, with the Society for Psychoanalytic Endeavors, we have our first evidence for a charismatic group centered on the work and personality of Jung, which became the basis of the Jung cult. Jung's circle in Zurich thus now could be said to be characterized by

1. A shared belief in the psychoanalytic view of human nature and in the liberating or healing or revitalizing effects of psychoanalytic treatment.

2. A high level of social cohesion through their shared identity as analyzed individuals set them apart from their previous bourgeois- Christian lives.

3. The influence of the members by the group's behavioral norms, such as acknowledging the authority of the psychoanalyst as an expert and therefore as someone with knowledge and power, and the use of the special charismatic language of psychoanalysis ("libido," "sublimation," "complex," "penis substitute," etc.) in everyday conversation with fellow group members.

4. The attribution of charismatic power to the psychoanalytic movement as a whole, and to Jung and the psychoanalysts as particular individuals.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:51 am

Part 2 of 2

Widening the Gap from Freud

In February 1912, Jung finished his famous chapter, "The Sacrifice," for his second part of Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido. In later years he often remarked how it signaled his final separation from Freud. However, it is not published until September of that year when Jung is a safe distance away in New York City giving the famous Fordham University lectures on the "Theory of Psychoanalysis." [60] The chapter on "The Sacrifice" does indeed explicitly reject Freud and his libido theory and contains thinly veiled Mithraic allusions to this effect. [61]

During this period of tension between Freud and Jung it seems clear that both men attempted to work out a solution to their differences. [62] Although tensions were building throughout 1911, by early 1912 in his letters Jung is openly questioning Freud's authority on matters psychoanalytic. Freud fights back in less direct but obvious ways, such as the February 1912 Zentralblatt piece comparing Jung to the apostates who formed the matriarchical cult of the Great Mothers (Diana, Mary). After finishing the "Sacrifice" chapter of Wandlungen, Jung bluntly challenges Freud in a letter to him dated 3 March 1912:

Of course I have opinions which are not yours about the ultimate truths of [psychoanalysis] -- though even this is not certain, for one cannot discuss everything under the sun by letter -- but you won't, I suppose, take umbrage on that account. I am ready at any time to adapt my opinions to the judgement of anyone who knows better, and always have been. I would never have sided with you in the first place had not heresy run in my blood. Since I have no professorial ambitions I can afford to admit mistakes. Let Zarathustra speak for me:

"One repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil." [63]

However, by the fall of 1912, with the publication of Wandlungen and its obvious rejection of Freud and use of symbols associated with Germanic volkisch groups and Jung's uncritical citation of major volkisch figures known for their outspoken racial theories and anti-Semitism, Freud not only viewed Jung's split as a difference of opinion but as one based on anti-Semitism as well (see earlier discussion). [64] By January 1913 the relationship was over, and the rest was silence.

Not everyone in the Society in Zurich could understand Jung's apostasy, and local opposition to Jung led him to reconsider his plan of action. By the autumn of 1912, Jung began to withdraw from social contact with many of his followers, leading to speculation about his mental health and his intentions. By December Jung not only realizes he is not an orthodox Freudian psychoanalyst but that he is also no longer an orthodox Christian.  [65] The seeds of this rejection of the Christian myth could be discerned as early as his medical-student days and it is not surprising given the cultural and familial influences that led many (including Jung) to question either the divinity of Jesus or his status as the only savior of humanity. Salvation could come from many men and from many movements of the new twentieth century. For Jung, by 1912, it was clear to him that psychoanalysis as he interpreted it was the new path of redemption, and he began to speak out in public quite forcefully that this was so -- but not without some fierce opposition.

Jung Joins Gross in a Call for Revolution: "New Paths in Psychology"

It was in very late 1911 or very early January 1912 that Jung's remarkable essay, "New Paths in Psychology," appeared in a Swiss popular culture journal, Rachers Jahrbuch fur Schweitzer Art und Kunst. [66] This essay is the first public evidence we have from Jung that he is not only interested in breaking with the cult surrounding Freud (which by autumn 1912, unknown to Jung, had formed a secret committee to protect the image and purity of the ideas of Freud) [67] but in specifically forming his own psychoanalytic movement based on Nietzschean metaphors of liberation and self-sacrifice. The "New Paths" essay is a fin-de-siecle manifesto of a new cultural movement. In places Jung is bombastic and writes in the "style of decadence." It was this piece that, in part, fanned the flames of discontent among the Zurich members of the Kepler-Bund who now saw psychoanalysis as an additional enemy in their war against the monist religion of Haeckel, Ostwald, and their disciples.

In the history of the Jungian movement, the "New Paths" essay is Jung's equivalent of Lenin's 1902 What Is to Be Done? In it, Jung's Nietzscheanism prevails. He calls for an intrapsychic overthrow of custom, a revolution in the internalized European traditions that enslave the individual personality: "The hypnotic power of tradition still holds us in thrall, and out of the cowardice and thoughtlessness the herd goes trudging along the same old path." [68]

European civilization (and its Judeo-Christian values and organized religions) makes humankind ill: "Neurosis, therefore, is intimately bound up with the problem of our time and really represents an unsuccessful attempt on the part of the individual to solve the general problem in his own person." [69] The problem is the conflict between staying on the old paths of nineteenth century bourgeois-Christian culture or giving in to the exploration of new ones that initiate the individual into modernity. How can one be brought into the twentieth century and be renewed or reborn in a degenerating world? For the answer Jung refers to a famous line from the Mithraic Liturgy that he once suggested to Freud as a motto for psychoanalysis: "Give up what thou hast, then thou shalt receive!" Those who wish renewal and rebirth through the new agent of cultural and personal transformation -- psychoanalysis -- "are called upon to abandon all their cherished illusions in order that something deeper, fairer, and more embracing may arise within them." And, most significantly for the mystery-cult hypothesis advanced here: "Only through the mystery of self-sacrifice can a man find himself anew." [70]

The internal conflict of the modern individual "is connected with the great problems of society." Therefore, Jung asserts, "when the analysis is pushed to this point, the apparently individual conflict of the patient is revealed as a universal conflict of his environment and epoch. Neurosis is thus nothing less than an individual attempt, however unsuccessful, to solve a universal problem." [71] This problem is "the problem of present-day sexual morality." Sounding very much like Gross, Jung's Nietzscheanism comes out in Dionysian metaphors of liberation and greater creativity through sexual freedom:

His increased demand for life and the joy of life, for glowing reality, can stand the necessary limitations that reality itself imposes, but not the arbitrary, ill-supported prohibitions of present-day morality, which would curb too much the creative spirit rising up from the depths of the animal darkness. [72]

Psychoanalysis therefore becomes the path of redemption, of revitalization, of rebirth. Indeed, in passages in this essay removed by Jung in later editions, psychoanalysis becomes a totalizing world view or Weltanschauung: "The funnelling of the individual conflict into the general moral problem puts psychoanalysis far outside the confines of a merely medical therapy. It gives the patient a working philosophy of life based on empirical insights, which, besides affording him a knowledge of his own nature, also make it possible for him to fit himself into the scheme of things." Jung has wide-ranging cultural concerns here that go far beyond the clinic.

In a prophetic voice, Jung concludes his essay with the prediction that "great is the power of the [psychoanalytic] truth and it will prevail":

All these weird and wonderful phenomena that congregate round psychoanalysis allow us to conjecture -- in accordance with psychoanalytic principles -- that something extremely significant is going on here, which the learned public will (as usual) first combat by displays of the liveliest affect. But magna est vis veritatis et praevalebit. [73]

In subsequent years, once the break with Freud was certain and he had secured his own stable circle of disciples, Jung revised and enlarged this "New Paths" essay extensively and even retitled it several times, specifically in 1917, 1926, and in 1943. In its first revision it was translated into English and became the essay, "The Psychology of Unconscious Processes," and appeared in the seminal introduction of Jung's work to the English-speaking world, Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology, edited by Constance Long and published in 1917. In the introduction (written in December 1916) to the 1917 German edition of this essay, Jung discusses the relevance of his ideas by stating that, "The great problems of humanity were never yet solved by general laws, but only through a regeneration of the attitudes of individuals." [74] In the second German edition of this work, which appeared in 1918, Jung's preface contains a statement that resembles the language of Gross's Aktion essays of 1913:

Every individual needs revolution, inner division, overthrow of the existing order, and renewal, but not by forcing them upon his neighbors under the hypocritical cloak of Christian love or the sense of social responsibility or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious urges to personal power. Individual self-reflection, return of the individual to the ground of human nature, to his own deepest being with its individual and social destiny -- here is the beginning of a cure for that blindness which reigns at the present hour. [75]

Thus, by the end of 1912 Jung knew he had repudiated the Christian myth and its promises of redemption and salvation. The seeds planted by Gross in 1908 finally bore fruit in abundance by 1912: psychoanalysis was the method by which humankind could be liberated. Psychoanalysis became the new salvation of the world, with Jung as the prophet who understood the religious nature of such a movement. Religion, after all, could only be replaced by religion.

In addition, by this time, through his intensive study of the classical scholarship of his day on the ancient mystery cults, he clearly began to form his brand of psychoanalysis around the metaphors of mysteria. A letter to Freud dated 3 December 1912 seems to indicate that Jung viewed neurotic symptoms as a form of initiation that could lead to the inner mysteries of the human personality. But what were these deeper mysteries that would arise from within? Jung had to experience them himself first before imparting his vision of them to his tribe of disciples in Kusnacht-Zurich.

The Anima and Bachofen

Jung's interest in spiritualism gave him ample experience of how one may deliberately enter a dissociative state, or trance, that allowed such automatisms as automatic writing or even alternate personalities to emerge. Jung had observed this at seances, and indeed, his entire mother's side of the family (including Jung's maternal grandfather, Samuel Preiswerk) seemed to have regularly engaged in discourse with spirits. Jung's first encounter with the feminine entity he later called the anima seems to have begun with his use of such mediumistic techniques.

In October 1913 Jung began having repeated visions of Europe being destroyed in a sea of blood. Jung thought this was perhaps a sign of "a great social revolution, but curiously enough never a war." [76] Jung decided the best therapy for the distress these visions of blood were causing him was to write them down. His conviction that what he was up to at this stage in his life was no longer science is evident in the story of what happened next: "While I was writing once I said to myself, 'What is this I am doing, it certainly is not science, what is it?' Then a voice said to me 'That is art.''' [77] The voice turned out to be that of a woman Jung knew. [78]

Jung then wondered if his unconscious was forming an alternate personality, such as is found in cases of multiple personality. He decided to interact with the voice, insisting in his own spoken voice that what he was doing was not art. To further engage the voice, Jung used a technique used by the spiritualist mediums: "I thought, well, she has not the speech centers I have, so I told her to use mine, and she did, and came through with a long statement. This is the origin of the technique I developed for dealing directly with the unconscious contents." [79] Jung is therefore admitting here that his psychotherapeutic technique of active imagination is based on the techniques of spiritualism. In this sense, too, Jung's method is akin to that of the volkisch groups who also borrowed the techniques of spiritualism in order to contact nature spirits, Teutonic ancestors, and the Germanic gods.

Rather than simply regarding the feminine voice as a "spirit control" like Blavatsky's mahatmas, Jung looked to his scientific theory of the phylogenetic unconscious to solve the difficulty. At this time (October 1913) Jung still adhered to the model of the phylogenetic unconscious described in earlier chapters. It had a basis in Haeckelian biology and the strata of the phylogenetic unconscious matched the stages of human cultural evolution proposed by Bachofen. Therefore, the voice was of an archaic goddess who ruled during the early matriarchal stages of human existence. Thus Jung says he "thought for a time that the anima figure was the deity. I said to myself that perhaps men had had a female God originally, but, growing tired of being governed by women, they had overthrown this God." [80]

This is pure Bachofen. Jung also seems to have derived his theory of the psychological-type differences in women from Bachofen as well. As Jung remarks earlier in the 1925 seminar, "As you know I think of women as belonging in general to two types, the mother and the hetaira." [81]

Jung later abandoned this Bachofenian idea of an archaic feminine god within and later referred to this feminine entity in men as the anima. However, for a time, Jung used this technique of speaking out loud first in his own voice, and then in a feminized voice, as psychotherapy, but then later conducted the dialogue in the form of automatic writing. Thus during November 1913 Jung felt, as he put it, as if "I was in analysis with a ghost and a woman." [82] The following month was when Jung had his deification experience and initiation into the ancient Aryan/ Mithraic mysteries.


January 1913 marks the break in formal relations between Freud and Jung. Jung's apostasy was complete. Prominent among those clinical colleagues remaining with him are Riklin, Jozef Lang (later Hermann Hesse's analyst), Alphonse Maeder, Mary MoIzer, Wolff, Hans Schmid-Guisan, Martha Boddinghaus (Sigg), J. Vodoz, C. Schneiter, Adolf Keller, Nelken, Hinkle, and Long. This core group of analysts comprised the Zurich School of psychoanalysis, which was later named complex psychology or analytical psychology. [83]

The God Complex

In this same year Jones published a thinly disguised attack on Jung, depicting him as manifesting a "colossal narcissism" and a belief that he is god. [84] Following suit, in 1914 Freud publishes his famous paper "On Narcissism," which is indirectly concerned with his experience with Jung. Jung does not respond to these attacks until 1916.

Jung's fascination with the experience of becoming a god, or becoming one with the god within, which was so energetically discussed in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, coupled with his zeal to turn psychoanalysis into a religion of revitalization, were very evident to his estranged Freudian colleagues. Rumors of Jung's belief in his own deification were seemingly everywhere in psychoanalytic circles at this time. In 1913 Jones published a paper in the Intemationale Zeitschrift fur arztliche Psychoanalyse exposing the gossip about Jung. "This week," Jones writes, "I hope to finish my paper on God-men, in which there is the opportunity of saying some sweet things, quite indirectly, to Jung; it is very enjoyable." [85]

The "typical" case example in Jones's paper, "The God Complex: The Belief That One is God, and the Resulting Character Traits," is unmistakably Jung, with not-sa-subtle jabs at Gross and Klages:

To revert to our typical man: he takes a particular interest in any methods that promise a "short-cut" to the knowledge of other people's minds, and is apt to apply such methods as the Binet-Simon scale, and the psycho-galvanic phenomenon, word-association reactions, or graphology in a mechanical and literal manner, always hoping to find one that will give automatic results. The more unusual the method the more it attracts him, giving him the feeling of possessing a key that is accessible only to the elect. For this reason he is apt to display great interest in the various forms of thought-reading, chiromancy, divination, and even astrology, as well as in occultism and mysticism in all their branches. [86]

The derogatory mention of the "god-man's" interest in a short-cut method is in reference to a conclusion offered by Jung in 1906 (prior to his meeting and probably prior to his corresponding with Freud) at the end of his paper on "Psychoanalysis and the Association Experiments" that, "The associations may therefore be a valuable aid in finding the pathogenic complex, and may thus be useful for facilitating and shortening Freud's psychoanalysis." [87] By 1913, when decent relations between Jung and Freud had ceased, this was perceived as an insult by Freudians.

What produces an egomaniacal man with a God complex? "In my opinion," says Jones, "the main foundation of the complex is to be discovered in a colossal narcissism, and this I regard as the most typical feature of the personalities in question." [88] Jones asserts a primary manifestation is "narcissistic exhibitionism" through which a person regards himself as irresistible to others. When Jones says that, "this power ... is the same ascribed to the tabu king or to the sun and lion symbols of mythology," he is slyly tying Jung's fascination with Mithraism and its solar symbolism and lion-headed deity to his alleged pathological narcissism.  [89] These personality characteristics are also very similar to Weber's definition of charisma. Other characteristics include aloofness, surrounding one's personality with "a cloud of mystery," an "interest in psychology," "omnipotence phantasies," "omniscience," and "an attitude of disinclination toward the acceptance of new knowledge." Also:

The subject of religion is usually of the greatest interest to such men, both from the theological and the historical side and from the psychological; this sometimes degenerates into an interest in mysticism. As a rule they are atheists, and naturally so because they cannot suffer the existence of any other God. [90]

Jung's enemies mocked his (and his "twin brother" Gross's) all-too-obvious zeal for being an agent of cultural rebirth. Jones stabs here as well:

Like all other human beings, they are convinced in their unconscious of their own immortality, whether this be ensured through direct continuity or through an eternal series of rebirths; they have thus neither beginning nor end. The belief in their creative power, as was mentioned above, is more subordinate, at all events in comparison with other ones, than might have been expected, yet it is often pronounced enough. The belief in self-creation, and rebirth phantasies, are practically constant features. It is further revealed in such phantasies as visions of a vastly improved or altogether ideal world, naturally created by the person in question, or even of the birth of a new planet where everything is "remolded nearer to the heart's desire"; far-reaching schemes of social reform also belong here. In general there is in such men a vein of romantic idealism, often covered by a show of either materialism or realism. [91]

Jones probably could not keep from chuckling as he wrote these lines, and reading this piece in the Zeitschrift in 1913 must have wrought irrepressible guffaws from the analysts who knew Jung personally. Despite the obvious hatchet job, Jones's piece is important because it gives us a picture (albeit a diabolically caricatured one) of how Jung was perceived at that time and of the gossip about what he was trying to do in Zurich: namely, set up a religious cult with himself as the totem.

Jung Recognizes His Charisma and Becomes a Prophet

Throughout the winter of 1912 and throughout 1913 and 1914 Jung reported having vivid bad dreams, fantasies, and extreme inner tension. "In 1913 I felt the activity of the unconscious most disagreeably," Jung told his audience during his 1925 seminar on analytical psychology. [92] At times he was apparently close to suicide and kept a revolver next to his bed in case he felt he had passed beyond the point of no return. The tension stopped with the outbreak of the First World War, thus giving Jung the impression that his keenly felt distress was mostly due to a precognitive prophetic sensitivity to the forthcoming war and not only to his own personal psychological issues. "I had the feeling that I was an over-compensated psychosis, and from this feeling I was not released until August 1st, 1914." [93] By reframing his experience as a way of suffering for the good of humanity rather than just over, as Jung put it, "the debris of my former relationships,"  [94] indeed by seeing the universal in the particular, Jung healed himself.

Jung's image of himself as a prophet who could receive from his unconscious information about the collective situation of humankind has been amply documented by scholars such as John Gedo and Peter Homans, although from a Freudian/Kohutian psychoanalytic perspective that lapses into pathography. [95] Perhaps less baldly pathological and more objectively psychological hypotheses based on individual cognitive differences between people can be made to account for Jung's charisma.

As Jones hinted when he said that the man with a god complex considered himself irresistible, Jung had no doubt noticed very early in his life that he had the capacity to intellectually dominate and indeed fascinate others who were perhaps less intelligent and less animated in temperament than he. The dominance by persons of high intelligence over those with lower intelligence is an often-observed phenomenon in social psychology, and Jung was clearly extremely intelligent. Jung's self-admitted loss of interest in friends and acquaintances after a while may be a factor of the discrepancy between his extraordinary mental acuity and that of those of lower intelligence who would make up the majority of persons he would meet in usual social circumstances. They would not stimulate him after a while. In these early years it appears only Gross and Freud (and later Flournoy) could do so. Jung's capacity to quickly absorb information and then reorganize it into novel combinations as needed is clearly documented throughout his Collected Works. Furthermore, his ability to rise to dominant positions in whatever social organization he participated in is compelling evidence of this, as are the numerous testimonials from others who knew him, confirming his commanding presence. Just to cite one example, when speculating on why Freud was so captivated by Jung, Jones says, "What, I think, most attracted him to Jung was Jung's vitality, liveliness and, above all, his unrestrained imagination." [96]

Certainly by 1914, and no doubt earlier, Jung had begun to associate his charismatic effect on others with his self-perceived intuition or extrasensory ability. MDR is filled with such paranormal stories. Indeed, MDR even contains a dream Jung apparently had in June or July 1914 in which Jung as a redeemer in the guise of a Dionysian Christ, the "soothsaying god of the vine," fed the multitudes by picking "sweet grapes full of healing juices" off a frozen and otherwise barren tree "and gave them to a large waiting crowd." [97] This places him in the role of a prophet, of which he was well aware, and seems to have consciously and deliberately sought. Fin-de-siecle Europe and the first decades of the new century especially were an age in which scientific or medical or artistic "geniuses" brought their considerable intellects to bear on the greater problems of humanity and stepped easily into the role of the social critic or prophet. We need only to point to Wagner, Haeckel, Ostwald, Max Nordau, George, and Freud for such examples of role models. Combined with his spiritualistic experiences and his fascination with occultism, Jung was a natural to step into a deliberately "spiritualized" prophetic role in which his charisma could, like that of the theos aner of late antiquity, be attributed to his intimate contact with extra mundane energies. In a comment made to his disciples on 27 April 1925, Jung not only presages his "mana personality" concept of 1928 but also seems to be talking about himself, even alluding to his relationship with Spielrein and their fantasized love-child "Siegfried," when he says:

When the unconscious produces such a fantasy the personal contents are given an impersonal aspect, there being in the unconscious a tendency to produce collective pictures that make the connection with mankind in general. One sees this process going on in dementia praecox and in paranoia perfectly clearly. It is precisely because these people often have fantasies and dreams that are collectively valid that they get followers. First they make a break with the world through their morbidity, then comes the revelation of a special mission, and then they begin to preach. People think them thrilling personalities, and women feel it a tremendous honor to have children by them. By primitives they are imagined to be full of gods and ghosts. [98]

Starting in 1912, of course, Jung had made his "break with the world" and entered a period that has been romanticized by himself and his followers as his "confrontation with the unconscious." Jung first publicly disclosed these details of his inner development during the 1925 seminar on analytical psychology, and Jaffe tells us she used this material to write the chapter on the "Confrontation with the Unconscious" in MDR. [99] What has not generally been known until recently is that Jaffe only told part of the story, and the full story in the transcript of the 1925 seminar had only been allowed to be read by Jungian analysts and approved patients of such analysts. Until it was published in 1989, the story of Jung' s visionary experiences were kept secret. Generations of Jungians, including Jaffe, were no doubt trying to protect the idealized image of Jung from his detractors, and for a good reason: for in 1925 Jung told the story of his own deification.

Jung Becomes a God

Jung spent 1913 reanalyzing his childhood memories and dreams and recorded them for posterity in his "Black Book" and later "Red Book" diaries. As these supposedly childhood experiences were being reremembered by the thirty-eight-year-old mythologically and psychoanalytically sophisticated Jung, their content must be considered to have undergone considerable distortion and their claim to be pure childhood memories must be disputed. A century of experimental research in psychology has demonstrated time and time again how autobiographical memories undergo distortion and reconstruction every time we reremember them. Thus, the account of his "First Years" Jung wrote in his own hand in MDR when in his eighties must be taken as yet another example of how his life story was an exemplum of his transcendental theory of the archetypes and the collective unconscious.

It was in December 1913 that he begins the deliberately induced visionary experiences that he later named "active imagination." From this time forward, Jung engages in these visions with the attitude that they are real in every sense of the word. In these visions he descends and meets autonomous mythological figures with whom he interacts. Over the years (certainly by 1916) a wise old man figure named Philemon emerges who becomes Jung's spiritual guru, much like the ascended "masters" or "brothers" engaged by Blavatsky or the Teutonic Brotherhood of the Armanen met by List. Philemon and other visionary figures insist upon their reality and reveal to Jung the foundation of his life and work. He refers on many occasions to the place where these beings live as "the land of the Dead." These visionary experiences -- Jung's mythic confrontation with the unconscious -- form the basis of the psychological theory and method he would develop in 1916. The account first given in the 1925 seminars differs markedly in many respects from the well-known version in MDR, and so reference to both must be made.

In the spring of 1925, when Jung "spoke for the first time of his inner development" [100] he was forty-nine years old, awaiting the completion of the first half-century of life on 26 July. When the year began he was in the United States and had visited with the sun-worshiping Taos Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. On 23 March of that year he began a weekly seminar in Zurich -- apparently his first in English -- on the broad topic of his analytical psychology.

Jaffe's version of Jung's story in MDR [101] is taken largely from the brief remarks made at the end of his lectures on 11 May and 1 June 1925. [102] (A middle lecture given on 25 May dealt primarily with the problem of opposites and his theory of psychological types.) In this familiar version, Jung uses the techniques of active imagination to make a descent into the unconscious, the land of the dead, where he meets an old man with a white beard and a beautiful young girl, who is blind. The old man introduces himself as "Elijah" and Jung is then "shocked" to learn the girl is "Salome." Elijah assures him that this couple "had been together since eternity." With them was a large black snake, which had an affinity for Jung. "I stuck close to Elijah because he seemed to be the most reasonable of the three, and to have a clear intelligence. Of Salome I was distinctly suspicious." [103] In the 1925 seminars Jung then amplifies these figures with references to motifs in mythology and symbolism. [104] He explains that the snake is associated with hero myths. Salome is "an anima figure, blind because, though connecting the conscious and unconscious, she does not see the operation of the unconscious." [105] In MDR, Salome is blind because "she does not see the meaning of things." [106] Elijah represents "the wise old prophet," a "factor of intelligence and knowledge." Here we have Jung associating the role of the prophet with wisdom. Elijah and Salome are, furthermore, personifications of logos and eros, says Jung, but, he adds, "it is very much better to leave these experiences as they are, namely as events, experiences." [107]

One point on which these two versions depart is the depiction of Philemon, Jung's "imaginal guru." In MDR, Jung reveals that this figure, "a pagan" with "an Egypto-Hellenistic atmosphere with a Gnostic coloration," developed out of the Elijah figure in subsequent fantasies and dreams. [108] Philemon is not mentioned in the 1925 seminars.

During the lecture Jung delivered on 8 June 1925 (which contains the material not in MDR), he further amplifies these figures according to his own typology: "As I am an introverted intellectual my anima contains feeling [that is] quite blind. In my case, the anima contains not only Salome, but some of the serpent, which is sensation as well." He describes Salome as an evil figure, and confesses: "When Elijah told me he was always with Salome, I thought it was almost blasphemous for him to say this. I had the feeling of diving into an atmosphere that was cruel and full of blood." [109]

The initial katabasis, or descent into the underworld, was followed by a second: the long-suppressed story of Jung's self-deification experience. As was pointed out in the discussion of Wandlungen in chapter 6, Jung thought the climax of the initiatory rites of passage in the ancient Teutonic and Hellenistic mysteries involved a self-deification, a becoming one with god. In these visionary experiences of 1913, Jung himself undergoes such an initiation.

Jung tells his 8 June audience that, "a few evenings later, I felt I should continue. So again I tried to follow the same procedure, but it would not descend. I remained on the surface." [110] He felt it was an inner conflict that prevented him from going down into the underworld. He imagines "a mountain ridge, a knife edge, on one side a sunny desert country, on the other side darkness." He then sees a white snake on the light side and a black snake on the dark side, and a fight ensues that Jung feels is a fight between "two dark principles." When the head of the black snake turned white and was defeated, Jung felt he could go on.

He then sees Elijah on a rocky ridge, a ring of boulders, which he interprets as a "Druidic sacred place." Although such ancient rings of megaliths were well known to Jung, it is interesting to note that just such an image appears on the title page of what is often included as the sixth volume in Creuzer's Symbolik und Mythologie der alten Volker, the second volume of Franz Joseph Mone's Geschichte des Heidenthums (History of Paganism) of 1825, which concerns "the religions of the southern Germans and the Celtic peoples." [111] It is not clear front Jung's Bibliothek if he owned the Mone volumes that appeared under Creuzer's name. Perhaps they were lost over the years and did not accompany Jung through his final days. But if so, Jung may have used these images from Mone/Creuzer as initial stimuli for active imagination- which is how Jung describes the technique in later writings, although one may use a dream image or other fantasy material to animate one's imagination.

Inside, the old man climbs up on a mounded Druidic altar, and then both Elijah and the altar begin to shrink in size while the stone walls get larger. He sees a tiny woman, "like a doll," who turns out to be Salome. A miniature snake and a house are also seen. Jung then realizes, as the walls keep growing, "I was in the underworld." When they all reach bottom, Elijah smiles at him and says, " Why, it is just the same, above or below." [112]

The possibility that the haunting images from Creuzer and Mone may have provided the initial images for Jung to bring alive with his technique of active imagination is further supported by the fact that volume 2 of Creuzer's work contains an image of two very small figures in white robes surrounded on two sides by stone boulder walls. These tiny figures additionally stand at the stone foyer of a cave that appears to go into a mountain, thus being an entrance into the underworld such as those found at mystery-cult sites, particularly sites of the Mithraic mysteries.

Jung then completes the tale of the second descent into the unconscious with the following remarkable statement:

Then a most disagreeable thing happened. Salome became very interested in me, and she assumed I could cure her blindness. She began to worship me. I said, "Why do you worship me?" She replied, "You are Christ." In spite of my objections she maintained this. I said, "This is madness," and became filled with skeptical resistance. Then I saw the snake approach me. She came close and began to circle me and press me in her coils. The coils reached up to my heart. I realized as I struggled that I had assumed the attitude of the Crucifixion. In the agony and the struggle, I sweated so profusely that the water flowed down on all sides of me. Then Salome rose, and she could see. While the snake was pressing me, I felt that my face had taken on the face of an animal of prey, a lion or a tiger. [113]

In a meaningful shift of focus that must have taken only a few minutes during the spoken lecture, Jung then compares his experience with that of the initiates in the Hellenistic mysteries: "You cannot get conscious of these unconscious facts without giving yourself to them .... these images have so much reality that they recommend themselves, and such extraordinary meaning that one is caught. They form part of the ancient mysteries; in fact it is such figures that made the mysteries." [114]

It is now clear that Jung believed he had undergone a direct initiation into the ancient Hellenistic mysteries and had even experienced deification in doing so. This "mystery of deification" gave him "certainty of immortality." This is a remarkable statement. He then interprets his experience for the audience, without, interestingly, ever addressing his imitatio christi:

Awe surrounds the mysteries, particularly the mystery of deification. This was one of the most important of the mysteries; it gave the immortal value to the individual -- it gave certainty of immortality. One gets a peculiar feeling from being put through such an initiation. The important part that led up to the deification was the snake's encoiling of me. Salome's performance was deification. The animal face which I felt mine transformed into was the famous [Deus] Leontocephalus of the Mithraic mysteries, the figure which is represented with a snake coiled around the man, the snake's head resting on the man's head, and the face of the man that of a lion. This statue has only been found in the mystery grottoes (the underchurches, the last remnants of the catacombs). The catacombs were not originally places of concealment, but were chosen as symbolical of a descent to the underworld. [115]

After presenting his audience with a few historical details concerning Mithraism as he knew it from the scholarship of his day, Jung says: ''It is almost certain that the symbolical rite of deification played a part in these mysteries." He then proceeds to identify the Deus Leontocephalus as "Aion, the eternal being," who is derived from a Persian (Zoroastrian) deity whose name means "the infinitely long duration." [116] In closing this astounding lecture, Jung once again returns to his theme of initiatory deification in the ancient mysteries: "In this deification mystery you make yourself the vessel, and are a vessel of creation in which the opposites reconcile." [117] An unidentified person then asks Jung the date of this dream, and he replies: "December 1913. All this is Mithraic symbolism from beginning to end." [118]

Several issues need to be addressed: first, it is clear that Jung believed he had experienced becoming one with a god," just as he had described it in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido. Second, this deification was part of an initiation into the ancient mysteries of Mithras. The lion-headed god that scholars (rightly or wrongly) have called Aion is indeed a part of most Mithraic cult sites that archaeologists have studied. Speculation about the role of such a deity is abundant. [119] For Jung, the figure of Aion became his secret image of his god within, his imago Dei, and in later years he entitled a book Aion: Researches in the Phenomenology of the Self (1951). Aion contains a frontispiece photograph of a famous statue of this Mithraic deity that today stands in a hallway in the Vatican Museum through which one must exit when leaving the Sistine Chapel. [120]

Third, it must be remembered that according to the scholarship of Jung's day Mithraism was a survival of ancient Zoroastrianism, thus giving it a direct link with the earliest Aryan homeland (Urheimat) and peoples. An initiation into the Mithraic mysteries was most importantly an initiation into the most ancient of Aryan mysteries. This makes Jung's self-deification and travels in the ancestral lands of the dead directly akin to the volkisch visionary initiations into the Teutonic mysteries by List, his Armanen, and the other Ariosophist groups who were doing exactly the same sort of procedure at exactly the same time as Jung.

Figure 4. Mithraic Kronos (Aion) found in Ostia (from Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithras).

By indulging in such highly personal self-disclosure about his life in the 1925 seminars, Jung was modeling the way for his disciples to follow if they, too, wanted to be redeemed by initiation into mysteries that would give them the "certainty of immortality." Jung had already been teaching his patients and disciples the technique of active imagination by 1916, and indeed it became a practical method for contacting a transcendent realm of the dead, ancestors, or gods. By contacting and merging with the god within, true personality transformation would then follow. Jung had, then, by this time very much left the realm of science (even in its nineteenth-century sense) and had founded a mystery cult or personal religion. This was a mystery cult that promised a direct experience of the transcendent and that rivaled the major occultist (Theosophy, Anthroposophy) and mystical volkisch movements of his day in their common search for renovatio.

Completing the Personal Transition

In 1913 and 1914, therefore, Jung withdrew even further from his former bourgeois life-style and ideals. He lived out a wild, intense, mad fantasy life. He had also become intimately involved with his former patient and assistant Wolff, in an extramarital relationship that would last forty years. The openness of this relationship confirms another aspect of his new modern identity: his adoption of the Asconan ethic of polygamy suggested to him by Gross and seemingly justified for its revitalizing effects by the theories of Bachofen and, in a pseudo- Nietzschean sense, Freud. We know that Jung recommended polygamy as an alternative to divorce as late as the 1920s to the American psychologist Henry A. Murray, who then carried on a three-way relationship with his wife and mistress (Christiana Morgan), acted out (with Morgan) a wide variety of sexual fantasies and sex-role reversals in order to develop contrasexual psychological components, and in later years even built his own tower in Massachusetts to mimic Jung's. [121]

Jung resigned from his lectureship (Privatdozent) at the University of Zurich in April 1914 and was not to have another formal teaching assignment until 1933, after his movement had been firmly established outside the scientific, academic, and medical worlds. Also in 1914, after his recent reelection (despite his break with Freud), Jung resigned as president of the International Psychoanalytic Association. Although his outside activities are limited and he does not publish much in 1913, 1914, and 1915 (the year in which the war was at its height), he gave private seminars on his own interpretation of psychoanalysis to a growing number of disciples who resided in Kusnacht-Zurich (including British and American students), and he encouraged his students to study mythology and the history of religion. [122]

Although it may well be argued in retrospect that Jung officially removed himself from the established academic, medical, and scientific discourse when he linked up with Freud and began publishing in psychoanalytic journals, Jung very much chose the path of the outsider during these post-Freudian years. Beginning with his publication of "New Paths in Psychology" in the annual yearbook published by Rauscher in Switzerland in January 1912, and especially after 1916, Jung mostly either published his own monographs separately (through Deutike or Rauscher) or chose to address a wider public audience through publishing essays in popular Swiss publications. This was true throughout the rest of his career. The only papers of his that seemed to end up in psychiatric or medical journals were usually the transcripts of lectures given at various congresses in Geneva, England, America, or Germany. For the rest of his life the bulk of Jung's work was published in such popular press magazines and newspapers as the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Schweitzerland, Wissen und Leben, Basler Nachrichten, Europaische Revue, Berliner Tageblatt, Allgemeine Neuste Nachrichten, Kolnische Zeitung, Neues Wiener Journal, Munchener Neuste Nachrichten, Du: schweitzerische Monatsschrift, and the Neue schweitzer Rundschau.  [123] It is from largely politically conservative Swiss and German periodicals like these that Jung's works were collected, not from scholarly or medical journals. [124] Like Freud and the Freudians, who published in their own psychoanalytic journals, Jung was also beyond any possible criticism from existing scientific traditions of peer review. Hence, by many standards, and by choice, what Jung created and promoted was a vitalistic Lebensphilosophie that extolled the irrational and the intuitive and a transcendental Weltanschauung that was closer to a religion than to twentieth-century science.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement

Postby admin » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:52 am

Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Collective Unconscious, the God Within, and Wotan's Runes


THIS YEAR -- 1916 -- marks perhaps the most important period in Jung's life. From a historical perspective, 1916 is the time when Jung's core ideas shift radically and he becomes more comfortable in his role as a charismatic leader or prophet who has religious insights to impart to his disciples, many of whom have taken up permanent residence near him in the Kusnacht- Zurich area. In this year one published paper (in which he introduces the concepts of the collective psyche, primordial images, and individuation for the first time) and three unpublished papers form the core of his later theory of the collective unconscious and its archetypes and outline the blueprint that his movement was to follow.

It is clear from this material (which is confusingly scattered throughout several volumes of his Collected Works or in some cases is simply absent from them) that in 1916 Jung is obsessively concerned with the experience of self-deification or "godlikeness" and with the resulting positive and negative reactions to experiencing a merger with the god within. Jung believes at this point the transformative effect of the ancient Aryan (Indian, Iranian, Greco-Roman, Teutonic) mysteries comes from the initiate literally becoming one with god. From a reading of the material he produced in this important year, it may be argued that Jung believed at this time that for those of Indo-European descent, who were biologically closer to the natural Urreligion of the first humans, such an inner god is not a Christian god but a solar deity, either in the form of an inner sun or an inner Aryan Christ who could be a regenerative symbol of a successful katabasis or descent to "the realm of the Mothers." In this realm one may have to do battle with the Terrible Mother in order to fight back up to the light, to individuality or individuation.

Jung's familiar psychological theory and method, which are so widely promoted in our culture today, rests on this very early neopagan or volkisch formulation -- a fact entirely unknown to the countless thousands of devout Christian or Jewish Jungians today who would, in all likelihood, find this fact repugnant if they fully understood the meaning behind the argument I make here. Let us now review the missing pieces of evidence from the mysterious year of 1916 and peer into the dark and ancient origins of Jung's psychology and movement.


As we now know, Jung was engaging in intensely dissociative and potentially dangerous psychological exercises in the years between 1913 and 1916. This self-exploration was accompanied by a withdrawal from the bourgeois-Christian world that anchored the first half of his life and by extreme tensions in his significant relationships, particularly with his wife and his mistresses (Spielrein and Wolff). We have only bits and pieces of information about what Jung actually said and did in private with his intimates and his core group of disciples from 1913 to 1919 or so. However, this scant information from this dark era, when war raged throughout Europe and disrupted the usual forms of intellectual and scientific discourse, is enough to let us know that what Jung published or said publicly in medical or other scientific forums was vastly different from what he was saying and doing in private. While minimally maintaining his credibility as a psychiatrist or psychologist in his contacts with the outside world, in Kusnacht-Zurich he was privately building his own religious movement based on ideas of redemption, regeneration, and rebirth through contact with a transcendent realm.

In an attempt to outline a scientific justification for his private actions, Jung finally published a theoretical article in French in the journal edited by his "fatherly friend," Flournoy, who was beginning to have physical and emotional problems of his own by this time and who would die in 1920. This was "La Structure de l'inconscient," which appeared in the pages of the Archives de Psychologie. [1] According to the editors of the Collected Works, this paper evidently served as the basis of a public lecture given to the Zurich School for Analytical Psychology, which seems to indicate that the occasion was a formal and professional one.

Jung begins this seminal essay with a new distinction between what he now calls the personal and the impersonal unconscious. These are the new general terms that Jung introduces with this essay to identify the strata of the unconscious mind. This new model replaces the notion of a phylogenetic unconscious characterized by layers of Bachofenian cultural stages, as is implicitly suggested in Wandlungen. The contents of the personal unconscious are "of a personal nature in so far as they are acquired during the individual's lifetime." [2] In agreement so far with Freud and the other psychoanalysts with regard to analysis, Jung says, "Whoever progresses along this path of self-realization must inevitably bring into consciousness the contents of his personal unconscious, thus enlarging considerably the scope of his personality." [3]

Yet this old model of the unconscious is not the whole story, for Jung then says there are "primordial images" that he has documented in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido that point to a deeper layer of the unconscious mind. He later referred to these primordial images as "dominants" in 1917 and as "archetypes" in 1919. The emergence of one such primordial idea is found in the phenomenon of "godlikeness." This psychological state occurs when the contents of the unconscious are "assimilated," and it leads to a grandiose distortion of consciousness that promotes delusions of omniscience. Jung says in this essay that he borrowed the term "godlikeness" from Adler.

What we find in this early 1916 version -- and not in any version after 1917 -- is that the core of the remainder of this essay is Jung's relentless explanation of the psychological experience of godlikeness. Given his fascination with the self-deification experiences of the ancient mysteries, and his own secret experience of being deified and therefore initiated into the ancient Mithraic mysteries, this 1916 essay can no longer be read as simply an objective report of a clinical phenomenon. It is, in a sense, a scientific rationalization for Jung's own experiences. It is also a long overdue response to Jones's paper, "The God Complex" (1913), and Freud's "On Narcissism" (1914), both of which were aimed, in part, at Jung.

By using the experience of godlikeness as a starting point, Jung then leads the reader into his very first published mention of a collective psyche, which he later refers to as the collective unconscious. [4] This collective psyche is biologically based, according to Jung, who also seems to indicate that the collective psyche is inherited in some sense, without reference to the known modes of hereditary transmission posited by the science of 1916. He makes an analogy to the human brain and its innate ability to perform functions that are "neither developed ontogenetically nor acquired." [5] However, "in as much as human brains are uniformly differentiated, the mental functioning thereby made possible is collective and universal." Jung then says that this basic biological fact explains why "the unconscious processes of the most widely separate peoples and races show a quite remarkable correspondence ... in the forms and motifs of autochthonous myths." [6]

In this early statement, however, Jung sticks closely to analogies that seem to indicate he is still advocating a biologically based notion of a phylogenetic unconscious with discernible (although non-Bachofenian) layers: "Inasmuch as there are differentiations corresponding to race, tribe, and even family, there is also a collective psyche limited to race, tribe and family over and above the 'universal' collective psyche." [7] For the average bourgeois-Christian Central European patient that made up the bulk of Jung's caseload at this time, the family would be one's own birth family, the tribe would be Germanic, and the race would be Aryan (or Indo-European).

In reviewing the structure of his sequential argument for the evidence he presents in this essay, let us be absolutely clear about what Jung is proposing: our ability to experience godlikeness is what Jung is offering to the world as compelling proof for the existence of the collective psyche. The experience -- indeed Jung's own experience -- of becoming one with God is therefore not derived from a psychopathological process of "colossal narcissism" as Jones would have it, but instead it is strong evidence of "a certain psychic function having a collective character supraordinate to the individual mentality." [8] It is, indeed, only a potentially deranging, yet also a potentially renewing or "creative" supernormal experience akin to "the moments of inspiration in genius [that] often bear a decided resemblance to pathological states." [9]

Jung is here reframing for us -- and especially for himself -- an experience that he and others have had that has generally been regarded as degenerate or psychotic. Deification is not necessarily lunacy, he wishes us to believe, but direct experience of a transcendental realm (transcendental, that is, from the point of view of the individual ego): the impersonal unconscious. Attempts to "annex" contents of the unconscious, especially the impersonal unconscious, enlarge and bloat the individual personality, leading to a state of subjective godlikeness. The term Jung invented around this time for the method of seeing the gods was "active imagination." [10] Therefore, analysis -- that is, psychotherapy in a Jungian style circa 1916 that employs dissociative active-imagination techniques -- allowed patients to feel they were gods by allowing them to constellate the god within. This interior god is in all of us and we experience it through techniques Jung devised and utilized. Thus Jung says:

In a certain sense this feeling of "godlikeness" exists a priori, even before analysis, not only in the neurotic but also in the normal person, the only difference being that the normal individual is effectively shielded from any perception of his unconscious, while the neurotic is less and less so. On account of his quite peculiar sensibility, the latter participates to a greater extent in the life of the unconscious than does the normal person. Consequently, "godlikeness" manifests itself more clearly in the neurotic and is heightened still further by the realization of unconscious contents through analysis. [11]

Furthermore, Jung says that, "That is why, in any analysis that is pushed far enough, there comes a moment when the subject experiences that feeling of 'god likeness' that I have spoken Of." [12] The patient is "pushed" in this sense by the dissociative procedure of active imagination.

How does one initially experience the god within? Jung says that, among other symptoms, it is felt through a dream in which the dreamer is the "earth, the sun, or a star" [13] -- precisely the three central images of Bachofen's tellurian, solar, and lunar stages. Other initial signs and symptoms of the state of godlikeness are listed by Jung in this remarkable paragraph:

This condition frequently announces itself by very peculiar symptoms, as for example dreams in which the dreamer is flying through space like a comet, or feels that he is the earth, the sun, or a star, or that he is of immense size, or dwarfishly small, or that he is dead, is in a strange place, is a stranger to himself, confused, mad, etc. He may also experience body sensations, such as being too large for his skin, or too fat; or hypnagogic sensations of falling or rising endlessly, of the body growing larger, or of vertigo. Psychologically this state is marked by a peculiar disorientation in regard to one's own personality; one no longer knows who one is, or one is absolutely certain that one actually is what one seems to have become. Intolerance, dogmatism, self-conceit, self-depreciation, and contempt for "people who have not been analyzed," and for their views and activities, are common symptoms. [14]

Several things need to be pointed out in this passage. First, Jung is no doubt reporting many of the things he himself had been experiencing since at least late 1913, as many of the dream images he lists were part of his reported dreams and fantasies during this period. Second, the certainty that "one actually is what one seems to have become" may very well point to Jung's own self-deification when he became Aion, the lion-headed god of the ancient Mithraic mysteries. Or, as many other bits of evidence suggest, at some point during this period Jung may have very well felt as if he himself were Christ, after recognizing and merging with the "Christ within." [15] The Mithraic Aion and the Christian image of the crucified Jesus are merged in Jung's December 1913 self-deification experience, making him, in essence, the Aryan Christ. Third, the attitude of contempt for people who have not been analyzed seems to confirm my charismatic-cult hypothesis, for the analyzed person in Jung's cult would have the psychological and especially the social status of an initiate, someone who is "one of us." This is the arrogance of an elite that feels it has found "the answer" and resents the larger body of society for not also seeing the light. Participation in such an intensely religious group (hidden as it may be behind the veneer of Jung's medical degree and scientific reputation) would quickly create an "us versus them" mentality of the Jungian new nobility versus the herd.

This phase of analysis is one of its "real dangers," according to Jung, [16] and to his credit he does devote considerable space in the remainder of this essay to describing the potential mishaps of willfully contacting the collective unconscious. Alternatively Jung also argues that, if one could stand it, one was rewarded with a direct experience of the spirituality of the ancients, for with this outburst of fantasy from the collective psyche, "all the treasures of mythological thinking and feeling are unlocked." [17]

Jung declares: "Access to the collective psyche means a renewal of life for the individual, no matter whether this renewal is felt as pleasant or unpleasant." This was an idea that finds its first expression in part 2 of Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, for one could either be revitalized or "annihilated" by an experience of material from the phylogenetic unconscious.

Yet, for the world at large, with this essay Jung holds out the promise of something more tremendous, something that no other psychoanalyst, or psychotherapist or priest or minister or rabbi or especially any medical authority could offer them, something that could heal the festering fin-de-siecle neurosis produced by modernity: rebirth.

Jung's paper in the Archives de Psychologie was only the official public version of what Jung and his circle were up to as the Great War devastated Europe. A clearer picture of what Jung was doing and saying to his closest disciples can be found in the material that he presented to them in seminars, lectures, or private analytic sessions. The picture we begin to see is, again, that of a religious cult of redemption and not anything remotely resembling the standard practice of psychiatry or of any academic or medical professional society. Perhaps only the monistic religion movement and its advocacy of sun worship could claim to unite science and neopagan religion as self-assuredly in the actions and pronouncements of its eminent scientific and culturally elite membership. Jung was waging war against Christianity and its distant, absolute, unreachable God and was training his disciples to listen to the voices of the dead and to become gods themselves.


Many of Jung's earliest theoretical formulations prior to his final theory of the collective unconscious and its archetypes only appeared in print near the end of his life or were found among his personal papers after his death. Jung's famous paper on the transcendent function in which he describes in detail, and more extensively than in any of his other writings, the technique of active imagination was written in 1916, circulated privately among Jung's disciples, but only published in June 1957. This first appearance in print was in the form of an English translation by A. R. Pope and was "privately printed" by the Students Association of the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. [18] This translation was taken directly from the original German manuscript by Jung. The translation that appears in CW 8 with a 1958 introduction by Jung is, like so much of the material in the Collected Works, an expanded version of the original that has been revised to make the material fit Jung's final theories of the collective unconscious and its archetypes. The original version of "The Transcendent Function" contains important insights into the development of Jung's theories and the dissociative techniques he was teaching his pupils and patients in the course of psychotherapy.

Jung begins his argument with an observation that is rooted in his view of human evolutionary history, that "the definiteness and directedness of the conscious mind is a function which has been acquired relatively late in the history of the human race, and is for instance largely lacking among primitive peoples even today." [19] Such an adaptation, while necessary for survival in a civilized world, has been acquired by humanity "at a very heavy sacrifice." [20] Yet, "without it, neither science nor society could exist, for they both presuppose a reliable continuity of the psychic process." [21] Consciousness, as we experience it, is largely characterized by this directed process, and it has a certain "threshold intensity" that its contents must attain to remain in consciousness.

Yet from an evolutionary perspective, consciousness is a recent and therefore somewhat imperfect adaptation that "evolved" (in almost the original embryological sense of the term) and is still evolving from the "unconscious." [22] Consciousness is the progressive endpoint of a purposive process, and implicit within the polarity of consciousness and unconsciousness in Jung's model of the psyche is the tension between a relatively recent adaptation to a relatively current environment and the greater force of ancient and complex adaptations to an ancestral environment as inherited determinants of present behavior. "The conscious forms the momentary process of adaptation," Jung asserts, "while the unconscious contains not only all the forgotten material of the individual's own past, but also all inherited behavior traces of the human spirit." [23] Furthermore, "The unconscious contains all the fantasy combinations which have not yet attained the threshold intensity, but which in the course of time and under suitable conditions will enter the light of consciousness." [24]

Survival depends upon the continued adaptive "unfolding" (the original meaning of evolutio) of consciousness from unconsciousness. Maladaptive patterns occur in neurotics, in whom Jung says the "threshold between the conscious and the unconscious gets shifted more easily, or in other words the partition between the conscious and the unconscious is much more permeable," or in psychotics, where the person is "completely under the direct influence of the unconscious." [25] However, the directed processes of consciousness are "one-sided" according to Jung and can be "an advantage and a drawback at the same time." [26] Too much directedness of consciousness can instead threaten survival. As Jung warns:

Life today demands concentrated directed functioning and with it the risk of considerable dissociation from the unconscious. The further we are able to detach ourselves from the unconscious through directed functioning, the more readily can a powerful counter-position be built up in the unconscious, and when this breaks loose it may have devastating consequences. [27]

The most adaptive and desirable state of being, therefore, is one that allows for the continuing unfolding of consciousness through the "union of conscious and unconscious contents," a process that Jung calls the psychological "transcendent function." It is, in perhaps a vitalistic sense, Jung's psychological reframing of Haeckel's teleological recapitulation theory, for successful ontogeny is predicated upon a natural passage through the stages of phylogenetic development and the individual is therefore dependent primarily upon ancient biological forces for present survival. The remainder of Jung's essay concerns techniques for how the transcendent function may be brought about through specific therapeutic techniques -- namely, the synthetic or "constructive method of dream analysis" (as opposed to Freud's causal and reductive analytical method) and active imagination.

The volkisch obsessions of those in Jung's circle at this time are quite evident in an example of his constructive analysis of the dream of "an unmarried woman patient" in which "someone gives her a wonderful, richly ornamented, ancient sword dug up out of a tumulus. [28] Jung provided three columns that then give side-by-side descriptions of the patient's own associations, the Freudian (psychosexual and decidedly Oedipal) analytical interpretation (which is ontogenetic), and then Jung's own "constructive interpretation," which places more emphasis on a phylogenetic perspective.

The patient associates the sword with a dagger that her father owned that "he once flashed in the sun in front of her." She describes him as strong-willed and polygamous. The bulk of the associations that Jung selectively reports, however, concern the sword, its connection to the patient's racial heritage, and its magical properties (it is inscribed with runes). This is how Jung reports his patient's associations to the sword in the dream:

A Celtic bronze sword: Patient is proud of her Celtic ancestry. The Celts are full of temperament, impetuous, passionate. The ornamentation has a mysterious look about it, ancient tradition, runes, sign of ancient wisdom, ancient civilizations, heritage of mankind, brought to light again out of the grave. [29]

Jung's constructive interpretation directs the patient's attention to the teleological, phylogenetic, and indeed spiritual message of the dream for the healthy development of her own psychological existence. Instead of an interpretation that is based on the circumstances of her early life, Jung essentially tells the patient that the symbol of her willful and polygamous father in the dream is in actuality a symbol of the actual nature of the unconscious, which Jung equates here with the Schopenhauerian concept of the will and with its natural polygamous impulses. In her dream, furthermore, Jung says her father also symbolizes her ancestral heritage "which is also in her" -- an inner fatherland, which also symbolically makes her "her father's daughter." Note the volkisch imagery and the references to archaeological metaphors in Jung's full interpretation below. Also note that, through the figure of the father, Jung may be describing not only himself but also his ideal image of an individuated human being who has learned to live adaptively through the transcendent function:

It is as if the patient needed such a weapon. Her father had the weapon. He was energetic, lived accordingly, and also took upon himself the difficulties inherent in his temperament. Therefore, though living a passionate, exciting life he was not neurotic. This weapon is a very ancient heritage of mankind, which lay buried in the patient and was brought to light through excavation (analysis). The weapon has to do with insight, with wisdom. It is a means of attack and defense. Her father's weapon was a passionate, unbending will, with which he made his way through life. Up till now the patient has been the opposite in every respect. She is just on the point of realizing that a person can also will something and need not merely be driven, as she had always believed. The will based on a knowledge of life and insight is an ancient heritage of the human race, which also is in her, but till now lay buried, for she is in this respect, too, her father's daughter. But she had not appreciated this until now, because her character had been that of a perpetually whining, pampered, spoilt child. She was completely passive and completely given to sexual fantasies. [30]

The necessity of integrating the phylogenetic forces of instinct into the present as the key to a full life is described by Jung in a passage that he removed in his 1958 revision of the essay and that does not appear in the Collected Works. With this passage Jung speaks with the voice of a prophet who has had a vision of an ideal -- if somewhat vague and paradoxical -- state of human nature:

The transcendent function lies between the conscious and the unconscious standpoint and is a living phenomenon, a way of life, which partly conforms with the unconscious as well as the conscious and partly does not. It is an individual-collective phenomenon which in principle agrees with the direction of life anyone would follow, if he were to live in a completely unconscious, instinctive way. This explains why primitive man so often appears as the symbol for the transcendent function. Back to nature in Rousseau's sense is impossible and would only be a futile regression. One can, however, go forwards and through psychological development again reach nature, but this time consciously taking account of instinct. [31]

Jung notes, however, that from a psychotherapeutic standpoint, dream analysis alone is an imperfect method for facilitating the transcendent function. Jung then describes techniques for encouraging "the emergence of fantasies which are lying in readiness" in the unconscious. [32] Jung claims that patients can be trained to do this by "first of all in systematic practice to eliminate critical attention, whereby a vacuum is produced in consciousness."  [33] In essence, the techniques Jung then recommends are those that actively promote the dissociation of consciousness and therefore disrupt the so-called normal sense of continuity of self, identity, volition, and the processes of memory.

According to Jung, for the transcendent function to operate the individual must learn to take the unconscious seriously. "By taking the unconscious seriously I acknowledge my readiness to accept the regulating effect of the unconscious and permit it to influence my actions." [34] Jung therefore suggests that "visual types" will have inner images that may also be drawn or painted and "auditory types" may hear inner words that may be transcribed. Spiritualistic practices such as automatic writing and the use of a planchette are recommended in some cases. Jung encourages those persons with artistic inclinations to draw, paint, or sculpt their inner visions and voices. Interestingly, given the proximity of Ascona and its importance as a center for the development of modern dance at about this time due to the continuing influence of Duncan, Laban, and Wigman, it is possible that Jung had Asconan patients in mind when he notes that there are "those who are able to express the contents of the unconscious by bodily movement" but they are "fairly rare." [35]

In this essay Jung very much concretizes and personifies the unconscious as an "other" that must be engaged in a dialogue. Nowhere does Jung's psychology seem so mediumistic, and it is indeed perhaps for this reason that this essay was privately circulated for more than forty years before being allowed publication. Given the nature of the unconscious as the realm of the ancestors or the inner fatherland, Jung's psychotherapeutic techniques for promoting the operation of the transcendent function are equivalent to the methods used by other spiritualist mediums for receiving messages from the deceased and perhaps even the wisdom of the ages. According to Jung, the ego must "have it out" with the unconscious by "taking the lead" in the following way:

The way this can be done is best shown by those cases in which the "other" voice is more or less distinctly heard. For such people it is technically very simple to note down the "other" voice in writing and to answer its statements from the standpoint of the ego. It is exactly as if a dialogue were taking place between two human beings with equal rights, each of whom gives the other credit for a valid argument and considers it worthwhile to modify the conflicting standpoints by means of thorough discussion, and in this way to strike a balance or at least make a compromise. [36]

Because of Jung's "project for a mediumistic psychology" as Shamdasani puts it, it must be emphasized that from 1916 onwards, in practice, Jung probably had far more in common with figures such as Blavatsky, List, and Steiner than he did with Freud, Adler, or even Gross.
Site Admin
Posts: 31759
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Ancien Regime

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests