Daimon Publishers

Jung, My Mother and I
Jane Reid

Excerpt 2

At long last, I seem to be able to write down Onkel's hours again. I became so utterly indifferent to things, after de Trafford's death, that I just followed the line of least resistance and just wasted two years. But perhaps they were not wasted? We will see later on!

As I walked into Onkel's study today, he was sitting and writing at the table in front of his window, wearing his fur-lined dressing-gown and skull cap. He looked rather like Erasmus, Faust, or some mediaeval alchemist. I had a decided mediaeval impression when I came in.

He asked me to wait a bit, so I began to finger a book, which I saw that Onkel had just recently acquired. It was called Problèmes Français, Problèmes humains by Gillouin. I asked Onkel if it was interesting - the way he explained these problems? Onkel said, "He doesn't get the grip, it escapes him like air." It seems that Professor Baudoin, a professor in Geneva, said to Onkel, "Ah, si vous voulez vous compromettre avec un fasciste!" ["If you wish to compromise yourself with a fascist!"] This Gillouin was private secretary or minister to Pétain. When Laval showed his hand, he quit in time. It seems he wrote a good letter to Onkel and is interested in the religious problems of our day, and particularly in Catholicism because he is French. He thought that through religion he would get at the religious problem which troubles us today. Onkel went on to say that one could see what happens when people are no longer Christian. Today we have no authority anymore. Formerly, the Pope and Church were international law. In the Middle Ages, when someone was under the ban of the Pope, it meant something serious. A German Emperor, Henry IV, had to make a pilgrimage to the castle of Canossa, where he had to stand long hours barefoot in the snow, until the Pope, daignait le recevoir [deigned to receive him]. And he had to humbly ask to be readmitted to the Church.

Formerly, a Hitler, Göbbels or Göring would have had no show. In the Middle Ages such people, who were liars and cheats, would never have been followed. After the Reformation there was the great revolution of the peasants in Germany, and the Anabapatists (Wiedertäufer). The Anabaptists were those that held that baptism in childhood means nothing. (A Protestant movement, which favored adult baptism.) The peasant upheavals also started after the Reformation.

Our epoch started something: In Germany the Kings were put out of their palaces, removed from authority. Without anymore authority, and being a monarchic people, the Germans lost their tiller in the storm and fell prey to these gangsters.

Gillouin 'smellt' this thing, but he understood that nothing can be done. He wrote to Onkel, "On nous donne des noix espérant qu'ils s'ouvrent eux-mêmes dans l'estomac!" ['We are given nuts in the hope that they will open themselves in the stomach!"]

The Catholic Church gives you a dogma, but you do not understand what the Church is teaching. (A Frenchman who is no longer a practicing Catholic, is an atheist, whereas a Protestant usually joins a sect and doesn't become an atheist.)

In Catholicism you have to swallow so many nuts, that you can't digest them. If you ask a priest what is the Trinity, he does not know. You just have to believe it, but that is the nut with the shell. A practicing Catholic doesn't think and when he does start in 'thinking,' he just flies out of the Church, Onkel emphasized: "Believe it, they just don't think. I can't swallow nuts with the shell, for those damn things give me indigestion, for I have nothing in the stomach to break the nuts open." "This is the first time," Onkel went on, "that someone who was a Catholic has said that to me. He may have read something that I have written and that got under his skin." He went on to say that without analysis, Gillouin could never really grasp the problems of France nor the problems of humanity - they would just keep on eluding him. But he said that he was impressed by the fact that G. wrote him about the nuts and Onkel thought he must be very intelligent. However, so often clever people won't think!

I told him that Mary Rüfenacht told me she only went to him for 'world problems' and not for her personal stuff anymore. He said that Mary R. was an extravert, projecting [her own] problems out in the world. At the moment, he said, she was only 'busy,' but she will be tortured. I presume he means that M.R. is taken up now with her writing and it suffices her. [[She was doing war work for Allen Dulles. See Chapter Nine. ]] Later, her personal problems will come to the front. For the moment analysis has got into the background. The day may come when she feels that analysis becomes necessary, but as long as she is on top, you can't make her see something.

I told Onkel that I thought it wonderful that from his study he was directing things in the world. He said that he thought he had some influence, for the Swiss Catholic philosophical society had just met and the whole meeting was of a discussion of his psychology. I told him I thought it was so touching that he was working so hard and had put so much of himself in the whole thing to work out all the problems for us poor people, and in a way, it was little people like myself who had profited by him. He said that where you don't put yourself into it, nothing comes out of it - one has to sweat for a thing, then it can develop. He said that he was becoming the stumbling block for many. He said that a theologian from Bern visited him here [in Küsnacht], and produced a manual of his [Jung's] psychology, which he had arranged for the clergy. Onkel said that he read it, corrected it, and gave him several tips. This theologian would have liked to publish it, but Onkel thinks his colleagues got behind him and told him not to disturb the old church idea. It's easier to run along in the same old rut!

I showed Onkel the picture of my old monk, or saint, or 'ancestor' as the Mantel's said. [[Heinrich Mantel-Hess from Zürich. He and his wife were friends of my mother, and were present at my wedding. He was a Sinologist and had lived in China. ]] Onkel said he must be a saint, or a sainted ancestor, because he has a halo and the staff of the hermit, and the rosary. He was surely a Chinese ancestor who was a holy man, on account of the halo and the rosary. He said the rosary, with a Chinaman, was decidedly Buddhist. Part of the cloak is orange-red, and in China is a Buddhistic mantle of the priests and the monks.

Then I told Onkel of my qualms of conscience, and wanting to write to the person from whom I had purchased the monk that it had been sold to me too cheap and that someone was willing to give 2000. frs. for it. I loved it and 'discovered it' and did not want to give it up. Onkel said, that if I bought it to keep, and not as a 'dealer' with the idea to make money off it, then I had the right to keep it at the price agreed upon, considering the person I had bought it from had had experts in to value it. I saw that he was saving me from rushing into nonsense, that usual 'generous' side of mine, being really silly at times. With today's financial situation, it would be "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Onkel said, "Don't try and overreach yourself and be too noble. Later on you get a resentment. One must spare one's nobility, and not throw it away uselessly, because afterwards when one needs it then one gets a resistance. Supposing a case arises where your nobility is really needed, and if you have thrown your nobility away uselessly before, you say, 'Damn it, I have been noble long enough.' So I would advise you to keep your picture and not try and spend money you have not got."

I then told Onkel the Poupon thing was over. He only lifted his eyebrows and said, "Well, it doesn't matter." He said not to cling to a thing when it was worn out, and that everything changes. I said the Poupon had said that too, and he laughed. I told him I just had to have the Poupon experience, something with a Latin man, even perhaps a frivolous relation. He said that one couldn't take things as one wanted to take them. One should take things as they present themselves, and when a thing presents itself as important and gives one a serious reason, or serious impression, take it as important. He said that certain things were very important and other things less so. There are things good to eat and other things not so good to eat. Some people like certain things and other people different things. Nothing is important in itself! If you had a valley full of diamonds and no one knew about it, it would not be so important.

I told him that I had laughed a lot recently over things my mother said, and over the Poupon and lots of other things. He said that I had evidently developed my sense of humor! I think I have, because I have really had a lot of good laughs!

I then embarked on the subject which was uppermost in my mind when I came to him and I told him that I didn't face death with equanimity. He said the following, which I will write down in his own words as I remember them:

"If you are in such a situation (death) all that you can say is, 'Now we are in for it.' When I didn't die I was awfully disappointed and I said to myself, 'Now I have to begin again the damn life.' The world was far beyond the horizon to me. There seemed to be a corner, somewhere, where people said: 'It is a world.' At the beginning of April, I sat on the edge of the bed and then the thing began to change, but up until then the world was a curtain made of paper and a view was painted on it. [[For another account of the course of Jung's illness, see Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and Work (Putnam, New York, 1976, and Michael Joseph, London, 1977). ]] There were holes in it. I couldn't read a paper because it was full of holes, I just couldn't see the world outside, it was non-existent. I was far out of it and very reluctant to come back. My night nurse, who was very intuitive, said to me that she knew that I didn't want to come back and that I thought it was too difficult to come back. It gave me terrible depressions to get back into the body. There was a certain moment when things just snapped and I felt my body and extreme weakness."

"In the nights I didn't feel my body anymore, I was quite out of it. It was like suddenly falling asleep in the Universe. The room vanished, my body vanished, it was good that way and I liked it better. My night nurse thought I would die, but I knew I wouldn't die because I had a vision. The world interfered, I was needed by the world."

The Vision

"I was out of the body and away in space and saw the world from 50 thousand kilometers. I saw the world in a blue light. It was lovely, iridescent and the continent looked blueish silver and the sea was deep blue. There were stars in space and a huge hollowed out rock and in the rock were hundreds of lights. In the hollowed out rock, amidst the hundreds of lights, sat a very dark Indian, on a bench. I felt grand as I knew I was going in there. Suddenly Dr. Haemerli [[There were two doctors Haemerli who looked after Jung at different times: Dr. Haemerli-Schindler and Dr. Haemerli-Steiner. The one mentioned above died suddenly during Jung's illness. ]] loomed up like a portrait, but the real Haemerli was as if behind it - a doctor of Greek times, 2400 years ago; one of the princely medical families of Cos. He came with a delegate from earth, an ambassador, and they said they couldn't allow my going away."

"From this moment all I saw vanished, and I was again in my body. I had this vision when I was at my worst and was having oxygen. I had this vision at the critical moment."

"In the nights I was in bliss and the nurse was convinced I was going to die, for when I was in a bad state, I was out of my body and I looked peculiar. It took me a long time to realize this world was real. Finally, when I came home, and was in my garden this summer, it was like heaven, it just didn't seem real. It was like a marvelous dream and I still have the impression that I am not completely 'back.'"

I asked him if he thought he would ever get 'back' as he called it. He said, "It is relative. If you suffer a bad disappointment, it may last for ever. Or when you have lost your confidence in somebody, how can it ever be completely restored? I am no longer in the things as I used to be. It's as if I had lost my belief in things. It's important for my work that I get a vista of the world now that I am no longer identified with it."

I told him this experience was to him a sort of analysis and had brought him on, there being no one in the world to bring him on, but himself, just as he had brought me on, all these years. He said that it was so.

The view of Earth Jung describes in his vision resembles the colored photographs we now have of Earth taken from space. Katy knew nothing of Jung's experiences during his severe illness when she embarked on the subject of death with him; despite the intervening years, Tommy's passing was still uppermost in her mind. She had been shattered by his death, or would never have gone into the Poupon relationship. Belonging to a generation of women who needed a man in tow, she did not realize that she could manage perfectly well on her own. She took on this unsuitable man only because she was then most of the time in the Tessin, and no one else was available. Born in 1908 and so much younger than Katy, he came from a different social milieu even though his family was an old one and owned a Palazzo in Locarno. He was not without intellect, and was also fun at a party as Henry Clews well knew, having discovered him playing the piano in a Locarno bar. At the time of my marriage the "Poupon thing," as it was called, was still going strong. So that he could be at the wedding Katy urged him to compose a wedding march - an extra one in addition to the classical one - and to hide the relationship still better she identified him to guests as "an old friend of Janey's." But by 1945, thanks to her frequent visits to Bern, Katy met a more sophisticated Swiss whose "analyst by correspondence" she was to become.

Katy returned frequently to the subject of Catholicism with Jung. It had fascinated her ever since her convent-school days. From Tommy she had obtained only negative vibes about it, and the Poupon, the "Latin man," was a Catholic in name only. It was only from Jung that she could obtain an unbiased opinion. Many years later when she married an Italian, she decided to join the Catholic Church out of expediency, not piety.

Katy's generous side was not simple. Some people she actually wanted to help, but with others she made herself popular through generosity, dinner parties, etc. And though she appeared generous to a fault, Katy had a stingy streak. She gave no money to organized charities because, as she reasoned, the money was spent on the organizers' salaries and expenses, and she preferred to give to needy friends. This she did. But whenever Katy bought objects from friends, she bought them as cheaply as possible! The "friend" in the case she mentions to Jung was an American schoolmate from Florence who, through several foolish marriages, had lost most of her money and was compelled to sell her fine North Korean furniture and other Eastern objets d'art at any price she could obtain. My mother bought quite a few pieces of furniture from her, and the picture she describes, at low prices, so her twinges of conscience were justified. Being artful, however, she omitted the background story to her latest purchase, so was able to obtain Jung's blessing! In Katy's defense, it must be remembered that she herself was short of money during the War. The U.S. government restricted the export of income to $500 per person per month, and at one moment Katy had been obliged to put her pride in her pocket to borrow money from Barbara Hannah.

February 9, 1945

Onkel said the important point in Swiss psychology was the smallness of the country. Anyone coming from a big country like America doesn't see what the world looks like to a fellow coming from a small country, wedged in between peoples of very definite national character.

These peoples' character is very uniform, despite the difference in the north and the south of such countries like France, Italy, Germany and Austria.

It is in between these four countries that Switzerland has had to maintain her national character, her peculiar character, otherwise she was lost!

Onkel said that if we [the Swiss] become French, then we are French and the same with the Germans. We are opponents to all these countries and we are not in sympathy with whatever comes along. We are critical and we are prejudiced.

He went on to say that when the German talks, we say, "It's a mouthful of words." When the French talk, we say, "Polite phrases." When the Italian talks, we say, 'Oh that's a cinque." Superficial, unreliable liars. (Cinque: a game, Morra, played with the hands.) With the Austrian we say, "A nice chap, but no good, lazy, irresponsible and all Schlamperei [slovenliness]."

He said that was the Swiss attitude, an attitude of self-defense, and that it makes the crust we have. We have to defend our national character for we are mistrustful of ourselves. We project onto people stuff we have in ourselves - things we would be capable of doing.

The Swiss won't admit that he is astonished or surprised. A magic behavior. Never show one is too much enjoying oneself with foreigners or that one is being influenced. It is the same with the English, the insular type. In that way they keep their national character. With the French and Spanish it is different, they get assimilated by blacks when they colonize, for they don't have that self-defense.

The Englishman won't learn other languages because he thinks everyone ought to speak English. The Americans have also no defense and even play football with the Germans [[After the War, Allied military personnel were forbidden to fraternize with the Germans. The Americans may have made an exception to that rule and played with P.O.W.s in sporting events. ]] - they are impressed. And what will one day happen to the American if he goes on like that, one just wonders?

In Switzerland, a stranger is a stranger. Then Onkel told me his ma-in-law story, which he had told me once before in connection with Toni.

The Swiss crust is due to that self-defense against the psychological influence of the surrounding countries. We mustn't be impressed and if we don't think like that we lose our national character. If the British had not had that same characteristic of not being impressed, they would have lost their national character long ago - they would have gone under.

A Frenchman forgets that the English built an empire. The Americans don't defend themselves and they are now fraternizing with German soldiers. They will be eaten up. The English have more form and behave as if they were not impressed. The Americans are impressed with lots of foolish nonsense, and being representative of a big continent, they can't understand the psychology of a people who have had to defend themselves. The Dutch are very disagreeable! De Gaulle is the typical disputing Frenchman. You can live 20 years in France, but you never get anywhere with the people. The only person Onkel said he knew in France was a M. de Clermont, a half-wit, polite and spoke fine French.

When one wants to have a mental contact with the French the church comes in between.

With the human contact it is not easy, because the French have no sense of humor. He then told the story of his daughter's husband who laughed when a Frenchman fell down and opened a door with his head. Suddenly he saw this head on the floor, coming into his office - pushing the door open, as it was, and he just roared with laughter. instead he should have rushed forwards and said, "Mais j'espère que vous ne vous êtes pas fait mal." ["But I hope you have not hurt yourself."] I said that is what I would have done.

Onkel said that the Frenchman was hurt in his pride. In Switzerland, people would be glad to have people grin, that they had a sense of humor. The Frenchman wanted compassion.


Onkel went on to say that when you were dealing with the Swiss, or representatives of a small country, you will notice edges and sharpness and coldness and coarseness. The French say, of a 'coldness,' 'peu agréable.'

The Swiss will be all self-defense, but then later, if you go and get a drink together, you have a jolly evening. The Swiss has a sanguine type of character - a carnival spirit inside. He can get drunk as hell. The Zürichois love a good time.

The Swiss have a lively temperament which shows in their music. The folk music expresses the Swiss and they have a festive temperament. They like dancing, drinking, yodeling.

With the Swiss one must wait and stand still, as if you had to deal with animals. Just wait and they will thaw.

The Swiss are identical with their crusts. A Swiss can't afford to be the big fellow, he is too well known. Only in a big country, where you are not known, and the towns are far apart, can you afford to be big and get away with it. But where one is personally known, it is impossible, one does not impress. The big fellow lives a 100 miles away.

Katy was interested in having Jung's views on his countrymen as she had been busy writing a paper on the Swiss and was keen for information on the Swiss character. She was scheduled to give it as a lecture (which Toni Wolff called a causerie, an informal talk) at the Psychological Club, but alas, she caught a severe cold and was unable to do so; Professor Meier therefore read it to the members on 24 March 1945. [[The paper was translated into German by Toni Wolff as "Die Schweizer, durch eine amerikanische Brille," and published in Annabelle in August 1945 (in both the German and French editions). I read my mother's paper at the Psychological Club on 11 November 1994 when it was again well received. ]]

Her so-called old enemy Mary Foote, who attended the lecture, wrote the following undated letter:

My dear Katy Cabot,

Everybody was laughing at your wit & lamenting your absence last night. And I - alas - could not understand much, as I am deafer than ever these days. So please, if you have an extra copy of the English original, let me have it to read! I shall be extremely careful of it & get it back to you at once. ...

I had no idea that the article you told me of having written about Switzerland was so long & so wise & so thorough - Good for you!

I am looking forward very much to reading it when you have the possibility of sending it.

Always affectionately yours,

Mary Foote

My mother obviously appreciated receiving Mary Foote's letter as she kept it in an album together with other important letters and newspaper articles.

Without a man in tow to consume her time and energy, Katy was able to write creatively. But as she was constantly in need of a companion her creative periods were short-lived. While she always threw herself whole-heartedly into any enterprise, she was not able to combine writing and having boyfriends, who were always more important, even when difficult, and consumed much of her time and energy. I suspect that she had a lifelong urge to find the "ideal" man to make up for her less-than-ideal father. As I have written in earlier chapters, he was mostly absent during her childhood, had little time for her when at home, and was apt to be negative. Her mother, consequently, had to be both mother and father to Catharine for long stretches of time, so was forced to punish and scold her when she was naughty. One of Katy's stories of her early childhood, was that when she was about three she had gathered up all her father's shoes and floated them in a full bathtub. Most likely in her fantasy they became a fleet of ships, but to her Victorian parents, less romantic, they were expensive shoes transformed within minutes into soggy pieces of leather. Her punishment was swift: she was locked in a closet and put on bread and water. A very sensitive girl, Katy placed her mother on a pedestal while very young but eventually developed a negative mother complex. When Katy spoke of her mother to me, she blamed her for all the unpleasantness of her childhood; father was too remote and godlike to shoulder any blame. As William Rush in his last years of failing health became more mellow and more approachable, Katy drew closer to him. Though uncomplimentary about him in early sessions with Jung, she was prepared to do everything when he was seriously ill, as her letters to "Dads" testify.

Given her own childhood experience, Katy must have realized when she took me to Europe that she too would have to take on the dual role of mother-and-father. Yet she seems to have been oblivious to the difficulty of such a role. She liked to call herself, jokingly, Mépère (a contraction of Mother-father), a name I thought amusing - but unfortunately a mother's ranting animus is untenable, lacking the figure of masculine authority. I too developed a negative mother complex. My mother found me a handful as a young child, wondering why I could be so belligerent since she was doing an excellent job in her dual role; but her reprimands, however legitimate, instead of disciplining me, grated on me and made me rebellious.

By 1945 Katy and Toni Wolff were corresponding again. Toni was translating her article, and in the letter below encloses a newspaper clipping advertising a house in Porto Ronco, as my mother was looking for another flat, finding that moving out of Casa Gabriella during the Eranos week a nuisance.

Tommy de Trafford, Toni Wolff, C.G. Jung - Bad Ragaz, 1937


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