carl jung
C. G. Jung
Carl Jung is a giant of 20th century history and thought, widely regarded as a pioneer of the psychology of the unconscious. His defection from Freud and his ideas like the archetypes of the unconscious are widely known, even if many have not read his works. But there is a hidden side to the man that few are aware of. From visions of the gods to an acceptance of polygamy and a plan to revitalize civilization by returning to the paganism of the past, Jung privately held some ideas that don't appear in his published works - and which may come to many as a shock.

Today on the Truth Perspective we'll be taking a closer look at the hidden Jung: his encounter with the deranged Otto Gross, his libertine views on sexuality, his modelling of psychoanalysis on ancient mystery cult initiations, his interest in mediumship, and his trance-induced visions of the underworld. If you thought you know Jung, chances are you don't. Tune Saturday, June 16, 12 pm EDT.

Running Time: 01:29:45

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Here's the transcript of the show:

Harrison: On December 25, 1913 the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung entered a self-induced trance state and had a vision. After seeing two snakes engage in battle he descended into the underworld where a giant serpent encircled him in her coils, squeezing him into agony. As the sweat poured from his visionary body his face took the form of a lion as one of his underworld guides told him, "You are Christ".

For Jung this was his initiation into the mysteries, his self-deification, his quest into the underworld that would result in his individuation. In his first public revelation of this experience in 1925 he said "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. The animal face which I felt mine transformed into was the famous Deus Leontocephalus of the Mithraic mysteries.

Almost 20 years before in 1895 Jung had engaged in similarly esoteric experiments, conducting séances with his cousins to converse with the dead, the start of his long interest in the esoteric and the paranormal. But his experiments in altered states of consciousness over the next 16 years which he called active imagination or dubious results. At times he thought he was going mad. He would have entire conversations out loud with his feminine anima, channeling her voice. At times he was paranoid, prone to fits of anger and difficult to get along with. He slept with a loaded pistol next to his bed, ready to end his life if he were ever to lose his sanity.

But the experiences arguably did have an effect. His personality disintegrated and reintegrated into a new form, free from the repressions caused by Christianity, society and civilization in general. He embraced polygamy and started a psychoanalytic movement that would be the precursor for the new age movement.

Today on the Truth Perspective we'll be discussing the hidden side of Carl Jung. I'm Harrison Koehli and joining me today are Corey Schink and Elan Martin.

Corey: Hello everybody.

Elan: Hi everyone.

Harrison: So Carl Jung is widely regarded as a cool guy and a nice dude. He's got almost the quality of sainthood when it comes to anyone interested in new age spirituality or just spirituality in general. He's got a good reputation and that is one that has been cultivated and developed over the last hundred years. But there are some aspects to his teaching and his method and his life that have not gained publicity until the '90s. I guess some people have known about them, especially people who knew him personally, but the public record has been if not whitewashed, then carefully curated. And he was the first person to start that, as we'll get into.

One of the ways he did that in the language that he used in public for his various concepts and methods and experiences. As I read out at the beginning, that was one of his experiences because when he talked about encountering the unconscious I think most people with a passing knowledge of Jung's ideas and his work have an idea of what is meant by archetypes and the collective unconscious and it takes the form of images and symbols and that would translate into metaphor or allegory. So "Oh, here are these symbols or images or archetypes and this is what they mean. This is what they represent."

But for Jung they had a lot more life. Let's just put it that way. So when he talked about an encounter with the unconscious he basically meant going into an altered state of consciousness and interacting with aspects of the unconscious - at least that's how he theorized it - but as actual beings. In the last two weeks' shows we were talking about religious experience and how religious experience tends to get ignored by people who theorize about religion and spirituality and all those sorts of things. Jung was doing a version of what we were talking about last week.

So there are various aspects of Jung's life that have remained relatively unknown for the entire 20th century and we just discovered a couple of books by a psychologist named Richard Knoll. He's got two books out that he published in the 1990s on Carl Jung. The first one is called The Jung Cult and the other one is called The Aryan Christ-The Secret Life of Carl Jung. So we're going to be talking about some of the things from his books and seeing where that goes.

Maybe to start out, I'll just mention a few things that came as a surprise to me that I hadn't heard about. Some have been common knowledge to a large degree but I just hadn't heard it filtered through the popular level of Jungian psychoanalysis that I've received over the years, just through reading secondary works, people who reference him, books tangentially about him. I hadn't actually read much of what he himself wrote or any in-depth biographies. There's a ton of Jung material available. His own works are probably 30 to 40 volumes worth of material and then of course all of the stuff written by his students.

So the few things that stuck out to me, as I mentioned at the beginning of the show, his polygamy and his interest in parapsychology because I'd always suspected that Jung would be into that kind of thing, but I'd never seen anything positively saying exactly that. I knew that the thesis he wrote to become a professor was about so-called occult phenomena but even in that title so-called occult phenomena you could see he was taking kind of the typical academic stance towards it so I wasn't sure what he actually felt about it. I knew he had corresponded with Wolfgang Pauli, the quantum physicist and had written that little book on synchronicity and he also wrote a little book on flying saucers being the myth of our time as projections of the collective unconscious.

But there was nothing in the stuff that I'd seen to show that he had any real interest in it in the sense that actual parapsychologists have an interest in it, as in "this is serious stuff and we should take a look at it and there might be some reality to it". My impression of Jung is that he was always one step removed from it, that he was always approaching it from a distance. But one of the things that you learn in these books is that from a young age, when he was 18 or 19 he started having séances with a group of his family members, his cousins. One of his cousins acted as the medium and these séances that they were having became the raw material for that thesis that he wrote on so-called occult phenomena.

So for several years he was reading everything he could on mediumship from the Society of Psychical Research in the UK; research into telepathy, apparitions and mediums physical and trans-telepathic, the whole range of psi phenomena. At the time it was called psychical research. He was into all that kind of stuff until he came to the conclusion that his cousin was, if not faking, then creating what seemed to be autonomous personalities that were constructed out of forgotten memories, that basically she was creating false personalities.

So the beings that were coming through that she was channeling weren't necessarily what they claimed to be, weren't necessarily real in the sense that he had assumed they were for the time that he was doing these experiments. Then he went through a period of scepticism like that before coming back to these kinds of phenomena right after his break with Sigmund Freud in 1913. He had been very interested in mythology and archeology and reading everything he could on all sorts of world mythologies and Hellenistic mystery cults and all of the writings at the time that were searching for the original Indo-European or Aryan religion. What was the religion of the peoples that were referred to at the time as Aryans, that ended up going over to India and Iran and western Europe? So what was the source of that? And what was the nature of that religion?

After his break with Freud that's when he started self-inducing trances like the ones that he his cousin had been doing in 1895 and afterwards. So he self-induced a trance where he would have his visions. Very soon after he started keeping a journal where he wrote down all of his visions and his thoughts on them. When these two books by Noll were published, that wasn't publicly available. There were several copies going around but it pretty much stuck in the Jungian community and it was only in 2009 that the Red Book, as it's called, was published. We've got a copy of it, haven't read it yet, just glanced and taken a look.

Just before the show I read the vision that I quoted from and it matched up with what he said about it in 1925 and the things that Noll quotes about it. That's how I wanted to start out. It was kind of interesting to see how he was into mediumship and the paranormal and channeling and the mythology and the level of reality that he gave to mythological beings or archetypes. When he was having an encounter with the unconscious, it was a real encounter. There's no real distance while he's having the vision. In the vision it's like a waking dream. He's conversing with Elijah and Salome and these snakes and they're all actual experiences that he's having. It's not just a fleeting thought or a random image that pops into his mind, or even just a dream. These were full-blown visions. So just to start out with, I thought that was interesting.

Elan: Well just to give a little further background about most people's experiences with Jung in particular. For any seeker of spiritual truths it seems that when you're looking for good information he has a monumental place in the realm of new age, spiritual, psychoanalytical thinking. So these books have been very interesting to me, not only in deconstructing Jung's thoughts and those background influences in Germanic culture in Europe at the time, but also who he was as an individual and those things that he did in his practice that seemed very questionable.

I would add that I've had a bit of synchronicity at one point earlier in my life. It was undeniable. It was very strong and it was something that drove me to try and read his book on synchronicity which I found to be impenetrable. I found it to be too academic and I put it down. So in one respect you have all of these ideas that you mention Harrison, that have become part of the popular lexicon of spiritual thinking and psychology, collective unconscious, the archetypes, what have you. And in the other there's what I think is a barrier to understanding a lot of what he was about and what he thought without his cadre of students and his inner circle who came out with a lot of books at a later time. But it has been very interesting to look at what his true influences were, how he appropriated them to create his own cosmology, his own religion with himself as the head, as the godhead. It's been an interesting re-evaluation of who the man was and what he has actually contributed to western thinking and religious thought.

Corey: There's one big question that I think everybody has if they ever try and read Jung; that's "What the heck is he talking about?!?" I know there's something going on here, but I kind of understand what he's talking about in terms of a collective unconscious but when you read these books, it reveals the fact that Jung was playing some word games. He was being slightly deceptive when he was crafting all of these things; one thing was co-opting ideas from his patients and another was that he was taking the new age German romantics mythology, the 18th and 19th century that considered the land of the dead to be a real phenomenon, that worshiped so-called German hereditary gods and the Aryan race. He was taking that and he was putting it into the psychological literature as terms like the collective unconscious, the archetypes, and purposely trying to attack really, the Christian foundations of western civilization, really trying to erode those foundations so that you could get to that Germanic barbarian spirit, that hereditary spirit, that unconscious that has no Christian overlays, no repressed sexual emotions.

As he was doing that you really see the ethical flaws in his character from a very, very early age. When Harrison discussed his work with his cousin, using his cousin as a medium, it was damaging to her health. Her family was terrified of what she was going through. She was exhausted. She was sick. Her parents demanded that they stop the mediums but he was of course furious at that early age about them stopping his experiments into the land of the dead. As he went on and became a psychiatrist and worked as a clinician, he achieved some fame for his word association experiments and he was establishing himself as a young professional, then met up with Freud and then through Freud and the psychoanalytic movement he saw his chance to take those early ideas that he had about the land of the dead and his so-called spiritual learnings and to apply them in this way and create that new religious movement.

I think that's what people sense when they read Jung's book, "This is the guy who's really talking about spirituality. He's really talking about these other realms and you get a sense that he really wants to bring religion back to the masses and to replace materialism." And in some sense he is, but it's not the religion that you want! It's not your good old-time religion. It's the crazy, ecstatic, orgiastic, barbaric, Dionysian religion with spirits that will use you and eat you up and leave you wounded and dead. {laughter}

Elan: Cut to the chase Corey! {laughter}

Corey: That's just my general take away.

Elan: Just a quick comment about his cousin. It seemed to me from one of the descriptions of her channelings or her mediumship, that the personalities or beings that she was channeling knew things and said things that would have been very unusual for someone who was a teenager, even with an incredible imagination. So I believe Jung in later years chalked up the whole experience to her being hysterical. She admitted at some point that later on in her channelings that she had indeed made up some things because she felt that she was fading and losing her abilities to be a medium.

But it just seemed like he was fickle in his assessment of what it was she was actually doing and experiencing. It felt as though - and I could be wrong in this assessment - that he had thrown her under the bus in choosing to write off her experience as hysterical, which is interesting because for much of his life, if not in hidden ways, he was affirming the possibility of these types of valid mediumship experiences. So that to me was just an inkling into his going back and forth between being a man of science and rationality and so-called but also trying to affirm this life of the soul and the unconscious and its connection to the hidden or the occultic.

Harrison: I'm going to read just one paragraph from Noll's book. He's talking about Jung before his career, when he was going to medical school. So this is Noll writing.

There is no doubt that during his medical school years Jung believed in the potential of human beings to communicate with discarnate or other-worldly entities. Yet the usual grounding of spiritualist practices in Christian beliefs left him cold. His disillusionment with Christian dogma and rituals fueled his scepticism about the veracity of the all too Christian messages that were usually sent from beyond the grave. Could there be a non-Christian spiritual world? And if so, what would this say about the true nature of religion and its place in the everyday lives of human beings? How could the monotheism of his own Judeo-Christian civilization be reconciled with the evidence of a polydemonic spirit world? And what would the greater implications of such evidence be for the nature of individual human existence? His relentless curiosity about these questions in his early 20s led him along some unusual paths.

I read that and I said "Wow, those are good questions." The way I see Jung in this period is that he was a very curious guy. He was interested in these sorts of things, which many are. Every parapsychologist probably had the same kind of yearning for understanding of what the nature of reality was, especially when you read any of that old psychical research stuff. There's nothing but questions because undoubtedly there's genuine phenomena going on and that's been the conclusion of the majority of people that look at it, even really rigorous scientists. That's why pretty much all genuine parapsychologists are actual scientists because there's something going on.

So Jung started out and he had good questions and he started this little experiment which I think could have gone in any number of directions. What happened is he went to medical school and it looks like his professional ego it looks like got in the way and so he adopted the language of psychology at the time to write off these experiences. Of course he had some justification in writing them off but he kind of threw the baby out with the bathwater when he realized that some of these personalities coming through couldn't possibly be real. That's the conclusion that most parapsychologists come to, at least the ones with a critical mind because when you look at all the channeled material out there and all the mediumistic séances and all the dead dudes that come through, some of them just seem fake.

It's rare to find a really good, what they call 'evidential' case. There is a lot of muck in there that seems to be creations of the unconscious, in the way that psychologists think of the unconscious today, not necessarily the way that Jung was thinking of it. So Jung writes this dissertation where he write it all off to hysteria, which again was a common stance to take among the professional psychological community. There were several that wouldn't necessarily have written it off completely, but I think they had a bit more integrity and they were older too. William James was really into parapsychology or psychical research. He founded the American branch of the Society for Psychical Research in the US and there were several others.

It's hard to get a grasp on what was actually really going through his mind this whole time because even when I was reading a couple of excerpts from the Red Book, I don't think that Noll is entirely correct in his assessment when he says that Jung had three masks, that he used constantly. One was that he really believed in the reality of these Germanic god, the pagan gods and that his psychological language was just a mask for public consumption and that he only used Christian terminology as another mask and that he then used his professional psychoanalytic persona as a third mask, when what he was really doing was initiating his analyzands or patients into the ancient mysteries.

I don't think it's that cut and dried because even in his private journals he'd still use his own language. I think it might have been more of a "both and" scenario where he in the deepest part of his being thought there was a reality to the archetypes as gods but at the same time that they were somehow psychological in nature. Maybe they're intrinsically intertwined in some way. I don't know. But I don't get the impression that he was being completely devious in his language. Maybe a way to put it would be that he'd bought his own propaganda. That might be one way to put it. Or maybe he thought that there was a psychological and a metaphysical reality to the things that he was investigating.

Corey: Maybe you can look at his career. You would maybe say he had some truth-seeking drive, that he was looking for information about the spirit world. He read volumes and volumes about ancient myths, ancient religions and rituals and he was a successful clinician. But as you can see, especially in the way that he treated his cousin and the way he published a paper in order to advance himself, that shattered her life - her fiancé broke up with her after the paper was released. Even though he used a pseudonym, everyone in the family new exactly who he was talking about.

In fact, when he wrote that paper, his mother, his mother's father, that whole side of the family was very much into mediumship. They're the ones who taught him those skills. For them it was just a slap in the face to his family. You can say "well what are you going to do if you become a clinician?" But he had choice. He had a choice and he published that information. He used his cousin as a test case and her life was pretty much ruined after that and it doesn't seem like he ever made any attempt to remedy that situation or to reach out to her.

So you have this character defect and you're trying to advance into these unknown realms of the spirit and yet you have these huge blind spots. As he's going along he's gathering all this information and it doesn't seem like he's getting any good feedback. He hooks up with Freud and then he meets somebody that I think we should talk about, Otto Gross, somebody who ends up becoming one of his patients. This Otto Gross was a drug addict. He was a Bohemian. He read Nietzsche and was this new age psychotic. He didn't start out that way. He started out as the son of a famous criminologist, one of the guys who started the whole trend of analyzing criminology scientifically. So it was rather ironic that his son became such a criminal.

But he started out on a professional track and then he got hooked up with Freud and he became a psychoanalyst for the Bohemian crowd. He would lodge himself in cafes and enrapture people by getting rid of their repressions. His whole shtick was based around the idea that Christianity, the modern western civilization, capitalism. All of it was just this "We couldn't live within it. We're not evolved to live in that kind of an atmosphere. We need to be able to do whatever we want and make love to whoever we want to."

He was admitted to the Burghölzli Clinic that Jung started at. He was admitted there once and then he got out. Then he was admitted back into this clinic when Jung was really at the height of his power there, I believe. So then Jung ended up giving him psychoanalysis and it sounds like from what Jung wrote about in his diaries, that this was the most challenging experience of his life because this guy was nuts. They were still giving him drugs. He was climbing the walls. He was trying to proselytize everyone to his point of view but by the time it was over - I can't remember exactly how long...

Harrison: It wasn't very long. It might have even been a year or less.

Corey: Yeah, it wasn't that long but by the time it was over Jung said that his experience helped him to discover many aspects of his true nature so this Gross seemed to Jung like his twin brother except for the dementia. So at that point in time, and discussing Jung's character, it seems like he was dealing with some of the craziest people. The place was to analyze and to study schizophrenia and drug addiction and all of these things and he was steeped in that and then he couldn't maintain those boundaries and you know in some way Otto Gross successfully proselytized Jung over to his point of view, to his world view. He was basically "Come on man, why do you just have a wife? You need to be polygamous!"

It was after that point that Jung then discovered many aspects of his "true nature" and things started to go downhill after that, even before that.

Harrison: Well when he was engaged in analysis with Otto Gross he would be sending Freud rosy reports like "Oh, it's going great and he's almost cured" or "We just need a few more sessions. We've had great success." At the same time there was no success going on. Gross was probably, if not a psychopath, then he was just a very deranged individual. I think he might even have been a psychopath based on the few excerpts that Noll includes. It's hard to tell just from a few but he really seemed to have the gift of gab and he would proclaim his healing, like he'd gotten over everything "Oh it worked! I'm great! Don't worry about me!" Then he'd tell all his long-term plans and it just sounds exactly like any psychopath in a so-called therapeutic environment that just tells the therapist exactly what they want to hear and then tells about all the great things they're going to do and then Gross escapes from the clinic and just goes on a drug binge and disappears for a while.

Corey: When they find him he's dead, right? He's dead in an alley.

Harrison: They thought he was dead at first. There were reports of his death but the people involved in the clinic said "Oh no. He'll show up again" then he did show up again somewhere and he died several years later. So interesting guy. But when they were doing the analysis - I can't remember if he told Freud this or not - but what actually happened was that Gross would then analyze Jung.

So here you have this drugged-out crazy person analyzing what should be his therapist or his psychoanalyst. I don't know if you can really call psychoanalysts therapists because they're really weird. I don't really think it's a real type of therapy. Gross was analyzing Jung and you can only imagine what was going on there to the extent that he basically converted Jung. You can kind of guess the direction that it went to; Gross laid out his philosophy and he was probably like most psychopaths really good at finding the weaknesses in people and exploiting them so he probably would have been able to see the conflicts that Jung was having about his sexual desires and urges because he was really into one of his patients, Sabina Spielrein. Right after this is when he started his relationship with her.

They had a relationship of sorts beforehand but this is when he succumbed to the urge and that's when any kind of inhibition was eliminated because Otto Gross's motto was repress nothing. He meant that literally. In his whole philosophy he saw psychoanalysis as a method of liberation and cultural liberation where people would get rid of their old prejudices. Like you were saying Corey, funnily enough in today's political climate he was anti-patriarchy because even back then there was not the feminism we see today but there was a view of history and of contemporary civilization as being patriarchal and that two phases back in civilization - because they had this stage model of civilization that there was a matriarchal culture and the idea was that back in that culture there was no sexual repression. Everyone was just sleeping with whomever they wanted and no mother knew the father of her child because they were all just sleeping with each other and there was no civilizational enforced monogamy, as they call it today.

And a lot of the psychoanalysts were into sex role reversals so Jung was doing that too. A man would effect a feminine persona in order to bring out the feminine and vice versa and it was all a way of stripping away the generations and generations of Christian programming to get back to the true animal nature that humans have because Gross's idea - and he wasn't alone in this - was that human nature at its root was licentious. Free sex was the natural state of humanity and any kind of strictures placed on human sexuality were negative in nature and a bad thing.

You can see that in Freud's theory. I'm not totally familiar with Freud so I'm not exactly sure where he was on his moral stance on all of this and what he thought humans actually should be. Is it the ego or the id that clamps down...

Elan: The id.

Harrison: The id, clamps down on those primal urges and that causes repression and repressions are a bad thing. So for Gross all repression was bad. You should repress nothing. So if you could just get rid of all of those social programs on your own nature then you would be free. So his idea of a free human would be one that is just openly polyamorous - to use a current word - sleeping with whomever. I can imagine back then there were a lot of people who were involved in the psychoanalytic community who didn't necessarily have his total philosophy but you can see the seeds of it in psychoanalysis and Gross basically said "I can use this. This is the perfect framework for my actual philosophy".

And it worked. It was a match made in heaven, so to speak, where he could easily get across his philosophy by pointing out that yes, all of these sexual regulations that we place on ourselves and that society places on us are just repressing our natural sexuality and arguably that is the case. But his position was that that was a bad thing and that there was no benefit to that and that the goal therefore of psychoanalysis would be to get rid of those inhibitions and to just let loose.

That seems to have been one of the big turning points in Jung's life because there are a lot of points in his book where Jung would express the following sentiment in various situations and that would be 'just give in the process. Just give in to it. Don't fight it.' You can see that in his approach to sexuality and also in his approach to these visionary experiences which he called active imagination. In some of his private writings and letters and his conversations with colleagues and patients he'd say "This is very dangerous. Bad things can happen. You can even die from it but some people can survive it." He survived it in his mind and all you had to do was go along with it. You just had to go with it.

I think that right there is for me, what seems to be Jung's fatal flaw; the fatal flaw in his personality to just go with it. It seems like he didn't have enough of, if not a critical mind then a cautiousness to him. He basically went into the forest blind without knowing what kind of monsters were there and without knowing what kind of protection he'd have to bring with him. He was encountering these things anew like a babe in the wood. So when he'd have these experiences, he didn't know what to expect. He didn't know the rules of the game. He didn't know what he could possibly encounter, the nature of what he could encounter and what kind of barriers to put up in his mind to prevent anything bad from happening.

It seems to me that he thought as long as he didn't die or go crazy by his estimation of crazy, then it was a success. That seems to be exactly what he thought because the nature of psychoanalysis for him, his own breed of Jungian psychoanalysis involving archetypes and the collective unconscious, was that this kind of visionary experience was a necessity. So in order to achieve individuation, which was his goal for the individual, you had to have an experience like this. In other words, if you didn't have an experience like this you would never individuate, to use his terminology. That right there is what I see as another fatal flaw in his theory and his practice, that he thought this was an absolutely necessary step.

What he ended up doing was recreating these ancient mystery initiation rituals, like alluded to Corey. He recreated this. The way that the ancient mystery religions worked was that they were voluntary first of all. It wasn't a necessary part of the religions of the day. You all had your religious cult that you were a part of and you had gods that you worshipped, but if you wanted to you could be initiated into one of these mystery religions. The way that that worked was that the rituals were a recapitulation of the story of that religion's god. It might be a procession through the streets or a pilgrimage or a descent into the cave to be initiated and to recreate the descent of the god into the underworld and Jung recreated this by creating a system where his students and patients would then have to recreate his own experience, which was this descent into the underworld and the self-deification where he transformed into the Mithraic god.

That's really the biggest thing that irked me about his psychoanalysis in general; that he saw this as the epitome of human development. That just seems totally wrong-headed to me because you can see this in all sorts of religions and personal philosophies where the people who adopt them and go on these paths is that they have this idea that this event that happens in their lives will then save them. So you were in one category before and then you're in the chosen, safe category afterwards. You can see this in fundamentalist Christianity where all you have to say is "I proclaim Lord Jesus as my saviour" and then you're saved and that's it. There's no change in your actual character.

That's what the mystery religions were, a change of mind, literally. Your mind changed. Again, like I mentioned at the beginning of the show, that arguably did happen in Jung's case but you can either go higher or you can go lower.

Elan: Right.

Harrison: And Jung didn't seem to be aware of that. He thought that the only way you could go lower was to descend into madness. But he didn't see that you could have a change in personality but you could take the wrong path. You can be a saint or a demon without being mad, just to use extremes. You can be a jerk or a nice person without being insane, without being crazy.

So what Jung essentially did was create this system that was based on an experience that first of all, probably isn't necessary for actual character development. Whatever the goal of human life is it doesn't seem that the type of experience he had is a necessity. He thought it was and therefore he would actively put people through it and try to get them to recreate his own experience or an experience like it when it seems shady to me, to say the least. Maybe Hades.

Elan: I'd like to mention just a couple of things here that might make clear what his background was. His father was a failed figure, a pastor. Paul Jung. He was marked by illness and wasn't particularly successful as a pastor, as a Christian in his town, financially, with his wife. He didn't have a great relationship. His grandfather, Carl Jung the elder was the rector of an academic institution. I think he was also a physician. He was widely known. He was very well established.

So in part I think that Jung's relentless search for these alternative religious explanations and ways of evolving in life and getting ahead were a reaction to his father's failure and a kind of striving for the stature that his grandfather had.

Now I'd like to give the background of the Europe at the time, and the United States for that matter. Harrison you mentioned all of these organizations, William James in the US., you had Madam Blavatsky in the late 1800s with her Theosophical Society the mystical in the kind of mythic, Aryan development of human beings at the time in Europe. So it just seems to me that Jung was absolutely determined as a person who on a very mundane level, wanted to create a name for himself, even if he was also curious about it and wanting to assimilate knowledge on these subjects.

He wanted to unify, codify, bring all of these ideas under the umbrella of Jungism, of his own religion with him as the head. Getting back to that point about Freud's idea on sexual repression, Freud had this idea of the return of the repressed. So you repress your sexuality and it comes out in all kinds of neurotic ways. Now publicly Jung would come out to say that he disagreed, that neuroticism or spiritual issues came to sexual oppression and yet in his private life, in that description of Otto Gross and how he ponerized Jung, he came to accept all of his urges as something that should have been satisfied and taken care of.

So he was just full of contradictions and ambition that I think made him careless and very aggressive. There have been descriptions of him that in his work with the Burgholzli Institute earlier in his career. This was an institute where they were taking care of patients on a day-to-day basis and Noll at one point describes him as kind of brutal in how straightforward he was with some of his patients.

So there's this brute force of nature about Jung that kind of suggests that he was not really in service to patients so much as he was his own self-aggrandizement and career.

Corey: Yeah, I'd say he didn't have a backbone. When it came to actually having a solid character and caring about one's family and caring about other people, sacrificing yourself, suffering, when it came to that he was willing to do anything, to even "giving himself up to the gods" in order to achieve some sense of ecstasy. He seemed on some level like an addict in that sense and a lot like Otto Gross because like you said when you were talking about the ancient mysteries and all of the environment that was leading up to Jung, Germany in the 19th century and the early 20th century and all of that fervour about the Aryan blood and the Aryan gods and this idea of rebirth was a powerful force in the rise of the Nazis. That is the kind of elements that Jung was really drawing from in order to get his inspiration for this mythical world that he was exploring and then codifying in his therapy.

I have just one note that Jung wrote, just an excerpt of something he wrote to Freud in 1910 that led to their break up. The split between Freud and Jung has been classified. If you're a pro-Freudian then you see Jung as being this crazy religious nut. But if you're anti-Freud then you see Jung as being more sane and pursuing a more rational route. But it turns out that they were both right. No matter which camp you're in, they were both to blame. They weren't blameless, either of them.

So Jung wrote to Freud in 1910. He says,

I think we must give psychoanalysis time to infiltrate into people from many centres, to revivify among intellectuals a feeling for symbol and myth ever so gently to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of 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 regains the ethos and holiness of an animal. That was the beauty and purpose of classical religion.

Now in that sense, you see that the driving force, the aim for Jung was a reversion, a regression back into a more primitive time because of the "repression", because enforced monogamy hurts {laughter} so let's go back to a better time. And that was the mythos, the culture at the time. It's understandable. I don't know if it was necessarily the dominant ethos but those romantic tendencies were extremely strong, stronger than a lot of the Christian ethos and it only got worse over the course of the early 20th century with the First World War.

But that was in 1910 that he wrote that. That was a couple of years after he had analyzed and been analyzed by Otto Gross and it was after he had started having an affair with Sabina Spielrein. There's some shadiness there. He may have stolen some of his ideas about the archetypes from her. There are allegations that he stole a lot of ideas from her. And then after that he had a relationship in that same year with a 22-year-old woman who came to his home to receive analysis. Her name was Toni Wolff and she would end up having a relationship with him for more than 40 years to the extent that his wife would know about it but he would have Wednesday I believe it was, to go spend time with her, devoted to his polygamous affair with her. Of course his wife didn't really like it. Towards the end of their life she would publicly berate him. She wasn't always very polite to him for obvious reasons.

But that's the trajectory that he was going on there and eventually towards the end of his life Richard Noll discusses the fact that he built a tower within which he would conduct his sexual liaisons with whatever women - I think Toni Wolff was the principal woman in his escapades or whatever you call it. But that sexual, Dionysian insanity was taking hold of him then from 1910 to 1913 and then as you discussed in the beginning of the show Harrison, in 1913 he had that experience where he went and he met with the "Aryan god the Ion", his "self" and then was anointed the Aryan Christ or whatever you want to call it.

After that by 1915 then you see that Jung is starting to guide his patients onto that same path and really using these same techniques that he used, active imagination, drawing, analyzing your drawings, analyzing your paintings, free association, basically just dissociating from the world in order to achieve individuation through rebirth. Again, that rebirth hinges on a giving of yourself up to unknown forces. To trust just anything willy-nilly! These people trusted Jung and he betrayed each and every one of their trusts by leading them on this path, on the altar of sacrifice really.

For a man like Jung who had such an open mind and to be so aware of these different forces, to not even think that some of them would be negative and use people!! But by that point he was used! By that point he had been corrupted. By 1915 you can see, like you said Elan, he's abusing his patients, Fanny Bowditch Katz and she had a heck of an experience with Jung where he would verbally abuse her during session to the point that she started to have an emotional breakdown and her cousin was a very high up academic in the US and he even told her "Get away from him. He's a bad guy. You don't want to go through it."

Harrison: He didn't go that far. Well maybe. Did he by the end?

Corey: Yeah. By the end he was writing to her and saying "Don't show these letters to Jung. I don't want Jung to see these letters" and he ended up joining the pro-Freudian camp. But you really see just how twisted and dark Jung allowed himself to become in pursuit of this aim for "rebirth". But now we really kind of see the fruits of it today in terms of the new age movement and this hedonistic gender plurality, this anti-objective approach to the world where anything goes. It's all just about power. There's no such thing as truth. It's really definitely fed into that post-modern ethic.

Elan: I would just add that while a lot of his ideas are very attractive, especially for someone who wants to get to the bottom of things, just the whole idea of becoming individuated, of growing to such a point that you're integrated and functioning and autonomous and doing those things that are true to your higher nature, if you want to say that, all of these are nice sentiments. Who doesn't want those things for themselves as stated? But the way you described it right now Corey is very much what I was thinking the other day when I was reading this, and that is that the trap of falling into the subjectivity of all the processes that Jung set as an example, "This is how I did it and you can do it too".

Harrison you said before that even if he qualified these experiences with the danger of losing your mind, of dying, it seems that he was still putting it out there in such a way so as to encourage people to join him in his cadre of psychoanalysts and engage his process. What else would it be there for but to do that and to grow his group? A lot of this enters the realm of the very highly subjective. You used a term before Harrison about entering the forest without being protected - I'm paraphrasing. There are dangers to be wary of. There are things in the unseen to be on the watch for. None of this seemed to have entered the equation in an objective way for Jung and unfortunately his whole body of work. The guy was prolific. You go to a book store and you see the 10, 12 or 15 volumes of his collective work and the Big Red Book which is so impressive and the impression is "Oh my god! This guy really thought everything through and he really had a grasp on things and look at his following."

Now there's a whole movement of Jungian therapists, not just therapists but Jungian therapists. Who knows how many of his ideas have been propagated? I've never been into Jungian therapy and I haven't read that much of Jung but it does seem as though the infrastructure of Jungian thought, the volumes, the unique therapy, his reputation, his cult of personality, all of these things have had a life force of its own after he died in 1961.

So I guess it's a real question as to how much of his work has affected western culture and thinking in ways that haven't been so apparent, that haven't been so obvious. Corey you mentioned a little bit ago about Nazi Germany. Peter Levenda has got a book Unholy Alliance which documents the amount of esoteric, mystical and occult organizations that were popping up and had actually been in vogue and engaged in, in the 1910 and 1920 and even the 1930s. So it just seems to me as though if all of these esoterica Pan-German, Aryan value were thought about and these rituals were engaged in, in support of a country that would create a Hitler and a Nazi movement, that on a much subtler level, Jung took a lot of these ideas, the subtle, liberal Volkisch ideas of the 1800s and earlier and took it in his own direction where its detrimental use was much more subtle in a way in distinction to or in contrast with the way that the Nazis had used a lot of these mythological ideas.

Harrison: I've got a few thoughts on that whole train of thought. I like one thing that Jordan Peterson says about Hitler, that Hitler wasn't necessarily driving the crowd but the crowd was driving Hitler and Hitler listening to what the crowd would tell him. He'd say something, judge the crowd's reaction and then if his joke didn't work he'd stop telling that joke and if the joke worked he'd continue telling it and he'd take it to the next level. In a sense Hitler was just using the material available to him. So the only reason that Nazism took the form of this Aryan master race was because those were the ideas in vogue at the time.

Aside from the identity and possible esoteric cult stuff too, these theories were all around and they wouldn't necessarily have led to a Hitler and Hitler capitalized on what was going on. So like you said Elan, that he and the Nazi movement in general took them to an extreme degree in the direction of pathocracy whereas Jung's ideas which were a version of what was popular at the time and what any academic would have accepted as real because the racial theories like those were just the mainstream science of the day. He took them in a slightly more subtle direction. So when we talk about the effect that Jungian thought has had on culture, I think it is a very subtle effect. Actually I think that probably the one good thing Jung did was write his books in code so all those crazy experience, no one would actually have them or have any idea that they were going on if they weren't involved in his inner circle or in the inner circles of any of his actual students.

What Jung essentially created was a mystery religion and a mystery religion is mysterious. Outsiders don't know what goes on, on the inside. It's deliberately kept secret. So if you're not part of the club, good for you because you're relatively safe because you're not part of the club if what the club is doing is shady in nature. So all that the general public has are his actual works which are relatively tame compared to what he was actually doing with the people he was personally involved with. So if anything it's a good thing that it worked out that way and that he did create a mystery cult as opposed to laying it all out there and having the same level of popularity without the mysterious, secretive element to it.

I'm going to be doing more research on this. I'm going to be doing more reading to see what I can see. But the one that jumps out at me now is this whole anima/animus thing. I want to get to that, but to preface, everyone has an idea about what the anima and animus are, right? There are multiple ideas.

Corey: Probably not everyone.

Harrison: It's in pop culture. Not having read any of Jung's work or even any books by Jungians, I'd heard of anima, what your anima is and even then without the words you have the watered down version of the feminine aspect of men and the masculine aspect of women and basically that it can be a good thing to balance those out. It sounds stupid but "get in touch with their feminine side" and women to "get in touch with their masculine side" and arguably that's a good thing. In careers women need to access a bit of their masculine nature in order to be assertive enough to get ahead in an environment that requires assertion and men arguably need to get in touch with a bit of their feminine side, for example when they have children. They have to be masculine of course, they have to be fathers but there needs to be a compassionate element there as well.

So arguably on the pop psychology level, the idea makes sense and there's something to it but there are at least two things that are surprising about what Jung actually thought about the anima and animus. Like I mentioned earlier in the show, he would actually have conversations with his anima. She took on an autonomous personality form where he would even be talking in her voice, in a high falsetto and be carrying out conversations. He was basically channeling his anima and she took the form of an autonomous being and I think in his visions she was actually the woman that I mentioned in his vision at the very top of the show, Salome, who told him that he was the Christ.

But on the other hand I also mentioned that sex role reversal thing and there's this idea that is in a lot of Jung's works, the union of opposites. There are two directions we can go with that. One of course is the union of masculine and the feminine and I think that human nature is plastic enough that a small suggestion can have a big effect. I wouldn't be surprised if that idea just trickling through the meme space would be enough to facilitate what we see currently with the levels of gender dysphoria going on and all of the gender philosophy.

Now I don't think that there's much of a direct link between Jung and the gender theorists. There may be but if there is it's not obvious and it's not used as any kind of backing by these people. They don't cite Jung. They just have their ideas. If there is a Jungian influence there, probably the vast majority of them aren't even aware of it. But the other direction that this union of opposites thing can go in is one that I was kind of getting to earlier when I was talking about his whole technique and method and lack of preparation, lack of caution and lack of even the notion that what he's doing might be dangerous, but also with this whole Otto Gross thing.

So this union of good and evil where the purpose of an initiation of a psychoanalysis is to break down the old personality which is arguably a good thing, or at least it can be a good thing because there's no growth without the death of what has come before. Without breaking down that stasis, that previous personality in order for something new to come about, there's no growth without that kind of process. But what we see with Jung, it's as if it's not a positive disintegration but a negative disintegration and reintegration because what happens in that disintegrative state is that it becomes a totally relativized state where there is no good and evil. Jung has even written words to that effect there in Noll's book. That was Gross's philosophy where you break down the personality. You get rid of your old notions of good and evil - and again that can be a good thing because sometimes in a lot of people's lives they'll think one way, which is wrong, they'll think something is good when it's bad or vice versa and they need to go through a painful process of disillusionment in order to get their thoughts together and to re-appraise and re-assess their values and thereby adopt a new hierarchy of values.

But with Jungianism it seems you break that down, you destroy your previous notions of good and evil, but what do you replace it with? With Jung, like you mentioned Corey, it's back to this basic barbarian level of animal nature. Well of course Jung thought that in the initiation what broke down was your animal nature, but he had a different idea of what the animal nature was and what came after it.

So this comes back to his ideas about polygamy because one of the things that Gross thought was that going against your repressions, going against the societal rules of sexuality and getting in touch with that primal nature, for these guys that was a magical process. It would unleash the ancient creative energy to the point where this was part Jung's philosophy where he would recommend polygamy to his male patients. And he'd recommend it to the women. If it was themselves he'd recommend it. If it was their husbands he'd say "That's just the way it is. You've got to let this happen because that's just the best state of humanity."

I don't know if it was necessary for the individuation process that that encounter with the unconscious was necessary but I haven't seen enough to know that if Jung thought it was necessary for everyone. I'm not sure about that. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn't. We're going to end the show pretty quick. We might come back to Jung next week too or at least we'll talk a bit about him and then move on to some related topic.

Elan: Harrison, I'd just like to add one anecdotal thing to what you just said. In the late 1960s in the US in particular, there was the summer of love, a culture of free love, having sex with anyone you want, experimenting with drugs, with "spirituality" and it seems to me that if Jung planted the seeds of this, I guess he would call it Pan...

Harrison: Pan-sexuality?

Elan: Pan-sexuality, George Harrison of the Beatles had once gone to the Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco at the height of this and there was no one more open-minded than Harrison in looking at eastern religion, at experimentation with drugs. He saw what was going on and he was disgusted with it. So it seems to me that it's at least possible to consider that Jung had planted the seeds of these ideas where free-thinking, open-mindedness, spiritual connection, free love, experimentation with drugs - and I could be taking it a bit far - but at the very least it might be a kind of cultural example of what that looks like.

Harrison: Yeah. Regardless of his direct influence, that's the manifestation of it.

Elan: Yes. So I just wanted to add that in there.

Corey: Yeah, I don't want to argue that Jung caused the postmodern movement or anything, but his aim was not necessarily to attack Christianity, but to undermine the Christian values, if you want to say, that western civilization has been drawing on for the past 2,000 years or so. That was his aim and he had connections to powerful people. John D. Rockefeller's daughter got analyzed by Jung and ended up donating - I think Richard Noll says something like $2 million in 1997 figure - to Jung as well as getting all of his works translated, spending copious amount of money to get his works translated into English. Her husband was proselytized by Jung and you could maybe say that that was a tip of the iceberg that could have had an effect that spread throughout the upper echelons of power.

But like what we touched on in previous shows, it's just the kind of reversion that Jung represented and that that force, in and of itself, represents in the world because you can maybe say that Jung is like a window into that. When you analyze his real life, he was a window into it that burst forth and just magnified it that much more in the world. But that force was rampant in pre-Christian eras. If that was our religion, it wasn't positive, it was fairly Dionysic and crazy and it wasn't constructive. The order that our society is built on required that Christian mythos, that Christian spirit of truth and sacrifice that has lasted for however many years that nurtured the growth of science and philosophy and the yearning to discover the truth that are the noblest things in our civilization, that are the greatest, not the worst things that we need to get rid of.

Obviously there are horrors conducted in the name of religion but there are also people influenced by religion that went on to make massive discoveries, technological, scientific, that have led us to the point that we are at today. Those anti-Christian, anti-science, anti-objective reality, I think Jung really magnified them to his followers, just gave them a voice to speak directly to his followers so to speak, and they probably did have a fairly big impact on the world, I imagine through their relationships.

Harrison: He also analyzed Allan Dulles' wife.

Corey: Oh yeah, that's true.

Harrison: On what you just said Corey, let me catch my thought again. It descended into the underworld to be sacrificed. Oh, what I was going to say is I think that Jung was kind of like a politician because what politicians do is that they decide on a policy without knowing if it's going to work. They identify a problem. Oftentimes the problem doesn't exist but oftentimes the problem does exist and then they decide what the solution is going to be and they implement the solution without knowing if it's going to work. And rarely does it actually work.

Then politicians of course, because they don't have skin in the game, don't usually face consequences for their actual errors. It's usually something totally unrelated to their actual job performance. But Jung did identify a problem and the problem was there and I think that's the reason that there was this whole revival in the 19th century and early 20th century in Germany, looking for something new because there was something stale and corrupt and ossified about the church, for instance.

We can see that today too, where if you look at the actual church - and what I mean by the church is the big institutional Christian organizations where they don't have a lot going for them. They do have something going for them but the criticisms of them are valid except that Jung's solution was a totally wrong-headed solution. He said at one point that the cultural renewal could only come from within Christianity and he was right about that, but he didn't really mean what it seems like he meant from that, like you've made clear Corey. He was really about getting to something primal beneath Christianity, if anything just using some Christian imagery and language to make the ideas palatable.

But he wasn't interested in renewing society from within that society. He was interested in going to arguably a deeper level, what he perceived as a deeper level and then throwing some of the baby out with the bathwater through the rejection of the current civilizational model. Whereas we mentioned Collingwood a week or two ago, or both, and what he has to say about history and progress is very a propos in that any progress has to be a re-arrangement of the present using elements of the present, only getting rid of those elements that are not useful anymore, but keeping all of the ones that worked.

Jung didn't have an idea of what actually worked. I don't think that he had adequately thought through and analyzed current society of his time, to be able to see what was necessary to keep and what wasn't. Instead he went in this really strange direction to unleash these primal, savage energies that probably wasn't the best choice or the wisest decision. He chose poorly, as one of my heroes would say.

Corey: I just want to take the opportunity to juxtapose his approach to the problems of society with Jordan Peterson's because they're so stark, so different.

Harrison: Yeah.

Corey: You don't hear Jordan Peterson saying "Okay, now lie down on the couch. Close your eye. Pretend that you're a lion-headed god. Now go fly to the seventh gate. When you get to the seventh gate take a right. No, his approach is very practical and I think the biggest difference is that people like Jung and what they offer is an escape. It's not practical. It doesn't give anything really fundamentally good to other people. If it does it's only by accident. But this whole magician, sorcerer type way of approaching life, for some people that's their calling, that's their shtick, but for the majority of mankind, for people who want to live a successful life, who want to enjoy the time that we have here with integrity, you look at Jordan Peterson and he tells you to clean your room.

Harrison: Yeah. {laughter}

Corey: Why didn't Carl Jung just tell everybody to clean their room?

Harrison: Exactly.

Elan: Peterson is saying start where you are, improve your life in the most basic ways and stop trying to improve the world in this wholesale, knock-everything-down-to-start-anew fantasy which is crucial and as we've been talking about, one of the big problems of our time. That's pretty much exactly what Jung wanted to do with his elite group of Aryan Jungians. He wanted to, like you were saying earlier Harrison, he didn't want to work with existing structures. It seems he wanted to start something almost completely different, according to his own idea of how things should be. It's interesting to note that he also had statements that Jews couldn't be part of his group or if they were, then they could only be a minimal percentage, or he would refer them to Adler and Freud because they were Jewish and that type of analysis and growth could only really benefit them if they went to a Jewish analyst.

How ass backwards is that?! I don't know. I do know. It's pretty bad! So there was a bit of elitism on the part of Jung, wanting to make the world into his own image to some degree and the hubris and arrogance that's implied in that I think is very dangerous and maybe also one of his legacies among people on the left. The other day I was reading an article by a radical feminist who said "Only vote for a feminist for politics. We don't need men and we're entitled to hate men". It's such a myopic vision to see everything out of the political ideology that you've chosen to identify with. So I guess that is something in a tiny way, or maybe not so tiny a way, that these leftist ideologues have in common with Jung; it's wanting to tear down and recreate things in their own self-aggrandizing image.

Harrison: Alright. On that note we're going to end for today. We'll be back next week to I think get a bit deeper into some of these topics. We'll take it in a few other directions. I think maybe we'll look at the savage energies of the Hellenistic mystery cults a bit and maybe some more on what psychotherapy should actually look like and maybe a better approach to personality development. We'll see about that. But anyway, thanks guys, thanks Elan, thanks Corey and thanks to all our listeners. We'll see you next week so everyone take care.

Elan: Bye everyone.

Corey: Bye.