Memory of C.G. Jung by Jutta Von Graevenitz
It may have been in the year 1932 when, arriving at the Stuttgart railroad station, my husband and I noticed near the train a merry and lively group of people.
They obviously had come to meet a tall, strong, middle-aged man, well dressed and impressive. I recognized one of the people in the group, a Dr. Stockmeyer, whom I knew to
be friendly with C. G. Jung; I therefore guessed that it was C. G. Jung who was being welcomed here.
I had read all of Jung’s writings then in existence, and I took a good look at him.
“He looks like a corporation president,” my husband said.
So that was Jung.
I had given up my profession as a doctor after my marriage to the sculptor and painter Fritz von Graevenitz . I preferred caring for my husband and children to working in medicine.
Secretly, however, I longed for an analysis as a chance of finding my own inner way. This wish seemed beyond fulfillment. In those days, people in general knew nothing of analysis.
Freud was in bad repute-in the still quire Victorian (bourgeois) world he was considered offensive.
In the next few years an early depression became apparent in our little daughter.
In 1936 I went with the child to Julie Aichele, who was the first Jungian trained child therapist in Germany. I was counseled to start analysis myself.
In this way the wished for analysis became feasible.
Early in 1937 my husband and I participated in a conference of a group which had developed out of the Christian youth movement.
C. G. Jung and the Lutheran bishop Staehlin , well known in Germany, spoke on the relation between depth psychology and Christian religion.
I thought Jung far superior to the forceful and lively bishop.
It turned out that this conference at Koenigsfeld in the Black Forest was Jung’s last sojourn in Nazi Germany. At that conference, under the impression of Jung’s personality, the decision was made that I would myself become an analyst.
I saw in this a chance for satisfying and fascinating work.
In those days it was by no means a matter of course for a wife and mother of four children to take up her own profession, but circumstances in Germany at that time and my husband’s increasing eye trouble brought it about that the difficulties which had seemed insurmountable could be resolved.
In the following year Julie Aichele rook me with her to Zurich.
I met Emma Jung and was received with much warmth. This was the time when the peril and infamy of Hider’s policies were gradually being recognized .
So I , as a German, did not feel at ease in the Psychological Club of the Zuricher Gemeindestrasse.
So much the more comforting was the atmosphere of the House at Kusnacht.
In 1938 my husband’s eye affliction, a consequence of a wound suffered in the first world war, necessitated a prolonged stay at a Swiss eye clinic. I knew that our four children were in good hands; I wanted to use this time to complete psychotherapeutic training in Zurich.
That Jung himself accepted me for analysis was a ray of light in those hard rimes . As I again stood in from of the house in Kusnacht I was seized by an almost insuperable dread: as a German, because of National Socialism, I felt almost like an outcast from human society.
Above the door were the solemn words: “Vocatus argue non vocatus Deus aderit.”
Bur what was in store for me in this analysis?
When I sat face to face with Jung, I knew right away that I was not only admired, bur accepted to such a degree as I had never been accepted before.
During these months I saw Jung at his office in Kusnacht, in the Zuricher Gemeindestrasse-the later Institute-and at his lectures at E.T.H. The subjects of the lectures and seminars were children’s dreams, Zarathustra, and a review of the “Dream of Poliphilo.”
Although every word was then important to me, I no longer remember much of what I heard; it has long since entered into my way of thinking and working and into my own life.
But the figure of Jung himself stands clearly before me: each word and gesture full of intensity, in living contact with his audience, asking for the participation of each, often not altogether without the unspoken question: “May I say this?”
He was totally involved in each instant. Ideas came like a swarm of fast flying birds; yet in all richness and brilliance they always circled around the subject.
His ideas brought what he meant to the hearer’s understanding with an often enlightened completeness.
While speaking, Jung constantly rook off his glasses and then put them on again; he sought eye contact with his audience and found it indispensable.
I had heard many good and famous speakers, but there, I felt , was something unique .
In the fall of 1939 the war starred, and with that it became impossible for Germans to travel abroad. For me this was a grave interference with the begun analysis and seemed at first hardly bearable.
But now I know that the separation from Jung brought about more independence than I could have achieved in •steady contact with him.
I didn’t want to belong to the band of women disciples that surrounded him; buy the attraction of his personality would probably have been overpowering also for me.
Today I think I can sense that also for him, in his great inner loneliness, the unconditional support of this band was almost a necessity.
After the war the world reopened itself only very slowly to the Germans.
In the year 1950 and the years after that I was invited by the Geneva branch of the World Council of Churches for several consultations about marriage problems, and that is how it was possible for me to be again in Kusnacht.
It was like a homecoming to walk through the door of the Kusnacht house, warmly received by Mrs. Jung.
She had helped us mightily with packages during the years of want. During one of my visits-Jung himself was not in Kusnacht-a swarm of grandchildren roared around the usually so quiet house.
When I asked how many there were now, Mrs. Jung looked a bit embarrassed . “Nineteen!” she said.
What I now received from C. G . Jung, in this new phase of my life, was actually no longer analysis; it was the help of one who through his own unique experience had become a wise man.
He always took my dreams very seriously. Perhaps he found through them something like a confirmation of his own way, as he surely did from the unconscious of others who have confided in him and to whom he opened whatever their own way was.
Twelve years before, his support had made it possible for me to feel more secure within myself, in my marriage and toward my children and patients.
Now I received decisive help in the search for my own path in relation to religious tradition.
I am deeply grateful to him that, much as he needed concurrence, he was nonetheless able to refrain from drawing me into the way of searching for God’s image that was valid for him , and that instead he gave me the freedom to seek my own path and to find it.
These events happened almost thirty years ago. My last memory of Jung is still painful to me today.
I see him standing in the doorway of the office, almost like a shy child-he was bringing me the “Answer to Job.”
It could be clearly felt that Jung expected a reaction and needed agreement. But I had been startled by this book and at first found no answer .
Then came the years of my husband’s illness and death.
Exactly a year later Jung died. During those last years, when the “Answer to Job” had long since become self-evident me and when I thought of it as a practically inevitable book, I neglected to get in touch with Jung once more and tell him this .
Such omissions cannot be made up. Life went on and the feeling of guilt remained. It stands together with my deep gratitude.
What I received from Jung is in separately entwined with my work and with my own life.
The encounter with him was like a fructifying rain that fell at the right time. ~C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff – A Collection of Remembrances; Pages 27-31.
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