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Teaching Jung$

Kelly Bulkeley and Clodagh Weldon

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735426.001.0001

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Misprision

Misprision

Pitfalls in Teaching Jung in a University Religious Studies Department

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Misprision
Source:
Teaching Jung
Author(s):

David L. Miller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735426.003.0003

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reflects on forty years of experience of teaching Jung in a religious studies department. It discusses five major pedagogical pitfalls that can emerge when teaching Jung: a temptation to read Jungian thought in opposition to Freudian thought; a temptation to spiritualize Jung; a temptation to read Jung's notion of archetypes of the collective unconscious, as well as his views on anima and animus, as essentialist and essentializing; a temptation to view Jung's logic and rhetoric as “Gnostic”; and a temptation to read Jung's interpretations of art, religion, and culture as reductively psychologistic. In assessing these pitfalls, the chapter argues that misreading Jung ultimately leads to “misteaching” Jung.

Keywords:   Jung, pedagogy, religious studies, Freud, gnostic, archetypes, anima, animus, psychologistic

I taught Jungian psychology in the context of religious studies from 1963 until 2004, first at Drew University in New Jersey (1963–1967) and then at Syracuse University in upstate New York (1967–2001) and Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California (1989–2004). The courses at these institutions were at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and they often involved Jung's thinking in relation to Freud or to latter-day Freudians and Jungians (e.g., Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, James Hillman, and Wolfgang Giegerich), as well as Jungian psychology in relation to specific thematics (e.g., the problem of language, postmodern critical theory, mythology, folktale, and theology). During this forty-year tenure, I also taught Jungian psychology to analytic training candidates in the context of Jungian institutes (e.g., in Zurich, New York, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Kyoto). In my experience of attempting to teach Jungian material, I increasingly became aware of what I thought of as pedagogical pitfalls, and it is some of these pitfalls that I want to address in this chapter. I take the pitfalls to be misreadings—hence, misteachings—about Jung.

In his Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Freud had warned about “misreadings” (Verlesen) as one type of Fehlleistungen, literally “failed performances” or “slips,” awkwardly translated in the Standard Edition as “parapraxes.”1 He thought that they carry illusions based on repressed unconscious wishes concerning the reading matter. Similarly, Harold Bloom spoke about “misprisions” (literally (p.30) “mis-takes”), insisting that all readings are readings or “takes,” presentations rather than representations, productive rather than reproductive, and poiesis rather than mimesis, and Bloom advocated for strong rather than weak misreading, that is, a clineman that “swerves” away from the influence of tradition so as to be creative.2 The problem remains that some interpreters and teachers imagine that their misprision or their “reading” is transparent to that about which they are speaking, that it is not, say, a “reading” of Jung, but a re-presentation of Jung's own thought.

I am aware that Jung was a seminal thinker, and as in the cases of other seminal thinkers like Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche, the text of an originative author's works may itself over time swerve from itself, even “misread” itself.3 I do know that in a corpus like that of Jung's, any given reader may find counterevidence for a different or even an opposite reading to the one laid before her or him. But I believe that in the case of Jung, in doing a close textual analysis, one can make a critical case for preferred and mature points of view by taking into account the movement of thinking over time, the differences between metapsychological theorizing and thinking based on clinical practice,4 and the nature of the audience of particular essays (popular or scholarly). However, an additional caveat is needed.

Even with an attempt at such a careful critical textual analysis, I am also well aware that my reading of Jung in this chapter, like any other, is itself a take or a reading or a presentation, and therefore my argument in this chapter about the pitfalls in reading and teaching Jung is possibly itself a misprision, possibly a weak rather than a strong misreading based on my own unconscious wishes and illusions. That, to be sure, is a pitfall in noting pitfalls. Jung was himself clear about this matter of epistemological reticence. He wrote: “I consider my contribution to psychology to be my subjective confession. It is my personal psychology, my prejudice that I see psychological facts as I do. I admit that I see things in such and such a way.”5 This is not an isolated sentiment. It is typical of Jung's metatheoretical perspective, as one can see in this earlier statement: “Philosophical criticism has helped me to see that every psychology—my own included—has the character of a subjective confession… Even when I deal with empirical data, I am necessarily speaking about myself.”6 “Philosophical criticism” in this sentence probably refers to Jung's reading of a Kantian perspective that, according to Jung, calls for epistemological humility concerning the logical and ontological status of that which is the object of one's imagined knowledge. This observation about the nature of knowing will be assumed in relation to the pitfalls of teaching Jung that I should like to highlight.

I will look at five of what I take to be pitfalls. The reader will recognize them as criticisms that have been typically leveled at Jung. To be sure, Jung himself, as well as many Jungians after him, is vulnerable to these criticisms. But the pitfall is to give in naϯvely to them, making them hermeneutical temptations. The naϯveté consists in succumbing to generalizations about Jungian psychology that simplify what turn out to be complex matters on a closer and more thorough reading of Jung's text.

(p.31) The pitfalls to which I believe the teacher of Jung is tempted are principally these: (1) a temptation to read Jungian thought over against and opposed to Freudian thought; (2) a temptation to spiritualize Jung, reading him as positive about religion (as opposed to Freud who is read as negative about religion); (3) a temptation to read Jung's notion of archetypes of the collective unconscious, as well as his views on anima and animus, as essentialist and essentializing; (4) a temptation to view Jung's logic and rhetoric as “Gnostic,” being ahistorical, amoral, and negative about the body; and (5) a temptation to read Jung's interpretations of art, religion, and culture as reductively psychologistic, reducing what is transpersonal to the personal. I hope in what follows to make these matters more complex than they seem to some of Jung's critics. I shall treat them one by one.

Jung against Freud

The first pitfall is controversial. I want to work against the prevailing view that Jungian and Freudian perspectives are completely in opposition to each other. This is a difficult matter, since Jung himself went to great lengths to distance himself from his former friend and colleague. And as is well known, Freud returned the favor! I will not speculate on the reasons for this desire for separation and opposition after 1913 (when Jung was thirty-eight years old and Freud was fifty-seven). Surely, there were personal, psychological, political, and ideological reasons. But suffice it to say that my view is that the theoretical differences are, for whatever reasons, artificially exaggerated by both thinkers and that teaching Jung as an anti-Freudian does not do justice to the psychology of either. Even the rhetorical tone of Jung's statements about Freud after their split smacks a bit of “methinks he protesteth too much.” Let me give some examples.

Jung came to feel that Freud was driven by “power,”7 that he was “dogmatic,”8 that he “placed personal authority above truth,”9 that his explanations were reductive,10 that he was a “bitter man,”11 that he was attempting to “outdo the Church and canonize a theory,”12 and that his theories, against the complexities of the psyche, were “one-sided.”13 For Jung, one-sidedness is a characteristic of neurosis, and it manifests as “nothing but” explanations. So Jung wrote: “Freud had to invent a system to protect people, and himself, against the reality of the unconscious, by putting a most depreciatory explanation upon these things, an explanation that always begins with ‘nothing but.’ ”14

This strikes one as overstatement, especially in light of other comments in the same book from which much of this characterization of Freud comes (Memories, Dreams, Reflections). For example, Jung writes that Freud was terribly important to him during his Burgholzi years because Freud put “psychology [i.e., soul] into psychiatry.”15 And Jung even says that Freud “had the courage to let the case material speak for itself…. He saw with the patient's eyes…and so reached a deeper understanding of mental illness than had hitherto been possible. In this respect he (p.32) was free of bias, courageous, and succeeded in overcoming a host of prejudices.”16 This hardly sounds like the same person who was one-sided, dogmatic, reductive, and authoritarian! Besides, Ernest Wallwork, in discussing how to read Freud's texts, has marshaled an enormous amount of evidence to show that Freud was anything but reductive, one-sided, dogmatic, and authoritarian.17

Wallwork's evidence demonstrates that Freud was aware that his metapsychology was constituted of “similes,” “metaphors,” and “myths”18 and that it was “speculative,” “hypothetical,” and “incomplete.”19 Freud announced that his theories were changing and he was open to further “changes” by others. He even said that he would not abide “rigidity” in theoretical definitions and argument.20 This openness is required since there is much about the psyche that is “unknown” and in principle unknowable.21 But in spite of this testimony, the negative characterization of Freud persists, not only by Jung and Jungians. This phenomenon may well be a case of stereotyping.

Jung was especially critical of Freud in regard to what Jung thought of as one-sided sexual theory, his view of the unconscious as past repressions, his reductive interpretation of dream symbolism, and what Jung took to be his regressive method of interpretation by free association. But of all of these reticences, the real sticking point in Jung's wish to distance himself from Freud seemed to be Jung's critique of what he took to be Freud's one-sidedness and reductionism with regard to sex.

Jung was adamant. “He [Freud] would not grant that factors other than sexuality could be the cause [of repression and neuroses in particular cases].”22 “I never could bring myself to be so frightfully interested in these sex cases. They do exist, there are people with a neurotic sex life and you have to talk sex stuff with them until they get sick of it and you get out of that boredom. Naturally, with my temperamental attitude, I hope to goodness we shall get through with the stuff as quickly as possible. It is neurotic stuff and no reasonable normal person talks of it for any length of time. It is not natural to dwell on such matters.”23 “I could not decide to what extent this strong emphasis [by Freud] upon sexuality was connected with subjective prejudices.”24 “Freud was emotionally involved in his sexual theory to an extraordinary degree”;25 “…for him sexuality was a sort of numinosum,”26 a “deus absconditus, a hidden or concealed god.”27 So Jung said: “I could not share F's almost exclusive interest in sex. Assuredly sex plays no small role among human motives, but in many cases it is secondary to hunger, the power drive, ambition, fanaticism, envy, revenge, or the devouring passion of the creative impulse and the religious spirit.”28

To complicate this issue, one first needs to observe that Freud, in his later theory, added ego instincts to his theory about libido,29 a matter that Jung notes,30 but without modifying his criticism. Freud in fact said straightforwardly that he “could not fail to notice that the causation of illness did not always point to sexual life,”31 and he goes on to give other etiologies.

But the main complicating factor, not noted by Jung, is the meaning of “sexuality” in Freud's argument, a significance that Freud alludes to in his essay on “Wild Analysis,” in which Freud is critical of a doctor who gives sexual advice to a woman, urging her to get a lover or to masturbate in order to be rid of her neurosis. Freud says: (p.33)

His [the doctor's] advice to the lady shows clearly in what sense he understands the expression “sexual life”—in the popular sense, namely, in which by sexual needs nothing is meant but the need for coitus or analogous acts producing orgasm and emission of sexual secretions. The physician cannot have been unaware, however, that psychoanalysis is commonly reproached with having extended the connotation of the term “sexual” far beyond its usual range… In psychoanalysis the term “sexuality” comprises far more; it goes lower and also higher than the popular sense of the word…we reckon as belonging to “sexual life” all expressions of tender feeling…even when those feelings have become inhibited in regard to their original sexual aim or have exchanged this aim for another which is no longer sexual. For this reason we prefer to speak of psychosexuality, thus laying stress on the point that the mental factor should not be overlooked or underestimated. We use the word sexuality in the same comprehensive sense as that in which the German language uses the word lieben (to love)… As therapists, we have constantly to remember that the unsatisfied sexual trends (the substitutive satisfactions of which in the form of nervous symptoms we have to combat) can often find only very inadequate outlet in coitus or other sexual acts.32

In attempting to distance himself from Freud, Jung may have been making the same error as the doctor Freud is describing. At least in the language of his negative criticism Jung does not discriminate between sex understood as adult genital sexuality and psychosexuality understood as childhood libido (“polymorphous perversity,” “infantile sexuality”). The latter refers to a very early period in psychological development, just after birth, when every wish and desire can be fulfilled by reference to the body. At such a time, on Freud's view, what will be seen as “barriers” to a later developed view of genital organization do not exist. For example, there is no barrier to bodily pleasure with different species (doggie, kitty, teddy bear), with what will be later found to be disgusting (feces, soapsuds, finger paint), with members of one's immediate family (mommy, daddy, sister), with members of the same sex, and with other organs besides the genitalia (thumb, ear).33 On this view, the opposite to sexuality is not chastity; the opposite of eroticism is, rather, not being in touch with and not taking pleasure in matter and in one's own body.34 Polymorphous perversity is playful and without practical purpose (reproduction), but it is also realistic and down to earth. Freud thought that this form of eroticism was early in life encouraged and affirmed by parental authorization, but that later it was repressed when psychosocial development reacted to the demands of civilization (school, business, family). However, Freud theorized that this childhood form of psychosexuality remained as an unconscious factor in everyone's makeup, a factor that could return in a form that, from some perspectives, will be thought to be “perverse.”35

The fact is that early in their friendship, Jung agreed with Freud about this, even against the tide of a criticism that he would himself later adopt. Jung (p.34) wrote in 1908: “The public can forgive Freud least of all for his sexual symbolism. In my view he is really easiest to follow here, because this is just where mythology, expressing the fantasy-thinking of all races, has prepared the ground in the most instructive way. I would only mention the writings of Steinthal in the 1860s, which prove the existence of a widespread sexual symbolism in the mythological records and the history of languages. I also recall the eroticism of our poets and their allegorical or symbolical expressions.”36 Even toward the end of his life, Jung said: “It is a widespread error to imagine that I do not see the value of sexuality.”37 Jung called it “the other [i.e., repressed] face of God” and the “chthonic spirit.”38

But even more to the point of how close Jung was to Freud on the matter of stressing the fulfillment of the pleasure and destiny of the human spirit by way of the body (psychosexuality, eros) are Jung's comments on the body in his seminars from 1934 to 1939 on Nietzsche's Zarathustra. Here is a sample: “We should emphasize the body, for thus we give body to concepts, to words… We should return to the body in order to create spirit again; without body there is no spirit because spirit is a volatile substance of the body. The body is the alembic, the retort, in which materials are cooked, and out of that process develops the spirit, the effervescent thing that rises.”39

The allusions to “alembic” and “retort” refer to alchemy. Jung's psychological utilization of alchemical metaphors—as opposed to the perspectives implied by the images and symbols of Christian theology and other spiritualities and ideologies—is precisely for the reason that in the alchemical laboratory the spirit and soul of the theorizing in the oratory is always seen by way of the transformations in matter and materiality; that is, embodied desire and wishes are fulfilled in the body and never manifest apart from embodiment.40 Indeed, Jung was insistent on soul being made real in the body.41

This strong affirmation of body in the Zarathustra seminars, along with Freud's view of psychosexuality as the fulfillment of wishes widely (polymorphously) in relation to the body, complicates attempts, including those of Jung and Freud themselves, to distinguish their theories on the basis of different views of an erotic psychological theory. One might also recall Jung's statement quoted by Lewis Mumford in his New Yorker review of Memories, Dreams, Reflections: “When I die probably no one will realize that the old man in the coffin was once a great lover.”42 Jungians sometimes do not acknowledge these complexities when they attempt to spiritualize Jung's psychology or demonize Freud's.

Positive about Religion

There is a second shibboleth about Jung, again in relation to Freud, an oversimplification that can lure the unwitting teacher of Jung into a pitfall of clarity precisely at a point where things are complex and not entirely clear. This temptation has to do with Jung's view of religion over against what is taken to be Freud's view of religion. This is a special temptation when Jungian psychology is taught in the context of religious studies programs.

(p.35) The popular view is that Freud was negative about religion (religion is a “universal obsessional neurosis”)43 and that Jung was positive about religion (religions are “psychotherapeutic systems”).44 But this is not the whole story, as I have attempted to demonstrate elsewhere.45

Jung indeed seemed to be positive about religion when he announced that “Christ is a symbol of the self.”46 But which “Christ” was he invoking? On close reading, it becomes apparent that it is not the “Christ” of orthodox theology or typical pious practice. Rather, it was a Christology amplified psychologically by adding shadow psychology (Satan) and anima (a feminine component). Jung thought that “Christ” needed to be transformed back “into the sooth-saying god of the vine.”47 Similarly, Jung wrote about the importance of the Christian Eucharist as a crucial psychological symbol for the process of individuation in psychoanalysis. But to what idea of the “Mass” was Jung referring? It was a Holy Communion interpreted from the barbarous pagan rites of the Aztec Teoqualo (human sacrifice) and seen through a prism of the ancient alchemy of Zosimos's visions in which the priest eats himself.48 Jung thought that theologies needed therapeutic adjustment if they were to be psychologically realistic. He believed, as he said in a letter to Freud, that contemporary religion was a “misery institute” and that it had lost the purpose of the original myth and cult: namely, “a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal.”49 In the Tavistock Lectures, Jung said straightforwardly: “My problem is to wrestle with the big monster of the human mind, the problem of Christianity. Other people are not worried by such problems, they do not care about the historical burdens Christianity has heaped upon us… It's a tremendous human problem.”50

Freud was worried about this problem, as was Jung. But though Freud was as critical as Jung concerning religion used as an opiate or a crutch, not everything in Freud's corpus is negative about religion, any more than everything is positive in Jung's texts. In 1935, when he was seventy-nine years old, Freud added the following sentence to the “Autobiographical Study”: “My deep engrossment in the Bible story (almost as soon as I had learnt the art of reading) had, as I recognized much later, an enduring effect upon the direction of my interest.”51 In a “Postscript” to the same work written in 1935, Freud speaks of “an alteration in myself ” that “might be described as a regressive development.” He explains: “My interest, after making a lifelong détour through the natural sciences, medicine and psychotherapy, returned to the cultural problems which had fascinated me long before, when I was a youth scarcely old enough for thinking.”52 He then names three of his works on religion (Totem and Taboo, Future of an Illusion, and Civilization and Its Discontents) as instances of this authentic interest. Further, it is not altogether clear that the work Moses and Monotheism, published posthumously in the same year that Freud died (1939), is negative about religion. Though iconoclastic, it can hardly be conceived as psychologically resistant to religion's symbols and images. David Bakan and Yosef Yerushalmi have both written very strong historical works on the indebtedness to religion, particularly Judaism, of Freud's central ideas.53 A person wanting to make the case that Freud was dogmatically negative about religion (p.36) needs to account for and explain the positive passages in the Freudian text, as well as confront and counter the historical accounts of Bakan and Yerushalmi.54 Will Herberg has gone so far as to argue that Freud's iconoclastic perspective is nearer to the authentic Jewish and Christian perspective of the Bible than are the perspectives of Freudian revisionists (e.g., Erich Fromm and Jules Masserman) who attempt to soften Freud's critique.55

In short, Jung was not unambiguously positive about religion, at least in its conventional and traditional forms, and Freud was by no means unambiguously negative. The two men split from each other just at the time that they were each researching and writing on religious subject matter (Jung's Symbols of Transformation and Freud's Totem and Taboo). Their conversations concerning their research, recorded in the letters between them, demonstrate that religious issues were very important to both of them for clinical, as well as theoretical, reasons.

Essentialism

A third pitfall in the teaching of Jung is to concede the common charge against Jung of essentialism, a particularly sensitive issue in current gender discussions and other postmodern critical theory (for example, Naomi Goldenberg's Returning Words to Flesh: Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and the Resurrection of the Body). The charge goes something like this: by assuming that psychological imagery has collective archetypal status and intentionality, one implies a world of essences and essential forms of human meaning (the opinionated feminine, the ungrounded puer, the senex curmudgeon, the great mother nurturer, the wise old man, and so on). The problem with this implication of Jung's view of the archetypes of the collective unconscious and the process of individuation—so goes the critique—is that it does not have adequate regard for the otherness of the divine or for the otherness of other persons. It elides not only the “infinite qualitative distinction” (Kierkegaard) between the divine and the human, the transpersonal and the personal, but also confuses the fundamental differences of persons of various races, classes, and genders. This criticism is, however, unsophisticated about the notion of archetype. Ironically, it is a criticism that itself elides difference. It fails to draw upon an important difference, a difference that is poignantly illustrated by an anecdote concerning Jung's relationship to the historian of religions, Mircea Eliade.

In the context of their friendship at Eranos Conferences in Ascona, Switzerland, Eliade, late in 1954, sent Jung a French copy of his then new book on yoga.56 Eliade writes in that work about what he takes to be the archetypal significance of mandala images within South Asian yogic context, and he quotes Jung in support of his point about these being structurally archetypal (i.e., essences). Eliade clearly thought that he was agreeing with what he took to be Jung's universal and essentialist point on the appearance of similar imagery in the spontaneous drawings of psychotherapeutic patients. But much to (p.37) Eliade's astonishment, instead of receiving a pleasant thank-you note and gratitude for the reference, Jung sent a very critical letter.57

After thanking Eliade briefly for the book, Jung said that he was offended by the reference. “I am happy to possess such a mine of information [on yoga]. I was somewhat surprised, however, to find that you had not been able to grant me normal intelligence and scientific responsibility.”58 Jung repeats this at the end of the letter:

There is a psychological problem here which I cannot explain. On the one hand, you make the very kind and generous gesture of sending me your book; on the other, you seem to consider me so idiotic as never even to have thought about the nature of the unconscious. How have I merited this ill-will? From the moment when I had the honour and pleasure of making your acquaintance personally, I have never felt anything other than admiration and esteem for your great work, and I would be distressed to have offended you without knowing it. I hope that you will not be angry with me for writing this long importunate letter, but I do not like to let a hidden sore fester. Needless to say how grateful I would be to you for a few words of explanation!59

It goes without saying that there is a disagreement!

The issue seems to be that Eliade had described what he called the “apish” (French simiesque) imitation in India of mandala images, constructing them for purposes of meditation. Then he asserted that these were the same (universal, general) as the mandala images drawn by Jung's patients. Jung's objection was that his patients had nothing to “imitate” (French singer, “to ape”). The drawings were spontaneous products—that is, unconscious—made by persons who had no knowledge of mandalas at the ego level of collective consciousness. They were by no means the same.

At the level of collective consciousness (ego, behavior), everyone is different. Jung had made this point over and over again, as James Hillman has pointed out.60 “Personality,” Jung said, “is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being.”61 Mature and authentic individuation and development is a “process of differentiation.”62 “Differentiation means the development of differences, the separation of parts from the whole.”63 Hillman stresses that Jung is saying that individuation is not wholeness but is separation of complexes from functions, projections from realities, and individual from collective. Individuation and differentiation give one an appropriate sense of being different, of even differing with oneself, of being in “isolation.”64 In the seminar on Kundalini Yoga, Jung went so far as to describe ego's sense when there is authentic development in these words:

Individuation is not that you become an ego—you would then become an individualist. You know, an individualist is a man [sic] who did not succeed in individuating; he is a philosophically distilled egotist. Individuation is becoming that thing which is not the ego, (p.38) and that is very strange. Therefore nobody understands what the self is, because the self is just the thing which you are not, which is not the ego… The self is something exceedingly impersonal, exceedingly objective. If you function in yourself you are not yourself—that is what you feel. You have to do it as if you were a stranger.65

This implies that at the conscious material level there is only difference, whereas sameness is at a deeper formal level, and this sameness is unconscious. (Jung consistently asserted that one cannot know the unknowable formal archetype, but only the material archetypal image that manifests.) His insistence on this, against Eliade, is not unlike Plotinus and Heidegger on the issue of identity and difference. Plotinus describes two sorts of likeness: the likeness of like things, which he takes to be superficial, and the likeness of unlike or different things, that is, a likeness that does not appear and is based upon difference.66 Eliade seems to have assumed the first sense of archetypal sameness, namely, essentialist, whereas Jung sought the second sense, namely, differentiated.

Martin Heidegger advanced an argument similar to the one of Plotinus. In Identity and Difference, Heidegger wrote against Hegel concerning the logic of sameness in Parmenides, the Greek philosopher to whom Plotinus also may have been alluding. Heidegger thought that the idea of sameness had been wrongly imagined as a “belonging together,” where the belonging was determined by the word together, that is, by a unity that does not account for difference. To account for difference as well as identity, Heidegger proposed to discriminate between an idea of “belonging together” (Zusammengehören, to which he is opposed) and “belonging together” (Zusammengehören). In the latter notion, things that are not together, that is, not same, can nonetheless belong to each other. This makes, he argues, for “the possibility of no longer representing belonging in terms of the unity of the together, but rather of experiencing this in terms of belonging.”67 Differences, while not belonging together, nonetheless belong together, precisely in their distance and difference. Eliade finds religious meaning where things are identified; Jung finds psychological meaning where things that are differentiated belong.68

There is a constant temptation in teaching Jung to capitulate, against Jung's best intention, to an Eliade-like point of view, especially when teaching the notion of the archetypes of the collective unconscious in relation to religious ideas. It is a difficult pitfall to avoid, especially since many Jungians (and Jung himself from time to time) entertain the same confusion as did Eliade: they unwittingly assume the identity of form and matter, of archetypal image and ego's behavior in the world.69 James Hillman has made an effort to avoid this—that is, to avoid the essentialist charge and pitfall—by recommending a taboo against the noun archetype in favor of the qualitative adjective archetypal.70 Archetypal is not an entity, an essence, but “is a move one makes rather than a thing that is.”71 It is a move that functions very much the way that the idea of “importance” functions in Whitehead's thought.72 The idea is to keep one's sense of the importance of difference. When one sees this, then the essentialist critique of Jung shows itself to be ironic. It is ironically guilty of the same thing (p.39) with which it is charging Jung: namely, not differentiating different forms of archetypal likeness, in other words, generalizing about Jung and making archetypalism a universal, everywhere the same.

Gnostic

Another frequent charge against Jung is that his psychology, his implied theology, and his style of thinking are “Gnostic.” For example, Fritz Buri, an important Swiss Protestant theologian, called Jung a Gnostic in his review of the German edition of Jung's Answer to Job.73 Jung's response was one of incredulity. He said in a letter to Buri: “I do not pretend to know anything tenable or provable about a metaphysical God. I therefore don’t quite understand how you can smell ‘gnostic’ arrogance in this attitude. In strictest contrast to Gnosticism and theology, I confine myself to the psychology of anthropomorphic ideas and have never maintained that I possess the slightest trace of metaphysical knowledge.”74 A Jesuit theologian from Louvain, Raymond Hostie, also leveled the Gnostic charge at Jung in a book that has been translated as Religion and the Psychology of Jung. To Hostie, Jung responded: “You overlook the facts and then think that the name is the fact, and thus you reach the nonsensical conclusion that I hypostatize ideas and am therefore a ‘Gnostic.’ It is your theological standpoint that is a gnosis, not my empiricism, of which you obviously haven’t the faintest inkling.”75 Buri and Hostie are joined in their name-calling by Robert C. Smith, an American professor of religious studies, who made the charge in his doctoral dissertation. Jung responded, as he did to others: “I cannot understand what my alleged incapacity to stand criticism has to do with the reproach that I am a Gnostic. You simply add to the arbitrary assumption that I am a Gnostic the blame of moral inferiority, and you don’t realize that one could make the same subjective reproach to you.”76 Jung also observed: “A Gnostic would not be at all pleased with me, but would reproach me for having no cosmogony and for the cluelessness of my gnosis in regard to the happenings in the Pleroma.”77 It is clear from these responses that there is some emotional stake in this issue.

Smith's dissertation had been on the topic of the differences between Jung and the famous Jewish thinker, Martin Buber, on the question of religion. It was Buber who aimed the most devastating critique at Jung, using what for Buber was an epithet, namely, the term “Gnostic.” Buber's attack was published in the magazine Merkur, in February 1952, and Jung responded with a reply in the May issue. In the response, Jung observed an inconsistency in the thinking of those who wish to put a label on him. “Funnily enough this opinion of Buber's coincides with another utterance from an authoritative theological source [Hermann Keyserling] accusing me of agnosticism—the exact opposite of Gnosticism.” And then Jung wonders: “Why is so much attention devoted to the question of whether I am a Gnostic or an agnostic? Why is it not simply stated that I am a psychiatrist whose prime concern is to record and interpret his empirical material?”78

(p.40) Perhaps one of the reasons that the issue is raised by Jung's critics is that he was not always consistent in his denials and in his attempt to sidestep the charge. For example, he admits in his reply to Buber in Merkur what he calls a “sin of his youth.” In writing Seven Sermons of the Dead, he confesses to having “expressed a number of psychological aperçus in ‘Gnostic’ style, because I was then studying the Gnostics with enthusiasm.”79 Further, he continued this enthusiasm by way of his friendship with the famous scholar of Gnosticism, Gilles Quispel. In a comment intended as an introduction to a book that Quispel never published, Jung remarks on the connection between Gnostic insights and depth psychology: “We [psychologists] see in it [Gnosticism] a tertium comparationis which affords us the most valuable help in the practical understanding of symbol-formation.”80 Most important, however, is Jung's idea that the importance of the psychology of alchemy, which so occupied him, is that it provided an “uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism” and that this “gave substance [i.e., historical validation] to my psychology.”81 Jung therefore could write: “I hope the reader will not be offended if my exposition [on alchemy] sounds like a Gnostic myth. We are moving in…psychological regions where, as a matter of fact, Gnosis is rooted.”82 And Jung made this seemingly unequivocal statement: “By far the most fruitful attempts…to find suitable symbolic expressions for the Self were made by the Gnostics.”83

Examples abound in Jung's writing of parallels between Gnostic ideas and Jung's terminology. Vas sapientiae (“vessel of wisdom”) corresponds to Jung's notion of “psyche”; Sophia Achamoth and the “Divine Harlot” are similar to Jung's negative anima; the “scintillae” of Gnosticism are like the multiplicity of the unconscious; the Peacock's Egg (sperma mundi), so full of colors, is like Jung's use of alchemy's cauda pavonis (“peacock's tail”); the male and female pairs in Gnostic literature are like Jung's “syzygy”; the Gnostic Divine Marriage is like Jung's notion of the male and female coniunctio; Saturn corresponds to Jung's senex; the Tree of Simon is like the Self; “bythos” in Gnosticism is like “depth” in Jung; the Primordial Man is Jung's psychological “androgyne”; and the Adamas Rock and Barbello (“one is four”) is like Jung's notion of the quarternian Self. So, Jung can be as positive with regard to Gnostic ideas as he can be negative in his replies to his critics. The fact is that he waffled on the issue of Gnosticism and was by no means consistent in his alignment with it or his rejection of it. Jung's ambivalence is shown in a 1954 letter to Erich Neumann: “I would abandon the term ‘Gnostic’ without compunction were it not a swearword in the mouths of theologians. They accuse me of the very same fault they commit themselves: presumptuous disregard of epistemological barriers.”84

When Jung was defensive about Gnosticism in relation to his psychology, it seems to have been to distance himself from positive metaphysical or speculative theological knowledge (beliefs and cosmology) and also to attempt to avoid the charges, often then associated with Gnosticism, of dualism—that is, good versus evil, light against dark, spirit against body, eternity against history, all of the latter terms imagined to be negative. In commenting on Jung's thought in relation to Freud's on psychosexuality, I earlier cited Jung's Zarathustra Seminar, where he is unambiguously positive with regard to the (p.41) importance of the body, emphasizing that this was one of his main reasons for invoking alchemy. This hardly accords with a Jungian Gnostic dualism about the evil body. Nor is the Zarathustra Seminar an isolated instance. Here are two more examples from the autobiography. Regarding images that come up in dreams and fantasies and symptoms, Jung argued that it was crucially important:

to realize them in actual life. This is what we usually neglect to do. We allow the images to rise up, and maybe we wonder about them, but that is all. We do not take the trouble to understand them, let alone draw ethical conclusions from them. This stopping-short conjures up the negative effects of the unconscious. It is equally a grave mistake to think that it is enough to gain some understanding of the images and that knowledge can here make a halt. Insight into them must be converted into an ethical obligation. Not to do so is to fall prey to the power principle and this produces dangerous effects which are destructive not only to others but even to the knower. The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man [sic]. Failure to understand them, or a shirking ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life.85

Again, Jung writes: “For me,…irreality was the quintessence of horror, for I aimed, after all, at this world and this life. No matter how deeply absorbed or how blown about I was, I always knew that everything I was experiencing was ultimately directed at this real life of mine. I meant to meet its obligations and fulfill its meanings. My watchword was: Hic Rhodus, hic salta!86 Nothing could be clearer! But there is a more telling matter.

The stigma of Gnosticism as dualistic is an interpretive perspective that is identified with the work of Hans Jonas87 and Kurt Rudolf.88 Theirs is a perspective that has been complicated recently, especially after some long-term reflections on the multiperspectivalism of the Nag Hammadi literature, a set of codices discovered in Egypt in 1945 and translated only in 1977. Karen King,89 Michael Williams,90 and Morton Smith91 have each written significant scholarly works complicating stereotypical notions of Gnosticism and calling into question a consistent notion of metaphysical dualism and hatred of history and the body in Gnostic texts. They even imply that the term “Gnostic” cannot be used intelligently to mean any one thing and that the word is therefore not useful. So, the furor about Jung's being a Gnostic or not, and Jung's own back and forth on the issue, may all finally be “sound and fury signifying nothing.” Then why is all of this important to the question of teaching Jung?

The answer is that many students and, in spite of the works just mentioned, still some scholars bring the old undifferentiated Gnostic stereotype to the study of Jungian psychology. Indeed, popular appropriations of Jung in pop psychology and in the so-called self-help and New Age movements often present a spiritualized picture of Jung's thinking that is vulnerable to the outdated (p.42) Gnostic charge. David Tacey's study, Jung and the New Age, clearly delineates the dangers of the pop spiritualizing and shows how it can work against a serious academic study of Jung and his psychology.92 Tacey notes that many people “encounter Jung not directly or first-hand through his difficult writings, but indirectly through the simplistic and reductive creations of the New Age movement.”93 The pitfall of this Gnostic seduction of Jung is that it artificially lends an esoteric and mystical aura to Jung and his thinking, which makes serious academic thinkers and teachers suspicious, and it gives them reason, though false, to be opposed to the study of Jungian psychology in a scholarly manner. It can turn Jung into a figure of ridicule, and it works against Jung's own view of the matter. He complains that his critics “criticize me as if I were a philosopher, or a Gnostic with pretentions to supernatural knowledge. That is probably the reason why people prefer to ignore the facts I have discovered, or to deny them without scruple. But it is the facts that are of prime importance to me and not a provisional terminology or attempts at theoretical reflections.”94

Psychologizing

It was probably Jung's wielding of a psychological hermeneutic on materials from the Hebrew and Christian Bible and upon mythological, folkloric, literary, and artistic materials that prompted the criticism of Jung that he was “psychologizing” and therefore reductive. This possibility of reductive interpretation is a final pitfall that haunts the teaching of Jung. To be sure, reductionism is a perduring risk. It is a humanization of things that are transpersonal, a bringing of the larger into the domain and perspective of what is smaller. It is psychologism. And it is a real temptation.

Jung complained of this about Freud, perhaps not altogether fairly. In the Tavistock Lectures in London, Jung asserted that Freud's method of free association in analysis, especially in dream interpretation, reduced the deep psyche's material to ego's associations and was biased by whatever complexes the clients were absorbed in unconsciously. He offered his own method of “seeking the parallels” of one's psychological images in larger archetypal contexts (myth, folktale, religion) as a corrective to psychologism. That he called this methodology “amplification” is testimony to his attempt to avoid reductive interpretations. It is a seeing of the smaller egoic matters in a larger collective context, what Proclus called epistrophe¯, a “leading back” of human things to the archetypal forms and meanings.

Using biblical interpretation as an example of this, one can see how Martin Buber, for example, might think of Jung's Answer to Job as reductive. But an archetypal amplification may also be thought of otherwise. Rather than being a matter of psychologizing a biblical narrative, it could be understood as “biblicizing” the psyche, of imagining human thoughts and feelings in terms of biblical imagery, divinizing the human, rather than humanizing the divine. It is not that Jacob and his mother and father, for example, are in an Oedipal (p.43) complex, but rather that a given sense of the familial mess can be seen as a Jacob complex.

This would be taking seriously Jung's saying that “we must read the Bible or we shall not understand psychology.”95 Jung also implies that a depth psychology worthy of the name must be acquainted with mythology, the history of religions, the canons of literature and the arts, folklore, and other archetypal expressions. The hermeneutic goal is a psychology understood deeply and broadly. Jung's heuristic is called “depth” psychology precisely because it is not reductive, that is, not an ego psychology, though one may be in fact reductive by not taking realistic account of the profound aspects of selfhood occasioned by insight from archetypal and collective sources. Walter Wink once expressed this in relation to the psychological study of the Bible: “We have analyzed the Bible; now we may wish to find ways to let it analyze us.”96 This is crucial to keep in mind when teaching Jung, lest the teaching of Jung and his psychology be wittingly or unwittingly used to serve ego and its interests only and end up as a humanistic rather than a depth psychology.97

Conclusion

It is the issue stressed in the last sentence that may be the most difficult matter in the teaching of Jung. The problem is—if I may put it this way—that the teaching might succeed! That is, students may find it to be “meaningful” (to ego), useful to everyday life (of ego), therapeutic (to ego), hermeneutically helpful (to ego), and enlightening (to ego). But then, of course, the teaching of “Jung” would not be the teaching of Jung. It would no longer be depth psychology. Contrary to what might have been intuitively imagined, pedagogical success can become a final and general pitfall.

Wolfgang Giegerich has been articulate about the strategy of teaching Jung in the following words: “Your [the teacher's] style of speaking or writing must confront the audience with the experience of the non-ego (i.e., the sense of “not you as you have been all along”); it must impose on the audience the narcissistic offense that you are not concerned with what they think and are not speaking to them, but to their Other.98 James Hillman had earlier spoken of this strategy as “depersonalizing,” in other words, de-ego-fying. He wrote: “We spoil our actual friendships, marriages, loves and families by looking to people for redemption. We seek salvation in personal encounters, personal relations, personal solutions. Human persons are the contemporary shrines… Our cult worships or propitiates actual people—the family, the beloved, the circle of encounters—while ignoring the persons of the psyche who compose the soul and upon whom the soul depends.”99 The advice of Giegerich and the observation of Hillman make the teaching of depth psychology difficult, as Freud had already acknowledged.

In 1915, Freud was lecturing to medical students in Vienna, attempting to introduce them to the then new perspectives of depth psychology. He warned the students at the outset that “psychoanalysis cannot easily be learnt” and said (p.44) that “there are not many people who have learnt it properly.”100 The reason that it is difficult is that it cannot be learned inductively and empirically, like the students had learned anatomy from the experience of looking at a cadaver and then generalizing from the particular situation to general rules. Nor can psychoanalysis be learned deductively and rationally, like the students had learned blood chemistry from the general rules of organic chemistry applied to individual blood samples. That is to say, psychoanalysis cannot be learned by looking objectively outward. Rather, Freud said that “one learns psychoanalysis on oneself, by studying one's own personality.” But then he adds that “this is not quite the same thing as what is called self-observation”; that is, it is not ego-introspection.101 One learns from the remainder of Freud's lectures that one teaches and learns depth psychology by probing the self that I do not think is myself, the slips that the ego makes and does not intend, the daydreams and night dreams that are not under ego's control, the obsessions that are not-me and are not welcomed by me, the compulsions and neuroses and psychoses that are not of ego's invention. These are the “persons” of the deep psyche spoken of by Hillman and the non-ego spoken of by Giegerich, those factors that demonstrate that I am not the master of my fate and the captain of my soul, the not-me that is me nonetheless.

This uncanny nature of the subject matter of depth psychology—the “fundamental ambivalence” of Freud's view of the self and Jung's notion of the self as a “complex of opposites”—will lead Freud early in his life to say that success in psychoanalysis “will be gained if we succeed in transforming…hysterical misery into common unhappiness.”102 And late in his life, long after the split from Freud, Jung will concur by saying: “The doctor must advise him [the patient] to accept the conflict just as it is, with all the suffering this inevitably entails,…the united personality will never quite lose the painful sense of innate discord. Complete redemption from the sufferings of the world is and must remain an illusion.”103 The irony of a successful analysis is that it is constituted in part by an acceptance of what from ego's point of view may be sensed as failure.

So it is, not only with psychoanalysis but also with the teaching of depth psychology. Success in the realm of the conscious ego is suspect. The teaching of Jung, like the teaching of Freud, is not an easy matter. But as Jung said: “The experience of the self is always [experienced as] a defeat for the ego.”104 Failure in the teaching of Jung, at least from nonpsychological points of view, may indicate success.

Notes

(1.) Sigmund Freud, Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 24 vols. (London: Hogarth, 1953–1974), 6:106–16, 230.

(2.) See Harold Bloom, Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973) and Map of Misreading (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975).

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(3.) An example of Jung going against himself in a text is given by Wolfgang Giegerich (“The End of Meaning and the Birth of Man,” Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice 6.1 [2004]: 1–2). Jung was in the midst of stressing that the times are mythless, that “there are no longer gods” (CW 8:598), that it would be well to admit “spiritual poverty” and “symbol-lessness” (CW 9i:28). But then in the context of observing that people today have no myth, Jung turns and asks, “Then what is your myth?”

(4.) See Ernest Wallwork, Psychoanalysis and Ethics (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991), 19–28.

(5.) C. G. Jung, Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1953–1976), 18:275.

(6.) Jung, Collected Works, 4:774–75.

(7.) Jung, C. G., Memories, Dreams, Reflections, ed. Aniela Jaffé, trans. Richard Winston and Clara Winston (New York: Vintage, 1965), 153.

(8.) Jung, Memories, 150.

(9.) Ibid., 158.

(10.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:1150.

(11.) Jung, Memories, 152.

(12.) Ibid., 154.

(13.) Ibid., 153.

(14.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:633.

(15.) Jung, Memories, 114.

(16.) Ibid., 168–69.

(17.) Wallwork, Psychoanalysis and Ethics, 19–48, and see also Wallwork, “The Challenge of Teaching Freud: Depth Psychology and Religious Ethics,” in Teaching Freud, ed. Diane Jonte-Pace (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 246, against the opposing of Jung and Freud. Richard Sterba has also reported on another view of Freud different from Jung's negative one. In Sterba's account of Wednesday evening discussions at Freud's home between 1928 and 1932, Sterba remembers only a single occasion when Freud “took on a deliberately authoritarian attitude.” It was in a moment when he silenced Wilhelm Reich for being authoritarian, dogmatic, and reductionist…concerning sexuality!” (Sterba, “Discussions of Sigmund Freud,” Psychoanalytic Quarterly 47.2 [1978]: 182–84).

(18.) Freud, Standard Edition, 2:291; 20:195; 22:211–12.

(19.) Ibid., 5:511; 10:100; 17:143; 18:30–31, 59; 20:32.

(20.) Ibid., 14:117; 20:32–33; 21:53.

(21.) Freud, Standard Edition, Ibid., 5:525; 2:2n2; compare Wallwork, Psychoanalysis and Ethics, 35n28.

(22.) Jung, Memories, 147.

(23.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:281.

(24.) Jung, Memories, 149.

(25.) Ibid., 150.

(26.) Ibid., 150.

(27.) Ibid., 151.

(28.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:493.

(29.) Freud, Standard Edition, 18:255, 257.

(30.) Jung, Memories, 209.

(31.) Freud, Standard Edition, 16:386.

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(32.) Ibid., 11:222–23, and compare Wallwork, “The Challenge of Teaching Freud,” 244.

(33.) Freud, Standard Edition, 16:310–19.

(34.) In her book Thinking through the Body (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988, 124), Jane Gallop tells the following joke in order to discriminate between literal genital sexuality (penis) and the broader concept of psychosexuality (phallus): “Anna Freud was reaching maturity and began to show an interest in her father's work, so Freud gave her some of his writings to read. About a month later he asked her if she had any questions about what she had been reading. ‘Just one,’ she replied, ‘what is a phallus?’ Being a man of science, Freud unbuttoned his pants and showed her. ‘Oh,’ Anna exclaimed, thus enlightened, ‘it's like a penis, only smaller!”

(35.) This perspective can be construed as meaning that symptoms are past oriented, and this is one of the things to which Jung objected, thinking of Freud's theory, like that of his teacher, Helmholtz, as causal, mechanistic, and deterministic (see CW 18:14–15, 280, 468). But Wallwork (Psychoanalysis and Ethics, 29, 32–34, 55, 81, 125–26) has shown that though Freud's early theory can be read this way, the later theory, especially after 1920, becomes more and more teleological, just like Jung's, in regard to dreams, symptoms, and drives.

(36.) Jung, Collected Works, 4:63.

(37.) Jung, Memories, 168.

(38.) Ibid.

(39.) Jung, Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934–1939 by C. G. Jung, ed. James L. Jarrett, 2 vols. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), 1:368. This theme is repeated throughout the seminars. See index item on “body” at 2:1550.

(40.) Jung, Collected Works, 12:1–29, 295–305.

(41.) See Jung, Memories, 189, 192–193, 205–206.

(42.) Lewis Mumford, “Revolt of the Demons,” New Yorker 40 (May 23, 1964): 162.

(43.) Freud, Standard Edition, 21:43.

(44.) Jung, Collected Works, 5:553; 18:370.

(45.) See David L. Miller, “ ‘Attack upon Christendom!’ The Anti-Christianism of Depth Psychology,” Thought 61.240 (1986): 56–67.

(46.) Jung, Collected Works, 9i:36–71.

(47.) Jung, Letters, ed. Gerhard Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2 vols. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973), 1:18.

(48.) Jung, Collected Works, 11:201–98.

(49.) Jung, Letters, 1:18. A footnote to this letter, added by the editor, seems to imply that Jung later, in a letter of April 9, 1959 (never released), repudiated this strong critique with words like “incredible folly that filled the days of my youth.” But this is by no means clear. At a Christmas celebration with his family in 1957, he was still referring to the “lost” sense of Christianity as a Dionysian feast (Jung, Word and Image, trans. K. Winston [Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979], 143–45), and when he was seventy, Jung complained of religious ideas having lost the “numinosity, i.e., their thrilling power” (Jung, Collected Works, 13:396). Also, note Jung's comment in a letter in 1952 to Erich Neumann: “God is an ailment that man has to cure” (Jung, Letters, 2:33).

(50.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:279, and compare David L. Miller, “Holy and Not-So-Holy Ghosts! Psychopathogenetic Shadows in Religious Images and Ideas,” Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice 8.1 (2006): 55–59.

(51.) Freud, Standard Edition, 20:8 and footnote 3.

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(52.) Ibid., 20:72.

(53.) David Bakan, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (New York: Schocken, 1965); and Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991).

(54.) Further testimony to the complex relation between Freudian theory and religion is given in the companion book in the present series, Teaching Freud, ed. Diane Jonte-Pace (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), which is a part of the American Academy of Religion book series on teaching religious studies.

(55.) Will Herberg, “Freud and the Revisionists,” in Freud and the Twentieth Century, ed. Benjamin Nelson (New York: Meridian, 1957). Just as Herberg shows an alignment between Freud and biblical iconoclasm with regard to religion, doing this in the face of a stereotype that pits Freud in opposition to religion, so I have attempted to show a rapprochement between Jung and postmodern critical theory, which flies in the face of the generalized and oversimplistic critique of Jung by some postmodern theorists (see David L. Miller, “The Stone Which Is Not a Stone’: C. G. Jung and the Postmodern Meaning of Meaning,” Spring 49 [1989]: 110–22).

(56.) Mircea Eliade, Le Yoga. Immortalité et liberté (Paris: Librarie Payot, 1954).

(57.) Jung, Letters, 2:210–12.

(58.) Ibid., 2:210.

(59.) Ibid., 2:212.

(60.) James Hillman, “Jung's Daimonic Inheritance,” Sphinx 1 (1988): 12.

(61.) Jung, Collected Works, 17:289.

(62.) Ibid., 6:757.

(63.) Ibid., 6:705.

(64.) Ibid., 13:395.

(65.) Jung, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga: Notes of a Seminar Given in 1932, ed. Sonu Shamdasani (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996): 39–40. There is a striking similarity between this comment by Jung and a perspective developed by Julia Kristeva in Strangers to Ourselves, trans. Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991).

(66.) Plotinus, Enneads (trans. A. Hillary Armstrong [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978]), vol. 1:131, and compare David L. Miller, Three Faces of God: Traces of the Trinity in Literature and Life (New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal, 2005), 41–51. Plotinus's distinction comes in Ennead, 1.2.2, where Plotinus, in speaking about “archetype.” He says: “We should note that there are two kinds of likeness [homoiōsis]: one requires that there should be something the same in the things which are alike; this applies to things which derive their likeness equally from the same principle. But in the case of two things of which one is like the other, but the other is primary not reciprocally related to the thing in its likeness and not said to be like it [hōmiōtai pros heteron], likeness must be understood in a different sense.” The translator of this passage (Armstrong) adds a footnote explaining that this notion of two kinds of likeness may have arisen as a response to the objection of Parmenides that the archetypal forms are paradeigmata. In fact, one might imagine that Jung's strong response to Eliade is an attempt to avoid a Platonic understanding of his psychology.

(67.) Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference, trans. Joan Stambaugh (New York: Harper and Row, 1969), 92.

(68.) The matter between Eliade and Jung had a happy ending. Eliade changed the citation to Jung in a later edition of the work and wrote an apologetic clarification in the introduction of a still different book (Eliade, Yoga, 219–27, and Eliade, Cosmos and History, trans. Willard Trask [New York: Harper and Row, 1959], vii–ix).

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(69.) For example, Jungians completely alienate themselves and Jung in the presence of third-wave feminists and antiessentialist postmodern literary theorists when they speak of “the feminine,” as if it were a something (essence), compounding the problem with the singular definite article, as if “the so-called feminine” were definitely one thing and one thing only, typically characterized over against masculine, rationalist, logical nature. This is as unrealistic and offensive as the view that men are Martial and women are Venusian!

(70.) James Hillman, “Why ‘Archetypal’ Psychology?” Spring (1970): 212–19.

(71.) James Hillman, Archetypal Psychology (Dallas: Spring, 1983), 13.

(72.) Alfred North Whitehead, Modes of Thought (New York: Free Press, 1968), 1–19.

(73.) Fritz Buri, “C. G. Jung's ‘Antwort zu Hiob,’ ” Basler National-Zeitung (April 27, 1952). See reference in Jung, Letters, 2.61n1.

(74.) Jung, Letters, 2:64–65.

(75.) Ibid., 2:245.

(76.) Ibid., 2:583.

(77.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:1513.

(78.) Ibid., 18:1499–1500.

(79.) Ibid., 18:1501.

(80.) Ibid., 18:1482.

(81.) Jung, Memories, 205.

(82.) Jung, Collected Works, 7:28.

(83.) Jung, Collected Works, 9.ii:428.

(84.) Jung, Letters, 2:147.

(85.) Jung, Memories, 192–93.

(86.) Jung, Memories, 189. This translates as “here is Rhodes, jump here.” The allusion is to Aesop's fable “The Braggart” (also cited in Erasmus's “Adagia”). The athlete brags that he once made a fantastic leap in Rhodes and that he can cite persons who will testify to this feat. A person overhearing this says that there is no need of witnesses, since the braggart can demonstrate the jump here and now. The popularity in modern times of this saying is due to its use by Hegel and Marx.

(87.) Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion (Boston: Beacon, 1991).

(88.) Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1987).

(89.) Karen King, What Is Gnosticism? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

(90.) Michael Allen Williams, Rethinking “Gnosticism”: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996).

(91.) Morton Smith, “The History of the term Gnostikos,” in: Bentley Layton, ed., The Rediscovery of Gnosticism (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 2.796–807.

(92.) David Tacey, Jung and the New Age (New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2001). In an interview by Lynn Neary of National Public Radio (“The Changing Face of America—On How Spirituality Is Replacing Mainline Religion,” November 30, 2000), Huston Smith noted the problem: “Organized religion gives spirituality traction. Without it spirituality can become a self-centered pursuit. Spirituality is individual and subjective, and it can refer indiscriminately to experiences of elevation and joy, sort of the cream on the cream puff of life. Many people take a salad bar approach to spirituality, picking and choosing what's easy from different traditions, often leaving the hard parts behind. The danger of the salad bar approach is that it worships Saint Ego, and it assumes that you know what you need.” (This is in the archives of National Public Radio's website.)

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(93.) Tacey, Jung and the New Age, x.

(94.) Jung, Collected Works, 11:461.

(95.) Jung, The Visions Seminars, vol. 1 (Zurich: Spring, 1976), 156.

(96.) Walter Wink, “On Wrestling with God: Using Psychological Insights in Biblical Study,” Religion in Life 47 (1978): 141.

(97.) On this matter, see Wolfgang Giegerich (The Soul's Logical Life [Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1998], 18, 31) and James Hillman (Re-Visioning Psychology [New York: Harper and Row, 1975], 167–229).

(98.) Giegerich, The Soul's Logical Life, 18.

(99.) Hillman, James, Re-Visioning Psychology, 47.

(100.) Freud, Standard Edition, 15:19.

(101.) Ibid., 15:19.

(102.) Ibid., 2:305.

(103.) Jung, Collected Works, 16:392, 400.

(104.) Ibid., 14: 778.

References

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Bakan, David. Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition. New York: Schocken, 1965.

Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.

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Notes:

(1.) Sigmund Freud, Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 24 vols. (London: Hogarth, 1953–1974), 6:106–16, 230.

(2.) See Harold Bloom, Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973) and Map of Misreading (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975).

(3.) An example of Jung going against himself in a text is given by Wolfgang Giegerich (“The End of Meaning and the Birth of Man,” Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice 6.1 [2004]: 1–2). Jung was in the midst of stressing that the times are mythless, that “there are no longer gods” (CW 8:598), that it would be well to admit “spiritual poverty” and “symbol-lessness” (CW 9i:28). But then in the context of observing that people today have no myth, Jung turns and asks, “Then what is your myth?”

(4.) See Ernest Wallwork, Psychoanalysis and Ethics (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991), 19–28.

(5.) C. G. Jung, Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1953–1976), 18:275.

(6.) Jung, Collected Works, 4:774–75.

(7.) Jung, C. G., Memories, Dreams, Reflections, ed. Aniela Jaffé, trans. Richard Winston and Clara Winston (New York: Vintage, 1965), 153.

(8.) Jung, Memories, 150.

(9.) Ibid., 158.

(10.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:1150.

(11.) Jung, Memories, 152.

(12.) Ibid., 154.

(13.) Ibid., 153.

(14.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:633.

(15.) Jung, Memories, 114.

(16.) Ibid., 168–69.

(17.) Wallwork, Psychoanalysis and Ethics, 19–48, and see also Wallwork, “The Challenge of Teaching Freud: Depth Psychology and Religious Ethics,” in Teaching Freud, ed. Diane Jonte-Pace (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 246, against the opposing of Jung and Freud. Richard Sterba has also reported on another view of Freud different from Jung's negative one. In Sterba's account of Wednesday evening discussions at Freud's home between 1928 and 1932, Sterba remembers only a single occasion when Freud “took on a deliberately authoritarian attitude.” It was in a moment when he silenced Wilhelm Reich for being authoritarian, dogmatic, and reductionist…concerning sexuality!” (Sterba, “Discussions of Sigmund Freud,” Psychoanalytic Quarterly 47.2 [1978]: 182–84).

(18.) Freud, Standard Edition, 2:291; 20:195; 22:211–12.

(19.) Ibid., 5:511; 10:100; 17:143; 18:30–31, 59; 20:32.

(20.) Ibid., 14:117; 20:32–33; 21:53.

(21.) Freud, Standard Edition, Ibid., 5:525; 2:2n2; compare Wallwork, Psychoanalysis and Ethics, 35n28.

(22.) Jung, Memories, 147.

(23.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:281.

(24.) Jung, Memories, 149.

(25.) Ibid., 150.

(26.) Ibid., 150.

(27.) Ibid., 151.

(28.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:493.

(29.) Freud, Standard Edition, 18:255, 257.

(30.) Jung, Memories, 209.

(31.) Freud, Standard Edition, 16:386.

(32.) Ibid., 11:222–23, and compare Wallwork, “The Challenge of Teaching Freud,” 244.

(33.) Freud, Standard Edition, 16:310–19.

(34.) In her book Thinking through the Body (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988, 124), Jane Gallop tells the following joke in order to discriminate between literal genital sexuality (penis) and the broader concept of psychosexuality (phallus): “Anna Freud was reaching maturity and began to show an interest in her father's work, so Freud gave her some of his writings to read. About a month later he asked her if she had any questions about what she had been reading. ‘Just one,’ she replied, ‘what is a phallus?’ Being a man of science, Freud unbuttoned his pants and showed her. ‘Oh,’ Anna exclaimed, thus enlightened, ‘it's like a penis, only smaller!”

(35.) This perspective can be construed as meaning that symptoms are past oriented, and this is one of the things to which Jung objected, thinking of Freud's theory, like that of his teacher, Helmholtz, as causal, mechanistic, and deterministic (see CW 18:14–15, 280, 468). But Wallwork (Psychoanalysis and Ethics, 29, 32–34, 55, 81, 125–26) has shown that though Freud's early theory can be read this way, the later theory, especially after 1920, becomes more and more teleological, just like Jung's, in regard to dreams, symptoms, and drives.

(36.) Jung, Collected Works, 4:63.

(37.) Jung, Memories, 168.

(39.) Jung, Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934–1939 by C. G. Jung, ed. James L. Jarrett, 2 vols. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), 1:368. This theme is repeated throughout the seminars. See index item on “body” at 2:1550.

(40.) Jung, Collected Works, 12:1–29, 295–305.

(41.) See Jung, Memories, 189, 192–193, 205–206.

(42.) Lewis Mumford, “Revolt of the Demons,” New Yorker 40 (May 23, 1964): 162.

(43.) Freud, Standard Edition, 21:43.

(44.) Jung, Collected Works, 5:553; 18:370.

(45.) See David L. Miller, “ ‘Attack upon Christendom!’ The Anti-Christianism of Depth Psychology,” Thought 61.240 (1986): 56–67.

(46.) Jung, Collected Works, 9i:36–71.

(47.) Jung, Letters, ed. Gerhard Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2 vols. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973), 1:18.

(48.) Jung, Collected Works, 11:201–98.

(49.) Jung, Letters, 1:18. A footnote to this letter, added by the editor, seems to imply that Jung later, in a letter of April 9, 1959 (never released), repudiated this strong critique with words like “incredible folly that filled the days of my youth.” But this is by no means clear. At a Christmas celebration with his family in 1957, he was still referring to the “lost” sense of Christianity as a Dionysian feast (Jung, Word and Image, trans. K. Winston [Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979], 143–45), and when he was seventy, Jung complained of religious ideas having lost the “numinosity, i.e., their thrilling power” (Jung, Collected Works, 13:396). Also, note Jung's comment in a letter in 1952 to Erich Neumann: “God is an ailment that man has to cure” (Jung, Letters, 2:33).

(50.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:279, and compare David L. Miller, “Holy and Not-So-Holy Ghosts! Psychopathogenetic Shadows in Religious Images and Ideas,” Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice 8.1 (2006): 55–59.

(51.) Freud, Standard Edition, 20:8 and footnote 3.

(52.) Ibid., 20:72.

(53.) David Bakan, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (New York: Schocken, 1965); and Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991).

(54.) Further testimony to the complex relation between Freudian theory and religion is given in the companion book in the present series, Teaching Freud, ed. Diane Jonte-Pace (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), which is a part of the American Academy of Religion book series on teaching religious studies.

(55.) Will Herberg, “Freud and the Revisionists,” in Freud and the Twentieth Century, ed. Benjamin Nelson (New York: Meridian, 1957). Just as Herberg shows an alignment between Freud and biblical iconoclasm with regard to religion, doing this in the face of a stereotype that pits Freud in opposition to religion, so I have attempted to show a rapprochement between Jung and postmodern critical theory, which flies in the face of the generalized and oversimplistic critique of Jung by some postmodern theorists (see David L. Miller, “The Stone Which Is Not a Stone’: C. G. Jung and the Postmodern Meaning of Meaning,” Spring 49 [1989]: 110–22).

(56.) Mircea Eliade, Le Yoga. Immortalité et liberté (Paris: Librarie Payot, 1954).

(57.) Jung, Letters, 2:210–12.

(58.) Ibid., 2:210.

(59.) Ibid., 2:212.

(60.) James Hillman, “Jung's Daimonic Inheritance,” Sphinx 1 (1988): 12.

(61.) Jung, Collected Works, 17:289.

(62.) Ibid., 6:757.

(63.) Ibid., 6:705.

(64.) Ibid., 13:395.

(65.) Jung, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga: Notes of a Seminar Given in 1932, ed. Sonu Shamdasani (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996): 39–40. There is a striking similarity between this comment by Jung and a perspective developed by Julia Kristeva in Strangers to Ourselves, trans. Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991).

(66.) Plotinus, Enneads (trans. A. Hillary Armstrong [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978]), vol. 1:131, and compare David L. Miller, Three Faces of God: Traces of the Trinity in Literature and Life (New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal, 2005), 41–51. Plotinus's distinction comes in Ennead, 1.2.2, where Plotinus, in speaking about “archetype.” He says: “We should note that there are two kinds of likeness [homoiōsis]: one requires that there should be something the same in the things which are alike; this applies to things which derive their likeness equally from the same principle. But in the case of two things of which one is like the other, but the other is primary not reciprocally related to the thing in its likeness and not said to be like it [hōmiōtai pros heteron], likeness must be understood in a different sense.” The translator of this passage (Armstrong) adds a footnote explaining that this notion of two kinds of likeness may have arisen as a response to the objection of Parmenides that the archetypal forms are paradeigmata. In fact, one might imagine that Jung's strong response to Eliade is an attempt to avoid a Platonic understanding of his psychology.

(67.) Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference, trans. Joan Stambaugh (New York: Harper and Row, 1969), 92.

(68.) The matter between Eliade and Jung had a happy ending. Eliade changed the citation to Jung in a later edition of the work and wrote an apologetic clarification in the introduction of a still different book (Eliade, Yoga, 219–27, and Eliade, Cosmos and History, trans. Willard Trask [New York: Harper and Row, 1959], vii–ix).

(69.) For example, Jungians completely alienate themselves and Jung in the presence of third-wave feminists and antiessentialist postmodern literary theorists when they speak of “the feminine,” as if it were a something (essence), compounding the problem with the singular definite article, as if “the so-called feminine” were definitely one thing and one thing only, typically characterized over against masculine, rationalist, logical nature. This is as unrealistic and offensive as the view that men are Martial and women are Venusian!

(70.) James Hillman, “Why ‘Archetypal’ Psychology?” Spring (1970): 212–19.

(71.) James Hillman, Archetypal Psychology (Dallas: Spring, 1983), 13.

(72.) Alfred North Whitehead, Modes of Thought (New York: Free Press, 1968), 1–19.

(73.) Fritz Buri, “C. G. Jung's ‘Antwort zu Hiob,’ ” Basler National-Zeitung (April 27, 1952). See reference in Jung, Letters, 2.61n1.

(74.) Jung, Letters, 2:64–65.

(75.) Ibid., 2:245.

(76.) Ibid., 2:583.

(77.) Jung, Collected Works, 18:1513.

(78.) Ibid., 18:1499–1500.

(79.) Ibid., 18:1501.

(80.) Ibid., 18:1482.

(81.) Jung, Memories, 205.

(82.) Jung, Collected Works, 7:28.

(83.) Jung, Collected Works, 9.ii:428.

(84.) Jung, Letters, 2:147.

(85.) Jung, Memories, 192–93.

(86.) Jung, Memories, 189. This translates as “here is Rhodes, jump here.” The allusion is to Aesop's fable “The Braggart” (also cited in Erasmus's “Adagia”). The athlete brags that he once made a fantastic leap in Rhodes and that he can cite persons who will testify to this feat. A person overhearing this says that there is no need of witnesses, since the braggart can demonstrate the jump here and now. The popularity in modern times of this saying is due to its use by Hegel and Marx.

(87.) Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion (Boston: Beacon, 1991).

(88.) Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1987).

(89.) Karen King, What Is Gnosticism? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

(90.) Michael Allen Williams, Rethinking “Gnosticism”: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996).

(91.) Morton Smith, “The History of the term Gnostikos,” in: Bentley Layton, ed., The Rediscovery of Gnosticism (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 2.796–807.

(92.) David Tacey, Jung and the New Age (New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2001). In an interview by Lynn Neary of National Public Radio (“The Changing Face of America—On How Spirituality Is Replacing Mainline Religion,” November 30, 2000), Huston Smith noted the problem: “Organized religion gives spirituality traction. Without it spirituality can become a self-centered pursuit. Spirituality is individual and subjective, and it can refer indiscriminately to experiences of elevation and joy, sort of the cream on the cream puff of life. Many people take a salad bar approach to spirituality, picking and choosing what's easy from different traditions, often leaving the hard parts behind. The danger of the salad bar approach is that it worships Saint Ego, and it assumes that you know what you need.” (This is in the archives of National Public Radio's website.)

(93.) Tacey, Jung and the New Age, x.

(94.) Jung, Collected Works, 11:461.

(95.) Jung, The Visions Seminars, vol. 1 (Zurich: Spring, 1976), 156.

(96.) Walter Wink, “On Wrestling with God: Using Psychological Insights in Biblical Study,” Religion in Life 47 (1978): 141.

(97.) On this matter, see Wolfgang Giegerich (The Soul's Logical Life [Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1998], 18, 31) and James Hillman (Re-Visioning Psychology [New York: Harper and Row, 1975], 167–229).

(98.) Giegerich, The Soul's Logical Life, 18.

(99.) Hillman, James, Re-Visioning Psychology, 47.

(100.) Freud, Standard Edition, 15:19.

(101.) Ibid., 15:19.

(102.) Ibid., 2:305.

(103.) Jung, Collected Works, 16:392, 400.

(104.) Ibid., 14: 778.