A Life of Jung

By Freud, Sophie | American Journal of Psychotherapy, January 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

A Life of Jung


Freud, Sophie, American Journal of Psychotherapy


RONALD HAYMAN: ALife of Jung. W.W. Norton, New York, 1999, 522 pp., $35.00, ISBN: 0-393-01967-5.

Referring to Jung's own pseudo-autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, written in his last years, with the help (or hindrance) of Jung's faithful assistant, Aniela Jaffe, and heavily censored by friends and family, R. Noll (The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, 1995, Princeton University Press) states that to get at the historical Jung one must find a way to reach the "pre-Jaffe biographical material, a task comparable to trying to discern the true pre-Pauline facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth" (p. 15). It is my impression that Ronald Hayman succeeds in this formidable challenge.

While Hayman uses Memories, Dreams, Reflections when indicated, he in no way relies on it. It was, after all, even in Jung's own eyes, "the myth of my life" (p. 434). Myths are precisely what Hayman seeks to avoid, given the superabundance of myths, mythology, and mysticism in his subject's theories.

The book is divided into five parts, thirty-seven chapters in all. The parts, but even more the chapters, have evocative titles. Chapter 3, Such a Wicked Thought, refers to Jung's (lifelong) ambivalent relationship to God, including a legendary dream the boy had at age twelve, of God shitting on, and shattering his own cathedral. Chapter 17, The Woman Inside Me, refers to Jung's formulation that every man inherits a collective image of women, his anima. Chapter 20, Cooking in the Rain, is the only chapter, or indeed only place, that refers to Jung's relationship to his children. Father and children spent time on his boat, he taught them carpentry, and took them camping in the winter, hence the title of the chapter. Chapter 21, There is Greatness in You, refers to a sentence expressing the increasing self-confidence Jung instilled in his disciples. Chapter 35, Jesus and Satan are Brothers, deals with Jung's view that even God has a shadow side. Chapter 36, She was a Queen, refers to a pronouncement he made at the funeral of his wife.

The book also offers us a detailed Chronology, summarizing the events discussed in each chapter, with occasional references to surrounding world events.

Except for opening with a brief glimpse of the vigorous, still charismatic 84-year-old Jung, in a BBC TV interview, presenting himself as "a paragon of honesty and openness" (p. 3, no doubt meant tongue in cheek) the book has a linear composition. It starts with Jung's remarkable ancestry on both sides. His paternal grandfather was a highly respected German physician and Dean at the University of Basel, his maternal grandfather was a bishop of Basel with a predilection for the occult and eight of his uncles were parsons. Jung had a very troubled mother and his father, a parson, was disappointed and irritable. The book then takes us from Jung's birth in 1875, in Kesswil, by Lake Constance, to his death in his own tower in Bollingen, in 1961.

Isolation, secret rituals, a sense of divided self, a conviction of being special, and possibly childhood schizophrenia characterize his childhood, strikingly predicting themes of his later life. He participated in seances over four and a half years, while in medical school, (mis)using his much younger girl cousin as a medium. He would return to seances later in life, and continue to use the I-Ching for difficult decisions.

Jung's first, soon-to-be-discarded mentor was Eugen Bleuler, a psychiatric reformer and humanistic director of Burgholzli, the foremost psychiatric institution in Switzerland. As in every institution he ever joined, he rapidly rose to a leading position at Burgholzli. While there, he married Emma Rauschenbach and her wealth "brought him professional independence" (p. 67). She was faithful to him throughout life, which is more than can be said of him, and their marriage endured over her lifetime. He inscribed on her tombstone praise for her devotion and obedience. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Life of Jung
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.