The Aryan Christ

Article excerpt

Dr. Carl Gustav Jung's followers and admirers the world over celebrate his 125th birthday on the 26th of July this year.

How much do we remember of this erstwhile best pupil of Sigmund Freud, Freud's crown prince and heir apparent? Why did Jung part from the founder and pioneer of modern psychoanalysis? A few answers are given by Richard Noll, a well-known British psychoanalyst, in his quite objective book, The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung, (1997, New York: Random House).

It began when Jung revolted against Freud's theories of the unconscious. Jung felt like an explorer of Columbus or Darwin's stature in his search for the "subconscious." He parted from Freud's "Jewish psychology" in his search for the archaic Aryan race, to which Germans, Austrians, and Swiss were the only representatives in Europe.

Impressed by Richard Wagner's Parsifal, Jung was looking for a knight's image on the road to the hob grail. His imaginary world embraced the occult, alchemy, astrology, and the ancient Aryan religion.

According to Jung, Christ was not a Jew -- he was an Aryan. Sometimes Jung even believed he himself was the reincarnated Aryan Christ.

In a 1925 lecture in Zurich, Jung spoke of "ancestor possession" that would form man's actions. His 1902 doctoral dissertation put forth the idea that spiritual mediums may have serious psychic abilities. Hypnosis, hysteria, spiritualism, and the occult were deeply anchored in Jung's subconscious long before he became the famous psychological healer of hysterical, depressed, and schizophrenic patients.

In his constant search for new vistas of healing and philosophies, he was led by his Weltanschauung to investigate one system and another. He turned toward sun worship and analyzed the sun gods and goddesses of ancient cultures. "If one honors God," he wrote, "the sun or the fire, one honors one's own vital force, the libido." (Psychology of the Unconscious, 1911) He continued, "The sun is adapted as is nothing else to represent the visible God of the world."

Jung's Austro-Hungarian, German, and British colleagues were in an uproar. What had happened to Jung? It was 1912. Ernest Jones asked Freud: "Is Jung going to save the world as a Christ, as an Aryan Christ with antisemitism certainly combined?" On 8 June that year, Freud wrote Dr. Ferenzci: "You are right: our dear Swiss has gone crazy." To Ernest Jones, Freud also wrote: "Jung has made a perfect fool of himself, believing he is a Christ figure."

Jung, who was never very polite -- not to his patients, to his colleagues, or even to his mistresses seemed rather proud to have received so much critical attention from his peers. All he had to say he expressed in a few sentences addressed to his colleague Paul Bjerre: "Until now I was no antisemite -- but now I'll become one, I believe."

No doubt, both time, experience, and circumstances (and some brilliant mistresses) helped Jung to mature; he did enjoy success as the leading Swiss psychoanalyst, and his mental hospital, Burgholzli, became world famous. But he continued research into the traditions of the occult underground -- gnosticism, hermeticism, alchemy, astrology, the Kabbalah, the Tarot, automatic writing, all forms of magic, Freemasonry, Rosticrucianism, Christian Science, and Theosophy, with the possible application of these systems by the modern psychiatric world. …