A COUPLE OF aging Jungians are coming to St. Louis to talk
about old age, its blessings and its curses, in a public
conversation that promises to be iconoclastic, provocative and -
before the evening is over - chock-full of contradictions.
At the St. Louis Art Museum on April 4, James Hillman of
Connecticut, an influential critic of psychotherapy with a
self-proclaimed "dark eye (and) twisted perception," will be here
with Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig of Zurich, Switzerland, an author,
lecturer and analytical psychology insider, who was for 12 years
president of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich.
Guggenbuhl is 72, and Hillman 68. They are very good friends
but, in some ways, are each other's opposite, says Jungian analyst
Gary Hartman of St. Louis. Hartman is a consultant to the C.G. Jung
Society of St. Louis, which is sponsoring the meeting.
Hillman, says Hartman, has a "bad boy" image and likes to stand
outside the institution of psychotherapy and point out its
blemishes. He is no longer an analyst by profession.
This year, the Utne Reader named Hillman one of its "100
Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life." He looks at and
appreciates the "dark" side of the mind, believing that what many
therapists view as pathology that needs curing actually has value
in and of itself.
Guggenbuhl, a pragmatist, also criticizes therapy and analysis,
and has written and lectured on the unconscious power lust of
people in the helping professions.
But he remains an insider. In addition to serving as president
of the Jung Institute, Guggenbuhl was president of the
International Society for Analytical Psychology. He still trains
analysts at the institute in Zurich.
Hartman says the men "are the sort of premier thinkers most
likely to look at all sides" of a condition, including old age.
He considers both men likely to change their minds in the
middle of the conversation at the Art Museum, and so contradict
themselves in the second half of the evening.
"They both have that mercurial quality to them, of being able
to see a variety of facets of anything," he said. "Don't be
surprised if they reverse themselves."
In their analytical work, Hillman and Guggenbuhl both have
expanded on the work of Carl G. Jung, a Swiss psychologist who died
in 1961 and who was known for his studies of the unconscious and
Jung believed fairy and folk tales, myths and Biblical stories
actually told in metaphor about the spiritual and psychological
journeys of men and women through life.
He contended that along with an individual's personal
unconscious, there exists also a "collective unconscious," shared
by everyone. From it come images and symbols that represent
universal human impulses.
Jung believed evolutionary history established certain
psychological patterns in the unconscious that influence human