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Reevaluating Jung's Life and Work.

Biographer Frank McLynn and writer Richard Noll examine the life of 20th century Swiss psychologist Carl Jung in their latest biographies. Frank McLynn's work, "Carl Gustav Jung" (St. Martin's Press), touches on Jung's early career, his allegiance and later his break with Sigmund Freud, as well as Jung as a controversial figure and an icon of "new age" philosophy. Richard Noll, who in 1994 published a book entitled "The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement" (Princeton University Press), continues to outline the image of a lesser-known, self-deified, anti-semitic, and promiscuous Jung in "The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung" (Random House).


Other segments from the episode on October 7, 1997

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, October 7, 1997: Interview with Frank McLynn and Richard Noll; Review of Horace Tapscott's album "Thoughts of Dar Es Salaam."


Date: OCTOBER 07, 1997
Time: 12:00
Tran: 100701np.217
Head: Books on Jung
Sect: News; Domestic
Time: 12:06

TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Two new books about famed psychiatrist Carl Jung call for a reevaluation of his life and work. Today, we'll meet both authors.

Early in his career, Jung was a protege of Freud's, but he left the fold in 1914 when Jung began to embrace more mystical ideas. Jung developed the ideas of the extroverted and introverted personality types, and the idea of individuation -- a life-long process in which a person achieves wholeness by integrating the conscious and unconscious self. Jung also originated the idea of the collective unconscious.

Many of today's psychotherapists have based their approaches on his. He has also become a New Age icon. Frank McLynn has written a new biography of Jung. He's also written biographies of poet Robert Louis Stevenson and African explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley. Richard Noll is the author of "The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung."

It's Noll's second book examining the controversial aspects of Jung's life, such as his alleged anti-Semitism, his mistreatment of female followers, and his ambition to create a cult group around him.

Noll is a lecturer in the history of science at Harvard. Noll writes in his book that he doubts an authentic, comprehensive account of Jung's life will be written any time soon. To do so would require that the heirs of Jung's estate open up everything to a scholar.

I asked if they each faced problems getting access to materials through the Jung estate. Richard Noll answered first.

RICHARD NOLL, AUTHOR OF "THE ARYAN CHRIST: THE SECRET LIFE OF CARL JUNG": Yes. In a word, yes. The problem is I think two-fold. Number one, the family and his close associates were aware of Jung's fascination with Aryan mysticism, and we now know after Hitler and the Third Reich that these things are associated with Nazis, when in fact most of these ideas pre-date National Socialism.

Secondly, Jung lived polygamously for most of his life -- openly so; had a threesome relationship. The second wife in that relationship was a woman by the name of Toni Wolff (ph), and he incorporated her into his daily schedule, his weekly schedule.

His children had to put up with this fact. It was embarrassing to them. His children, I think, were largely siding with their mother most of their lives, not their father. And as a result, after he died, the last thing they wanted was more of this kind of information to be made public. It's quite understandable. They were essentially quite ashamed, at times, by their father and just outraged. He was a most unconventional fellow.

So for these reasons, there has been very little cooperation from the Swiss.

FRANK MCLYNN, AUTHOR OF "CARL GUSTAV JUNG": I had the identical experience in it. In other words, a blanket refusal to cooperate in any shape or form, to an absurd point, because you'll notice that in my book, there are no illustrations.

The reason for that is that when I and my publishers approached the Jung Foundation to use their illustrative material, we were told we could only use images of Jung and his family on condition that the Jung Foundation had total editorial control, including the right of veto, over the script -- over the text itself.

Well, to me that is total absurdity, but that's the situation, and that gives you an idea of the level of lack of cooperation.

GROSS: Richard Noll, you accuse Carl Jung of wanting to make himself into a god and to create a cult group around him. Give us a short explanation of what you mean.

NOLL: Well, I'm not sure I would use the word "accuse." I actually do base my conclusions on evidence. Jung had an experience in December of 1913, right after he broke off with Freud over -- the last letter that he exchanged with Freud was in January of 1913.

Well, towards the end of 1913, Carl Jung decided to induce visionary experiences. He would go into a light trance and then imagine that he went into the underworld and he would have various experiences with mythological entities.

In one of these experiences in December, 1913, Jung is confronted by a blind woman, who calls herself Salome. And she walks up to him and says: "you are Christ." And Jung says: "well, no -- no I'm not Christ." And she's very insistent. She says: "you are Christ."

And at that moment, as Jung describes it, he assumes the posture of the crucified Christ, a large boa constrictor wraps itself around him, and his face and head transforms into that of a lion's head.

Now, Jung when he described this experience in a 1925 seminar, said that this was a deification experience. Literally, he felt that in the course of this experience, he had become a god. And the terminology here is a little -- it's hard to pin down definitions exactly, especially when you're talking about mystical experiences.

And subsequently, if you look at what Jung then does with his psychology, you notice some very interesting changes. You notice that by early 1914, he is claiming that patients are not having transferences based on personal emotional material, but that in fact they are having transferences that are guided somewhat by platonic ideas, or primordial images. Jung would call these archetypes.

And later, as the First World War started and continued, as I found looking into patient diaries and letters and so on, Jung was actually training patients to have visions and to ultimately have the sort of experience he had; to become, each one of them, aware of their own Christ-like nature; their own god-like nature.

And the recipe was that they had to become gods, and then overcome this self-deification. And I bring this out because it shows how far Jung got from Freud in psychoanalysis in a very short period of time. And it also, I think, points to why the Jungian movement has the character it does today, which is essentially a purveyor of New Age spirituality and mysticism.

GROSS: Frank McLynn, how do you interpret this early experience of Jung's with mysticism?

MCLYNN: Well, there's always been a school of thought that held that in 1913, Jung went mad and never came back. I mean, I think that's a hostile view, but it is a view that has been held. I didn't go quite that far, but I did treat that entire incident as a sort of psychotic interlude from which Jung more or less recovered.

But I must say, the evidence that Richard has produced has certainly made me wonder about this and think again. I mean, in a sense, it makes the entire tangle of Jung's state of mind at that time even more complex. So, where so many people have disagreed as to what Jung's state of mind was, and many, many analysts and others have offered diagnosis, it's very hard to come to a definite conclusion about all this.

But all one can say for certain is that something very, odd was going on.

GROSS: Now, when Jung says there that he felt his own -- a sense of his own deity, is that the words that you use?

NOLL: Yes.

GROSS: Well, I mean, that's -- in all kind of -- in the mystical aspects of all religion, god is embodied in every person and in every thing. So in some ways, there's really -- did -- nothing particularly outrageous about a statement like that. And then, you know, when he says that he wanted to overcome that sense of his own deification, well you don't want that sense of god in everything to mean that you have a big ego -- you know, that you are the center of the universe.

NOLL: Yeah. There is a color -- coloring to this particular experience, especially the way Jung interprets it -- that I think really needs to be addressed. And that's the historical and cultural context of this.

When Jung became this god, it was an amalgam of an ancient Aryan god, with Christ. And that's, in part, where the title of my book The Aryan Christ comes from. Jung at this time was very interested in gnosticism -- in gnostic heresies. He was very interested in bringing back that sort of polytheistic flavor to things. Jung actually was quite hostile to Judeo-Christianity.

And we can admire some of the ancient gnostic ideas. This idea, you know, for example, that we all have a bit of the divinity within us and we just need to bring it out and -- or that god can have many faces and so on. You know, ideas that you find in other religions as well.

The problem is that if you look at Jung within the context of his times, and his beliefs during this period, he was surrounded primarily by Swiss who were German -- and Germans, and a few Americans and Brits who had come to be in his inner circle -- not many.

And in the context of these times, what Jung was doing was he was offering a path of initiation and transformation only for those who were biologically Aryan. This is a very important point here. In Jung's thinking, spirituality is rooted in biology. Now as years progressed, and certainly after 1936, when Jung starts back-peddling from his support of the Third Reich, he doesn't talk like this quite as much.

But if you really get into the way Jung thought during this period, many of the ideas are things that we now associate with National Socialism. And it's quite a shock to many Jungians to realize this, but spirituality is rooted in biology. You have to remember that when you think about Jung during this period.

GROSS: My guests are Richard Noll and Frank McLynn. They've each written new books about Carl Jung. We'll talk more after a break.

This is FRESH AIR.

Back with Frank McLynn, author of a new biography of Carl Jung, and Richard Noll, author of The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung.

When we left off, we were talking about Jung's Aryan mysticism.

Frank McLynn, do you agree with this assessment that the kind of teaching that he was doing, the kind of enlightenment he was working for was something he felt it was only available to Aryans?

MCLYNN: Well, there's no question about Jung's being racist, if we judge him by contemporary standards. If you think of the work he did on what he called, you know, the Indian influences, the Negro influences as the terms then were used, in the United States. I mean, Jung believed in the influence of the earth. He believed in the influence of race permeating the earth.

He sent the white people who went to the Americas -- acquired characteristics of the red man. And then later when they brought in black slaves, they acquired those characteristics. So even if you read works of Jung which are readily available in the collected works, they're not esoteric ones such as the ones that Richard has dug out, you can see quite clearly that there is a kind of quasi-National Socialist, blood and earth, approach to questions of race.

And Jung is quite upfront about it.

NOLL: Yeah, well that whole concept actually is really at the center of a lot of the way that -- much of the way Jung viewed the world. There's -- that concept was also associated with the old blood and soil, "bluten boden" (ph) philosophy of Aryanism. It was this idea that the landscape formed your soul and it formed the souls of your ancestors. Your ancestors lived on the land. They died on the land. Their blood was in the soil.

And that there was actually something like energy that came out of the soil under the landscape that would shape your soul and even shape your -- the way you looked, you know, one generation from the next.

And that's why, for example, Jung and many, many in his day, and the culture -- historians have this term now; we get around the word "racist" and we call it "racialist." What Jung believed was that the Aryans were privileged. They were forced to become Christians; that Christianity was this alien Jewish religion. It was monotheistic, monogamous, and it was forced on the Aryan tribes of Northern Europe around 1,000 AD, and that this way of thinking was alien to the Aryans.

Biologically, they were polytheistic. They worshipped the sun. They were nudist. They worshipped in sacred groves.

Whereas the culture that was imposing this religion -- Jews primarily; Jung saw Christianity as essentially a Jewish religion as did many in his day. These were people that had wandered the earth. They came from a land that was dry and desolate; that was barren. And you have to understand that this -- Jung thought that this shaped their soul. There was something about Jews in particular that made them disconnected from nature.

And as Jung thought during the First World War and even afterwards, this made them bad candidates for his brand of therapy, because they were practically unredeemable. You couldn't get them to the point where they could reconnect with their natural spirituality.

GROSS: Frank McLynn, do you want to contradict anything that Richard Noll has just said?

MCLYNN: No. That seems perfectly in line with everything I discovered. Certainly, he had this view that some -- well, as you know, one of the elements in anti-Semitism, certainly before the State of Israel, was that you can't trust Jews because they have no national allegiance. You know, they're a wandering tribe ever since the disaspora.

Well, Jung put a sort of slightly different spin on that in the way that Richard has just described, by saying that there is something in the very nature of a nomadic people that affects their spirituality and their attitude to theism and to God. So, it goes much deeper than that.

GROSS: Well Frank McLynn, in your biography of Jung you bring out some I think very interesting points that Jung had made that made him uncomfortable with Christianity the way it was being practiced. Why don't you go into some of those points for us?

MCLYNN: Yes, well I think there are two that really stand out. One is the idea that in the Christian tradition, the problem of evil is wrongly considered, because evil is considered as something apart. There is good on one side and there's evil on the other. It's the old Manichean dualism. And in traditional Christian theology, there was God and the angels. On the other side, there was Satan and the demons.

Now Jung was insistent that good and evil are part of the same reality; that they interpenetrate. And therefore to give a correct description of evil, you have to consider it as being in some sense an aspect of what is usually considered good. Therefore, you're in the realm of ambiguity and ambivalence all the time. You're not in the realm of straight good and straight evil.

And Jung suggested that the correct way to look at the godhead was not via the traditional Christian trinity, but in terms of a quarternity which would have Satan and the devil, if you like, as the fourth part of the godhead.

So that was one of the ways in which he particularly acted as a gadfly to traditional Christian believers.

The other was his insistence that God was not something out there, but something within. God was not a transcendental being. The only meaning for God or the (unintelligible) is what is within you. And he always argued that this was the true meaning of St. Paul, but that this had been perverted by mistranslation. So, Jung was always insistent that there was no god out there. The only god was inside people.

But critics of Jung fastened on this and said, well, Jung changed his mind about things like ghosts. Jung began by thinking that ghosts were simply, in some sense, externalized complexes of human mind. But later on in life, he began to think that ghosts really were out there.

So the Christian critics said: "well, if ghosts can be really out there, what's the objection to a transcendental god out there? And Jung never answered that one satisfactorally.

GROSS: So with the idea of good and evil, Jung felt that we should be both; that we should like own up to the aspects of good and evil within ourselves and understand those parts -- both as being parts of our personality instead of completely separating good and evil, god and the devil. Is that...

MCLYNN: Yes. Well, I suppose a very good example of this comes in the Robert Louis Stevenson story, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," where Stevenson makes it quite plain that why -- the reason Dr. Jekyll goes off the rails and becomes mad is that he tries to decant all the evil in himself into a separate personality called Mr. Hyde. And if you try to do that, you will go mad.

And Jung was saying something similar. He was saying that you have to accept that so-called good and evil are different aspects of one reality. And they're not separate forces. There isn't God or Christ or Jesus and the forces of light on one side, and Satan and the forces of darkness on the other. That's a sort of neurotic way of looking at reality, and the correct way is to see them as being fused and interpenetrated.

NOLL: What we're getting at here with these concepts of good and evil, as Jung treats them, I think gets at the heart of several things. First of all, is his notion of individuation and what an individuated person is. It's one of these ideas that attracts a great many people. It certainly attracts many Christians that I know. They think this is just a fine concept. They interpret it, as Jung's saying: "well you know, you should work on your soul to be a better person, and...

GROSS: I think you need to just describe what individuation is -- what it means.

NOLL: Aha, yeah. Well, yeah. OK. Well, individuation is essentially the process of becoming an individual -- becoming a unique person, unlike anyone who's ever existed. Now, however, at the same time, Jung says there's this paradoxical thing where you're actually becoming connected -- more connected with the human race.

But the interpretation of this usually by people is that it's -- it means, well, you work on your soul to become a better person. But if you really read Jung carefully, you know, what is an individuated person? You know, this ideal human that he's proposing?

Well, it's someone who is amoral; someone who is, in the Nietzchian sense, beyond good and evil. It's someone who can be capable of the greatest good and the greatest evil. It's not a Christian. It -- Jung is not saying, you know, "love they neighbor as thyself." You know, he's not saying "turn the other cheek."

He's, essentially, in many respects, saying, you know, get to the point where you can adapt to society and to the world, but at the same time live instinctually, creatively, like our early human ancestors did.

GROSS: Richard Noll is the author of The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung. Frank McLynn is the author of a new biography of Jung. They'll be back with us in the second half of the show.

I'm Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR.

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Back with the authors of two new books about Carl Jung -- one of the most important figures in the development of psychotherapy. Frank McLynn is the author of a new biography of Jung. Richard Noll is the author of The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung.

Let's look at a question that Richard Noll, you particularly raise in your book -- The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung. You say that Carl Jung was anti-Semitic; that he briefly had ties to the Nazis. I want you to encapsulate some of that for us.

NOLL: Sure. This is -- this is one of the most painful issues, really. It was for me personally in doing research on Jung and discovering what his beliefs truly were and what some of his actions were. And certainly it's been painful to generations of people of all persuasions, Freudian and Jungian.

But essentially, after he broke with Freud, it was fairly clear that Jung was conscious, at least, of anti-Semitic feelings in himself. How do we know this? Well, he wrote a confidential letter to an Aryan colleague of his in late 1913. This is a Swedish psychoanalyst. And he says: "well, you know, up to now, I haven't been an anti-Semite, but I think I'm going to become one, I believe."

And Jung is on record repeatedly for making statements like that, which is unfortunate. His own disciples have had a difficult time trying to integrate that, even his Jewish disciples. There is one in particular, a woman by the name of Yolanda Jacobi (ph), who was with Jung from the 1930s until his death.

And he would say things to her like: "well, you know, I wouldn't want to have a child, you know, with -- that had Jewish blood in it." And he would tell others: "well, you know" -- this is during 1933 and '34 -- he would says things like, "well, you know, the Jews, they should wear different clothing than the rest of us, so we know who they are; so they don't take advantage of us."

Things like this, which point to a level of anti-Semitic feeling in him. Now -- but -- how -- did he act on it? You know, well, it's hard to say, exactly. Was he a Nazi? No, he was not a Nazi. Was he a Nazi sympathizer? I would argue in this book, yes.

For the first three years of Hitler's regime, Jung was a Nazi sympathizer. And again, I think he got caught up in it, as many people did at that time, not for the political stuff that was happening; not necessarily for the anti-Semitism, but because so many people were hungry for a spiritual rebirth.

There were many, many people for many decades before Hitler came to power who wanted to get rid of Christianity the way it was and to replace it with something that was more congruent with German-Aryan spirituality. And in fact, when Hitler came to power there was a great neo-pagan movement. They even called themselves that at that time. And one of the leaders was a fellow by the name of Hauer (ph) that Jung gave seminars with.

And Jung, after Hitler came to power, suddenly became famous for the first time in Germany. For many years, he was ignored by German professors and universities, and then suddenly in 1933, he's getting all sorts of invitations to come and give seminars.

And I think all these things kind of went to his head. And then something happened in 1936, and we're not sure exactly what. But Jung starts backing off. And it's at this point that Jung really starts emphasizing that he's Swiss, and not German.

Prior to this time -- again, Jung is 60 years old in 1936 -- prior to this time, the statements about him being Swiss, Jung just -- well, he just brushes off. He considered himself German. His father's ancestors were all from Germany -- German in the tribal sense.

You know, he writes letters with statements like, you know, "Wir Germanen (ph)" -- you know, "we Germans" -- and suddenly becomes Swiss in 1936, which is quite interesting.

GROSS: Frank McLynn, do you think that Richard Noll is overstating the case at all?

MCLYNN: No, I don't think so. No, I think the case is very nuanced. He doesn't say that Jung continued to be a virulent -- he doesn't even say he was a Nazi; doesn't continue to be a virulent supporter of National Socialism after 1936.

I think there were several reasons why Jung was predisposed in favor of the Hitler movement. One of them was that he had this strange notion that Germany had never been fully Christianized, and that the longing in the Germany unconscious was for the old Germanic war god Wotan, as in Wotan lurks in the Germanic unconscious.

And when Hitler came to power, he took this as a triumphal vindication of his theory, and he said to it: "there you are. I told you so. I told you Wotan was in the unconscious. Here he comes now in the shape of Hitler. Now, people will see that I'm right."

And I think for the first three years, he was so taken up with the triumphalism of his own theory that he forgot what he was actually dealing with. That was part of it.

GROSS: Frank McLynn, in your biography of Jung you bring up a very interesting paradox in the relationship between Freud and Jung. You say that one of the reasons why Freud was so pleased to have Jung as one of his disciples was that he felt that Jung would ensure that psychology didn't become a victim of anti-Semitism; that psychology wouldn't be shot down just because Freud was Jewish.

MCLYNN: Yes, indeed. In religious terms, it was the case of taking the gospel to the Gentiles, as St. Paul had done. That was the importance of Jung for Freud. But if Jung and other Aryans took up the theory, then people couldn't say well, it was just -- it's just another crazy Jewish cult or sect that we can disregard and marginalize. It must be of much more universal significance because it's not confined to Jews.

So Jung was crucially important to Freud from that point of view.

GROSS: But then Jung, you write, threatened to undo Freud's work by producing a Christianized version of psychology.

MCLYNN: Yes, well, of course the paradox was that Jung turned out to be precisely the person who posed the greatest danger to psychoanalysis; of making it a ghettoized Jewish theory because he tried to take over, as it were, take over the leadership of dep-psychology and marginalize Freudianism as a kind of heretical sect.

The -- you know, for a while, it was a bit like the struggle in the early church between the Aryans and the Athanasians. You know, which one is going to be the heresy and which one is going to be the orthodoxy?

GROSS: You say that Freud was eventually afraid that Jung would destroy psychology. Whereas Jung later accused Freud of being the devil.

MCLYNN: Yes, well of course, this is part of -- I think part of the anti-Semitism in Jung was that so often in his mind he had this equation: Freud equals Jew. And by the same token, Jew equals Freud. So I definitely think that on many occasions when he's talking about Jews and the Jew as he does, he's really thinking about his old enemy Freud.

GROSS: Jung started out in psychology as Freud's disciple, really, and then went off and they had a very serious split, and went off in two very different directions. What were the things that Jung first really was attracted to about Freud's theories of psychology? And I'll let whoever wants to talk first take this one.

MCLYNN: Yeah. You see, Freud -- sorry, Jung tells us in his autobiography, and I don't think there's any particular need to doubt this part of his testimony, that he always thought of himself as being two people. There was what he called the "number one" personality and the "number two" personality.

And the number one personality was basically a scientific rationalist, and the number two personality was some kind of mystic. Now, Jung says that he went into medicine and then into psychiatry so that the scientific and the rationalist side of him would predominate.

But if you read the interesting material that Richard Noll's unearthed on Jung's dabbling in spiritualism, you can see that he quite clearly felt a powerful need to do this -- possibly to save himself from going mad. And he did always feel -- did always fear hereditary madness.

OK, right, well, he then goes into his early hospital work in Zurich, and tries to make himself a scientist. Now, I think the really important thing about Freud for Jung was that here was a man who enabled him to make sense of both aspects of his life.

Psychoanalysis provided a means whereby the science of psychology could be dovetailed with his interest in the occult and his interest in spiritualism. And it proved to him, in a sense, that he was a whole person. He wasn't a fragmented, split person. Psychoanalysis was the key to that, and Freud was the head of this movement.

So even before he'd met Freud and made personal contact, there's a powerful thrust in that direction.

GROSS: If you're just joining us, both my guests have written books about psychologist Carl Jung. Frank McLynn is joining us from London. He's the author of Carl Gustav Jung: A Biography. Richard Noll is joining us from Boston. He's the author of The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung.

Why don't we take a short break and then talk some more?

This is FRESH AIR.

Back with the authors of two books about Carl Jung. Richard Noll is the author of The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung. He's joining us from Boston. Frank McLynn is the author of Carl Gustav Jung: A Biography, and he's joining us from England.

One of the theories that Carl Jung is most known for is an idea called the "collective unconscious." Would one of you like to explain what that is?

MCLYNN: Well, I think I'll let Richard to this one.


NOLL: Thanks a lot. Ah, well, Jung proposes this idea in 1916. And essentially, Jung proposes that there are certain experiences that human beings can have in dreams or in fantasies or in psychotic symptoms that come from material -- memories that are not personal, but in fact are trans-personal or collective, in a sense.

Jung thought that, literally, fragments of experiences that our ancestors had were still in our biological fiber and could be reached under certain conditions. What is this material? And this is where Jung really takes off. It's primarily mythic and religious.

Jung had spent, as I said, nine years as an experimental psychiatrist studying human memory. He studied things like unconscious plagiarism. You know, when somebody would write something and then unconsciously work in material from something that they had previously read.

Jung's case history of his spiritualist medium cousin was essentially a way of debunking all of her claims. She claimed she was talking to ancestors and the reincarnation memories and so on. And Jung was able to show early in his career that no, all of this material that was coming up was actually from previous experiences she had had, things she had read and so on.

What is so interesting is that in 1916, Jung suddenly forgets all this research he had done, showing again and again how human memory distorts things; how it constructs things. And after 1916, Jung really wasn't very interested in trying to knock down or actually get rid of alternate explanations for the collective unconscious.

Whenever a patient would come to him with a dream that had something vaguely mythological in it, Jung would insist that it was from this deeper archaic trans-personal level which had actually no basis in science.

Now, OK fine -- so Jung made a logical error here. You know, you'd had some mystical experiences which to him were convincing proof of this collective unconscious. And I think that's why he tended to bend evidence throughout his life; to make evidence that he was seeing in his consulting room fit.

Now, the darker aspect of this, and the most troubling aspect, is there are many, many instances which you can actually prove very easily, just by analyzing Jung's case histories, his published case histories, where Jung lies about his evidence. The crux of the argument is that usually in a case history, Jung will say: "well, this patient came to me. She had no previous experience with alchemy, and yet she had this series of dreams with remarkable alchemical images, with you know, myths and Gods and so on."

And you go back and you do the historical research and find out who these people were, and they were all patients who came to Jung for treatment, generally after they'd been through things like theosophy, spiritualism. They knew about alchemy. They -- you know, they were basically into stuff that is very popular today, even in New Age circles.

GROSS: So you're saying they knew the images and it probably wasn't from the collective unconscious.

NOLL: Yeah. Right.

GROSS: Frank McLynn, how much credence does the collective unconscious now have in psychological circles or sociological circles?

Yeah, go ahead.

MCLYNN: Well, I think it has a lot of credence in certain Jungian circles. I don't think it has much outside that. It is -- I think it is actually a very old idea. I mean, if you go back to Plato in the Timeas (ph), he talks about the world's soul; the idea that there is a kind of collective soul that informs the entire universe.

And Jung was quite keen on Plato, and I think that was one of the influences in his theory of the collective unconscious.

GROSS: Don't you think the collective unconscious was also meant to speak to certain things that humans seem to share around the world and through the centuries, such as beliefs in god...


GROSS: ... beliefs in some kind of spiritual thing; that why is it throughout recorded history, there have been religions. And wouldn't he use the collective unconscious to explain that?

MCLYNN: Sure, but you can turn that back on itself, once you can say well, of course, all human beings have similar myths because they have -- they all have similar experience. We're all born. We all die. You know, we reproduce. We have similar encounters with forces of nature -- large waves, sharks, or something that is common throughout the world.

Of course, the myths are going to reflect that common experience. And you even get people like Heyerdahl trying to claim that the myth started in one place and then was diffused over the world. I mean, these ideas aren't necessary. You don't need a theory of the collective unconscious to explain why human myths are similar. It seems to me an unnecessary hypothesis.

GROSS: Frank McLynn, you write that the most problematic aspects of Jung's biography are his -- have to do with his turbulent married life. What gave you trouble there?

MCLYNN: Well, simply that as Richard said earlier, you can't find out the details of who all these people were. I mean, we know that he was promiscuous and had a kind of informal harem, but we can't get at the names, and that is presumably some of the information that's being held on to like grim death by the Jung Foundation.

GROSS: Do you have any evidence that he was unfair to or mistreated women who he was with?

MCLYNN: Oh, I think he was extremely brutal. That comes out in the -- in the affair with Sabina Spielrein (ph), which is now pretty well documented, which people know about quite well. And however you read that, even if you give him the benefit of every doubt and say, you know, even if you say that at the limit, this is a neurotic woman talking, it doesn't really work. I mean, he behaved extremely badly.

And we know from the famous letter that he wrote to Sabina Spielrein's mother saying that nobody should be able to criticize him because he was a doctor. If they wanted to criticize him, they should be paying him extra fees. But I mean, his attitude was absolutely out of order, as we say.

GROSS: When you say "brutal," did he hit her? That physical brutality?

MCLYNN: Oh, I'm sure he did because see, we know for a fact that he threw, I think -- I can't remember who it was now -- it may have been Yolanda J. -- he certainly threw one of his women supporters down a flight of stairs.

NOLL: Right.

MCLYNN: So he, you know, was -- he didn't draw the line at physical violence.

GROSS: Frank McLynn, you write that you think it's ironic that Jung has been seen as pro-woman, as opposed to the allegedly anti-woman positions of Freud. Would you elaborate on that?

MCLYNN: Yes, well as you probably know, in the early days of the feminist movement, Freud was a major target until Juliet Mitchell (ph) restored the balance with her book showing how you could, in fact, integrate feminism and psychoanalysis, in a much more constructive way. And I think that approach is right and true.

But it seems to me that there's been an awful lot of what I can only describe as propaganda about Jung from people who say things like: "Jung made me understand what it was like to be a woman. He made me understand my femininity clearly."

And I can't -- I -- you know, all I'm saying as a would-be conscientious biographer, I can't see this, because it seems to me that what Jung actually says about women is not all that complimentary; not all that flattering.

GROSS: I guess the question I really want to ask you both is: do you think there's anything worth keeping about Carl Jung's philosophy? I mean, so far everything that we've talked about has to do with the more questionable parts of his life or his teachings. What do you think is worth keeping about Jungian philosophy? -- Jungian psychoanalysis, I should say.


GROSS: Yeah, go ahead.

NOLL: Yeah, go ahead. Hang yourself, Frank.


MCLYNN: Well, my case is that Jung's most valuable work took place in three main areas, but most of them a long way away from where he thought he did his most valuable work. I think the three areas are the early work on schizophrenia in his pre-Freudian period; his what I think his very talented work as a theologian in his book on Job; and the quite courageous probing into certain areas of the so-called "supernatural" in his late life. If you asked me to say what are the most valuable parts of Jungian thought, those are the ones I'd go for.

Unfortunately, from Jung's point of view, those would probably be considered peripheral. The central tenets I'm not so impressed by.

GROSS: Richard Noll, what about you?

NOLL: Well, I would agree with everything that Frank just said, and just add that for me personally, you know, again, as someone who is not a Jung-basher, what I find valuable in Jung's work is his emphasis on this idea that we must come to terms with the spiritual in life, however defined, and that spirituality is part of a mentally healthy life.

And also this idea that -- I like Jung as a phenomenologist of human experience. I like the fact that he realized that we are multiple selves; that -- and, you know, Jung ties that in with his whole polytheistic, you know, pagan world view. But essentially, that's a very valuable metaphor and a very valuable tool in clinical work, at least I've found -- this idea that we are multiple selves.

GROSS: Well I want to thank you both very much for talking with us about Jung. Thank you.

MCLYNN: Thank you.

NOLL: Thank you, Terry.

GROSS: Richard Noll is the author of The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung. Frank McLynn is the author of a new biography of Carl Jung.

Coming up, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new CD by pianist Horace Tapscott.

This is FRESH AIR.

Dateline: Terry Gross, Philadelphia
High: Biographer Frank McLynn and writer Richard Noll examine the life of 20th century Swiss psychologist Carl Jung in their latest biographies. Frank McLynn's work, "Carl Gustav Jung," touches on Jung's early career, his allegiance and later his break with Sigmund Freud, as well as Jung as a controversial figure and an icon of "new age" philosophy. Richard Noll, who in 1994 published a book entitled "The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement," continues to outline the image of a lesser-known, self-deified, anti-semitic, and promiscuous Jung in "The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung."
Spec: Books; Authors; History; Biography; Psychiatry; Carl Gustav Jung; The Jung Cult; The Aryan Christ
Please note, this is not the final feed of record
Copy: Content and programming copyright 1997 WHYY, Inc. All rights reserved. Transcribed by FDCH, Inc. under license from WHYY, Inc. Formatting copyright 1997 FDCH, Inc. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WHYY, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.
End-Story: Books on Jung
Date: OCTOBER 07, 1997
Time: 12:00
Tran: 100702NP.217
Head: Thoughts of Dar Es Salaam
Sect: News; Domestic
Time: 12:55

TERRY GROSS, HOST: Pianist Horace Tapscott was born in Houston in 1934 and was raised on blues and Gospel music. He spent a little time in New York in the late '50s. Aside from that, he spent almost all his life in Los Angeles.

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Tapscott has been a sort of guardian angel in the City of Angels. He's also a very good piano player. Kevin reviews a new Tapscott Trio CD.


KEVIN WHITEHEAD, FRESH AIR COMMENTATOR: Horace Tapscott playing "Willetta's Walk" -- typical of Horace Tapscott, that tune doesn't call attention to its own cleverness. You could easily not notice it's in five-four time if that means anything to you.

After 30 years of not being so well known, even in jazz circles, Tapscott is now getting recognized for not doing what jazz musicians are supposed to do to get noticed. He didn't settle in New York to face off against his opposition. He chose for Los Angeles, where he's involved himself in less competitive activity.

Since the '60s, his big band, "The Pan-African People's Archestra," has been a nurturing ground for players and composers from the city's black community. Tapscott is a genial idealist with the presence of a Lincoln. At way over six feet tall with octopus limbs, he just about dwarfs the piano.

With the sustain pedal down, hammering out dense chords he can get a sound as big as he is, but that big sound can cloud over. As pianist, he sounds best accompanied by a crisp rhythm section.

One his new CD called "Thoughts of Dar Es Salaam," that would be Ray Drummond (ph) on bass and Billy Hart (ph) on drums.


WHITEHEAD: Horace Tapscott, playing his Thoughts of Dar Es Salaam. In the 1960s that sort of material -- bass vamp like a trotting camel, solos built from simple scales -- became a sort of metaphor for the connection between jazz and African roots.

True, it doesn't sound much like real African music, like Ellington's so-called "jungle music" of the '20s, as far as that goes. But accuracy isn't the point. It relates more to a kind of stubborn ethnic pride that bloomed in cities like Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s. Such music identifies more with the romance of the Sahara than the epic tragedies of the slave coast.

Horace Tapscott has a lot of tunes like that. But on his new CD, he also plays some old be-bop numbers like "Social Call," a nice line by saxophonist GG Greis (ph).


WHITEHEAD: There's a central paradox about jazz's out-of-town legends. If Horace Tapscott had stayed in New York all those years ago, he would have attracted attention sooner, but he might not have developed into the Horace Tapscott whose music and community activism help shape one another. As a sign of how much he gets back from the musicians he works with in L.A., he'll record some of their tunes alongside his.

Every jazz scene exerts subtle pressure on musicians to adopt the local accent; to conform to a prevailing style or way of phrasing; or just a common way of hearing where the beat it. Resisting New York is one way to hold on to the independent perspective a good jazz musician needs. But teaming up the Angeleno with a regulation New York rhythm section was a good idea, too. It keeps the big man on his toes.

GROSS: Kevin Whitehead reviews Thoughts of Dar Es Salaam by Horace Tapscott and his trio on the Arabesque label.

Dateline: Kevin Whitehead; Terry Gross, Philadelphia
High: Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Horace Tapscott's new CD "Thoughts of Dar Es Salaam."
Spec: Music Industry; Religion; Islam; Africa; Cities; Dar Es Salaam
Please note, this is not the final feed of record
Copy: Content and programming copyright 1997 WHYY, Inc. All rights reserved. Transcribed by FDCH, Inc. under license from WHYY, Inc. Formatting copyright 1997 FDCH, Inc. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WHYY, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.
End-Story: Thoughts of Dar Es Salaam
Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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