Noll and Void: Richard Roberts
NOLL AND VOID:
JUNG AND THE "NON-ANYTHING" PSYCHOLOGIST
©1997 Richard Roberts
The following article is a condensation of an article that not only takes to task Richard Noll's contentions about Jung in The Aryan Christ, but also sets forth how I was able to update and utilize the Hermetic divinatory arts of Tarot and astrology through the influence of Jungian archetypes, evidence for which Noll dismisses as "hearsay." Furthermore, the Jungian techniques of active fantasy and the hierosgamos, the "sacred marriage" of the conscious and unconscious minds, resulted in my writing two books which could not have been written without these techniques, one of which books was evidently beyond the boundaries of the conscious mind, because no writer in the long history of literature had heretofore written his characters into the work of another writer. This union with the unconscious mind yielded an expansion of consciousness in both the author(myself) and in the protagonists of my book, The Wind & the Wizard, of which Dr. James Daley of the Psychology Department at Diablo Valley College has written, "The more than twenty years that Joseph Campbell was his mentor well-prepared him for the writing of a book.. which is at once an exploration of cosmic mythology, a highly-conscious Jungian tale of the individuation path, an alchemical parable in which the son/self is transformed into the King/Self, thereby redeeming the father, and a fantasy/science fiction adventure of great fun involving the most exotic time-travels one could imagine." Even the book's structure comes from the "sacred marriage," two interpenetrating triangles with a different element representing each of the six points of the trines and each book, ranging from The Wind in the Willows to The Marvelous Land of Oz; hence, the title. Because pages of the original authors' words are used, the books had to be in the public domain; and to make my characters' presence as seamless as possible, I wrote each of the six books in the style of the original authors. The second book, which came from the archetypes dreaming themselves, is Tales for Jung Folk.
My very first book, Tarot and You(1970), was the result of divination, accessing the Jungian Self, the "god within" in order to attain a wisdom beyond the ego's ken. These taped readings yielded highly accurate interpretations for the people being "read," and I wondered for a time how the Tarot cards could possibly "work." The secret, however, was in my method. Rather than relying on medieval-like dream book interpretations, I dragged Tarot kicking and screaming into the 20th century by allowing the readee to free associate his own interpretation for each card, and then presenting an overview organized into what I called "The Jungian Spread," which contained cards for the unconscious archetypes, which tend to drive the individual into archetypal relations or situations. My point here is that my own life has been so creatively enriched by Jung's influence that without it I would be impoverished. Many others may feel as I do that the Hermetic world view is a valid alternative to the mechanistic view of nihilism because of their own transformative experiences, of which I should like to hear from those reading this. Therefore, those who would like the original article in its entirety need only to email their request to me, and I shall email it back to them from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last but not least, Noll's charges against Jung, anti-Semitism and a closet fascism, and creation of an alternative "religion" for purely greedy, materialistic motives, were by no coincidence the same accusations made against Joseph Campbell in 1990 by Brendan Gill. I responded with a rebuttal, "The Shaman and the Stalinists," published in Matrix: Explorations in Spirituality. Readers who would also like this article may request it from me by email. It may be beneficial to read that article before the one here below, because Noll's attack then becomes truly transparent, part of a larger nihilist agenda that seeks to discredit not only traditional religion but also those like Jung and Campbell who posit a spiritual world view. The greater implications for the future of our Republic are sinister indeed, for as Alan Bloom said, the nihilism and the moral relativism that happened in the German universities, that paved the way for Hitler, has happened in our universities and is happening everywhere. Although these are times when the "worst of men are full of passionate intensity," the best of men must stand on the strength of their spiritual convictions.
When I first heard by word-of-mouth of the guilt by association with Naziism tactic in The Aryan Christ, I was given the e-mail address of Noll, whereupon I requested a volume and page number that would substantiate his charge from the great number of volumes in the collected works of Jung. I received from Noll an article, "A Christ Named Carl Jung," which encapsulates the ideas in his book, but nary a line supporting Jung's supposed fondness for the Third Reich. The reader should not be surprised by this. I anticipated as much, for I had written a defense of Joseph Campbell in 1990 when he was branded a fascist and an anti-Semite by Brendan Gill in an article in The New York Review of Books. Gill's charges cited no textual references to support his thesis, but depended upon hearsay and false assumptions based upon a misunderstanding of Campbell's work, particularly the phrase, "Follow your bliss."
Jung, it may be recalled, broke with Freud, thereby jeopardizing his professional future, over Freud's demand that Jung make of Freud's sexual theory "a bulwark against the black tide of mud of occultism." Campbell, too, risked being marginalized when he abandoned his Ph. D. program when he wanted to change his dissertation to his newfound interest in mythology. Denied, he abandoned his pursuit of the golden key to academia, the Ph. D. Subsequently, while teaching at Sarah Lawrence, Campbell earned the ire of his fellow teachers by refusing to join the teacher's union. Can we logically believe, therefore, that these two men, who were so outspoken in the strength of their convictions, would be unwilling to commend to paper one line to support the charges made by their detractors Gill and Noll?
What then do Gill and Noll ask us to accept in devaluing the work and reputation of two of the 20th century's greatest men? In respect to Campbell, according to colleague Professor Finch, Campbell ran afoul of a clique of Stalinists at Sarah Lawrence, who were only too willing to attack him after his death, whereas during his lifetime not one of them was willing to engage him in print debate. This is truly a cowardly tactic and tips the hand of those who utilize it.
Here in my own county in California, the local paper touts Noll's contention that "Jung became an early supporter of the Third Reich in the 1930's." And the writer, "an assistant Lifestyle editor," doesn't miss the chance to cast aspersions on Campbell: "If you watched Joseph Campbell expound about religion on Bill Moyers' PBS series, you may not realize that much of what Campbell talked about was borrowed from Jung." And so this Lifestyles editor laments that although "Noll makes his case about Jung, [it] probably won't dissuade many of his followers." She concludes by giving the last word to the New York Times' critic Walter Kendrick, who sums up Jungian psychology as "an obviously wacko creed."
"Dissuading" Jungian followers, and destroying the reputation of Campbell and Jung is part of the larger agenda of nihilism which I shall reveal before the end of this article.
Richard Noll, author of The Aryan Christ, has called for a debate on the scientific validity of Jungian psychology, particularly the theory of the collective unconscious and the archetypes within. The Jungians whom I have sounded out on this say, "What's the point? Noll rejects out-of-hand Jungians' personal experience of the archetypes and the collective unconscious." Indeed, in the Jung Index interview with Matthew Clapp, Noll states that in an earlier seminar there was a dispute over what constituted scientific evidence for the collective unconscious and the archetypes, and that "many analysts argued for the validity of what they themselves saw in their sessions with patients." Noll's response was that such experiential evidence was grounds for an hypothesis, but had to be verified by, as he puts it, "non-believers," because "non-believers can't seem to find the collective unconscious anywhere."
Whenever Noll's conclusions about Jung are questioned, he adopts an Olympian posture from which he gazes down on the questioner from the rarefied heights of logic and objectivity, thereby implying that his conclusions can not be called into question because all the scientific evidence is on his side. Fair enough, but if we apply the same logical standard to his criticism that clinical, testimonial evidence is "nothing more than hearsay. corrupted by the belief systems of the analyst and of the patient," then we arrive at the logical conclusion that "non-believers" will not find evidence of the collective unconscious, because their belief system says that it does not exist.
Therefore, by Noll's methods of validating evidence we are at loggerheads, but he notes that in one seminar an analyst suggested trying to create a "nonrational" method for validation if traditional science could not. Noll responds by saying that "this lack of effort to think critically is a dangerous thing." Remember that in Gill's attack on Campbell, he called him "a dangerous mischief-maker."
Noll then goes on in the interview with Clapp to imply that Jungian analysis is harmful. He states that one third of all forms of therapy are harmful, and that Jungian therapy should be reclassified as a religion, "then there is no problem," although presumably Noll would not want the medical community to license them to practice. Jungians without the archetypes and the collective unconscious might be acceptable to the scientific community, but that would be unacceptable to Jungians, Noll states, because "that would remove too much of the magic and the mystery from it. They want the metaphysics."
Presumably Noll does not want the metaphysics, which leads us back to my defense of Joseph Campbell in which I stated that there are two opposing views on the nature of the universe, one materialistic, in which reality must be weighed and measured, and the other transcendental, which postulates a metaphysical reality. In Jungian seminars, and the seminars of Joseph Campbell in which I participated, I noted a strong religious impulse in the seminarians, many of whom were disaffiliated nuns, priests, and rabbis. Furthermore, many of the seminarians had begun life as materialists with a strictly scientific outlook until some sort of conversion experience had convinced them that that model of the universe was incorrect.
When one ceases to accept the Bible as history, a kind of metaphorical excommunication takes place, for one is no longer welcome in the bosom of the religion. Initially, at the beginning of this century, there was nowhere for such persons to go, except into the despair of existentialism or atheism. Jung, Campbell and others of the New Age provided a spiritual home for such people, with revelations about Hermeticism, in which God is within, and with the mythologies of other peoples.
But neither the scientific materialists or the religious fundamentalists are pleased by this appeal to the people who have rejected their views of reality, their models of the universe. That is the bottom line of the agendas of Gill and Noll in attacking Campbell. They want us to accept their nihilistic world view in which there is no informing spiritual principle. Just as vehement in their denunciations of Jung, Campbell, and the New Age are the religious fundamentalists, referring to them as "spiritual counterfeits." So we, I include myself, poor Jungians and Campbellians take our lumps from both sides, whereas the two opposite camps demonize only one another.
Now whereas Noll has proposed debate, and Jungians don't see the point of doing it, I in fact do, for it serves to make us aware of what we stand for, and why we have rejected nihilism. Ultimately a question of morality is involved in taking a stand for what one believes. Gill and Noll call into question the characters of two great men. Gill's charges I have laid to rest, and Noll's I shall deal with forthwith. At his website (www.uga.edu/~conseling/jung/noll/christ_noll.html), Noll encapsulates his quarrel with Jungians that led to his writing The Aryan Christ.
Not only are Jungians depicted as unprofessional, but also dishonest, exploitive of "spiritually desperate patients," cult-like followers unable to think for themselves, "fascinated with polytheism and paganism who made a religion of Jung's archetypes," seeking to change Jungian psychology into "a modern mystery cult," because they "thirst for mystery, not history, myth, not fact." Worse of all perhaps is that they have "private occult practices." To the uncritical mind, the latter statement invokes images of Satanic rites, enough to dissuade most from considering Jungian therapy as a viable option. But that is indeed the bottom line of the nihilist agenda everywhere, to defuse the spiritual influence of those who present the transcendental overview, and to depict them as "wackos." Noll lets the nihilist cat out of the bag when he speaks of Jungian analysis as holding out the promise of "the cosmic Big Bang experience of this transcendent reality of gods and goddess."
In all truth, therapy needs to fit the individual needs of the patient. I have known persons in Freudian analysis for more than fifty years, during which they dwell primarily on the family circle. A great man has said, "At the level of the problem, there is no solution." We must therefore transcend and transform ourselves, for which Jungian analysis at least holds out the possibility. Fundamentalists, however, need not apply, for they see the Devil everywhere and would be in constant debate with the analyst. That is why Jung rejected practicing Jews, according to Noll, but accepted secular Jews, for integration of the shadow is one of the most important stages in Jungian individuation. Nevertheless, Noll goes a bit far when he says in the Clapp interview that "Jung despised observant Jews" and was "most vocally anti-Semitic in the 1930s."
The Aryan Christ contains a heading that reads "For a short time he believed in the possibilities of Naziism." Noll is quoting Wilhelm Bitter, founder of the Stuttgart Institute for Psychotherapy, who was in analysis with Jung in the 1930s. This is the line that is touted everywhere in the reviews of Noll's book to condemn Jung as anti-Semitic, but if one takes the trouble to read the book, and it is of course troubling, one reads that Bitter disavows Noll's implications as follows: "This statement is wrong. He spoke of Jewish psychology, but not in an anti-Semitic sense. His best pupils are Jewish." Subsequently we learn that Jung equated Naziism with chaos, or the massa confusa of alchemy, certainly not a complimentary attribution.
Noll's "evidence" of Jung's support for the Third Reich is based upon "the beliefs widely held by the classicists Jung respected, regarding the place of Indo-European pagans, and Hellenistic Gnostics within the evolution of the Aryan race." Noll allows that this "Aryan mysticism" predated Hitler. Indeed, it is quite true that Adolph Hitler expropriated some of the symbology and mythology for his National Socialism, specifically the swastika on a red sun background, but the attempt to tie this to Jung stretches credulity when Noll says that "Jung even adopted the Aryan symbol of god the mandala as sun as his own symbol for wholeness." This is truly guilt by symbolic association, and unconscionable except in the nihilist philosophy that the end justifies the means, that is, with the purpose in mind of devaluing the reputation of a proponent of a metaphysical overview.
Had Noll truly wanted to mine the field of influence of ancient Indo-European pagans and Hellenism on National Socialism, he could have found all he wanted to know in two books with which I am familiar, Nigel Pennick's Hitler's Secret Sciences: His Quest for the Hidden Knowledge of the Ancients; and Nicholas Goodrick Clarke's The Occult Roots of Nazism: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany 1890-1939. Knowledge has been used for good or evil since the beginning of man. The same occult knowledge that Hitler used to inflame the emotions of the masses, thereby making them slaves of his demagoguery, Jung used to free people from centuries of dogma and superstition, making them active in their own spiritual salvation through gnosis, although Noll faults him for this by saying that he "significantly undermined orthodox Catholicism and restored the polytheism of the Hellenistic world in Western civilization." So has Joseph Campbell, we might add. But Noll cares not whether orthodox Catholicism is "undermined," it is just a further example of his unfair attack on Jung.
A similar example of guilt by symbolic association came to my attention during the Bush presidency. A local gossip columnist said that while at Yale, Bush had belonged to the Skull and Bones society, which utilized in its secret rites the swastika symbol. By means of this demagoguery, the naïve reader was left to jump to his own conclusion that Bush was a closet Nazi. Of course anyone with a smattering of knowledge of the history of symbols knows that the swastika was used by the American Indians as a symbol of the earth's four quarters, or four directions, basically, a symbol of wholeness.
And Jung, as Noll tells us, adopted the mandala as sun as his own symbol of wholeness, the Self. Remember, in Hermeticism man as God's creation is not separate and despised by his creator. God is within. Therefore, the Gnostic and alchemical symbol for sun, a point within a circle, lent itself to Jung's concept of the Self at the center of psyche. Further, because of its golden color, "gold of the sun" was the long sought end of the alchemical process, the language of which Jung utilized for his individuation process.
My point is that whereas Hitler used the Aryan sun sign for evil purposes, the background for the swastika on the Nazi flag, to ancient alchemists, to Jung and to myself, the sun symbol represented the end process of a wholly spiritual evolution.
History and mythology are replete with tales of warlords who invite a rival chieftain and his men to their stronghold on one pretense or another. But when the chieftain arrives, he is told that in the spirit of amnesty his men must leave their weapons at the door. A great feast ensues, during which the rival and his men are slaughtered. To me this tale serves as a metaphor of the kind of debate Noll is seeking from the Jungians. They must not reference their unscientific experience of the archetypes or collective unconscious, or also we may infer, numinous Big Dreams, and active fantasies. Further, they must not rely on Hermetic "evidence" obtained through the occult arts of astrology, tarot, numerology, alchemy, and the Eastern I Ching. So disarmed and stripped of these weapons they would be slaughtered, as Noll knows full well. However, I will fight the good fight, but not on Noll's terms. I propose to storm the castle of Materialism, carrying with me all the Hermetic arts, for if "the last 300 years of science and medicine were superfluous to Jungian analysts," as Noll charged, several thousand years of Hermetic arts seem lost to him. Which brings us to a critical question. Is psychoanalysis a science or an art? If it were a science, we could compare an encephalgraph of the patient's brain waves with that of several thousand worldwide analysts until we found the best match for his cure. We must admit that therapy, and particularly Jungian therapy, is a fine art. Given that, it is quite proper for analyst and analysand to utilize Hermetic arts, in order to find the god within, the Self, goal of the individuation process.
I am a case in point. Although I have never undergone Jungian analysis, I consider my viewpoint to be Jungian, thanks largely to Joseph Campbell, who over a period of years sent me most of Jung's collected works as gifts in thanks for my sharing my home with him on his Western lecture tours from 1967 to 1979. But I always had a predilection for the paranormal, spending much time reading the "Journal of the Society for Psychical Research." At an early age, I set out to scientifically disprove astrology, the twelve character generalizations of which seemed to be utter nonsense. To do so, I had from various astrologers readings that had more truth than falsity in each; however, it was several years later that a Uranian chart (that postulates ten extra planets) finally nailed precisely my character and inner life, plus a precise correlation of dates and illnesses and accidents. The astrologer was Charles Emerson, who was both an artist and a scientist, but he failed in his goal of getting medical science to seriously examine the value of Uranian astrology as a predictor of health issues, despite having written numerous articles of medical correlation. Undoubtedly Noll could tell us why medical science ignored him. "Its astrology; it's wacko! No need to waste time investigating it." However, I hasten to mention that I have never met anyone who has investigated astrology in depth (going beyond the nonsense of the sun sign generalizations in the newspapers), who has concluded that it does not "work" as a way of defining character. Like myself, most astrologers began as "non-believers."
At the same time my interest in Tarot was developing, Joseph Campbell also had his scholarly interest piqued. We visited and viewed the "marvelous" card collection of Albert G. Field, and bought many different decks, for it was said that if the 22 cards of the Major Arcana were arranged in the proper order, their esoteric inner meaning would then be transparent. Eventually each of us found the arrangement that best suited the particular deck with which we empathized, and we published this in a book entitled Tarot Revelations (1979).
Joseph Campbell selected and edited Jung's work for The Viking Portable Jung, the most diverse and stimulating of all Jungian editions. "Jungian" is a fair label to apply to Campbell, I think. According to Noll, contact with the occult compromises Jungians and the field of psychology in general; however, Campbell states, writing about my contribution to our collaboration, "Richard Roberts, accordingly, has pointed, in his analysis of the symbolism of the Waite-Smith deck, not only to its background in esoteric astrological, gnostic, and alchemical traditions, but also, by anticipation, forward to the archetypology of Jung who, in developing his insights, was significantly influenced (as he everywhere lets us know) by the same gnostic and alchemical texts from which the members of the Order of the Golden Dawn drew inspiration. The crucial difference, I would say, between their understanding and Jung's, rests in his interpretation of the archetypes as psychological, whereas Yeats and the rest believed literally in the objectivity, not only of the mythic personifications, but also of incarnate 'secret masters,' much in the way of Theosophists. This trend infected their thinking, and equally their writing, with all sorts of mystifications. But now and here, it seems to me, is a point of the greatest interest there can be recognized in Dante's work and in the mystical lore of his century direct influences from many of same alchemical, gnostic, and astrological works that were drawn upon both by Jung and by the members of the Golden Dawn."
Galileo was persecuted for presenting evidence that the earth was not the center of the Christian universe. This should have been apparent to anyone who looked through his telescope. Yet these believers who thought contrarily believed that the Devil had tricked their eyes. So too the evidence of Jungians is rejected by Noll, and in so doing he makes himself a strange bedfellow with the rigid fundamentalism of Church dogma, even though he stands for the antithetical point of view. The belief in no gods, no absolutes, no metaphysics is characteristic of the philosophy known as nihilism. But nihilism has more insidious tenets which infect the world today. There being no gods to hold us to account, self-interest takes precedence over morality; hence moral relativism prevails. Nor is there an objective truth, say the nihilists; hence "truth" is to be determined by force of argument by those with the greatest persuasion.
Noll should know that new scientific models of the universe have come about as a result of "evidence" that shows that the old model is somewhat flawed, else the new evidence could not be. Noll's unwillingness to examine any metaphysical evidence as proof of the archetypes at best is an unscientific attitude, and at worst relegates him to the heap of nihilists.
In the 1970s, at the same time that I was doing ten years of research and writing on Tarot for my collaboration with Campbell, parts of which were cut and placed in a subsequent book, From Eden to Eros :Origins of the Putdown of Women (1985), I was investigating a possible correlation between Jung's archetypes and the planets, plus sun and moon. That this could be scientifically taboo did not occur to me at the time. Many local Jungians were also seeking this correspondence, for if the archetypes had such a profound effect upon one's life, surely astrology would reflect this, provided the right attributions were made. I myself was seeking "the missing (or 'lost') link between mind and matter," as I said then. "Where mind terminates and 'out-there' begins cannot be determined. Hence I postulate a model of the universe which is holistically a psychic phenomenon."
After fifteen years of research, the correlation I discovered between planets and animus/a, shadow, persona, and Self was published in The Journal of Geocosmic Research, Fall, 1975. Entitled "Archetypal Astrology," the editor of that journal noted, "One acquaintance of mine who appeared to be in a position to know stated that Jung did not especially like the idea that astrology worked, but was compelled to admit that it did, at least to some extent. Despite the fact that Jung was far ahead of most of the Western scientific community in his understanding of the importance of myth and symbolism, he was still a Western, rationalist scientist, and to anyone who holds the assumptions of that tradition as valid, astrology is a kind of insult. But Jung was willing to do experiments with astrology. His famous experiment concerning the synastry of married couples is the major case in point."
I sent the article to one of Jung's daughter's, Frau Gret Bauman, whom I had learned had herself become an astrologer. Subsequently we corresponded for a time. I had previously sent this article to James Hillman, editor of the Jungian organ Spring, but he rejected its publication, replying that it read too much like a lecture. Ironically, instead he published in the next issue an actual lecture by Von Franz, and eventually became an astrologer himself, expropriating the name "Archetypal Astrology" to signify his own brand of astrology.
One can see, therefore, that Jung's psychology has had an expansive effect upon my own life, and I am only one of perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who have been broadened by Jung in ways so diverse no one can say. His influence on the Arts has been extremely enriching.
Should I and all the others have held back and not "followed our bliss" on the grounds that it was not scientific, and that we would be held up to ridicule by the nihilists? Had we done so, the Wasteland would have continued to prevail in the Arts, and we would still be "waiting for Godot" amid the ash cans and midden heaps.
I make no apology to Mr. Noll or the reductionists for my affinity for Hermeticism. Indeed, I would feel shame if I advocated the reductionist view of man as "nothing but an animal." Our so-called progressive and enlightened century has produced the greatest number of mass murders in history, sixty million for Stalin and eighty million for Mao, all deriving from the philosophy that an individual man or woman has no value except as an integer or cog in the wheel of the inevitable march towards a classless, highly-controlled society that will dictate appropriate conduct and stamp out individuals who will not conform. I stand with Victor Frankl who said that the gas chambers were ultimately prepared not in some ministry of Berlin, but rather in the lecture halls of nihilist scientists and philosophers.
When I was in college, we all thought that Orwell's 1984 was a warning about the Right-wing of world politics. Of course he was writing about English socialism, and the abuses of freedom he had also seen from the Left in the Spanish Civil War. But we were mostly young, budding socialists and blind to any dangers to democracy except fascism. One now would have thought that knowing about the 140 million aforementioned dead, would be a wake-up call to the reductionist scientists, the behaviorists, and the social engineers, that man cannot be treated as nothing but a social animal, and that all equations, theories, and measures of man are bereft of the single spiritual value needed to redeem them. Therefore, you ask us Jungians and other proponents of New Age spirituality to hang our heads in shame for not measuring up to your "scientific' standards. As you put it, Mr. Noll, "the last 300 years of science and medicine were superfluous to Jungian analysts."
. Individuation is the antithesis of the reductionist view of man. Jungians, of course, are in the business of promoting individuation. And a very good business it is, for the traditional view of religion with its hellish fires and transgressions for sinners (read counter-revolutionists) has much in common with nihilists: man is 'nothing but" an integer in the collective body of the Church. But Campbell is clear on the dangers implicit in this. In his The Masks of God whenever the knight Parzival yields to the collective dictates of conduct instead of following his own inner awareness and direction, he fails the tests in his quest for the Grail. Indeed, the Grail may be seen as symbolic of psychic wholeness, the goal of Jung's "individuation process." In retrospect, individuation was the unifying theme of the Third Model Seminars which I gave with Campbell, except for "An Evening of Celtic Lore" given at the Edinburgh Castle, a Scottish pub in San Francisco. A line from one of our flyers for the two-day seminar "The Evolution of Consciousness" is instructive in regard to the individuation process: "Man is a social animal; yet attaining Self-hood, with one's own spiritual autonomy, involves a constant struggle, because collective society typically opposes the individual's new birth of consciousness . Fortunately for evolving man, there are other voices than those of the masses who would reduce man to a cipher."
One seminar was devoted to individuation in literature with examples from the works of Joyce, Hesse, Vonnegut, Alan Watts, and Colin Wilson. Another seminar dealt with individuation in dreams, "What the psyche says." Here Campbell presented an elaborate slide-show of Jungian archetypes drawn from the arts. We also had a discussion of what Jungians call "Big Dreams," numinous dream experiences that foreshadow or coincide with a change in consciousness.
This brings us full circle to the origins of Tales for Jung Folk in dreams and active fantasies. While preparing for the above seminar I was reading some of the Von Franz books on fairytales, useful in explaining the archetypes by bits and pieces from one tale or another. In the 1970s Campbell made my home his headquarters for up to ten days, four times a year, while he did seminars from Sonoma to Big Sur. So very often the next morning I would recount to him the previous evening's dream. They were unusual for their dramatization of a single archetype, and it was Campbell who suggested that I write them down. Subsequently Harper & Row, which had seen the first two stories, wanted the rest of the archetypal lot for publication; but I had to explain that they came unbidden, so it was several years before the last revealed itself, and they were then published.
The subtitle of Tales for Jung Folk is "Original fairytales dramatizing Jung's archetypes of the collective unconscious." Like Man and His Symbols, the book is a good introduction to Jung, with a primer about each archetype following each story. As such, it has been used for many years in college psychology courses. I shall refer to passages from it in rebutting Noll's contention that the collective unconscious cannot be scientifically validated, and, therefore, is unworthy of consideration except as an indication of how unprofessional and untrustworthy Jung was as a psychologist. First of all there is a pronounced "catch 22," a Joker in a stacked deck from which Noll deals. We are faced with the impossible task of materially validating (scientifically proving) a psychic content. Like the dream, the archetypes cannot be observed, measured, or weighed. In my rebuttal to Brendan Gill's attack on Campbell, Gill is quoted as saying, "In rational discourse, let us leave references to the soul on the doorstep."
Jung's concept of the collective unconscious is in for the same nihilistic treatment at Noll's hands as the soul received from the beginning of the mechanistic model of the universe right up to now. That said, I shall now present evidence, although not of the materialistic kind, that has convinced a substantial number of intelligent people in the 20th century that the archetypes and the collective unconscious do exist. In the absence of scientific, numerical data, metaphors best serve to define intangibles. Noll may howl here about "how differently Freudian and Jungian analysts are educated, "but he must grant that he has never weighed or measured an Oedipus complex, and that the way he knows of its presence in the psyche is by the effect upon the individual, which is my point about archetypes. For example, in viewing a distant star through a telescope, if we notice a wobble in its orbit, we construe that it has behind it an unseen twin which influences what should be a steady, predictable orbit. The collective unconscious, and its archetypal contents, are equivalent to the unseen twin we can't see them, but nothing can make our path through life wobble more than these profound influences.
I like to think of myself as a family, and in situations that require important decisions, evaluate what the shadow wants, the anima, and the self, rather than have the conscious ego attempt to autocratically rule for the rest of the family.
My homage to Jung is really contained in Tales for Jung Folk (1983). I begin by saying, "To his undying credit, Jung was the first psychologist to regard the unconscious as more than a mine for clues to neurotic symptoms, as in psychoanalysis generally, or as a source of unending nightly nonsense the lay attitude toward dreams. Indeed, Jung restored to the unconscious and to the dream the spiritual status that it had in such great traditions as Egypt at the time of the pyramids, or Greece of the dream-diviners and soothsayers. These ancient priests and priestesses were our first psychologists, for they interpreted dreams, and the entire community's well being depended upon what they saw, whether for good or ill. Throughout history, those cultures which have revered the dream have attained the highest spiritual development, as in Egypt and Greece."
If we recall that in Hermeticism God is within, heresy to both science and religion, then the Jungian concept of the Self is a further development of this idea. According to the primer for "The Self," "The Self may be likened also to God in the definition of Meister Eckhart. 'God is an intelligible sphere whose circumference is nowhere, and whose center is everywhere.' For as well as being the center, the Self is also the 'circumference' of the psyche, encompassing the ego, even though the ego resists recognizing anything greater than itself. Using an analogy from astronomy, I like to think of the Self as an expanding universe. The center of this universe is a point of infinitely powerful energy, but the outermost boundaries of this expanding universe are part of the same universe; thus, the Self is the psyche's center and its totality."
Nowhere is the presence of the archetypes felt more vividly and dramatically than in the animus and anima projections that condition the attractions of our sex lives. Jung's psychology, which may have seemed mystical and impractical in regard to the Self, becomes quite down-to-earth in regard to the give-and-take war between the sexes. Indeed, I would say Dr. Jung's most important contributions to psychology are in the area of sexual relations."
Thus, reduced to its essence, Noll's quarrel with Jung is nihilism's quarrel with the metaphysical overview of Hermeticism. As I read Noll's arguments against Jung and Jungians, a prevalent theme underlay each contention. Everything Jungian was so unscientific, so dangerous, because Jungians dabbled in "astrology or mythology, the I Ching, tarot, and even palmistry." Noll, who describes himself as a "non-anything" psychologist, is the scientific messiah, the salvation for those who had mistakenly followed Jung, the Aryan Christ. If we hand over to Noll the Non-anything, our horoscopes, Tarot cards, and I Ching sticks, we will be welcomed back into the scientific community And if we but swear an oath to believe in Nothing, all will be forgiven. Noll was offering us Absolution from the true Church of Science.
But where had I heard this before? Ah, yes, Freud's words to Jung after Freud had fainted, his mechanistic model of the universe having been so threatened by Jung's shamanistic production of a loud report in the bookcase next to them. "Promise me never to abandon the sexual theory . We must make a bulwark of it against the black tide of mud of occultism."
To me, it is as if Freud has reincarnated in Noll, and now is continuing the old quarrel with Jung. But the curious thing about it is that in the case of Freud's rant, Noll seems not to be the impartially objective scientist, but like Freud, the hysteric.
I shall let Joseph Campbell have the last word from the Foreward to our collaboration: "But in the end, always, we have come to revelations of a grandiose poetic vision of Universal Man that has been for centuries the inspiration both of saints and of sinners, sages and fools, in kaleidoscopic transformations. It is our hope and expectation that our readers, too, may be carried through the picture play of these two enigmatic card packs, through the magic of THE MAGICIAN's wand and guidance of THE PROPHETESS, to insights such as may lead, in the end, to the joy in wisdom of THE FOOL."
To the "scientific" reductionists, we Hermeticists and Jungians are fools; yet at the dark core of nihilism lies the denial of the birth of the human spirit.