C.G.Jung / History

C.G. Jung and Germany´s shadow(s)


Especially in Europe depth psychology has been shoved aside precisely because it is politically incorrect and challenges established powers of all kind. C.G. Jung raises people’s conscious levels of awareness and favors free thinking. This is definitely uncalled for in all the orthodoxies and by the global economy. Particularly revealing is if one applies psychological thinking and concepts to organization of all kind, you will all see all sorts of ugly shadows, projections and complexes: fixity of form, inflexible opinions, or unbreakable rules like TINA concepts (there is no other alternative).

C. G. Jung, had intellectual roots in the anti-modern pessimism and romanticism and has been accused of fascist and anti-Semitic sentiments. His individualistic views of the power of myth, however, believing that the world of ancient myth contained resources could be of immense help to people baffled by the ambiguities and superficiality of modern life. The hostility towards C.G. Jung predated todays political correctness. Hoisting high the tolerance banner, the politically correct find a way not just to marginalize cultural identities but put them in the wrong. In particular one of the pillars of western identity is critizised, Christianity in which Jung took a profound interest in matters of sin, and their archetypes. As his longtime personal assistant, Aniela Jaffe, wrote, “Jung explicitly declared his allegiance to Christianity, and the most important of his works deal with the religious problems of the Christian.” Jung pioneered concepts that have become bywords in his field: introversion, extraversion, complexes, archetypes, synchronicity, projection, and the “collective unconscious” which easily can be applied to social systems. Psychology worthy of the name can only be voiced by the outsider and never is exact science. Nor is medicine, both are at the end of the day empirical. Personally, I see a high politic and sociological significance of C.G. Jungs depth psychology.

C.G Jung took from the psychoanalysis the terms consciousness and unconscious but differentiated the latter in a personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. A new term but old wine today is the term “social unconscious”. Nothing new really. The personal unconscious is concerned with personal trauma or other experiences and impulses, which steer an individual from the depths of the unconsciousness – that can be a political or economical group. Recently group analysts are occupied in international discourse and in numerous publications with the concept of the so-called “social unconscious”. Is seems to me that these questions for the interpretation complex-loaded behavior of groupings and the irrational political interactions in Germany and beyond are increasingly important. C.G. Jung allows the application of his concept in the analysis of unconscious social phenomena and the critical discussion of social processes and sociopolitical developments. For example it is clearly evident that hyper-publicity of anti-movements wants to acquit itself of own unwanted characteristics (for example anti-Semitism) – its own shadow.

Coincidentally I heard today a comment to the candidates to the office for Federal President of Germany which is a perfect example for this. The nominating of Joachim Gauck and Beate Klarsfeld for the office of the Federal President is no coincidence, but fully unconscious necessity. In this historical moment the realization of fascism meets with the processing of the former GDR dictatorship. In the life of each individual just like in the life of each nation there are painful topics in the unconscious, which do not affect anybody under the carpet. It requires time, changed historical circumstances or personalities, in order to advance the process of the opening and the confrontation with the displaced taboos. An example: It needed quasi moral permission by the soccer world championship 2006, so that also in Germany the normal pride of each nation could be lived, when the black-red-golden flags were suddenly swung with full enthusiasm. Like that, the nominations are not a coincidence, but are highly meaningful and seem to be of unconscious necessity even a synchronicity.

The fact that Beate Klarsfeld was nominated by the very left, the former GDR nomenclature appears at first sight paradoxical. The left is not over-identified with their victims, and tend to ignore that there were fascists in the former GDR and their hostility against Israel. The political left requires a positive basic assumption to ensure that they belong and always belonged to the good side and marvelously – and in the case of the GDR even officially – can get rid of their unwanted shadow.  The cold war was coined and shaped by these splitting phenomena in “Gut” and “Böse” on both sides. Beate Klarsfeld fought – in the closer sense – the fight on behalf of her Jewish man and all indignant Germans. Joachim Gauck fought against the GDR the fight of his own generation and symbolizes the small minority which resisted and brought finally the entire GDR to the collapse. Both persons remind  the German majority that they followed Hitler willingly until military defeat. The intelligence “social unconscious” force the Germans to admit that there is only one Germany which complied in majority willingly two dictatorships. You get what you vote for.

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