Delving into the occult can be a breath of fresh air for some of the most serious and factual men. Carl Gustav Jung is a prime example of this.
He revolutionized the fields of psychiatry and analytic psychology with his archetypes theory, where he believed the collective unconscious could be understood by using religious, mythical, and alchemical symbols. For this reason, occult practices like tarot readings are easily relatable to his body of research.
Jung: The World of the Dead
When he was 19 years old, Jung established conversations with the dead in seances, accompanied by the women of his family. These experiences marked him forever. As years passed, he would get involved with women with "medium" powers. He also had the firm conviction that his mother and his daughter where endowed with clairvoyance powers and could communicate with Augusta Preiswerk, his grandmother.
In 1898 the table he used for his seances split in half. A few weeks later, a knife he had inherited from his mother split into four pieces, and Jung decided to keep it as a memento of the powerful forces that he and his family had summoned. By 1902, he had already printed some of his more professional publications. In one of them he explained spirits as "unconscious or hidden personalities" and "complexes."
In 1916, he founded the Psychology Club, which was devoted to the study of spiritual topics. They studied the disturbances the dead could cause in the physical plane, and even summoned the knights from the Holy Grail story. Also, he performed rituals similar to those performed by the Rosicrucian Kabbalists, all this with the main goal of learning as much as he could from the occult sciences.
According to the book The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life Of Carl Jung by Richard Noll, the famed psychoanalyst portrays himself as a wise clairvoyant, a miracle worker, a man-god able to reach apotheosis through his encounters with the dead in his work Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Likewise, he saw himself as an underminer of Orthodox Christianity, and a restorer of Hellenistic Polytheism.
In 1925, Jung published anonymously the book Septem Sermones ad Mortuos (Seven Sermons to the Dead). This book was allegedly transcribed by Jung as dictated from another dimension by his spirit guide: Philemon or Basilides of Alexandria, the ancient teacher of Gnosticism and Mithraism. In his visions, the spirit revealed to him the existence of a deity called Abraxas, whose power transcended both God and the Devil. It's believed that while Jung worked on his book, whispers from other dimensions could be heard around his house and the air would grow thick and cold. Once he was finished, everything went back to normal. His authorship was confirmed after his death.
A page from the original manuscript of Septem Sermones ad Mortuos (1916)
For Jung the word "archetype" referred to certain images ingrained in the collective unconscious. However, ancient civilizations acknowledged them as true entities of a non-human nature, such as gods or demons. In the book Jung Speaking, William McGuire makes more sense about the connection with these two concepts of archetype. According to him, Jung believed figures like Adolf Hitler were possessed by the "collective Aryan unconscious" and were compelled to follow the dictates and orders from the beyond.
Severing ties with Sigmund Freud
The movie A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, 2011), suggests that Freud told Jung that while he wasn't against telepathy or parapsychology, he believed these disciplines would discredit the nascent field of psychology. Freud was adamant, the occult would never surpass the powers of true scientific research. Jung was against this vision, as he believed psychology should follow an interdisciplinary research method.
If Jung believed in the existence of a “collective Aryan unconscious,” it isn't such a stretch to say that he believed in the existence of a "collective Jewish unconscious." Jung was so hellbent on these collectives that he thought Freud's beliefs were clouded by the latter unconscious. Freudian psychology considers sex or sexuality the only force that drives the motivations of human beings; whereas, Jungian psychology is based on the existence of a spiritual world where archetypal forms have power over human actions.
Jung also admired Eastern mysticism, and believed that different cultures (or rather the collective unconscious of those cultures) had a direct impact on the chakras, which Jung viewed more as consciousness centers than energy centers. Therefore, he pointed out that different cultures think with the heart, while others think with the brain or are guided by their gut feelings.
Jung and paganism
Although Jung pretended to be Christian in public, he learned about several pagan doctrines in secret: Zoroastrianism, the Mitrhaic mysteries, the lion-headed god Aion, the cult of Dionysus, and of course, the god Abraxas. He also had a great interest for gnosticism, Christian Patristics, and Germanic and Greek mythology. By the end of the twenties, alchemy had become his main interest. For him mystery, rather than history, was the essence of life. His penchant was delving deeply into the narrations on direct contact ancient teachers of pagan doctrines had experienced with gods. He saw this as an antidote against the Judaeo-Christian beliefs that shaped the morality of Western civilization.
Jung built his tower in the village of Bollingen. People believed that he would go there to perform pagan and orgiastic rituals with his lovers. He also engraved the name of his paternal predecessors. Since he strongly believed in the notion of Karmic inheritance from fathers to sons, the remembrance of one's predecessors was very important for him.
Jung got married to Emma Rauschenbach in 1902, but as he delved into his pagan studies, he started to embrace polygamy, which permeated polytheistic beliefs. Sabina Spilrein and Toni Wolff, who where his patients at the beginning, later became his lovers and collaborators.
During the last years of his life, Jung would wear ceremonial Japanese robes to attain the appearance of an ancient mage or zen monk. He also wore rings or jewelry engraved with gnostic symbols. His home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, was decorated with many engravings and alchemic images. Ruth Bailey, the woman who took care of him during his last days, was certain of having seen Jung outside his body in a faraway place full of marvels, two days before his death. In his letters, Jung wrote he had undergone experiences "which are, so to speak, 'ineffable', 'secret', because they can never be told properly and nobody can understand them."
El círculo hermético. Miguel Serrano. Editorial Kier. 2004
Adolf Hitler, el último avatar. Miguel Serrano. Editorial Solar. 2000
The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life Of Carl Jung. Richard Noll. 2003
Letters. Vol. 1 y 2. Carl G. Jung. Gerhard Adler compilation. 1975
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Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia