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Essays on Contemporary Events

Essays on Contemporary Events: The Psychology of Nazism. With a New Forward by Andrew Samuels

Series: Jung Extracts
Copyright Date: 1989
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    Essays on Contemporary Events
    Book Description:

    A discussion of the psychological and philosophical implications of events in Germany during and immediately following the Nazi period. The essays--"The Fight with the Shadow," "Wotan," "Psychotherapy Today," "Psychotherapy and a Philosophy of Life," "After the Catastrophe," and an Epilogue--are extracted from Volumes 10 and 16.

    Originally published in 1989.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5992-4
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-xiv)
    Andrew Samuels

    ‘Well, I slipped up’, said Jung to Rabbi Leo Baeck when they met in Zürich in 1946 for the first time since the Second World War (Jaffé 1971: 97–8). Jung was referring to the pre-war events surrounding his taking on of the Presidency of the General Medical Society for Psychotherapy in 1933, an international professional body nevertheless based in Germany, dominated by Germans and, at that time, coming gradually under Nazi control. Further, Jung’s papers of the period, dwelling on questions of differing racial psychologies and containing generalizations about Jewish culture and psychology, seemed then and later to be,...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. 1 Introduction: the fight with the shadow
    (pp. 1-9)

    The indescribable events of the last decade lead one to suspect that a peculiar psychological disturbance was a possible cause. If you ask a psychiatrist what he thinks about these things, you must naturally expect to get an answer from his particular point of view. Even so, as a scientist, the psychiatrist makes no claim to omniscience, for he regards his opinion merely as one contribution to the enormously complicated task of finding a comprehensive explanation.

    When one adopts the standpoint of psychopathology, it is not easy to address an audience which may include people who know nothing of this...

  6. 2 Wotan
    (pp. 10-24)

    When we look back to the time before 1914, we find ourselves living in a world of events which would have been inconceivable before the war. We were even beginning to regard war between civilized nations as a fable, thinking that such an absurdity would become less and less possible in our rational, internationally organized world. And what came after the war was a veritable witches’ sabbath. Everywhere fantastic revolutions, violent alterations of the map, reversions in politics to medieval or even antique prototypes, totalitarian states that engulf their neighbours and outdo all previous theocracies in their absolutist claims, persecutions...

  7. 3 Psychotherapy Today
    (pp. 25-41)

    It would be a rewarding task to examine in some detail the relationship between psychotherapy and the state of mind in Europe today. Yet probably no one would be blamed for shrinking from so bold a venture, for who could guarantee that the picture he has formed of the present psychological and spiritual plight of Europe is true to reality? Are we, as contemporaries of and participants in these cataclysmic events, at all capable of cool judgment and of seeing clearly amid the indescribable political and ideological chaos of present-day Europe? Or should we perhaps do better to narrow the...

  8. 4 Psychotherapy and a Philosophy of Life
    (pp. 42-49)

    So much is psychotherapy the child of practical improvisation that for a long time it had trouble in thinking out its own intellectual foundations. Empirical psychology relied very much at first on physical and then on physiological ideas, and ventured only with some hesitation on the complex phenomena which constitute its proper field. Similarly, psychotherapy was at first simply an auxiliary method; only gradually did it free itself from the world of ideas represented by medical therapeutics and come to understand that its concern lay not merely with physiological but primarily with psychological principles. In other words, it found itself...

  9. 5 After the Catastrophe
    (pp. 50-73)

    This is the first time since 1936 that the fate of Germany again drives me to take up my pen. The quotation from theVoluspowith which I ended the article² I wrote at that time, about Wotan “murmuring with Mimir’s head,” pointed prophetically to the nature of the coming apocalyptic events. The myth has been fulfilled, and the greater part of Europe lies in ruins.

    Before the work of reconstruction can begin, there is a good deal of clearing up to be done, and this calls above all forreflection.Questions are being asked on all sides about the...

  10. 6 Epilogue
    (pp. 74-90)

    Germany has set the world a tremendous problem, a problem that has to be considered from many angles. The psychological aspect is only one of its many facets. As a psychologist, I am naturally inclined to think it an important facet, but I must leave it to my reader to form his own opinion on this point. My professional concern with the psychology of the unconscious often brings to light things which are still hidden from consciousness but exist in embryonic form; and these contents are ready to break through into consciousness long before the individual has any idea of...

  11. INDEX
    (pp. 91-94)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 95-103)