Issue 54 –
Jungian Years – Further Development of Spiritual Energies
by Hal Stone
The next period of years was very intense and very fulfilling for me. I officially entered the Jungian training program in Los Angeles and the next four years were busy ones filled with the establishment of a private practice and a great deal of study and work at the Institute. My primary analyst during these years was Hilde Kirsch. It was again an immersion into the unconscious. Hilde was a deeply spiritual woman and a very fine analyst. Her strength was on the symbolic and spiritual side, and so it was that these parts of me deepened and other parts re-mained unconscious and disowned. The problem was that I didn’t know what was disowned. Again, I didn’t have in those years my understanding of disowned selves and so I couldn’t read the signs that were really quite obvious.
At this point in my life I was a full-blooded Jungian. I disliked, sometimes intensely, all other forms of psychotherapy. I especially disliked the Gestalt and neo-Reichian systems. It seemed to me barbaric that people would have to make all that noise, do all the crazy things that Gestalt work demanded, or lie on tables in their underwear and breathe, as Reichian work demanded. I rejected group work and encounter work. Nothing really made sense to me other than the Jungian approach. I lived in a particular wave band, a particular energy frequency call Jungian.
One of my very early dreams in my analysis with Hilde was as follows:
Dream of the Sexual Goddess
I was in a field and I came across a gigantic, primitive statue of the Great Mother, but in the form of a sexual Goddess. She was on her knees as though she were in the midst of some sexual fertility rite. In the dream she was forty or fifty feet tall and I was quite in awe at the sight of her.
Hilde’s response to the dream was that I was being given an opportunity to see a powerful archetype in action. I also needed to understand that this figure was an archetype configuration and that I mustn’t confuse it with her personally. I began working with this image in creative ways. I did painting and sculptings and it led to a very powerful upsurge of creative and scholarly energies. I began to study and read about the great mother. I began what today I would call a Jungian process. I don’t mean to say that every Jungian would have proceeded thusly. It simply would be a kind of approach that would be natural to the Jungian process. If I had been in psychoanalysis, I suspect the analyst would have been dealing with my personal phantasies and nothing would have moved in the direction of my understanding of the world of archetypes.
I want to make clear from my vantage point today that I do not feel judgmental about these things. It seems to me important to understand these different processes, why they happen, what is disowned in each process. For me, the process accelerated my spiritual and symbolic growth, but never dealt with my phantasy life. The sexual side and the part of me that had to do with personal power simply were given little energy. Being spiritual meant being nice and loving. Since I was born nice and loving, it was not hard for me to act nice and loving. It seemed to be my natural style.
Everyone in the community acted the same way, so there was a great deal of reinforcement for behaving in this way. I became so one-sided on the spiritual side, that I once wrote a very scholarly paper on sexuality and why it was really not necessary in contemporary society. For-tunately, I never tried to publish it and I am pleased to say that I have subsequently changed my mind.
I had an intensely personal relationship with Hilde. She was the mother who was always there for me. She was the spiritual guide. She was a friend who was always available. Since we never dealt with any of the sexual and power issues, there were whole arenas of material that we couldn’t go into. I never expressed negativity towards her, nor did I ever deal with the phantasy structure in me in relation to her. A separation was inevitable and ultimately it came.
I completed analytic training in 1961 and then became active in the Jungian Society in Los Angeles. The problem was that I was beginning to become aware of certain things that I hadn’t been aware of before. I began to realize that I didn’t feel like a man, and kept wondering when I was going to feel like a man. The men in other psychological disciplines seemed to feel like men. They didn’t have my understanding of dreams and fairy tales, my connection to the world of spiritual reality, and they weren’t as loving as I was, but they felt like men. Furthermore, I was beginning to feel that I would gladly let go of some of the good things I had in order to feel like a man. Banks terrorized me and I was really a child in the world of money. I was beginning to realize how sexually immature I was. I was beginning to become aware of a negativity that was in me.
I had been working for years with my “shadow,” but it seemed to have nothing to do with me in any real sense. I sensed again that primitive energy that had gotten loose in the mental hospital. I was beginning to feel not so nice. In my personal analytic work, every time I would lose control emotionally, I accepted the concept that this was my anima in undeveloped form. (The anima in Jungian terms is the man’s feminine side.) I literally had stopped being emotional because I saw emotionality as my undeveloped feminine side. I began to examine these ideas.
THE AWARENESS LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The questions about life, about myself, and about my work continued to multiply. I didn’t realize it, but my unconscious was gradually gathering momentum for a new leap forward. This leap forward would eventually mean leaving the comfort and security of the Jungian community and going forth to explore other, heretofore neglected, areas of psychology. I remember clearly the first moment of separation between my Jungian thinking and the new Awareness level that was beginning to emerge in me.
I was sitting in my office conducting a regular analytic session. I was talking about a dream that the client had related to me when suddenly my awareness separated from the me who was talking. It was an eerie experience. There was a Jungian me who was talking, quite brilliantly I might say, about the client’s dream; and on another level, I was watching this whole transaction in amazement. I realized at that moment that all the knowledge and language that was coming out of me had very little to do with me. It was like discovering a computer program. I didn’t say anything to the client, but I knew that something irrevocable had happened.
The separation from an organization or a body of ideas goes on for a long time in underground channels before we are ready to deal with it in a more conscious way. The painful thing about separation is that there are always people involved. My relationship with Hilde had been central in my life for about ten years. Now, something was beginning to change. I had a critical dream around this time in 1964 that clearly marked the turning point in my relationship with Hilde. It showed quite clearly why I had to separate from her. First, let me review some back-ground so the dream may be better understood.
I am the youngest of three brothers. My older was, eight years older and my middle brother was six years older. Joe, the eldest, was very much my opposite. He was a powerful, successful attorney, very much oriented to the real world, well traveled, very much at home in the realms of power and sexuality. I was the youngest brother of the fairy tale. I was the dreamer. We were for many years disowned selves of each other. The longer I was with the Jungians, the more intense was the support for the disown-ing this “Joe” in me. I had become aware of many aspects of the disowned archetypal patterns that he represented. He now appeared in my dream in a very significant way.
I’m sitting in an analytic session with Hilde. She is talk- ing to me when suddenly the door opens and my brother Joe is there. His wife is with him and they take me away from the analytical session and they also make sure that Hilde can’t do anything to interfere with their plans for me. They do this by locking her in another space. They then proceed to take me on a tour of all the night spots of L.A. The purpose of this tour is to show me that sex- uality is all right. They take me to strip joints and dance halls, to any and every place where the female and male anatomy is being shown. This goes on all night long. It ends finally with them showing me billboards of women’s bodies and then saying to me- “You see Harold- It’s all okay. It all belongs and it’s all all right.” After this last statement they return me to the analytical session and release Hilde and the dream ends.
This dream was in 1964. My analysis lasted for a while longer, but it was essentially over. A few months later I had the following dream:
Dream of Krushchev and Satan
There had been a long war, one that had lasted for many years. It was finally over. The war had ended. I was standing facing “no man’s land.” Across from the other side were coming our former enemies. They were cross- ing “no man’s land.” It was my brother Joe. He was however not one person but three persons. He was himself, he was Khrushchev and he was Satan. They came into our lines and joined with us and we began talking.