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Thompson, P.J. (1988). Jung Prejudged. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(1):135-136.

(1988). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(1):135-136


Jung Prejudged

Paul J Thompson

Dear Dr Hinshelwood

If Jung were racist and anti-Semitic, I find it curious that:

(1)  Jung chose to experience at first hand indigenous cultures and expressed a positive interest in them -for example, he says in What India Can Teach Us (1939) ‘If the white man does not succeed in destroying his own race with his brilliant interventions, he will eventually have to settle down to a desperately serious course in self-education … India represents the other way of civilising man, the way without suppression, without violence, without nationalism’. Further, his cultural researches and their value in therapeutic application took place long before transcultural psychiatry was recognised as important.

(2)  So many of us identify and have empathy with what we see as Jung's open-minded approach, lack of dogmatic didacticism and humanity.

(3)  In 1918 he warned of the ‘blood, beast prowling about in its underground prison ready at any moment to burst out with devastating consequences’ (The Role of the Unconscious, Collected Works, Vol. 10, 1918) when writing about Germany and its international position. In other papers written in this period it is clear that Jung foresaw with great concern an imminent European catastrophe (of Wotan, Collected Works, Vol. 10, 1939).

(4)  As President of the International General Medical Society for psychotherapy in Germany in 1934 he enabled Jews to join where previously Jewish membership had been prohibited (Ciradar Letter 1934).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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