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Greene, L. (1989). Obituary Notice: Gerhard Adler. J. Anal. Psychol., 34(3):281-284.
(1989). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 34(3):281-284
Obituary Notice: Gerhard Adler
Just before Christmas of last year, Dr Gerhard Adler died. When a person of eighty-four dies, there is no surprise, although the event is deeply distressing to those who are close to him. When an elderly person esteemed by his professional colleagues dies, there is still no surprise, although the members of that profession will honour the contribution he has made. Yet such is the stature which Dr Adler has been accorded in the world of analytical psychology that this death is a shock—as though somehow he was expected, like the magical father of one's childhood, always to be there.
Gerhard Adler's work in the field of analytical psychology cannot be overvalued. Every Jungian analyst and analysand owes him something, and some owe him an enormous amount, although he would have been the last person to see it as a debt; his work was always for him a labour of love. As he was co-editor of Jung's Collected Works and editor of Jung's letters, we cannot read any volume of Jung without benefiting from a labour which took him twenty-six years to complete. As he was a Foundation Member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology, Jungian analysts cannot call themselves members of an internationally recognized body without once again benefiting from his efforts. As he was a Foundation Member of the Society of Analytical Psychology in London, the first of the Jungian traininggroups to be formed in England, there is no analyst trained in Great Britain through any of the four present groups who does not yet again, albeit indirectly, benefit from his efforts. These major contributions have helped to lay the foundations for the present study and practice of Jung's work.
Gerhard Adler was born in Berlin in 1904. Although he was head boy at school, making friends quickly and enjoying sports such as athletics and rowing, it seems that the inner world was already vitally important for him even in early childhood. In an essay entitled ‘Reflections on chance and fate’, he writes about an incident which seems to encapsulate a special perception of reality—a sensitivity which, in adult life, would inevitably lead to the kind of concerns which occupied him for so many years:
We used to play in the courtyard of the kindergarten.
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