Architecture of the Soul: Inner and Outer Structures of C. G. Jung

On February 4, 2011, Dr. Murray Stein will present a conference together with Andreas Jung, in collaboration with the Asheville Jung Center titled “Architecture of the Soul: Inner and Outer Structures of C. G. Jung”. Andreas Jung is an architect whose father and great uncle were also architects. He is a graduate of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ) and currently lives in the home on Seestrasse. C. G. Jung was intimately involved in the design of this home and attended to such things as the cladding upon the walls that provided deeply niched windows and lovely inset glass cabinets in the dining room. Andreas Jung authors two very personal chapters and serves as the co-editor of the book. Arthur Rüegg, a professor of architecture at ETHZ, opens one of the chapter titled “Living in a Museum?” with the following rendering: The house of Carl Gustav Jung is without a doubt the physical expression of a great mind. In 1906, while still “an impecunious assistant medical director at the Burghölzi mental home in Zürich”, Jung wrote to his cousin, architect Ernst Fietcher, of his plans “… to build a house someday, in the country near Zürich, on the lake”. It was the untimely death of Emma Jung’s father that allowed the couple to build the home. The Jungs worked closely with the architect and landscape architects on the design. Three generations of Jung’s have lived in this home that is now owned by a foundation (Stiftung C. G. Jung Küsnacht). Two of those generations of inhabitants were “…families who could read these traces and respectfully carry on the tradition.” (p 90). The history of the house and it’s renovations is crisply and artfully presented. What emerges from the pages of The House of C. G. Jung is a portrait of an intentional man who demonstrated an uncanny ability to move between the worlds of the mythopoetic interior life and the tangible, concrete realms. It should be no surprise that the man who constructed the Tower at Bollingen would have built a home worthy of memorializing. Jung gave attention to details such as wall hangings, tile selection and placement of the rooms where he conducted analysis so as not to displace Emma from the library and interfere with her work. The chapter “Living in a museum?” reads like a patient’s anamnesis as it reviews the homes history and developmental influences. The reader is reminded that homes, like organic things, change and adapt to their circumstances and their inhabitants. Despite several major renovations through the last century, the respect and regard for the original home was preserved. The home is a testament to what concentrated self-examination and openness to the individuation process can produce. It is the biography of a house that is no less impressive for what it reveals or the man who built it. Architecture and psychology are first cousins. Consider a few quotes assembled from several renown architects. “Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” Le Corbusier “The home should be the treasure chest of living.” Le Corbusier “Buildings, too, are children of Earth and Sun.” Frank Lloyd Wright Form follow function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.” Frank Lloyd Wright “Freedom is from within.” Frank Lloyd Wright “The heart is the chief feature of a functioning mind.” Frank Lloyd Wright “Architecture is the will of the epoch translated into structure.” Ludwig Miles van der Rohe Invitation: The house that “you” built Take a moment to consider the space you inhabit, whether it is a home, office, apartment, or just a room. Examine it for details that reflect aspects of your interior life. Where do you see function pronouncing itself and where does aesthetic seem to announce itself? Examine the space for signs and signifiers of your individuated self and for signs of where your individuation is ensnared in its effort to emerge. Compose a work of your own that reflects the house you have built. If you feel so moved, please share those reflections with others in our community by posting a comment on this blog. If you are planning to attend the seminar on February 4, “Architecture of the Soul: Inner and Outer Structures of C. G. Jung”. then this exercise might be a useful preparation, like tilling the soil before the planting. Len Cruz, MD
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