The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung

The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung

by Richard Noll

Now, in this controversial, impeccably researched biography, Richard Noll reveals Jung as an all-too-human genius who, believing he was a spiritual prophet, founded a neopagan religious movement that offered mysteries for a new age.

The Aryan Christ is the previously untold story of the 1st 60 years of his life--a story that follows him from his 1875 birth into a family troubled with madness & religious obsession, thru his career as a famous psychiatrist & relationship & break with Freud, & on to his years as an early commentator on the 3rd Reich in the 30s.

Noll traces the influence on his ideas of the occultism, mysticism & racism of 19th-century German culture, demonstrating how his idealization of primitive man has at its roots the Volkish movement of his own day, which championed a vision of an idyllic pre-Christian, Aryan past.

Noll marshals evidence to create the 1st full account of his private & public lives--his advocacy of polygamy as a spiritual path & his affairs with female disciples; his neopaganism & polytheism; his anti-Semitism; & his use of self-induced trance states & the pivotal visionary experience in which he saw himself reborn as a lion-headed god from an ancient cult.

As Noll writes, "Jung is more interesting...because of his humanity, not his semidivinity." In giving a fuller portrait of this 20th-century icon, The Aryan Christ is a book with wide implications.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Psychology
  • Rating: 2.96
  • Pages: 336
  • Publish Date: September 9th 1998 by Random House (NYC)
  • Isbn10: 0679449450
  • Isbn13: 9780679449454

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Most of the more serious psychological problems of persons stem from upbringing, relate to the personalities and habits of parents and caretakers. The efficacy of the abreaction, and the initial circumvention of the defenses, is substantially dependent on the transference, the tendency of the analysand to emotionally react to the analyst as if s/he were the problematic parent or caretaker. Indeed, it must be attractive to have slavishly devoted female acolytes, particularly when one has an ideology which allows one to excuse this as a mutual regard for the same numinous archetypes--towards which, of course, one effectively serves as high priest if not 'animus' or 'wise old man' or whatever from Jung's own sketchily conceived catalogue of supposed 'archetypes of the collective unconscious'. As regards the above, however, my interest in depth psychology and aversion to practicing it professionally stems from considerations of my own weaknesses as seen reflected in some of Jung's practice.

It's very difficult to write a review about this book, without being unfair to the few merits we find here. The chapters that look more plausible are, curiously enough, the ones about the "Apostles", three women that were analysed by Jung and after practiced analysis to other patients.

I came to this book with a very high regard for Jung and seeing him as a guardian of truth in standing up to Freud's dogmatic insistence on the sexual basis of all neuroses. I still regard Jung as brilliant and having made extremely important contributions to humanity, but I now see a more balanced picture. I suspect that much of the criticism of Noll is based on his evidence that Jung was heavily into an Aryan world viewpoint, which immediately conjures up Nazi stereotypes in our minds. (A related book that touches on psychoanalysis and anti-Semitism and that I highly recommend is Bakan's "Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition.") Another problem concerns Noll's evidence that Jung disparaged Christianity and secretly reverted to (as well as secretly proselytized for) an ancient, pagan, Aryan religion.

This book makes Jung look like someone akin to Aleister Crowley, or some other self-styled guru. At the heart of Jung's religious outlook, aside from his own sense of delving into the unknown, which he is to be given great credit for, are the Mithraic mysteries which argues Franz Cumont in his book on the topic almost became the world's dominating religion as opposed to Christianity.

He was Freud's main rival and history records him as one of the founding members of psychology in the early 20th century. They used oblique code words among themselves so the uninitiated would not understand the pagan thrust of Jung's work in a Christian world.