The Freud Museum

Events Archive

23 September 2010

Freud, Jung, and the Black Tide of Mud.

Evening Talk by Gary Lachman

In Vienna in 1910 - a century ago - Sigmund Freud asked Carl Jung to promise that he would 'never abandon the sexual theory.' When Jung asked why, Freud replied that they had to make it a 'dogma', an 'unshakeable bulwark' against the 'black tide of mud of occultism'. Yet while Freud was ostensibly dismissive of the occult, his attitude toward it was rather ambivalent. And while Jung is today associated with the paranormal, the occult, and mysticism, he spent a career repeatedly informing his readers that he was no mystic. What was it about the occult that Freud found so threatening? And why did it take a near death experience for Jung to come out of the mystical closet? And how high is that black tide today? The talk will focus on Freud and Jung's relationship to the occult, how it affected their relationship to each other, and asks if, with a century behind us, our own attitude toward the occult has in any way changed.

Gary Lachman is the author of several books linking consciousness, culture, and the western esoteric tradition, most recently Jung the Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung's Life and Teaching (Tarcher/Penguin 2010). He is a contributor to the Independent on Sunday, Guardian, and Fortean Times and is a frequent guest on Radio 3 and 4's Night Waves and Front Row.

The talk takes place at the Freud Museum on the 71st anniversary of Freud's death.

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