I recently stumbled upon a rare video of Carl Jung discussing his intricate relationship with Sigmund Freud. The original footage was an enigmatic labyrinth of sounds, nearly inaudible. Thanks to AI transcription, I was able to produce a fairly accurate text. For my readers who fancy treading on the edges of understanding, here is the essence of their interaction, unfiltered and raw (With a couple mistakes courtesy of the AI):
The video can also be found on Youtube, here.
Interviewer: Some of the work is asked to do with interpretation, which you first came in contact with Freud. How did that happen?
Carl Jung: Oh, you know, that was at the end of my studies, and then it took quite a while until I met Freud. You see, I finished my studies in 1900, and I met Freud only very much later by my head. In 1900, I already read his previous interpretation, and Freud’s studies about hysteria. But that was merely literary, you know. And then in 1907, I became acquainted with him personally.
Interviewer: Would you tell me how that happened? Did you go to the NRC?
Jung: Oh, well, I’d written a book about the psychology of dementia, and I sent him that book, and thus became acquainted. I went to Vienna for a fortnight, and then we had very long and penetrating conversations, and that settled it.
Interviewer: And this long and penetrating conversation was followed by a personal friendship?
Jung: Oh, yes. It soon developed into a personal friendship.
Interviewer: And what was he like, Freud?
Jung: Well, he was a complicated person, you know. I liked him very much. But I soon discovered that when he had thought something, then it was settled. Well, I was doubting all along the line, and it was impossible to discuss something really awful. You know, he had no philosophical education. Particularly, you see, I was studying Kant, and I was steeped in it. And that was awful, Freud. So, from the very beginning, there was a discrepancy.
Interviewer: Did you, in fact, go apart later? Partly because of the difference in temperamental approach to experimental proof, and so on?
Jung: Well, of course, there is always a temperamental difference. And his approach was naturally different from mine, because his personality was different from mine. That led me into my later investigation of psychological types. There are definite attitudes. Some people are doing it in this way, and other people are doing it in a rather typical way. And there were such differences between myself and Freud, too.
Interviewer: Do you consider that Freud’s standard of proof and experimentation was left higher than your own?
Jung: Well, you see, that is an evaluation I am not competent of. I am not my own history, or my historiograph. In reference to certain results, I think my method has its merits.
Interviewer: Tell me, did Freud himself ever analyze you?
Jung: Oh yes, I had submitted quite a lot of my dreams to him. And so did he. And he knew, yes? Oh yes, yes.
Interviewer: Do you remember now, at this distance in time, what were the significant features of Freud’s dreams that you made at this time?
Jung: Well, that would be rather indiscreet to ask, you know, I have never such a thing as a professional secret. He’s been dead these many years. Yes, yes, but these regards last longer than life. I prefer not to talk about it.
Interviewer: Well, may I ask you something else then, which perhaps is also indiscreet? Is it true that you have a very large number of letters which you exchanged with Freud, which are still unpublished?
Interviewer: When are they going to be published?
Jung: Well, not during my lifetime.
Interviewer: You would have no objection to them being published after your lifetime?
Jung: Oh, no, not at all. Because they are probably of great historical importance. I don’t think so.
Interviewer: Then why have you not published them already?
Jung: Because they were not important to me enough. I see no particular importance in them. They are concerned with personal matters. Very partially. But I wouldn’t care to publish them.
Interviewer: Well now, can we move on to the time when you did eventually part company with Freud? It was partly, I think, with the publication of your book, ‘The Psychology of the Unconscious.’ Is that correct?
Jung: That was the real cause. Well now, before you… Oh, I mean the final cause. Because it had a long preparation. You know, from the beginning I had a bit of argument on this. I couldn’t agree with quite a number of his ideas.
Interviewer: Which ones in particular?
Jung: Well, chiefly his purely personal approach and his disregard of the historical conditions of man. You see, they depend largely upon our history. We are shaped through education, through the influence of the parents, which are by no means always personal. They were prejudiced or they were influenced by historical ideas or what I call dominance.
Jung passed away two years following this interview. In 1970, the Freud and Jung families agreed to publish their correspondence in a single volume, available in both German and English.
May this transcription serve as a portal into the minds of two great thinkers, their convergence and divergence, a testament to the complex tapestry of human thought and relationship. In their discourse lies the timeless dance of agreement and conflict, echoing through our own quests in understanding the psyche’s depths.
Bradley C and GPT