📍 🇺🇬 “A life untouched” - Jung in the wild
Here in Mount Elgon, not far from President Obama’s paternal origins (Alego, Kenya), the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) made a journey that marked the Autumn of his career. He was 50 years old in 1925, and very much motivated by the idea of "spending time with peoples who have had little contact with Europe”. The First World War had just passed, as had his painful break with mentor Sigmund Freud; and it was now a matter of developing his own ideas.
During a campfire near Mount Elgon, Jung notices a wife's "self-confidence and sense of self-worth, made up of her own world of children, of her home, of her small livestock, of her looks. She was present in her totality, as the geomagnetic centre of her husband who wandered with his flocks somewhere..."
Later, Jung would theorize his concept of the “collective unconscious”, meaning these imperceptible connections linking our imaginations, our dreams, our feelings, to our immediate surroundings and even to ancestors we have barely met. Far from Freud’s trendier and colder rationalism. At the end of his 1925 African trip, he wrote:
"This camp life was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I enjoyed the peace of God in a country still in its original state.”
Back in Zurich, Switzerland, Jung decided to build a house by the lake, near Bollingen. “A hut without electricity matching closely my own primitive feelings, my need for calm and for rebirth…”
Carl Jung, Jaffe, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”, 1989
Barack Obama, “Dreams of my Father”, 1995