Two of my esteemed Jungian colleagues, Mario Jacoby and James Hillman, died this year (2011). I am now one of the few surviving second-tier Jungian acolytes who endeavor to keep Jung’s message alive in our hectic extraverted collective culture, where ambition and electronic toys are valued more than character development. I despair that Jung’s ideas will ever crack the mainstream, though I am heartened to see several videos of him on YouTube.
And so I wonder, after writing twenty books, what more do I have to say? This is the question that keeps me awake night and day.
I was recently alerted to my mortality by a week’s stay in hospital. I was experiencing extreme fatigue and difficulty breathing. My doctor sent me to emergency where my symptoms were immediately recognized as CHF (congestive heart failure). They put me on oxygen for a week and an intravenous diuretic to drain the fluids from my lungs and heart. I was x-rayed, MRI’d, echocardiogrammed and ultrasounded. They took my blood pressure every twenty minutes, drew blood from my arms three times a day, and constantly monitored my vital organs with space-age body patches. Every day they asked me if I knew who and where I was.
I didn’t mind the inactivity and incarceration; it was in fact a welcome holiday away from my lonely turret and business concerns. I enjoyed the attention and Razr flirted outrageously with the nurses. Of course, I had to cancel my planned Christmas vacation at a semi-nude Jamaican resort (Hedonism II), but what the hell. Every twelve-hour change in shift brought a new nurse more lovely than the last—East Indian, Pakistani, Thai, Phillippina, Russky and more. They did everything to make me comfortable but hop into bed with me. Never mind, I was catheterized and wasn’t up to much except trying to sleep between tests. There was nothing to complain about except the food. However hard they try—and I think they do—every hospital serves unpalatable gruel. The soup is generally good, also the fruit. It’s hard to kill a banana.
But seriously, it finally got me thinking. What am I here for?
This new “Jungian romance” may or may not be an answer.