Remembrances in an Election Year: An Historical Note in the Oral Tradition

Go back with me in time and imagine this young woman pictured in the photograph...

Jolande Jacobi with C.G. Jung

Jolande Jacobi with C.G. Jung

Jolande Jacobi with C.G. Jung who is now 81 years old. She was that age when she was my teacher at the Jung Institute. It is the Spring of 1972, and when she had finished her morning coffee, after having had the newspapers read to her in German, French, and English, she was making her way to teach her morning class to us English-speaking, matriculated auditors before she saw her analysands (clients) in the afternoon for analysis (therapy). She collapsed on the staircase and died of a massive heart attack.

She was Jolande Jacobi, and my fondest memory of her basic introductory class on Jung’s Analytical Psychology was one of her informal comments that for her a typical challenging response to us young American pilgrims, who by the dozens were making their way to the institute in Zurich to soak up all we could of things Jungian. Someone had asked her, what was a proper age to begin to vote? We in the USA at that time were deciding whether it should be age 18, since that was the age of drinking and of service in the military.

She did not hesitate but said, “35 years old because by then one is mature enough to make a wise decision about the leadership of the country.”

Dr. Jacobi had been responsible for founding the Jung Institute as the only extravert among Jung’s many women compatriots. She was a first generation Jungian analyst, an early student/friend of Jung. She would later write the chapter describing a typical Jungian analysis for Jung’s edited book, Man and His Symbols. She had reported to us that when in 1939 she had escaped Hungary and had come to Jung in Switzerland to study with him, he sent her back to her country to get her degree during the war as a Jewish woman.

When she brought him the dream in which she presented her head to him on a platter, he had commented: “Oh Jolande, you have lost your head and now you will be able to manage.”

I was privileged to have studied with this forceful woman and to have learned from her my basic approach and understanding of Jungian psychoanalysis. She modeled for me, a 35 year old Southern woman who was seeking to find my way, how age was not an impediment to making a contribution nor of continuing to model a vigorous and meaningful life as a extraverted feeling type.

I did not quote her in my recent articles (on "Jungian Psychoanalysis" and "Jungian Theory") for the Encyclopedia of Clinical and Abnormal Psychology, but I am indebted to her for her example, and inspiration, and the beginning formation for what is my Jungian orientation in my practice as a pastoral therapist and spiritual director.

The Rev. Dr. Donna Scott is a retired Episcopal priest with a degree in clinical/community psychology from Peabody College. She has been a clinical pastoral therapist for 40 years, working in various Episcopal Churches. She matriculated at the Jung Institute in 1971-72 and wrote an article with her first husband, Charles Scott, which introduced the Yearbooks of the Eranos Conferences, an interdisciplinary institute for East/West studies focused on Jung’s work.

She was a founding director of Stillpoint Programs in Spiritual Direction and Contemplative Prayer and practiced as a spiritual director for 10 years and taught ministry and spirituality as an adjunct faculty at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

She has three children and seven grandchildren and is now married to John Eley, who has his PhD in political science. They have recently lead our first study group on Jung and Neuroscience.