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Around the year 1447, when he was thirty years old, he married Dorothea Wyss, who in the course of time bore ten children. From 1459 to 1462 he held the office of judge and was a member of the governing council of Unterwalden. As a judge he was often a witness to injustice and graft. This provoked a profound sense of outrage in him as well as an aversion to all worldly transactions. He once had a vision during a court session of fire blazing from the mouth of an unjust judge. When he was forty-five years old, he began to suffer from a profound depression, which was accompanied by a feeling of annoyance with his family and by a longing to devote himself to his inner religious vocation. His friend Heiny am Grund, the local priest in Kriens, recommended a practice of regular prayer, but this proved of little help to him. Finally, when he was fifty years old, Klaus (as he was called) succeeded in persuading his wife to allow him to leave home, and he set forth into the unknown world as a mendicant monk. However, a number of incidents, including a horrifying vision that came upon him as he neared the Swiss border, caused him to return home. With the help of friends and relatives he built a hermit’s cell about two hundred and fifty yards from his house in a deep, shadowy ravine. There he spent the rest of his life. He took no food apart from the sacred host. He had many visionary experiences and gradually acquired such renown as a religious healer and adviser that there were often as many as six hundred people to be found waiting in the neighborhood of his cell for an opportunity to speak to him. At the age of sixty-four, Klaus became involved in a famous political event at the Congress of Stans, the “Stans Accord” of December 22, 1487. A conflict between the original cantons, which were more democratic and rural, and the new cantons, which stood more under aristocratic rule, had reached a critical point. A civil war seemed imminent. In this situation, the priest from Kriens, Heiny am Grund, ran all through the night to reach the hermitage in Sachseln and ask Niklaus to address the hostile parties. Klaus did not leave his cell but sent the message that the parties should come to an understanding. He simply admonished them to keep the peace, to accept the two new urban cantons but without expanding their territory too much, and to settle the conflict by means of a treaty. Klaus’s authority was so great that both parties humbly obeyed, though not without a certain amount of

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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