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his own inner truth. And the greatest miracle of all was perhaps that the people around him did not interpret this as madness. A few theologians tried to criticize him for leaving his family, but the general public, and particularly the people of Unterwalden took his side, seeing in his withdrawal into seclusion a divine vocation and not an indication of asocial behavior and lack of responsibility. Presumably this may be laid at the feet of the Eros—honey aspect of the berserker pilgrim, which the people must have felt in him. To return to our diagram: the central area of the collective unconscious is depicted in most religions as an anthropos figure, the symbol of the God-man or the cosmic man. Thus, paradoxically, the berserker embodies the greater personality of the Self in Brother Klaus and at the same time the self of the whole community. It is precisely in this respect that this figure is still a living archetype today. In World War II, a Swiss regiment had a collective vision of Brother Klaus, standing on the Swiss-German border with his arms outspread to protect the Swiss people from invasion by Hitler. The greater archetypal core in the figure of Brother Klaus is still alive in this way in Switzerland today. Modern zoologists and countless psychologists these days are writing about the problem of aggression and the possibility of integrating it, abreacting it, or suppressing it. Brother Klaus’s vision shows us how it is really possible to integrate and transform it. It is then no longer what we usually call aggression, but rather a clearly defined delimitation and solidification of the individual who is capable of steadfastly remaining “himself,” without yielding to a group or falling prey to mass suggestion. In the many situations of collective panic that a nation can fall into, everything often depends on whether or not a few individuals are capable of keeping a clear head and not getting swept away by the prevailing delusive emotions. According to Jung, this is the only way war can be avoided. But this goal remains a remote and distant one for humanity, and until we reach it nations and groups will inevitably continue to fight each other. Yet one thing is sure for me: we have reached a point in history at which the differentiation of Eros is a matter of the greatest urgency. For because the world has become a smaller place today, we are driven inexorably to realize that we are all in the same boat.


Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

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

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