Alan Watts Records this Video Three Years after Meeting Carl G. Jung in 1958

Today we owe a debt to the pioneers who struggled with uncovering the unconscious when it was not present.

Think of the explorations of magnetic sleep by Franz Anton Mesmer & Sigmund Freud who applied the myths of ancient Greece to the human condition. This was the beginning of depth psychology. The Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung is another, as does the philosopher and interpreter of Buddhism Alan Watts. Alan Wilson Watts was a British writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Carl Jung also was deeply interested in Eastern though, he wrote a forward to Richard Wilhelm’s The Secret of the Golden Flower.  Wilhelm, a German was the Marco Polo of the inner world of China. Jung, and Watts also were explores of the inner landscape. Alan Watts once said “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

In 1958, Watts toured parts of Europe with his father, meeting the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung the founder of ISAP in Zurich, and the German psychotherapist and Zen master  Karlfried Graf Dürckheim. Three years later, Jung passed on and Watts recorded the lecture below.

Why has Jung become so important? Watts points to “one principle that undergird’s his work and that was exemplified in Jung himself as a living being.” This is Jung’s “recognition of the opposites.” To the fundamental interplay of the polarity of life and the swings that happen between moving from one pole to another.


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