Synopses & Reviews
Carl Gustav Jung, along with Sigmund Freud, stands as one of the two most famous and influential figures of the modern age. His ideas have shaped our perception of the world; his theories of myths and archetypes and his notion of the collective unconscious have become part of popular culture. Now, in this controversial and impeccably researched biography, Richard Noll reveals Jung as the all-too-human man he really was, a genius who, believing he was a spiritual prophet, founded a neopagan religious movement that offered mysteries for a new age.
The Aryan Christ is the previously untold story of the first sixty years of Jung's life--a story that follows him from his 1875 birth into a family troubled with madness and religious obsessions, through his career as a world-famous psychiatrist and his relationship and break with his mentor Freud, and on to his years as an early supporter of the Third Reich in the 1930s. It contains never-before-published revelations about his life and the lives of his most intimate followers--details that either were deliberately suppressed by Jung's family and disciples or have been newly excavated from archives in Europe and America.
Richard Noll traces the influence on Jung's ideas of the occultism, mysticism, and racism of nineteenth-century German culture, demonstrating how Jung's idealization of primitive man has at its roots the Volkish movement of his own day, which championed a vision of an idyllic pre-Christian, Aryan past. Noll marshals a wealth of evidence to create the first full account of Jung's private and public lives: his advocacy of polygamy as a spiritual path and his affairs with female disciples; his neopaganism and polytheism;his anti-Semitism; and his use of self-induced trance states and the pivotal visionary experience in which he saw himself reborn as a lion-headed god from an ancient cult. The Aryan Christ perfectly captures the charged atmosphere of Jung's era and presents a cast of characters no novelist could dream up, among them Edith Rockefeller McCormick--whose story is fully told here for the first time--the lonely, agoraphobic daughter of John D. Rockefeller, who moved to Zurich to be near Jung and spent millions of dollars to help him launch his religious movement.
As Richard Noll writes, Jung is more interesting . . . because of his humanity, not his semidivinity. In giving a complete portrait of this twentieth-century icon, The Aryan Christ is a book with implications for all of our lives.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 285-320) and index.