Another Version of My Early Life

The original vision of childhood is a sense of wonder at everything. I have seen that sense of wonder in my children. I must have had that, too. I recall being fascinated with many things as a child, enjoying playing with fire and water and digging in the earth and building things especially model airplanes. 

When I was five my parents took me to see the film “Cabin in the Sky.” Ethel Waters a big black woman, had the lead role. In fact all the actors were blacks. I was frightened by a figure that appeared in little Joe’s nightmare who had horns on the top of his head and called himself  Lucifer Junior.

My mother used to leave we with a Mexican lady, Maruca Martinez, wife of the painter, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, in the afternoons to be taken care of. Mina, her maid, frightened me by telling me that if I was not good she would throw me down the stairs into the hands of the boogey man in the basement. Coquitta, (really Maria) their daughter who was crippled from polio frightened me too. I wanted to be part of a family, but I did not belong anywhere.

Sometimes my mother also left me with the sculptor, Jane Rosen, and with her mother’s friends like Tante Nana and Fraulein. I hated the old ladies in black veils. She also left me at the convent on West Adams with Mother Valerean. She left me with Gwen in the desert and left me at Big Bear Boys Camp where I was very homesick and frightened. She sent me away to boarding schools. The message I got was  “You’re no good. We can’t do anything with you. We don’t want you. You don’t deserve anything of your own. We don’t love you. Nobody likes you.”

The only positive people I can recall in my early life were my grandparents Elmer and Katie Staude, in Texas, and Betty Frank. I did not like my mother’s motherland her entourage in Los Angeles. I remember being sent away from them because I made too much noise.

I loved to read. The first book I remember reading on my own, with help from my mother who read to me a lot was Robin Hood. There was also a book of fairy stories and legends I enjoyed. I particularly liked the stories of St. George, of Perseus, and of the Dragon.

While I was away at mass, with my mother, my father would stay home and listen to Wagner. I decided that Grand Opera was his religion, and it seemed to be much more exciting than the boring masses I had to attend with my mother.

Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation meant little to me. They were rituals I went through to please my parents. I found going to Church was very boring. 

At age 8 I was sent to a Catholic military school, St. John’s where I was indoctrinated with traditional Catholic catechism and internalized guilt feelings regarding sexuality. The nuns frightened me with their images of Hell and the Devil who I feared would punish me if I was not a good boy.

FDR died in 1944. My grandfather died at about the same time as did a young boy who lived next door to me, John Clyde, Andy Clyde’s son. That was my first encounter with death.

In early adolescence I awakened to a sense of the spiritual through poetry and the first stirrings of love in my heart. For me God has always been most approachable through the body of a woman. It is She that evoked wonder in me and led me to turn to him, our creator, in gratitude.

I attended Catholic school for a few months when I entered adolescence in order to prepare for confirmation. I recall that I was fascinated by the emerging sexual beauty of some of the young women in the class, but I was taught that it was sinful to have “lustful” thoughts about women. One should not notice their bodies, I was told, but think of spiritual things instead. I felt guilty about masturbating and was told by the priest to hold a rosary in my hand. The pain would prevent me from continuing. It didn’t. I struggled against these sexual temptations for many years.

At Webb School I was also required to take classes in the Bible as literature. This bored me, but I enjoyed a class in comparative religions in my senior year taught by Mr. Wilson. He had pictures of figures from Greek myth on the walls of his classroom. It was with him that I first developed a real interest in the meaning of myths and symbols. I also was fascinated with the stories told in Bullfinch’s Mythology and particularly the stories of adventures, heroic journeys and the like. When I got to Webb I had an ambition to read every book in the school library, and I just about did. (It was a small library).

As a boy I was impressed with the poetry of the English romantic poets. I think this set the tone for my worldview and religious ideas and feelings. I feel there is a strong continuity between my early romanticism and my later idealism. I have never felt willing to accept mundane reality as it is, as the only world we can know and experience. Already as a youth I accepted the notion of multiple realities and the Buddhist view of the world as an illusion, though I often get caught up in identifying with my own personal suffering and am unable to practice this view in my daily life.

When I was about 15 years old at the end of my sophomore year at Webb School, I traveled to Europe with my parents for the first time. My mother was already in Europe when my father and I left. We sailed from New York on the Liberté, a luxury liner of the French line. I never had so much food in all my life. Tony had an affair on the ship as he had done on the train going from LA to New York. 

When we arrived at Le Havre my mother was waiting for us with a little English car a Humber Hawk. We drove through Rouen to Paris. The sky was grey and it rained and rained. The sky reminded me of the skies in some of the French impressionist paintings I had seen in our living room at home. France was more or less as I had imagined it would be. I recall the strange smells in our first Paris hotel room, and the strangeness of the old lady who watched us through a veiled glass door as we entered the building where mother had rented a small apt for us. I learned that such women are an institution in France called the conscierge.

I recall the smell of French coffee and pain au chocolat. In the mornings I had hot chocolate rich with fresh milk and hot croissants. Like a  puppy I explored the unfamiliar sights and smells in the neighborhood.

Mother had acquired an escort, Gerard, and his attractive wife or mistress Paulete. I developed a crush on her and enjoyed dancing with her despite the fact that she smelled of garlic. Her full breasts bulged out of her low cut black chiffon dress. I fantasied that I would like to make love to her, but I did not yet know how. 

I recall going with my parents to the bar at the Ritz Hotel. I ordered a Coke and Bisquit. I anticipated getting a coke and cookies but instead they served me coke with brandy in it. I felt betrayed and spit out the coke in disgust and made a scene.

We set out in the car and drove south to Tours, Poitiers and the Chateau country which we explored for several days before heading south into Provence. I was particularly enchanted with Carcasonne, which conformed to my image of medieval France. I had just completed an elementary course in medieval history at Webb and now felt thrilled to see a real medieval town complete with towers and encircled by a high stone wall. 

I learned of Simon de Montforte and the Cathars and the Courts of Love of the Troubadours. These tales fascinated me and I determined to learn more about medieval France someday. I still love medieval towns and medieval art and history.

The objective of our trip, from my mother’s point of view, at least, was to see as many beautiful churches in France as possible. I can’t remember them all. I had the feeling of being dragged around France from church to church like Eloise in New York. I was impressed with Chartres, Ronchamps and St. Paul en Vence.

We drove on over the Alps to Italy via the Dolomites and Cortina d’Ampezzo. I developed a crush on a pretty American girl there. We played tennis and I longed to play with her tits which I watched bobbing like tennis balls before my eyes.

We left there too soon for mty liking heading South into Italy. We stopped in Verona and in Venice where we stayed at the Royal Danieli and visited the Lido. Later we went to Florence Pisa and finally to Rome. By this time I had eaten too much Italian ice creamn and got sick. I spent most of the time we were in Rome sitting on the toilet or lying in bed in the hotel.

On our return journey we stopped again in Paris and visited Montmartre where I made the acquaintance of a delightful character named Mimiche. He ran a little joint restaurant near the Lapin Agile. He played the cello and told dirty stories. I recall the climax of one story when he unzipped his pants and pulled out his pecker and waved it at the audience. I later discovered that this long thing was not his pecker at all but a rubber. It was some time later before I learned what condoms are used for. At that time I thought it was  like a rubber glove.

We then took the Golden Arrow train to London, across the English channel, the luxury boat train of those days. We rode in first class, of course, and I loved how we were served tea and sandwiches. I loved high tea and later had it at the Grovsnor House in Mayfair, where we stayed. I have always enjoyed London. We returned to the USA at the end of summer and I returned to school at Webb in the fall.

I traveled all over the world through my imagination, reading adventure books, horse stories, classics, whatever I could get my hands on. What I wanted to understand really was myself and other people but it was a long time until I discovered psychology. My first study of human nature was through literature. One of my favorite books from my high school days was Jean Christophe, though I never read through all the volumes of the entire long novel.

In my late adolescence I became more committed to writing and to spirituality. 

I had been lonely at boarding school up until my junior year when I began dating Nancy Palmer, a girl who lived up the street from us in Hollywood. 

I would like to describe the atmosphere I experienced during my last year in high school when I was 17 years old. I was editor of the school paper, The Blue and Gold,  and had finally carved out a small place for myself at the school. At the end of the year upon graduation I was awarded a prize for having read more extra books than any other student. I was proud that I had my name in most of the books in the Webb School library. My grades were never extraordinary and I did not get into Princeton the college of my first choice but I did get into Duke so I went there.

After I graduated from high school I spent the summer in England  as an exchange student with the Experiment in International Living program. That was a turning point in my life. 

I sailed on a student ship, the Arosa Kulm and returned on the Arosa Star. It was lots of fun, but very different from the luxury liners I had sailed on before with my parents.  We sailed from the port of New York. This was the first time I was traveling so far away from home alone. I was excited and anxious. What adventures lay ahead for me? I was to be plaed in an English family in Plymouth in Devon. I enjoyed the English lifestyle very much. Thus began my lifelong love affair with England.

I first began to take a serious interest in the divine and to feel some relationship to Jesus Christ when I was 17 or 18 years old, during my first year at Duke University. At that time I became seriously interested in mysticism and began to read everything I could about it.

I thought I wanted to be a writer, so I thought I would major in English. I found the English professors too pedantic, however, so I switched to history. There was one English professor I liked very much–Russell Fraser, who had a student literary discussion group that I participated in with relish. It was called Areopagus, after the original Supreme Court of Athens.

One person was particularly influential on me among my college teachers. That was Dr. Harold Parker, a brilliant modern European historian. From him I first discovered that history was not so much a collection of facts but the interpretation of the relationships among these facts. Equally important for me as mentor at this time was Prof. Ernest Nelson, who was a specialist in Renaissance and Reformation history. 

My freshman essay was on Goethe’s  Sorrows of Young Werther. I tried to demonstrate that Werther was a symbol of his age and that Goethe managed to resolve his own personal inner conflicts through his creativity. I had my own share of personal emotional problems at this time myself.

I went to college in the South because I knew that so many of the great modern American writers came from the South and I wanted  so much to be a writer. At Duke I sought to write for the Archiveliterary magazine but my work was not published there. Instead I wrote  copy for the Playbillprograms. I have always been better at re-working  material than creating it from scratch.

I recall my first year Duke where I made friends with young men like Bill Spann, Rusty Stahlnacker and Tyson Underwood, Fred Chappel and Reynolds Price. 

Tyson came to visit me in California during our summer vacation in 1955. He had stopped at the bus station en route and dyed his hair black.

My first sexual experience was with Betsy, a beautiful blonde southern belle, in the college dorms. She was so sweet. Yet I rejected her after a while and went for Joanie, a dark haired beauty who I met on a blind date arranged by my roommate, Dick Phillips. I felt so close to her and we had good sex, but  afterwards I felt guilty. I went to confession as soon as possible after I had sex.

I was also troubled by what I was learning in my philosophy classes. I wanted to find out my own identity. my values and beliefs.    I loved history. I had good teachers like Prof. Harold Parker, Bill Holley and Ernest Nelson, the Renaissance and Reformation scholar. I admired him very much. In my sophomore year I took a class from him on the foundations of Western Civilization.  

I will never forget that class. We read Heroditus and Thucydides and Sophocles and St. Augustine. I have always loved the Greek classics. 

When I was supposed to go to work for Brunswig Drug Company, the summer after my freshman year, I could not face it and read Greek tragedies as a way of protesting my fate. Eventually I got a summer job as a law-clerk instead.

I enjoyed the chamber music concerts. I remember one concert in particular in which I was  making love to Betsy in the adjoining ladies lounge while the quartet was playing. 

I felt guilt about sex and confusion with the secular modern philosophies I was being exposed to at college. In fear and defence I fled to a Catholic Jesuit university where I was guaranteed of being taught the TRUTH. However, I was disappointed with the philosophy and theology I was taught there.

In my sophomore year in college my mother gave me a book by a Benedictine monk, Father Bede Griffiths, The Golden String.  It meant a lot to me. This was the first time that I saw that a religious quest could  be taken seriously by an intellectual, which was what I aspired to be someday. At this time I also first read St. Augustine’s Confessions. He became one of my lifetime heroes. Soon afterwards I read The Outsiderby Colin Wilson, which introduced me to Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Pascal and other existential thinkers who became my heroes as well. I was also fascinated by the life and thought of Nietzsche.

When I entered my first year of college I was supposed to join the ROTC but I did not want to. I did not have the courage to say no directly, but I resisted letting the orderly take a blood sample from me. He told m I had better get used to it because there would be a lot of such experiences of such unpleasantness ahead for me in the military. On this basis I decided not to enroll in ROTC. My advisor taught Russian Lit. so I enrolled in his survey of Russian Lit instead. Here I encountered Lermontov, Pushkin, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Thus began my lifelong interest in Russia and in Russian history and literature. (Later in graduate school I specialized in comparing modern Russian and German intellectual and cultural history).

At the end of my sophomore year I transfered to Georgetown. The summer between Duke and Georgetown I drove a traveling bookshop around Cape Cod. Got to know soem interesting people on the Cape including Paul Chavchavadze, a Russian emigré writer. I’ve always had a weakness for Russians. 

I was scheduled to go to Europe at the end of my Junior year but instead so as to be near Joanie Knowles I  spent the summer working as a counselor at the Big Toe River camp with the crippled children. I see a familiar Pattern here of sacrificing an activity which requires my being alone and taking a risk with loneliness  for the security of staying in a familiar place in order to stay with a girl or woman I love.

Beginning in the fall of 1956 I transferred to Georgetown University in Washington DC.I recall  reading Jung and Freud and philosophy and searching for the truth and listening to Fr. William Lynch lecture on literature and philosophy. Also Father Martin D’Arcy, Dr Rommen,  reading Samuelson and Schumpeter and studying the History of Economic and Political Thought.

I found the Thomism and Scholasticism  at Georgetown dry and boring. Instead I turned to the French existentialists and to exploring philosophy through literature. I found great inspiration in a literature class taught by  Fr. William Lynch. 

To this day literature is my favorite way to access  philosophical and religious or spiritual ideas. I enjoy encountering ideas in the contest of personal drama.  The evocative images speak to my heart. On the other hand for religious feeling I prefer sacred music. I had some courses in philosophy of religion with Father Martin D’Arcy who I found inspirational, but he was often over my head. 

The one philosophical work I remember reading in college that really opened up new vistas on religion for me was William James’ Varieties of Religions Experience.Even today I can hardly think of a work of greater significance for me for James introduced me to the psychology of religious experience. I also became interested in the psychology of Freud and  C.G. Jung at this time, as I was looking for a therapeutic alternative to Thomistic psychology.

I recall discovering a different kind of spirituality with Fr Damasus Winzen OSB at Mt Savior.  I want to mention one person and a place  that had an influence on my spiritual development–Father Damasus Winzen, at Mt. Saviour, a Benedictine community in Elmira New York where I made several retreats before I went to Europe. “Incline the inner ear of the heart and listen to the world of God” Benedict said in the prologue ot his rule. Through Father Damasus and Brother Gregory I discovered the Fathers of the Church, such as St. Augustine, St. Jerome and Origin, and came to appreciate the beauty of the Bible and the Liturgy. At Mt. Savior I sometimes had the sense of being in the presence of God, of experiencing wonder and gratitude at his majesty and glory. With the Jesuits this had been only an intellectual concept for me. Among the Benedictines I experienced it in my heart. 

In my senior year in college I became interested in French literature and philosophy, particularly after reading Wallace Fowlie’s book, A Guide to Contemporary French Literature.This led me to embark for a year of study of French literature in Paris. However I did not really know French well enough to read the literature or criticism in the original  for enjoyment. I did read some Camus and Claudel and some other modern French writers and even wrote a play modeled on Claudel’s work while I was in Paris. I was still troubled by guilt feelings about sex. It took some years of psychoanalytic therapy to finally move beyond that place in my spiritual and emotional life.

When I arrived in Paris in the summer of 1958, after graduating from Georgetown, a young Frenchman I had met on board the student ship I had sailed on from New York suggested that we find a small hotel and share a room. He did not have much money, he said, so he offered to show me around Paris if I would pay for his meals. He knew just the place. It was on the Left Bank, right near the Place St. Michel. The hotel was small and clean but our room was tiny and the bedsprings sagged to the floor when I lay on the bed–as French hotel beds so often do. We stayed there two or three nights and explored Paris during the days. One morning when  I got up I found to my surprise that my “friend” Gerard had disappeared. This was right after I had told him I was getting worried about how much money I was spending. He left we with the entire hotel bill to pay. I felt angry and disillusioned. This was a preview of other similar experiences I was to have in the future.

I felt delighted to be in Paris and was determined to learn French properly. I began by attending a course at the Sorbonne, but found it was too much work so on hearing about a pilgrimage going to Brittany I decided to join that. It was run by Pax Christi, a group that grew up after World War Two to help young persons heal the wounds and overcome the stereotypes left from war propaganda  and experience.

After the Pax Christi pilgrimage I went to Grenoble to study French.I first visited Germany in the summer of 1958. I was studying French in Grenoble. My parents were traveling through Europe and invited me to meet them in Düsseldorf. We traveled down the Rhine by train and got off in Stuttgart where my father picked up a Mercedes he had ordered in America. It was quite a ritual picking up the Mercedes. I resolved then that someday I would get a Mercedes of my own. We drove to Munich where we visited my “brother” Pierre and then drove on to Salzburg and on to Vienna. There my mother made a diatery cure in a hospital and she and her doctor decided that it would be good for me to make the same cure so I did. What was peculiar about her cure was that instead of following the hospital regime she had a hot plate under her bed with which she cooked her own supplementary meals.

I had been eating too many pastries and pommes frites in France and Germany and had become constipated. The doctor created a culture from my stool and injected this culture into my rectum thereby creating new bacilli to move along the stool through my intestines. I have never suffered from constipation since. My bowels work like clockwork. 

I returned to Paris in the fall ready to study. At first I tried to stay in a  Benedictine monastery but they through me out after I came home late a few times. I then stayed in a Catholic boys college on the Rue de Vaugerard. After a short time I was thrown out of there also because I did not mix well with the other boys and also refused to adhere to the early curfew imposed on residents of the college. I t reminded me of my life at Georgetown University,  until I had escaped and gotten an apartment off campus.

I then moved to a hotel on the Boulevard St Michel around the corner from the Sorbonne. I  enrolled in a course on French literature for French teachers from abroad. The lectures were over my head and I could not really do the assigned reading much less write the required essays. I dropped out after a couple of months. While I was in the course I met a nice young American called Greg who had a flair for languages and seemed to know not only French but German Spanish and Italian. He played the guitar and seemed more able than I to live on his own. I admired him and enjoyed our few meetings together. I also got to know a few other students who were friendly enough, but most of the time I felt isolated and alone. This was to be my primary experience in Paris and most places thereafter, feeling isolated and alone.

I spent most of my time in Paris either reading in my room or walking the streets exploring the biways of Paris. Eventually I met an attractive young French girl, Denise, and tried to develop an intimate relationship with her. We never got beyond holding hands. As a good Catholic boy I had ambivalence about sex as she did as well. But I wanted her to be my girlfriend anyway and she refused.

I was lonely in Paris and felt forlorn as the winter set in. One time an old friend of my mother’s Midu, invited me to visit her in her room at the Crillon hotel. She greeted me in a neglige and lay invitingly before me on a chaise longe. I was very uncomfortable, I felt like the boy in the Graduate with Mrs. Robinson. I couldn’t respond to her. Though she was very beautiful she was old enough to be my mother and had a son older than me who I had once played with. I later learned that my “brother” Pierre had had an affair with her. My mother later told me that she was a nymphomaniac. 

In time I got to know a group of German students in Paris, outsiders like me. I found them much more open and friendly than the French. One of them invited me to spend Christmas with her in Heidleberg. Another German girl I had met during the Pax Christi pilgrimage wrote inviting me to visit her in Westphalia; so  I decided to spend my Christmas holidays in Germany. This was to be a white Christmas. 

I had acquired a Porsche as a Christmas present from my parents. I decided to try it out on the winter roads of France and Germany.  I went to Westphalia first, driving Northwest from Paris into Germany via Saarbrucken.  I went to visit Ingrid, a slim blonde, but when I found she had another boyfriend I cultivated her plump motherly girlfriend Maria. I later wrote a one act play about my relationship with Maria. From Westphalia I proceeded South to Heidleberg. It snowed in Heidelberg while I was there. It was beautiful.  I stayed only a few days and then went on to visit my brother Pierre who was then staying in Mulhouse near Basel. 

I drove down the highway along the Rhine and suddenly became terrified when my car skidded out of control and I almost landed in the Rhine. I was terrified and telephoned Pierre swearing that I would not drive anymore even if it was Christmas eve and I wanted to meet him. He encouraged me to drive slowly and carefully and to come along. I did and arrived in Mulhouse with no further mishap. Pierre and I talked a long time about our plans and prospects for the coming year.   He had just finished studying design in Basel and was going to move to Munich to open an office there with his friend and partner  Klaus Oberer (Obei). I was going to write the great American novel in Paris. I returned to Paris shortly after New Year’s.

So I spent my first winter in Europe. It was too cold for me and I longed for the warm sun of Southern California. After over twenty years in Europe I still have trouble with the winter cold. 

In Paris I got to know another German girl. We had a Platonic relationship, which was all I felt capable of because of my guilt feelings about sex but when I learned she was screwing other guys I decided to try my luck as well. She was agreeable after a long petting session, but when it came to it I ejaculated before I could even enter her.  I felt so guilty about all this that I rushed to confession the next morning. My brother had a more casual attitude to it. Wash it and its as good as new he would always say. But like Lady Macbeth though I washed and scrubbed it I could not wash away the stain of sin in my consciousnesses. For this it took the magic of priestly authority.

The most extreme example in my life of this compulsive behavior was one time when I actually felt so guilty that I told a girl while I was inside her that what we were doing was sinful. She thought I was joking but eventually I convinced her I meant it. she pushed me out and pushed me away. I could not understand why and begged her to let me continue making love to her. She said I was crazy. I ran to a priest and got absolution and then came back to her to try to talk her into making love with me again. It took me many years to overcome these guilt feelings about sex. 

At St. Severin in Paris I had my first experience of  “worker priests” Through them I learned to think of my workplace as my altar. I learned from Pere Villart at St. Severin that there was a way of taking the mystery and grace we experienced gathered around the altar at mass out into the world of everyday life.

I returned to California in the spring after my winter in Paris. I did one term at Stanford University studying drama and playwriting and then transferred to Claremont Graduate  School in Southern Calif where I studied ancient and modern history. I got on the defensive about my religion and wrote papers for my grad seminar in Renaissance Studies  in which I tried to show the truth of the Catholic faith embodied in Dante’s Divine Comedy.This was not well received by my professors at CGS. I wrote a master’s thesis in History on “Jacob Burckhardt’s Philosophy of History”.

The  next year 1960, at UC Berkeley, I tried to confront modern historicism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis head on but had a hard time holding on to my Catholic faith in the process. I was fascinated with Nietzsche’s critique of Christianity and by Marxist sociology of knowledge. As I was also interested in philosophical anthropology I finally decided to write a dissertation on Max Scheler, a German Catholic philosopher and sociologist. Work on Scheler, particularly his philosophy of religion helped me find a better intellectual footing for my faith. Gradually, however, my faith and commitment to Chirstianity got lost in other concerns.  I remained a Catholic but psychotherapy, particularly Freudian, Jungian, and Gestalt psychology, replaced Christianity as my principal frame of reference for a long time.

Childhood Experiences

After being hidden away in a cabin in the desert for my first two years, I was adopted by my own mother, though I never knew she was my mother when I was a child. I was simply told that I had been adopted. I grew up in a large house on Canyon Drive, in the Hollywood foothills, near Griffith Park and not far from Hollywood and Vine. I loved to hike and play and ride horseback in Griffith Park and in a smaller park called Ferndell, which was even closer to our house. The house itself was a large wooden single level structure, custom built in  a modern ranch-house style. It was L-shaped and was organized as follows. One entered climbing a brick stairway flanked by Japanese cypress and orange trees surrounded by a ground cover of tall ivy. To the right from the entry hall was the kitchen followed by the laundry room, the maid’s room and the garage. To the right was the living room, and beyond that a dining room. A hallway led to a den and, at the end, a bathroom and my room. At this point a wing angled to the right which held a family room and two separate master bedrooms occupied by my father and my mother with an adjoining bathroom connecting them. I had no idea that it was unsual for a husband and wife to live in separate bedrooms.

The house had a large garden which contained a swimming pool, a badminton court and a large brick barbecue area. Eventually a studio was built for my mother, a sculptor, in the far corner of the garden, where the badminton and barbecue had been.

My grandparents’ house, the Brunswig mansion, was an exact copy of an eighteenth century  French  villa. It was quite large, with 25 rooms. It had once housed a large domestic staff including a cook, butler, nurse, governess, upstairs maid, downstairs maid, two gardners and a chauffer. By the 1940’s when I visited and played there, the staff had been cut in half, but there were always plenty of servants to be called when one needed anything. 

The entrance to the house was done in classic eighteenth century  style with glass French doors and two large stone lions guarding the stone stairway. Upon entering the house one walked into a large entry hall and then came upon a large  wooden staircase at the center of  the house. It was carpeted in red and led directly to the second floor. There were twelve rooms upstairs and at least as many large rooms downstairs, which included a ballroom and a private chapel where the family would sometimes gather for mass on Sundays and feast days. 

When she was living there, Madole’s room was the end room on the first floor. Later that became a guest room, and that is where I slept when my parents stayed late in the evening. Adjoining this room was the governess’s room, which had also been converted into a guest room by the time I came on the scene. There were also two other small rooms as well as a large guest room on the ground floor.  In the middle of the house upstairs was the master bedroom, which was where Madame, my grandmother, lived. Next to that was Monsieur’s bedroom  and next to that stood a hobby room where my grandfather kept his barbells, his pornography collection,  and his photography equipment.  

Across the hall there was a big linen room and then my uncle Walter’s room. Near the far end of the hall there was a large sewing room, where the dressmaker came to do the repair work after the washing. Downstairs was   a music room or ballroom, a sitting room, a  wood panelled library,  a dining room, a billiards room,  and a small chapel, as well as a large kitchen, pantry, sewing room,  guest rooms and an outdoor dining room on the loggia.  

The grounds were large and included tennis courts, a swimming pool, and at the bottom of the garden, a large dolls’ house in the form of a miniature copy of the villa. This had been built expressly for my mother when she was a little girl.  She had spent much of her time there as a child, and had converted it into a studio after she was grown up. 

It was a huge house with many places for me to discover and to hide in. The house was segregated off from the neighbors’ homes on each side by a small bamboo forest. I used to climb through this bamboo in search of playmates next door. However, most of the people at the mansion were too old, and did not like small children, anyway.

The large, red, carpeted, oaken staircase climbed up through the center of the house leading from the entry hall, downstairs, to the master bedroom, on the second floor. I enjoyed sliding down it from the second floor to the mezzanine landing below. I was not allowed to slide down to the main floor lobby below because I was not supposed to disturb the old ladies. My grandmother and her sister, whom the family called Tante Nana, were usually wrapped in black veils. 

Monsieur was  already a very old man by the time I was born.  He was always very nice to me, his little grandson, and called me le petit bonhomme. He even allowed him to play on his bed. He had an attractive nurse who  flirted with me and liked to sing to me, “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, how you can love! Oh Johnny, oh Johnny, heavens above…” which embarrassed meso much I blushed and had to run out of the room every time she sang this song.

Madame was more serious and cold. She did not like small children, she said, and I found it best to stay out of her way. I later remembered her as surrounded with old ladies with furs and perfume and black veils over their faces.

When I was five years old my parents took me to see a film from which I emerged terrified— “Cabin in the Sky.” Ethel Waters, a big black woman, had the lead role. All the actors were blacks. I was terribly frightened by a Satanic  character called “Lucifer Junior,” and had nightmares for months after, fearing that “Lucifer Junior” was coming to get me and carry me away to hell.

My mother often left me in the hands of a Mexican family in the afternooons. The father of this family was a well-known Mexican artist, Alfredo Ramos Martinez. Their daughter, Maria, who I called Coquitta, had been crippled from polio. She was like a big sister to me. The family housekeeper, Mina, frightened me by threatening to throw me down the stairs into the basement if I misbehaved. There, she told me menacingly, waited the hungry, angry Boogey Man, who would gobble me up if I had the misfortune to fall into his hands. 

I felt rejected everywhere I went. I wanted to be part of a family, but there was little family feeling in my family, where each person did his or her own thing. I felt that I did not belong anywhere. I felt that Madole would just as soon be rid of me so she could devote herself to her art career. She often left me with her mother’s friends, like her aunt, Tante Nana, and  her former governess, Fraulein Gersteinmeier. 

I hated these old maids who were always shrouded in black veils. Sometimes Madole left me at a Catholic convent near her parents’ home on West Adams.  There I received instruction in Catholic catechism from another woman garbed and veiled in black, the terrifying (to me) beady eyed and stinking Mother St. Valerian. Sometimes Madole left me with another friend of hers, Gwen, at Rancho Yucca Loma in the desert. 

When I was ten I was sent away to a boy’s  summer camp at  Big Bear Lake. There I felt very homesick and frightened.  I had been abandoned again. I always felt I was the victim, the abandoned child, because I was continually sent away to boarding schools. The message I got was “You’re no good. We can’t do anything with you. We reject you. We don’t want you. You don’t deserve anything of your own. You’re lazy. You’ll never amount to anything.”

I loved to read. The first book I read alone, with some help from my mother was Robin Hood. Soon I began reading books of fairy stories and legends.  I particularly liked the story of St. George  and the Dragon.

Having been brought up a Catholic and educated by the nuns,  I  was told more about hell and taught to feel afraid  of the devil and  more than to love  God.  Like the young James Joyce at Conglowns College he was taught about  sins of all kinds, original sin, venial sin, and mortal sin, but very little about God’s love. Like most Catholics of my generation, I felt guilty and anxious about sex and  was brought up in the tradition of original sin rather than Original Blessing, Grace, and Gratitude. The sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation meant little to him. They were rituals I went through to please my teachers and my parents but I found going to Church was boring. 

I often got into trouble with my teachers and classmates at school. I was an angry and upstreperous little kid,  filled with hostility towards everyone and  resented having to obey rules. What was I so angry about?

We had a housekeeper named Myrtle. I called her Myrtle the Turtle. She  was an elderly spinster from Vermont, a real New England old maid who Johnny used to love to tease. One time he stuffed his bed with pillows to make it look like he was in bed and went out. Once he put a small bomb under the receiver of the phone and then went out and phoned the house. When she picked up the phone she was almost made deaf by the explosion. He  found that hilariously funny. Another time she looked in on him when he had put the dog in his place in his bed. She did not know the difference. He hid in the closet to see.What was the point of all these childish pranks? He was angry at the world and was getting even.

An Introductory Sketch of My Life

“Love, and do what you will”  -St. Augustine
“Man is asked to make of himself what he is supposed to become to fulfill his destiny.” —Paul Tillich
“Well-being is only possible once one has overcome one’sNarcissism; to the degree to whichone is fully awake and empty.Well-being means to be fully born, to become what one potentially is.”   —Erich Fromm


My French grandfather, Lucien, was bedridden much of the time when I knew him at the end of his life, but he loved to bounce me on his lap and tell me stories about his youth in France.  My mother’s mother Marguerite, Sr. was a snob, cold and aloof. She rejected me on the grounds, she said, that she didn’t like being around noisy small children like me.


My father was a Texan (born in Fort Worth in 1910) who moved to L.A. in the thirties looking for work during the Great Depression. He sold men’s clothing in a department store by day, and wrote feature stories for the Fort Worth paper by night to make enough money to pay the rent. 
One evening he went out to interview a rising star sculptress, Marguerite Brunswig, who became my mother, (but not from his seed) after they fell in love at first sight and got married a year therafter.

Lucien had become very wealthy creating a flourishing medical drug business in New Orleans, and he replicated that achievement in Los Angeles Phoenix and Tucson, San Diego and San Francisco. 

My mother, Marguerite Brunswig, was born in 1899 in New Orleans, but her dad, my grandfather Lucien Brunswig, was already in his sixties when Marguerite came along, so as soon as she was old enough to travel in 1902 he sold his drug business, retired, and returned to France, where he had originated.He and the family rented an apartment in PARIS and remained there in France for four years only returning to the states in 1906. At that point my grandfather moved the entire family (3 other girls and a boy) to Los Angeles, where my mother (and later I) grew up. 

On West Adams, a rich area near the Wilshire District in LA he had built for himself a large mansion like Downton Abbey, with over twenty rooms, including—besides the usual bedrooms, kitchen, parlor and dining room—a ballroom, a library, a chapel, and a fencing room—fencing was one of his hobbies. On either side of the mansion’s front steps, where I used to play, were a giant lion made of stone, which I used to love to ride!

After she grew up, my mother (Marguerite) escaped from Southern California Society which bored her,and enrolled in an art school in Mexico City, where she studied sculpting and lost her virginity to a fellow student,who regularly stole money from her handbag to buy food for his wife and kids.When she discovered this, she broke up with him. He broke her heart. But I guess she missed the warmth of his embraces, because after she returned to LA after a year in Mexico she became romantically involved with another Mexican in LA, Carlos del Prado, who unexpectedly became my father.

They never married, and her father would not have approved had she asked because: (1) Carlos was a Mexican and rich American bourgeois in Southern Californiain those days found it unthinkable to marry a Mexican and  (2) Lucien wanted her to marry a French aristocrat, and kept introducing them to her whenever he ran across one, but she was not interested. 

To conceal her pregnancy from her family Marguerite broke offer relationship with Carlos and moved to Manhattan, where she proceeded to study aesthetics and art history with one of the leading artist historians of the day, Leo Katz, who also was a very talented portrait painter, much in demand in New York.

Marguerite was impatient to rid herself of the unwanted baby inside her; so she found a quack doctor to induce the birth process in her womb two months early. It worked, but after I was born I had to spend my first few weeks on earth in an enormous incubator, as if I was a baby chick. 

After she had completed her art history course, and I was stable enough to travel, with some trepidation Marguerite took the Santa Fe Super Chief back to Los Angeles. She managed to get through Central Station and go on to a small bungalow that she had rented for me by long distance phone from New York.

However, she was unable to maintain her secret for long, because Lucien soon received a hospital bill from the Manhattan Hospital in the post. 
Lucien was ambivalent in the way he confronted his miscreant daughter about my concealed existence, for he admired her courage and was actually surprisingly proud of her.

After a few months, my mother decided that it was inconvenient to have a baby on her hands when she wanted to travel and to concentrate on her art; so she deposited me at a dude ranch in Victorville–Rancho Yucca Loma–where I spent my early years. There I bonded with Gwen Behr the proprietor of the dude ranch, who was like a mother to me.

After Marguerite married Tony Staude in late 1938, and had settled down with him in Hollywood, she and her new husband drove out to my desert refuge in a fancy Buick convertible, to collect me one afternoon and bring me back to their new home. I cried all the way there grieving the loss of the woman who I perceived to be my real mom, GWEN. I guess my mother didn’t understand anything about how important a solid unbroken attachment to a mother figure is to an infant.

My mother was an artist, with little understanding of a maternal responsibilities, but when I grew older she did teach me to appreciate art and literature. Here is a poem I recently wrote expressing my childhood perception of her. I call it In the Studio

I sat with my feet in the sink watching her unconcerned that my shoes were slowly getting wet from the tapwater, while Mother carved away excess pieces of clay from her sculpture.
When the clock struck four, I began to wonder if Mother really cared, if she really cared, if I was there. She was so absorbed in her work;  I felt she had forgotten all about me.
One day she gave me a lump of clay of my own to mould, to penetrate, to caress and to fondle. It was not bread, or milk, or honey, or fruit, but in my hands it became an imaginary companion into whom I could pour out my pain and longing.
“Make of it what you will,” she said, repeating to me the New Testament stories of the prodigal son and the unreliable servant, who squandered his money and wasted his talents. 
That was her way: always moralizing. I felt both angry and grateful towards her, admiring her dedication to her art, but wanting more dedication to me. It is so difficult to be the son of an artist.

Mother died more than thirty years ago. Her heart just gave out, and she collapsed. I was not there, but I was devastated by the news, and flew home from Rome, where I then lived, to participate in her funeral services where she lived in her later years with her faithful spouse, Tony Staude, my stepfather, in Big Sur, California.

And what of that timid little boy I once was? I feel like crying whenever I remember my childhood. Like in the poem “Little Boy Blue,” I was that abandoned little wooden soldier who was thoughtlessly left behind, standing alone. She had abandoned me many times before, but when she died, it was permanent.

There was no way to go back home after that. The only option was to take the plunge and choose sanity over depression and move forward into the adulthood I had always succeeded in avoiding despite my inner pain.
“She will live on in my memory,” I thought to myself, identifying with her to avoid facing the loss of my Mom. “I will become an artist and explore many media, turning nothings into somethings to fill my emptiness,  just like she did,” I said to myself.

But this never really worked. Soon enough, the magic wore off, and I was alone again with that monstrous hole gnawing at my entrails, prompting me to think of joining her in death hoping to meet her in Heaven.
“Can I ever outgrow Mother as my main reference point? Am I doomed to spend the rest of my life  entangled and enmeshed in her life,  as the little jewel she sported in her crown?” I wondered.

Eventually, through a lot of good psychotherapy and support from healthy sane men and women,  many recovering from child abuse themselves,  I found my own ground and my own center.  I succeeded in separating somewhat from Mother to create my own independent life at last.
But let’s not exaggerate…  Little Johnny is still here inside me.  If I ignore him and his needs for too long,  he takes his revenge through depression thereby letting me know that I cannot ignore him with impunity any more.

When I was a young lad, I wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. Every Saturday afternoon, without fail,I had my mom or dad drop me off at “The Hitching Post,” which offered a double-bill of feature films plus several series which filled out my Saturday afternoons. You had to check your guns (usually just cap pistols) at the door. When your parents arrived to pick you up if the movie wasn’t over yet a loud shrill voice would blare out from behind the screen, “Johnny Staude, your parents are here in front waiting for you” to which there would be booing and catcalls from the audience. I found that very embarrassing!

My first heroes were comic book characters— the Saint, Batman, Superman and the Green Hornet. I also liked Western heroes like the Lone Ranger and Tonto and Hop-along Cassidy,and his Sidekick, California, of course, played by the comedian, Andy Clyde, who lived next door to us. I felt like I was a part of his family often eating there because I was best friends with his son Johnny Clyde, until he died of spinal meninghitus.

I grew up near the famous corner of Hollywood Blvd.and Vine Avenue. Bing Crosby’s and Fred Astair’s kids went to school with me. I also was in school with Joan Crawford’s daughter, Christina Crawford, who later wrote an expose of her mother’s lack of parenting skills in her first book, Mommie Dearest, which was later turned into a movie.

On the radio, I used to love to listen to The Knudsen Family Hour which came on about five o’clock. It began with music from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” the “Dance of the Flowers,” and then dramatized fairy stories by writers like Jakob Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. As far as TV, I liked to watch the Red Skelton Show and Jack Benny. Skelton’s show ran for 20 years, beginning in 1951; Benny’s ran for 15 years, starting in 1950. I also liked to watch The Ed Sullivan Show.

I collected autographs; so when I met a real live famous author like Henry Miler, I felt that I had to get his autograph. When I asked him for one, he said “Sure, kid, do you have a book?” I suppose that he might have wondered what a naive twelve year old like me was doing reading one of his pornographic novels, like Tropic of Capricorn.  Anyway, I didn’t own any of his books; so I gave him the book I was reading at the time–Tarzan and the Apes–to sign. Henry looked at it, did a double-take, and then laughed, winked at me, signed it, and gave it back to me.

When I was 18 in 12th grade in high school, I wrote my Senior Essay on UFOs, firmly believing in their existence, and trying to convince my audience to believe in them, too! That was early evidence of a character trait that haunted me all my life–doing and saying outrageous things to provoke attention, which usually brought me regret after my initial satisfaction.

I began working when I was twelve. I had a paper route and I delivered evening newspapers 5 days a week on my bicycle in Hollywood.I don’t recall how much I got paid, but it was fun having a role beyond being a child at home and a pupil at school. That was over seventy years ago and my memory of the details isn’t that good anymore. 

As far as having a career, mine was being a perpetual student and learner, but equally a teacher.Whenever I could, I tried to teach something I was just learning myself and felt enthusiastic about. Over the years I have learned many things in many fields, but one thing remains constant, my interest in the history of ideas, and curiosity about understanding human behavior and social change. 

These are the main roles I have played at various times during the course of my life: 

(1) Professor/teacher/intellectual This is my primary persona, the mask I typically show you when you first meet me.

(2) Writer & Artist This is the role I like best and own as my ideal self. I’ve written or edited five books, as well as a scholarly journal. Creativity is my highest value, as Paul Tillich would say, my “ultimate concern.” 

(3) Mystic spiritual-seeker Spirituality is also my “ultimate concern.” 

(4) Historian, scholar, and book collector Researching and publishing scholarly books gives me pleasure. I am like my Jewish grandfather, a man of the book, and a Book Collector, as he was, with a collection of over 6000 volumes.

(5) Sociologist, social-psychologist, gerontologist I have always been interested in understanding AGING, and the dynamics of groups and of human motives and human behavior in general, whether through philosophy, art, and literature or through Social and Behavioral Science.

6) Adventurer-traveler & documentary filmmaker. I began traveling already as an infant, moving from Manhattan, where I was born,to Hollywood, where I grew up. I have lived abroad much of my life,and been an adventurer in my travels and recorded some of thesein documentary films I made.I’ve traveled as far as China and Japan, and visited most countries in Europe,living 10 years in England, 5 in Germany, 3 in Italy and 2 in Swizerland.
‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes.’ -said Marcel Proust

(7) Psychologist & lifelong psychotherapy patient. Recently, I have been diagnosed with a bi-polar personality disorder like the Romantic poets, Blake, Keats, Wordsworth, Hölderlin and Coleridge, whom I’ve always admired. I have needed emotional support and guidance through every decade of my life from my late teens right to the present.I’ve always had a psychotherapist working with and I’ve always needed the emotional support of the women in my life. 

(8) Friend and Christian Good SamaritanI have maintained close friendships with some of my former school and college friends and with my lovers, and I cherish those friendships very much. Right now, my best friend is Helgard, my former wife in Germany. I strive to be loving and compassionate towards the other residents here at la vida del mar.

(9) Romantic Lover Love and Romance has been the loadstone of my life;I have made some of the big decisions (and foolish choices)in my life based on the promptings of my heart.

(10) Father I was not a very good father to my first two sons, abandoning them when they were small, so I could be free to travel the world. However, I have sought to make up for that with my youngest son, Raphael, to whom I have devoted almost all my time and financial resources whenever he has needed anything.

Gary Zukav says that: “active love goes beyond warm feelings, kind sentiments and connected moments. It is looking for what is need and providing it. It is living directly from the heartwithout reservation. It is realizing that what you see needs to be done is there for you to do.It is the end of waiting for others todo what you want them to do or to say what you want them to say.It is leaving behind expectations of acknowledgement, praise, or appreciation.It is honoring your inner sense of appropriateness and committing the full force of your being to it.You are bonding to your partner in the Earth School with mutual Joy in Life and feeling the deep gratification of knowing that [you are not alone] you belong to Life…
“Can you live with an open heart even while others are frightened? Love is not taking advantage of the vulnerability of others.It is making the needs of others as important as your own.Love is a fire that is out of control. Once ignited, it cannot be contained.You may strive or moderation in diet and exercise, but striving for moderation in love is like stirring for moderation in breathing.Practice moderation in all things except love.”

Understanding My Jewish Grandfather and Antisemitism

My grandfather, Lucien Napleon Brunswig (1854-1943) was a Jewish boy who emigrated to the US with his family in his parents and siblings in 1871 and already encountered antisemitism when his family arrived as immigrants at Ells Island and found it expedient to alter both their names and their professions in order to be admitted into the United States. Irving Howe has written extensively about this immigration experience, so I won’t try to describe it right now, but I want to look at the nature of antisemitism in America then and now. (Irving Howe. World of Our Fathers. The Journey of East European Jews to America and the Life they Found and Made. (New York, Viking Press, 1975)

Although I was brought up as a Catholic, I’ve been told that I look much like my grandfather. When I compare my head to a bust of his head, crafted by his daughter, my mother, a sculptor circa 1920, I see that I have his pronounced nose, and I feel close to him and share many of his personality traits and values, especially his ambition, perseverance, courage, creativity, and love of art, music, literature, and ideas.

I often asked my mother about our Jewish heritage, but she couldn’t–or wouldn’t–tell me much. She acted like it was weird of me to dredge up something which she classified as wholly irrelevant and possibly even to be ashamed of. When I asked a Jewish woman how I might get more understanding of my Jewish heritage, she urged me to fly to Israel and immerse myself in a Kibbutz. That idea appealed to me, but I couldn’t scrape together the fare to go; so I found the second best solution I could think of was to read some novels by popular Jewish-American authors like Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint Saul Bellow’s novels, like Humboldt’s Gift. I made a point of reading the complete Lavette Family Series by Howard Fast, Lillian Hellman’s autobiographical play, The Little Foxes, Bernard Malmud’s New York novel, The Assistant, and his Collected Short Stories and Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk, which was about a Jewish-American Princess, who reminded me of my amazing mother.

Who/What is a Jew?

Being a Jew means being descended from a Jew or converted to Judaism from another spiritual tradition. Originally the term “Jew” was applied only to a descendent from Judah. Later in Bible history it came to signify a member of the tribe of Judah, and still later following the division of the kingdom of Israel, when Judah and Benjamin were the only two tribes of Israel which remained faithful to God, it designated one from either of these tribes. Originally the group was a religious sect, but since it was also a firmly knit pastoral people it had simultaneously a cultural (ethnic) homogeneity. It is wrong to think of the Jews as a race. Such physical identifiability as they have is due to the fact that in the region of the world where Judaism began an Armenoid type was common.

“A Jew is a person who, by and large, can be socially identified by certain physical characteristics (gestures, speech, manners, posture, expression of face, etc.); who has grow up in a Jewish family, characterized by a specific ‘Jewish atmosphere’; who consequently possesses certain specific, if often elusive, emotional and intellectual characteristics; who is considered by others as being a ‘Jew’ and whose personality is significantly shaped by that fact; and who, strange as it may seem, is not clear himself whether his being Jewish means a religious, national, racial, or cultural classification…” G. Ishheiser.”Diagnosis of Antisemitism: Two Essays” Sociometry Monographs, 1946, vol. 8, p, 21

“The Jews are scapegoats of great  antiquity and only  by taking a long historical view, aided by psychological insights, can we hope to understand the nature and causes  of the perennial phenomenon of antisemitism.”–Gordon Allort, The Nature of Prejudice (New York, Addison Weseley,1954)

Anti-Semitism is thought to reach back at least to the fall of Judea in 586 B.C. When the Jews were dispersed, they took with them their relatively rigid and unbending customs. Dietary laws prohibited them from eating with others; intermarriage was forbidden. They were even considered ‘stiff-necked’ by heir own prophet, Jerimiah. Wherever they went, their rigid othodoxy presented them with a problem, making it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for them to integrate into their host communities.

In Greece and Rome new ideas were welcomed. The Jewish minorities were welcomed as interesting strangers. But the cosmopolitan cultures which they entered could not understand why Jews did not reciprocate the meals, games, and gaiety of their own pagan life. Jehovah could easily be fitted into the galaxy of gods who were worshipped. Why couldn’t the Jews be accommodating and accept the pagan pantheon ruled by Jupiter in Rome or Zeus in Greece? Judaism seemed too absolute in its theology and in its tribal ethnic customs and rites.

Among these rites that of circumcision probably caused the most worry and consternation. The symbolism of circumcision of the spirit was not well understood. The butchery of a male child’s foreskin seemed cruel and a dangerous and totally unnecessary threat to one’s manhood. How much unconscious fear this rite has aroused in the minds of non-Jewish people throughout the centuries is impossible to say. The intimacy of this castration threat may play a large part in people’s rejection of things Jewish.

Since the early Christians were themselves Jews, it took several centuries until the differences between these related but different spiritual traditions became clear and Christians began to persecute Jews as Christ-killers. By the time of St. John Chryssostom (4th century) elaborate antisemitic homilies were preached accusing Jews not only of the Crucifixion but of many other conceivable crimes as well.

Since the Hebrews did not accept the Messiah, they were not bound by his laws and by the peculiarly exacting moral teachings of the New Testament. Many Christians secretly or unconsciously desire to escape from the stringent morality enjoined by the Gospels and the Epistles. This evil impulse may, according to psychoanalytic reasoning, create severe conflict and hated of oneself for having such unholy desires. Symbolically, therefore, sinful Christians are also “Christ killers.” But this thought is so painful that it must be repressed. Behold: here is the Jew who openly repudiates New Testament teaching. I shall therefore hate him because I hate this tendency in myself. My guilt is laid upon the Jew, just as the ancient Hebrew guilt was laid upon the sacrificial scapegoat.

Characteristics or Traits of Jews

  1. Jews are an Urban People.

Some facts to consider: 40% of all the Jews in the US live in New York City and most of the remainder live in large cities. Many factors contribute to this urban trend. Most immigrants from Eastern and Central Europe came to work in factories and still live in cities. Jews seem to show this urban centering more than other groups. Rarely, in the countries where Jews came from were they allowed to own land, and their traditions and skills were therefore not often agricultural. Orthodox Jews were not allowed to travel on the Sabbath and therefore needed to live in cities near synagogues.

Urbanism as a way of life is enormously important for understanding antisemitism. History shows that individuals cannot help but unconsciously adopt the values and judgments of their ancestors, viewing each outgroup through the screen of tradition. 

Although in principle people desire to have peaceful relations with their neighbors, this desire has been badly blocked by the urban, mechanical and technological culture of our day—especially by the culture of our cities,  that arouses so much insecurity and uncertainty in people’s minds, as was already noted by the turn of the century German sociologist Georg Simmel in his famous  essay, “The Metropolis and Urban Life.” (1900) 

Simmel observes that in the modern world no longer do personal thrift, private effort, or face-to-face negotiations amount to much. Big city life expresses to us what is dangerous, inhuman, impersonal, and alienating us from our remembered [or imagined] pre-urban roots. In the city, disturbing inexplicable relentless forces like the assembly-line and national advertising campaigns seem to determine our lives. We both fear and hate our subservience to the inexorable rhythms of urban life. 

What does this irrational fear and hate have to do with prejudice and antisemitism? For one thing, as mass-men we follow the conventions of the times. The snob-appeals of advertising effects us deeply.  We are encouraged to want more luxury goods and ever greater status through conspicuous consumption. Also, there’s the other side to consider–the influence of advertising on our attitude to other human beings. The high standards imposed upon us by advertising incline us to look down on, and to feel contempt for, people who can’t afford to maintain the lifestyle that we can. Impressed with the luxuries, cars, and other material things, TV constantly trusts before our irrepressibly hungry eyeballs, in mass society we tend to look down upon people economically and socially below us, such as immigrants, rustics,  and people of color.

But while we yield to the materialistic urban values that surround us, paradoxically, we often come to hate the very city that engenders them. We hate the dominance of financial markets and corrupt politics. We despise our own unwanted shadowy personality traits that are exacerbated by urban pressures, such as jealousy, aggressiveness, greediness and rudeness. We dislike those people, like Jews, who we perceive as being too clever, too ambitious, sneaky, dishonest, greedy, vulgar, noisy, and different, and on the “fringe” of WASP values. For many non-Jewish people these disagreeable urban traits have been personified and crystallized in the Jew. “The Jews are hated today,” writes social psychologist Erich Fromm, primarily because they serve as a symbol of city life.” Especially New York, which many urbanites feel has been ruined by the dominance of Jews in the media and in the entertainment industry in general. Therefore, they hate the symbol of the city, the Jew.

(2) Jews tend to be concentrated in certain occupations

In 1900  60% of the Jews in cities were engaged in manufacturing, chiefly in the garment trades, but in 1934 only 12% were so employed. Meanwhile the percent engaged in trade jumped from 20 to about 43%. Many families that had originally engaged as factory workers later opened their own businesses (often tailoring or retail clothing).

In the professions  one finds about 14% of the Jewish population, but only about 6% of the general population. In New York City, whose population is about 28 % Jewish, about 56% of physicians are Jewish, likewise 64% of dentists, and 66% of lawyers. Contrary to popular opinion, Jews seem be under-represented in finance. Only a small percent are bankers. As international bankers they are virtually non-existent. On the other hand, there has been a rise in the number of Jews engaged in government service and in service industries.                

One theory of anti-Semitism, the “fringe of conservative values” theory,  is that Jews tend to collect in upwardly-mobile and conspicuous or risky occupations. Cautious people do not approve of so much risk-taking. Jews are conspicuous deviants from sound Christian conservative values, and accordingly distrusted. But not only from religion, likewise from mediocrity: conscience pricking , intellectual aspiration and spiritual ferment. The Jews are regarded as being just enough off center (slightly above, slightly below, slightly  outside) to disturb non-Jews in many different ways. The “fringe” is perceived by conservative people to constitute a threat. This might be called “the narcissism of slight differences.”

(3) Jews are ambitious and work hard.

(4) Jews have high intelligence. Fairly often the IQ scores of Jewish children are higher than those for Gentile children, but is this due to genes? We don’t know for sure yet. Such slight differences can easily be explained by family incentives and socialization and the value placed on learning  and good performance within the Jewish cultural tradition.

(5) Jews have great love of and respect for learning.It’s not difficult to point to an army of Jewish geniuses represented by the example of Einstein. Many more Jews attend colleges and universities than ever before, now that most restrictions against Jewish students have been dropped.

(6) Jews have marked family devotion. There is some evidence that, like Italians, Jewish families possess more solidarity than other families, although the weakening of family ties today is felt among both Jews and gentiles.

(7) Jews have concerns for social justice and sympathy with the oppressed                 

Some negative characteristics attributed to Jews by Antisemites:

(1) Jews are more impulsive and emotionally expressive than gentiles 

(2) Jews are money-minded they engage in sharp business practices and are dishonest.

(3) Jews are ostentatious and conspicuous in their consumption of luxuries and of expensive foreign traveling.

My Family History

My maternal grandfather, Lucien Napoleon Brunswig (1854-1943) was born in Montmedy, in Alsace in the Northeast of France, in 1854, and was educated at the  College of Etain. 

Apparently the teenage Lucien was confident that his future lay in the United States for he came to the New World with his parents by ship to New York in 1871 after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War on a one-way ticket.  Although he didn’t have much work experience, he soon found a job as an apprentice to a U.S druggist in a drugstore. 

In 1875 at age 21 Lucien opened his own drugstore in Atchison, Kansas. The reason he was in Kansas was that that was as far as the railroad tracks heading west went. After a year of business in Kansas, Lucien sold his first drugstore and moved to Fort Worth, Texas to try his luck there.

In Fort Worth Lucien opened a new drugstore that not only sold retail but also dealt with wholesale pharmaceuticals.  Within 5 years the business was producing $350,000 in annual sales!  Business took Lucien to many places and one of those places was Independence, Missouri.  There he met and married  Annie Mercer. The newly married couple made their home in Fort Worth and they soon added children. 

Everything seemed to be going well for young Lucien, but unfortunately, through a slip up, one of his staff accidentally gave a mother poison rather than the prescribed medicine he should have dispensed to her, and the child died. This terrible mistake cost Lucien  his  good name and his reputation fell apart; so he had to move out of Fort Worth.

Fortunately, at that time, George Finlay, the owner of a well-established wholesale drug firm in New Orleans invited Lucien to join him as a partner. So Lucien sold his Fort Worth business and joined Finlay in the newly constituted firm of Finlay and Brunswig.  

A year later, in 1885, Finlay died and Lucien took over the entire wholesale drug firm which then became the L. N. Brunswig Company. In 1887 he took on a partner by the name of Fred W. Braun who was going to play a significant role in his life some years later..

While he  lived in New Orleans he had served as a Police Commissioner from 1895-1899; Vice-president, Anthenee Louisianais; Member, Louisiana Historical Society; President, French Society; and had served as Vice-President for the Board of Trade.

Lucien and Annie had 5 children – 3 girls and 2 boys.  The year of 1892 became a pivotal year for Lucien.  That year marked the death of one of his young sons – a son who also bore the name of Lucien N. Brunswig.  This death was a terrible blow to Annie Brunswig.  The child’s death was too much for her to handle.  She overdosed on laudanum, the marajuana of the day, and gradually declined in health. Within a month she, too, was dead.

Not to be daunted, Lucien, an ambitious and courageous young Jew—he was only five feet tall— soon moved on with life. Prior to the death of his wife and child Lucien had been looking toward the West.  In 1887 Lucien dispatched Braun  to Los Angeles, and within a year a prosperous business was established there. 

Mr. Braun believed that the future of the company lay  in the West.                 In 1890, while Lucien was still in New Orleans, he sent Braun out to San Diego to set up another branch office of the company there.  In short order more branches were opening and operating in California under the direction of F.W. Braun.

Meanwhile in 1900, at the beginning of the new century, Lucien decided to sell all his assets in New Orleans and to retire back in his homeland, France.

He booked passage for himself and his family and a couple of African American servants on a luxury liner sailing from New Orleans.  He took his new wife, Marguerite, and their baby daughter, also named Marguerite,  onto the ship and they sailed for Europe with no intention of ever returning to America.

Lucien established himself in Paris, first at the Hotel Bradford where many New Orleans people went. He hoped that his wife would feel at home there. That year he and the family traveled extensively in France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. 

In Rome they visited the Pope (Pius IX). Young Marguerite was very impressed when the Pope blessed her and touched her head with his hand. Thus began her lifelong fascination with Popes and the Church. 

After their visit to Rome the family returned to Paris. During the family’s first year abroad together Lucien had engaged a black slave, Mona, to take care of little Marguerite. 

When Lucien traveled in Europe, he always carried with him a trunk full of barbells and exercise equipment that the hotel porters had to carry upstairs in each hotel.. 

Lucien concentrated on photography. He felt he needed a hobby. He went to the verascope company and took lessons in how to take good pictures. He spent all his time in Paris exploring various quartiers and taking photos of all kinds. 

They stayed in Europe for over two years. 

In 1905 the family came back to New Orleans, where they were warmly welcomed back to their old house in the French Quarter after a two year absence. 

Little Marguerite was three at the time they returned to the states.            She spoke only French and was know as “the little French girl.” 

Lucien had sold his old business in New Orleans; so he decided to move to California and take up the drug business again in partnership with his former employee, Fred Braun. 

After a short visit in New Orleans in the autumn of 1904 the family took the train to San Francisco. At that time the only civilized city in the West was San Francisco, which was then know as “the city”. L.A. was little more than a country town at that time. In S.F.  they stayed at a comfortable old hotel, but unfortunately, when the S.F. fire broke out, it burned down destroying all of the family’s belongings. 

In the summer of 1905 they vacationed in Carmel enjoying the            beach and the beautiful Monterey Coast. At this time Carmel was             just beginning to become fashionable. They stayed at the beautiful            old Del Monte Hotel In Monterey. There they made good contacts            for future relationships in San Francisco and L.A. In the fall they returned to San Francisco. 

On Feb 1906 the day before the San Francisco earthquake and the fire, Marguerite, Sr.  departed with her daughter and the governess for New Orleans for the Mardi Gras season. From there they intended to proceed to New York and then to Europe. 

Meanwhie, Lucien stayed in San Francisco. The San Francisco fire destroyed his burgeoning business, so he went south  to L.A. Prudently, he did not tell his absent family about his move to L.A. until he joined them in Europe for Christmas. 

Young Marguerite spent Christmas in Germany n Dillingen on the Danube.with her governess Fraulein Gerstenmeyer’s family. Meanwhile her mother stayed in a sanitorium because she’d had a minor nervous breakdown. 

In 1907, early in the New Year, the family moved to Los Angeles, where the Brunswig Drug Company headquarters had been established for Lucien by Fred Braun. 

Young Marguerite now had to learn English and to go to an American school. Because of her strong French accent, she was often teased and ridiculed because she appeared to the other children to be so “different.”

According to my mother, my grandmother was never in love with my grandfather. She tolerated him, but she did not admire him. Why did she marry him? For money. She later reproached herself for this. She stayed in the marriage, however, hoping thereby to provide her daughter, Marguerite, Jr. with  many advantages and comforts which she knew she could never supply without a rich husband like Lucien. 

She’d been brought up very strictly in New Orleans in a snobbish wealthy Creole family of twelve. They were very tight aristocracy. They felt that nobody else was good enough to interact with them. They only visited among themselves and their relations. 

Marguerite, Sr. was sensitive like a delicate plant, and could easily be hurt , very easily hurt.  In fact, Lucien hurt her all the time, just being himself near her. She always said that it was the iron pot breaking the clay pot. She put up with it but often got even in a very subtle way. She pretended she’d taken it, but then she’d slip out the back door and escape. She never faced a thing directly but slipped out and then did as she pleased behind her husband’s back. My mother disapproved of her for her dishonesty and cowardice.

In 1907 Lucien bought out Mr. Braun and the business was renamed Brunswig Drug Company.  At this time he also sold his company in New Orleans. Established in Los Angeles in 1907,  the Brunswig Drug Company grew  at a phenomenal rate.  Soon the company became the leading pharmaceutical distributor in the western United States.  

The company  eventually expanded to many countries in the Pacific realm.  The company also took on new products, such as perfumes and cosmetics.  The business would boom during World War I and later during World War II because of its strategic geographical location.

While in Los Angeles Lucien served as Director of the  Bureau of Americanization; Director of a number of Franco-American Relief Societies during World War 1; Chairman, Pacific Coast States American Field Ambulance Service; Chairman, Pacific Coast, Fatherless Children of France;  Chairman, American Committee for Devastated France; President, Alliance Francaise in Southern California;  President, Lafayette Society of California; Delegated by the Minister of Public Instruction in France to co-operate in the scholarships for young French students to American Universities and Colleges; Director of the College des Etats Unis, in Paris; and he served as Chairman for the Sunshine Houses of France for the U.S.A.

In 1914 young Marguerite was taken to Europe to enter boarding school in Montreux Switzerland on Lake Geneva. There she mingled with the children of the idle rich. Her mother and her governess accompanied her. In the summer she traveled with her mother into the alps. The war broke out in August and they were trapped in neutral  Switzerland; they felt like prisoners in the hotel for weeks As they could not get money from the U.S. at that moment, they had to ask for credit from the hotel. After a few anguished days, however, they finally received it. 

Delighted  with this turn of events,  they felt they were set free and soon hey decided to take a train to Florence, Italy, where they stayed with friends in a villa in the heart of the city.

 Young Marguerite loved Italy, particularly Florence. Eventually, they sailed from Genoa on an Italian ship bound for New York. From New York they took the train to New Orleans, where they stayed for a brief visit before proceeding on to their new home in the exclusive Wilshire District which bordered on downtown Los Angeles where the new Brunswig Drug was located.

All too soon the rebellious teenage Marguerite was enrolled and  installed in a strict convent school in Menlo Park run by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, which she hated and always compared in her imagination to a prison. The chapter in er autobiography dealing with this period is entitled “Convicts in the Convent”. 

There she remained feeling  alternately rebellious and suicidal during the First World War. At this time her deep depressions really in earnest. Like her mother and her mother’s mother, she discovered depression as a way of facing and dealing with her unhappiness. Solemn daily prayers were customary at the convent and questioning clerical authority or Catholic dogmas was simply not tolerated.

At the drug company, Lucien had two secretaries, Miss Brown, the receptionist who was stationed outside his office, and Mrs. Patterson,  his pretty secretary, inside his office. He was amorously involved with Mrs. Patterson. As a rich man he found that beautiful women played upon his sympathies to get money out of him for charities like the L.A.County Museum and the Symphony Assoc. which he gave to generously every year.

Lucien was a colorful person, much respected by his employees      despite his personal peculiarities and his autocratic ways. Many                of his employees were foreigners–Belgian, French, Swiss, German, Italian, Mexican. He could be generous or unpredictably notoriously stingy,.  At Christmastime, for example,  he made a fool of himself by giving people as gifts his old neckties with gravy stains on them. He was like another Jack Benny in that regard.

In 1917 at 63, Lucien found himself too old for military service in the War but he wanted to do his part in the fight against les bosches for the allies so he sailed to France and served as a volunteer for 8 months for the “Friends of France.”  

When he returned to the USA from France, Lucien continued to be involved with helping those that had been impacted by the war.  This was just the tip of the iceberg in his service to his local community and to his country and to his homeland.  

One time in L.A. in 1919, after the war Lucien planned to give a big party to impress a French general. He wanted to meet him because he hoped that through him he could get promoted to a higher rank in the Legion of Honor. He was only a lowly non-commissioned  officer and wanted to become a commander. So he planned this party to impress and entertain the general and he confidently assured the general, who had a weakness for beautiful young ladies,  that his wife, Marguerite, would attend without consulting with her first. 

Marguerite detested his pushy behavior and ambitious social climbing-so she simply planned not to appear. She didn’t tell him of her plans, however and let him order the dinner and plan everything, without letting him know that she would not be attending the party. In the end the general didn’t even show up—perhaps he smelled a rat”— but the party went on while Marguerite remained discretely “unavailable”              to the guests, and had the servants bring her a dinner tray to her room. 

She had no intention of appearing. so Lucien was left holding the bag, without either his wife or his guest of honor. The party went on anyway. It had to. Somehow, Lucien never learned the lesson. Some people would have learned the lesson not to push things, but he was very controlling and stubborn when he wanted  to do something, he’d insist on doing it his way, regardless. His wife usually skipped out the back door, because she was afraid to confront him directly. 

Lucien was a collector. During his travels he amassed a personal library of over 6,000 volumes, all of them bound uniformly in bright brown calf’s leather. Some of these were original manuscripts obtained from monasteries in Europe.  He even collected an original manuscript from the hand of  William Penn.  Before his death Lucien had donated over 1,000 volumes from his collection to the University of Southern California.

When they moved to Los Angeles in 1906 Lucien and Marguerite bought a beautiful multi-room villa at 3528 West Adams Blvd. In all, it had 16 rooms with 6 bedrooms, a ballroom, a chapel for daily mass, a library, a fencing room, and a top-floor conservatory as swell as extensive gardens both in front and in back of the main building.  

The from entrance was guarded by two large stone lions that I used to ride when I was visiting my grandparents. The gardens included two levels, with reflecting pools stocked with Koy fishes, bubbling fountains, and imported French and Italian statuary. 

A tennis court and pavilion were on the fourth level and the stables were on the bottom, or fifth level along with a large playhouse for little Marguerite in the form of an elegant French Chatau. Hen she grew older and developed an interest in the arts, this chateau was removed and replaced by a handsome wooden studio building.

Lucien was also a founder of the Cercle Catholique Francais, a local French-American volunteer organization that provided aid to recent immigrants from France. Coincidentally, when Robert Furlong, the mayor of Vernon, left West Adams in 1958, he sold his house on Van Buren Place to Lucien’s Cercle Catholique Francais.

Lucien had a stroke in 1928, and went to the French resort of Aix-les-Bains for a cure. 

During the last decade of his life, in his eighties, he was in semi-retirement. He came to the office at 10 and left at 12 when he went to lunch. In the afternoon he usually went home for a rest. 

He had a prostate operation in 1938 and was sick during his last years recuperating at home under care of his nurse, Madeline. He died on July 17th, 1943 at age eighty-eight in Los Angeles. After Lucien died, his body was interred in Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. His widow, Marguerite, lived on for three more years in the old mansion on West Adams where she died on Sept. 30th, 1946 at age 84.

But what happened to his Brunswig  Drug Company?  In 1969 the Brunswig Drug Company merged with the Bergen Drug Company to form Bergen-Brunswig.  Some years later in 2001, this company in turn merged with the AmeriSource Health Corporation to from AmerisourceBergen.  In 2018 Amerisource Bergen ranked 24th on the Fortune 500 list and employed 10,000 employees.  Sales for the Corporation were $78 billion.  What a testament to Mr. Lucien Brunswig!

My mother had been crushed as a girl, first by her patriarchal and overbearing father and then by the Nuns of the Sacred Heart Convent, where she spent her most influenceable and vulnerable adolescent years. She told me many times later while I was growing up, and enduring boarding schools myself—at that time the nuns broke her  will to live,

Her young innocent spirit  was crushed  like that of a wild and spirited stallion.  They brought her to her knees, so that eventually she had a complete nervous breakdown when she was in her late teens! 

Like her weak compliant mother–also named Marguerite–my mother spent much of her life depressed , while constantly seeking relief from her emotional pain through the ministrations of doctors, priests, and friends.

In those days there were no effective meds to treat depression or other mental and emotional states familiar to us today.

    Like many other Christian women of her day, Marguerite got her main emotional support from her spirituality and also from her creative activities.  By surrendering to what she called her “muse,” [an inner daimon or spirit figure] she could put aside her inner suffering for a while and throw herself relentlessly into her art. 

      When she entered into her newly constructed studio and put on her artist-identity, she became another person, strong, often brilliant and charismatic. 

      This brought her so much success during her twenties and early thirties. She was even interviewed by a young Texan “stringer”(amateur journalist), Tony Staude, who was later to become her life partner, and my stepfather, whose part-time depression job, [besides selling Florsheim shoes and clothes in the men’s department at the then glamorous Harris and Frank Men’s Department store]  was to report to the folks back home in Fort Worth on the doings of the rich, famous, and glamorous stars  ,script writers, actors, directors, producers, and other Hollywood notables. 

     In the mid-thirties, Marguerite was actually accepted for a one-man show in one of the leading galleries in Paris. However,  shortly before this show was to take place, she had another serious nervous breakdown, and decided suddenly to abandon the project and to return to America, explaining her withdrawal from the competition as being due to her fear of the rise of  Fascism in Europe. So she had her sculptures packed up and shipped back home to Los Angeles, where she returned to her family mansion on West Adams Blvd. 

       After her return, Marguerite suffered another long bout of depression. To escape from these terrible feelings of helpless powerlessness, self-recrimination, regret, and despair, Marguerite began to go to the lively and colorful Mexican cafes and entertainments on Olivera St.    

      There, through a mutual friend in Los Angeles, George Polkinghorn, Marguerite met a handsome young Mexican musician, Carlos del Prado, who soon became her lover. 

      Scandalous!  Here she was sleeping with a MEXICAN! What if her parents ever found out? She, a lily white spoiled Jewish princess, and heiress, and a constantly chaperoned Catholic debutante,  a High Society figure! 

       This clandestine affair seems to have gone on for almost a year, until the “inevitable happened,” and Carlos got her pregnant. He wanted to marry her immediately, Carlos later told me, and when I asked my mother years later, she confirmed Carlos’s story,  but she said, marriage then, to a Mexican (!) was simply an impossible and unrealizable project, even if she was pregnant with his child, and he had the wealth to support her, because she feared losing her large inheritance and being disowned  by her family if she ever married a Mexican, even if he was an upper-class Mexican! 

      At that time a mixed marriage between an Anglo and a Chicana was viewed by the white elite strata as guaranteed social death, much as was marrying a Negro, a Native American Indian, a Hindu Indian, a Hawaiian,  or any other people of any race than Caucasian. It was simply not to be considered.

    One night in her bedroom in the family mansion, when Carlos slipped secretly into her bedroom and stayed through the night, the young relatively innocent society girl who became my mother conceived me. Upon discovering that she was pregnant Marguerite consulted a priest in the confessional and was told that she was in danger of going to Hell and that she must say goodbye to her lover immediately and promise the priest hearing her confession that she would “never ever see Carlos again.” She felt so anxious, guilty, and frightened that she readily agreed to his conditions before receiving absolution for her sins, and sent him a religious card, a picture of Jesus with sacred heart exposed, which Carlos gave me on the day I met him in Mexico City 20 years later.  On the back of this holy card Marguerite wrote, “Good-bye, Carlos. We must never meet again. Good-bye!” Of course they did meet again, many times again, in fact, even after my birth, too, but that’s another story for another chapter.

     Several months pregnant, but not yet showing, Marguerite  departed for New York, ostensibly to study art history at the Met, and sculpture and painting techniques with Prof. Leo Katz.  We know now, of course that Marguerite also departed LA for NY to hide her pregnancy from her family and friends. Her mother, who knew nothing about the pregnancy, insisted on accompanying her to Manhattan, and lived with her, along with her brother Walter,  for the first few months she was there.  After six months Marguerite managed to induce her mother to return to Los Angeles, while she stayed on in New York. It was there, while waiting for me to come into the world that Marguerite conceived the idea of a modern cathedral church skyscraper to be built in a cruciform structure. Lloyd Wright, (Frank Lloyd Wright’s son), designed and built a model of this dream cathedral for her, but it was never to be. The War intervened. Afterwards, she scaled the project down and in the early 1960s Marguerite hired the San Francisco architects Bob Anshen and Steve Allen to build her a small modern chapel in Sedona, Arizona, instead.

       At the end of her life my mother declared that these were the two products of her creativity of which she was most proud: the contemporary style church that she had  built and her clandestine baby, whom she had secretly birthed, sequestered away out of sight for a few years,  and then legally adopted, and raised as her only son in Hollywood.

Rancho Yucca Loma in Victorville, California

Guest Ranches (sometime called “Dude Ranches”) were popular in the Southwest in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. One of the most popular was probably the Yucca Loma Guest Ranch in Apple Valley, near Victorville, California. During its heyday between the early 1920s through the early 1950s, many movie stars and other famous people flocked there. 
The ranch began when a young woman, Dr. Catherine Boynton, around 1910 had a vision of a place for mental healing at a time when many doctors only treated outward symptoms. She envisioned a healing center,  a place with wide open expanses and a peaceful setting away from the stress of urban life. After she and her family moved from the East coast to Los Angeles, she and some of her friends used to visit the Apple Valley about 60 miles outside of L.A. on weekends and there they found a vacant property which they purchased in 1911. That was the beginning of what was to become Rancho Yucca Loma. Soon the ranch’s reputation became known as a refuge for others, a place to escape from Hollywood or other city pressures. Clark Gable, Loretta Young were regular visitors. Several books and screenplays were written here.
In 1916 Gwen enrolled in the Julliiard School of Arts in New York to study piano. The New York Social Register shows that in 1917, when she was 24, Gwen married Herman Behr, a member of the celebrated New York “400,” a list of the wealthiest New Yorkers.Ceative energetic young married woman that she was, Gwen started a ladies’ designer dress boutique New York. But soon se was found to be susceptible to pneumonia in the eastern climate, and her doctor recommended she move to a dry, desert climate. Her mother, Catherine and Catherine’s new husband Dr. Thayer decided to build Gwen a house on the ranch, painted a rich sand color, where she could spend some lung healing time. Gwen planned to stay for only a year. The Behrs in New York had made many friends in the theatre, as well as in New York Society. Many of them wanted to see “Gwennie” in the West. So people would send a telegram ahed and arrive inVictorville by train. Telegrams were picked up often to bring the news.
Her husband, Hermann, also visited frequently, and Gwen took the train to New York a few times. But soon Gwen found that yucca Loma was her home, and she became indispensable. Over the years, she and Hermann visited back and forth but were finally divorced in 1936. 
Gwen’s sparkling personality and genuine warmth, as well as her ability as a manager, were qualities that attracted visitors and encouraged lifelong friendships. Gwen always dressed flamboyantly. She tended to wear bright scarfs on her head and often wore velvet blues and long skirts  Many remember her colorful Southwest dresses and her unusual jewelry [as they remember my mother’s striking jewelry as well].Gwen would come to town in her big Packard convertible with the top down  with her three big Alaskan Malamutte dogs [which I remember well] sitting there beside her.
 Gwen regretted never having had any children; so she welcomed me and cared for me like a mother when my biological mother deposited me in her arms in 1938 when Madole was preparing to sail off to Europe for a year and needed some place to park me. [What could be a better place to leave your two year old baby for a couple of years than a desert dude ranch and Hollywood hideaway, famous with the stars?]
One of the people I remember still from my Yucca Loma days was Nat, an African American chef from New Orleans who prepared marvelous meals for us and used to bring me breakfast on a tray in my little stucco cabin. Hedda Hopper raved about he meals prepared by Nat, and after Gwen died in 1954 and the ranch closed, she hired him to be her own private personal cook. Many famous celebrities from Hollywood and LA used to make the drive to Yucca Loma just to “enjoy Nat’s magic.”  Nat also doubled as a chauffeur and would drive to the train station to pick up guests in his bright red convertible. Nat was also a great dancer, having been a professional dancer in New Orleans.
I also remember Neil, who was Gwen’s right hand man, and Tony, who helped Faustine and Maria serve dinner passing the large artistic plates that Nat prepared and arranged artistically.
Who were the clientele of the ranch? Hundreds of guests connected with the entertainment industry developing in Los Angeles and Hollywood in the 1920s ’30s and ‘40s visited the ranch regularly. Some of the most well-known were George Abbott author and producer of Broadway show such as “Damn Yankees” and “The Pajama Game.” Eddie “Rochester”Anderson famous on the Jack Benny Radio Show. Cy Bartlett, author of the novel and later the film script for “Tweve O’Clock High”. Jack Benny, famous radio and later television comedian. Beulah Bondi, character actress, played Ma Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life” in 1946. Marge and Gower Champion, a famous dancing couple who visited the ranch in the 40s and 50s.Clark Gable, who was married to actress Carol Lombard, but had a steamy affair at the ranch with Loretta Young in 1935. Inexplicably, she became pregnant and had to disappear for nine months to have her illegitimate baby. [like my mother] Hedda Hopper, who appeared in dozens films before she started her famous gossip column becoming  rival of the gossip columnist Louella Parsons. She became known for wearing large flamboyant hats and having strong opinions. Her columns always had good things to sy about Rancho Yucca Loma, where she was a frequent guest.Jess Oppenheimer, nicknamed “Skinhead” was a frequent visitor to the ranch. When he moved to Hollywood in 1936 he was hired as a comedy writer for Fred Astair’s radio program, and then as a gag writer for Jack Benny. He went on to write comedy for various variety programs and sketches for Hollywood stars, such as Fred and Gracie Allen, Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope, etc.He later wrote for “The Baby Snooks Show” and for the “I Love Lucy” show. Gregory Peck, best known for his performance of Attcus Finch in the film “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Cesar Romero a film actor who specialiuzedin playing Latin lovers and played the Joker tin the original Batman TV series. Irwin Shaw, author of the novel and later film, “The Young Lions.” Fred Zinnemann, director of such films as “High Noon” (1952) and “From Here to Eternity” (1953).
One other person I want to mention is Carlos del Prado, a young Mexican radio script writer who used the Rancho as a place to write and get away from his other life as a law student at Loyola University in Los Angeles. There he met an attractive 38 year-old heiress and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig, who had just returned to California after a two-year sojourn studying art in Mexico. With similar interests, they hit it off at once and soon became lovers. But like Loretta Young, unexpectedly she became pregnant, and  had to disappear to have her baby. When she later was forced by her very patriarchal father to accompany her mother to Europe in 1938, big-hearted Gwen kindly agreed to take care of her baby. 
Dr. Catherine Boynton passed away in 1949 at the age of 79. Her daughter, Gwen Behr born in 1893, died a few years later in early January, 1954. That was the end of Rancho Yucca Loma.

My birth

New York City.

It was the coldest day of the year. The streets were covered with freshly fallen snow and ice hung from the rooftops. In a penthouse apartment facing on Central Park a young woman was worrying. She was pregnant and unmarried. She was getting bigger every week and she felt sure she could not hide her condition much longer.  Under other circumstances she might have welcomed the baby she was carrying, but because she was not married, she felt ashamed.

            That very morning she had walked down Fifth Avenue to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to ask God for help and forgiveness.  She had found solace in reading the New Testament and praying the Twenty-third psalm. “The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want…” She had felt better in church beating her breast and confessing her sinfulness before God. “We are born in sin. We live in sin. We die in sin.” This was her religion. We live in sin. But there is hope through the  bountiful mercy of God, accessible through the intercession and supplications of Our Blesed Lady. 

            As she prayed in the cathedral Marguerite watched the bishop officiate at the mass and thought, “If I had been a man, I would probably have been a priest myself. If have a son, I’d like him to be a priest.” 

            What better role in life could there be than that? Only one –to be an artist–and she was that. She had taken up art as a career in defiance of her family and the world of high society from which she came. This was an unusual step for a society girl in those days. But she could not stand society anyway. She had always been a rebel.

            Marguerite recalled Mother Deming, the Mother Superior at the convent of the Madams of the Sacred Heart where she had been incarcerated for ten years. Mother Deming knew what was most important for a young lady about to enter Society. One must always be chaste and never entertain lascivious thoughts. “Why didn’t I listen to Mother Deming? If I had remained chaste, I wouldn’t be in the mess I’m in now.” 

            She knew she had been playing with fire when she allowed a man to enter her sanctuary. But she was already 35 years old. How long must she wait? Must she never know a man? She had been expected to be a bride of Christ and the companion of her aging father in his later years. 

            Father…she thought.  Her relationship with him was complicated.  He loved her, and yet, he was an old world patriarch and would not allow his daughters any real freedom.  She wanted love from him, but she realized that he was unable to give her the love she wanted and so badly needed. Instead he gave her money, but with money came strings…and parental control.

            Well now she had a surprise for him. Marguerite  felt a mixture of fear and excitement. He would be furious, she said to herself, smiling with unrepressed delight. Why should she feel so pleased about defying him and disappointing him?  That was wrong, but she found herself enjoying the thought of seeing him squirm and of showing him that she could do  something on her own.  “Papa, forgive me for having such wicked thoughts towards you. But I really resent the way you control everybody, and especially the way you treat Mother. ” 

            “Mother. What will she think? She probably will have another oneof her nervous breakdowns, and go into that sanitorium again. 

I must hide my secret from her for as long as possible. She suspects something I know. Fortunately, she went back to Calfiornia a few weeks ago. If she saw me now she would figure it out. I couldn’t pull the wool over her eyes any longer. I’m so thankful that Dr. Hickey advised me to go home.”

            “I wonder if Dr. Hickey can do anything to help me now.” Dr. Hickey was a quack doctor she had recently  ment in Manhattan. “Perhaps he can  induce the labor, and bring the baby sooner,” she thought. She did not  even consider an abortion, of course. As a fervent Catholic belilever she knew that would be an unforgivable mortal sin. “I don’t want to harm the baby; I just want  to get it out of me so I won’t be so conspicuous.  If I can just get it out of my body then I can give it away and be done with it and nobody need ever know. Then I’d be free.”

            Free. Free. Marguerite longed to be free again. She looked out the window of her penthouse to study the New York skyline. She saw a large bird circling above the trees in Central Park. She was free now, in a way, like this bird. Her brother, Walter, had tried to get her to come home, but she refused. He had been full of all kinds of paranoid nonsense, trying to convince her that it was dangerous for her to stay. She didn’t dare tell Walter about the pregnancy. He was such a blabbermouth. But if he had known he might have better understood why she must stay in New York now, at least until after the baby had come. Why should she run away now? She felt she could face it alone.

            In the huge metropolis of Manhattan, Marguerite  felt  truly alone. Just like the Blessed Virgin who waited for her time to come two thousand years ago, waiting to give birth to the Christ child, she was waiting patiently for her time to come, too. What would her baby look like, she wondered? Would he be a little dark Mexican boy like his daddy? Would he look like her, or like his  grandfather, a Jewish patriarch and demagogue, who resembled Lenin?  Would her baby take after her? What if it was a girl? “No, it musn’t be a girl; I hate girls!” she said to herself.  “It must be a boy.” Ever since her childhood she  couldn’t stand  girls or feminine women, either. Even with animals she preferred males. Females were too emotional and unreliable. They tended to have female problems,  and they could get pregnant–like she had. How much better it  would be to be a man and to be able to just take your pleasure and leave.

            The doorbell rang. It was Dr. Hickey, come for his daily visit. She begged him to do something. “It’s not yet your time; you’re only seven months pregnant, Marguerite. You know. I can’t perform  miracles.”  he said. “All I can do is put my  hands on your belly and we can pray together. If God wills it , and the baby is ready to come, it will come.” They did this for what seemed to her to be an eternity, but it was of no avail, and Dr.  Hickey left assuring her that he would return the next day to comfort her and to try again.

            But that night the pains began to come, and Marguerite soon realized that the baby was on its way into the birth canal at last. She called a taxi and rushed to Manhatten General Hospital, afraid her waterbag would break before she arrived.

            The birth process went quickly and by the early hours of the morning  a little dark skinned hairy baby boy emerged from her womb. The boy was very small,  and was put in an incubator, as his hold on life seemed perecarious. She named him John and gave him the middle name Raphale because the New York Times had  carried a gorgoeus reproduction of a Giotto painting of the angel that very day. 

            John soon took hold of life, however, and  within a week he was out of the incubator. The nurses then brought her baby to her to feed with a bottle and hold as her own. She did not know what to do with this little creature, having no experience with babies, but she soon learned to feed and care for her baby as best she could.

            “What a unique realization it is to be a mother! Nothing in life can capture this feeling. No words can express the wonder of it,  when mother and child are floating in the bliss of their own world. This is the stuff that dreams are made of,” she later wrote in her memoirs. 

             This was, Marguerite felt, surely the highest moment in her life so far. She felt she had discovered a new identity and a new mission in life. Henceforth she would have two creative destinies, being an artist and being a mother. This was creativity per se, she felt. No sculpture had ever been more alive, either in body or soul, she thought to herself,  nor had its being been so truly her very own.

            Now the problem was what to do with the child. She finally decided to keep John and arranged to have the good doctor and his wife accompany her on the long train trip home to California.  As the train pulled into Los Anegeles Central Station, Mrs. Hickey,  accompanied by her husband, carried the baby safely through the station while Marguerite was met by her mother and chauffeur–who were quite unconscious of the little life that was being carried past  them to a prearranged house with a Scottish nurse waiting. 

            From the station, Marguerite rushed directly to the hospital to see her father, Lucien Napoleon Brunswig, who had had a prostate operation that very morning. He  was just recovering consciousness from the anesthetic when she arrived. His piercing blue eyes looked through her as she kissed him. “Bonjour, Madame Mademoiselle,” he said, and that was all. He thereby let her know that he knew her secret.   A circumcision bill from the New York hospital had somehow slipped into his hands. They smiled at each other in full understanding. Lucien Brunswig seemed pleased with his favorite daughter who had carried through the birth process alone and borne him a grandson.

Branching Points in Marguerite Staude’s Life

Born in New Orleans, Nov. 9, 1899
First trip to Paris, France (1902-1906)
1906 Moved to L.A, S.F., and then L.A. to 3528 W. Adams Blvd.
1813-14 Travel in Europe with her mother
High School at the Sacred Heart Convent in Menlo Park
In the 1920s Studied with Yvette Guilbert in NYC and in Paris
Befriended Ramos Martinez, a Mexican artist in Los Angeles
Studied stone sculpture with Carlos Bracchio, in Mexico City (1932)
Met and fell in love with a fellow student, Manuel Castilllo Negrete.
Returned to LA and had a one-man show at the Stendhal gallery. Everywhere she went her work was accepted, even in the best gallery in Paris. But she made a great mistake and canceled that show, ruining her professional career as a sculptor.
Met Carlos Riveroll and they began dating
Discovered that she was pregnant
Went to Manhattan to hide her pregnancy from her family and to study art history with Leo Katz

Gave birth to me two months early, Jan. 16, 1937

Met Tony Staude and married him.

Moved to Hollywood and adopted me and brought me home.

Her father died in 1943. Mother two years later.

She built a studio at home and continued to produce pieces

Bought Doodlebug Ranch in Sedona Arizona

Family’s first trip to Europe together. She gathers ideas to build a modern chapel. 1951

She contacted Anshen and Allen to design a modern chapel according to her specifications

Building the chapel

Chapel completed and first mass celebrated

Move to Big Sur after Tony’s retirement.

40 year retrospective show at the Janus Gallery in Los Angeles.

Death in May 1987.

My Experiences in the Sixties

The sixties were the most significant decade in my life. During this decade I married, had my obligatory two kids, and divorced, and in the sixties I launched my career. Born in 1937, I was 21 in 1958 when I graduated from Georgetown with a double major in philosophy and political science. I earned my MA from Claremont Grad School in 1960 and my Ph.D. from Berkeley five years later in 1965. Both my graduate degrees were in History. 

In the fall of 1960 at age 23 I began my Ph.D. studies at UC Berkeley, the matrix of my awakening, where I lost my intellectual and political virginity, and finally gave up praying to the Virgin Mary to help me stop masturbating, often visualizing the Queen of Heaven as my desired sexual conquest, simultaneously pleading with her to fulfil–or to quell–my unruly passions, feeling tons of Catholic guilt either way, of course. 

During the mid-sixties, as a UC Berkeley Ph.D. though extremely reluctant to leave Berkeley when the burgeoning nascent radical movement, symbolized by the Free Speech Movement was under way, I did the customary required tour of duty away from my Mecca, Berkeley, teaching in the provinces—at Duke in North Carolina and at the recently established experimental campus of the University of California in Riverside, California—(as my French intellectual heroes Sartre, Levi-Strauss, Foucault, and de Beauvoir, had temporarily left Paris in their early postgraduate years), but by 1968 I gratefully finagled my way back to the mothership, my chosen Heimat, Berkeley.  

So I was fortune to be on hand when all hell broke loose in the fall of 1968 and was able to witness at first hand the simultaneous student political, sexual, cultural, and counter-cultural revolutions that went down there in 1968 and 1969.

My liberal Republican worldview was already formed within my unconscious by the time I finished prep school and was given a strong Roman Catholic flavor by my Jesuit and lay teachers in the Government Department at Georgetown in the late fifties at the height of the Cold War. As an aspiring Roman Catholic intellectual, I grew into manhood with a strong intellectual foundation in the Bible, scholastic philosophy and theology, classical Ancient Greek and Roman history, philosophy and literature, the history of Western philosophy, and political and economic thought, AND a strong sense of mission to “explore and elaborate the implications of Christianity for our times” [Georgetown’s mission statement] AND a commitment to confront the “false doctrines” of atheistic Marxism and Communism, which I took very seriously. 

Over the years my understanding of Marxist theory and practice have deepened, matured, and evolved, and I have gradually come to appreciate the analytical striking power of Marxian social theory and ideological analysis in a way that I could not have imagined earlier, any more than I could have foreseen the collapse of Soviet Russia and Soviet-dominated World Communism in 1989. I was in Germany when that iron curtain, that intractable wall  that I had leaned my shoulders against and confronted most of my life suddenly crumbled and collapsed across Eastern Central Europe. When it did, I fell down in confusion with it, and found that I had to work hard to construct a new political and personal life mission after “the enemy” had disappeared and with it my polar reckoning points.

In 1960, because we were in the midst of a Cold War anti-Communist Crusade, at UC Berkeley I specialized in German and Russian history and international relations, hoping to serve my country as my beloved president John Fitzgerald Kennedy urged us to do in his famous inaugural address. Remember: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”? I hoped to become a diplomat or a spy. Certainly not just another academic!

In order to pursue my post-MA studies in German History I took an intensive-German course at the Monterey Institute of Foreign Study during the summer of 1960. The Institute drew much of its faculty and audio-visual learning technology from the nearby US Amy Language School. Classes were held in the halls of the charming old Franciscan Monterey Mission buildings full of memories of old California history.

My girl friend, Laurie Smits, from Los Angeles, got a job teaching English at Monterey High and rented a little house in Carmel to be near me, as I had rented a room near the Institute. I enjoyed the German classes, spending time with Laurie, and living in Carmel. We had a lot in common then—she’d studied American history and literature at Smith–and we enjoyed arguing about history, literature, philosophy and religion.

Both being virgins and afraid of real intimacy or sexual intercourse, we found arguing to be the safest form of interaction. Laurie was very good at it, having been well trained in intellectual combat by her aggressive scientist father who had wanted a son to fight with intellectually and made do with her.

In the fall Laurie took up a teaching job in San Francisco and got an apartment in the Marina district, while I went to Berkeley to begin my doctoral studies at the university and shared an apartment with a Swiss graduate student, Franz Meier, a heavy beer drinker, who was  majoring in economics and business administration. 

I enjoyed my classes at UC, particularly the lectures in History 144, Modern European Intellectual and Cultural History, given by my favorite professor, Carl Schorske.         Luckily, I was chosen to be his teaching assistant, which made me recognizable wherever I went on campus since he attracted a large multidisciplinary audience. Besides conducting discussion groups with his students, through this position I was able to have lunch with Carl regularly after his lectures. At Robbie’s Grill, our regular luncheon Stammtisch on Telegraph Ave  Carl gave me the fatherly nurturing attention, intellectual guidance, and emotional support from a male authority figure that I had craved all my life never having received it from either of my fathers. 

It was at those informal luncheons with my mentor off campus as much or more than in the impersonal university lecture halls and in the small discussion classrooms at Berkeley that I took on the mind, methods and manners 

of a modern European intellectual and cultural historian and the broad multidisciplinary approach that has characterized my work ever since.

I also enjoyed my classes in medieval, Renaissance,  and seventeenth century intellectual and cultural history, which provided me with material to explore for the rest of my life, and which I am still teaching today at UCSD. 

In my doctoral studies I specialized in German and Russian intellectual history and in Historiography, the history and methodology of historical writing, which I still find fascinating. 

Taking a big gamble, and filled with anxiety, I took my comprehensive written and oral examinations after only one year and a half of coursework, and to my surprise and relief, passed with flying colors. I then took off for Germany to write my thesis and soak up the suds, history, art, music, women, and culture. 

Summing up my lifelong study of German history, what I have learned about Germany and the Germans is that the German concept of KULTUR has remained to this day a term that seems distant from–if not actually contrary to– politics. For Germans, the notion of “culture” is as redolent with warm feelings and associations as that of “politics” is ambivalent, cold, foreign, alien, and suspicious. In recent historical memory for Germans today the history of the Weimarer Republik suffers endless criticism and it is despised as weak and a failure, but on the other hand “Weimarer Kultur” [of the same time] is remembered nostalgically in memoirs and in literature and film as a “creative age of great unfulfilled promise” that still contains potentials for further creative development.

This delusional overrating of “culture” has played a very significant–mostly destructive–role in German history, politics and society, which were not as well developed in Germany as in other western societies. When culture was accepted as a valid substitute for politics, the absence of morality in the public sphere was easily accepted as well, and this gradually led to the fascist dream of creating a “theatrical state.”

The brilliant cultural sociologist Walter Benjamin, who died by his own hand in the Pyrenees while trying to escape from the Gestapo in 1940, was the first to make the distinction between  ‘the politicization of culture” which was characteristic of Communist regimes, and the “aestheticization of politics” which was part of fascist ideology and inspired fantasies of the creation of a “theatrical state,” as in the ancient Roman Empire with its spectacular public rituals and activities like the Olympic games and publicly-viewed bloody gladiatorial contests

This aesthetic appeal of public political and religious demonstrations led many intelligent potentially critical bystanders to regard German politics and propaganda demonstrations as a form of ritualized theatre, without thinking about the consequences in the very real social and political world. For them form was of more significance than content and awareness of the Nazi crimes left them not so much morally appalled as aesthetically disappointed. 

In the spring of 1962, with the blessings of my thesis director, Carl Schorske,       I flew directly to Germany to begin work on my dissertation, which was to be an intellectual biography of a famous German philosopher-sociologist, Max Scheler         (1875-1928) who had died prematurely in his 50s relatively unknown in the United States, as very few of his most important works had been translated. When the Nazis came to power they forbade reading or publishing his works; so it was really only in the 1950s that studies of Scheler’s thought began to come out and there was no biography of Scheler available anywhere, not even in German. It was a wide open opportunity for me.

I had actually wanted to write my thesis on the great nineteenth century German philosopher and cultural historian Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911), who during his lifetime and long after, even today has had a continuing influence in a broad range of scholarly disciplines and made important contributions to such diverse subjects as  hermeneutics and phenomenology, aesthetics, psychology, and the history and methodology of the social sciences (die Geisteswisensschaften) whose works on German pietism and romanticism had fascinated me, but as my professor thought that Dilthey might prove too difficult a subject for a novice like me, I accepted as my second choice, Max Scheler, one of Dilthey’s students, who I had never heard of, but soon discovered was equally difficult to encompass and fully understand as Dilthey would have been.

As I began reading Scheler’s works I was immediately struck by his observation that “today, perhaps for the first time in history, mankind is totally LOST, beyond all former traditional intellectual anchors and reference points. He feels completely alone in the universe, and no longer even knows what it means to be a human being as such or among other sorts of beings. Man is more of a problem to himself at the present time than ever before in all recorded history. [Today] there seems to have arisen a new courage of truthfulness—a courage  to raise the essential question [what is man?] without any commitments to any  intellectual or spiritual or scientific  traditions that have prevailed up to now. Whereas in former times there always remained a generally accepted and taken for granted frame of reference to which all individual differences could be referred,  the task facing us today, he said, was nothing less than to create from scratch a new philosophy of man (philosophische Anthropologie) for our time.” 

Deep in my guts I felt the applicability of his words to my own confusing–no longer stable–existence and crumbling traditional Catholic world view. As a Catholic at a large secular public university, I had been struggling from the day I commenced my post-graduate studies  to protect my fragile faith against the onslaught of the terrible dreaded enemy—the atheist-relativists like Marx, Weber, Nietzsche  and Freud—who I also admired and who I had to discuss sympathetically in my seminars with my students almost every day. As a man of God, what was I to make of Nietzsche’s assertion that “God is dead!”? And of Marx’s claim that religion was nothing but a lie, an ideology, perpetrated by the rich and powerful to dupe the ignorant masses? And of Freud’s telling analysis of how we use God images to fill our longing for lost primary love objects and to fight off our fears of death and oblivion? Worst of all, the growing iconoclast in me loved these provocative ideas, while the child of God shrunk back into the shadows in fear and trembling, ashamed of his seemingly uncontrollable terrible other side that he couldn’t silence or shut down. So I found with Peanuts that when I faced my worst enemy, it was me, or to speak more accurately an unwelcome unacknowledged uncontrollable unpredictable part of me of which I was both ashamed and afraid.

Since Scheler, a Jewish convert, known as “the Catholic Nietzsche” was–at least for a good part of his life– a highly respected professional Roman Catholic philosopher, ethicist, cultural critic, and sociologist,  I hoped that in studying his life and works, I might be able to work through and resolve my own personal intellectual dilemmas and moral  difficulties. 

I should have been forewarned that Scheler might be a dangerous model to follow when I came across this recollection of him by his friend Ludwig Curtius, the classicist:

Scheler was the one German philosopher in whom personality and theory were deeply intertwined. His infinitely sensitive depth of feeling and his rich and painfully vulnerable nature registered all the various currents of our time like a tuning fork, and he responded to them out of the confusion of his own personality, and his synthesizing expansive mind. He took part in all the impurities of our time as well, and his need for salvation and his endless search for God along ever new paths sprang from the guilty entanglements of his erotic life.

When the archbishop demanded an explanation from Scheler upon learning that he was having sex with both his male and female university students as well as living in a virtual ménage a trios with Maerit, his wife, and Maria Scheu [shy], his graduate assistant  [who it was well-known  was not really Scheu at all!]  while lecturing on ethics to Catholic clergy and young seminary students at the University,  Scheler’s too-clever-by-half-answer was to liken himself to a street sign. “I point the way, but I don’t go there myself.” The archbishop was not amused. 

After spending a decade reading and translating Max’s writings, I found myself sometimes unconsciously imitating some of Scheler’s ways of thinking and behaving.   Like Max Scheler in the early 20th century, and Bill Clinton later, I found it impossible for me to resist acting out my seemingly uncontrollable sexual impulses with my students, which almost cost me a job at one point, as it had nearly cost Scheler his professorship in Cologne. As my life unfolded in midlife, like Scheler I found that I could not continue to accept the sexual restrictions the Church imposes on the life of a divorced Catholic, and I withdrew from my original infatuation with– and obedience to–the Roman Catholic Church, moving to the more open and less restrictive Episcopalian fold. 

          When I arrived in Cologne on the train from the airport in the summer of 1962,       I met with some professors from the Philosophy Department at Cologne University, where Scheler had taught. They were very kind to me and provided me with access to the university and departmental archives, and even gave a small reception for me in which the golden Rhine wine was served in gleaming glasses tied with festive red ribbon bows.

         I then wandered along the Rhine after the reception ended, and with no plans in mind walked right into the gorgeous new opera house. I was lucky to get in without a ticket, because the performance had already begun and no usher was anywhere in sight to take tickets. What I saw was Richard Wagner’s Das Rhingold in a fantastic modern production designed by Wieland Wagner, the master’s grandson.

Throughout Germany I visited many people who had known Max Scheler.  Wherever I went, I was greeted with welcoming open hearts. His former students and listeners remembered him fondly and were delighted to tell me charming stories about him. From them I discovered that to really appreciate the phenomenon that was Max Scheler one had to experience his extraordinary personal presence. Whereas Socrates had spoken of himself as a gadfly and a midwife, Scheler seems to have fancied himself a puppeteer. Ernst Kammnitzer, one of his former students explained the metaphor:

His philosophical equipment—the world and his head—he had always with him, as a strolling player has his little theatre… [Like] a vagrant mummer who needs no preparation, nor any of the appurtenances of a big theatre, Scheler didn’t require any special sets or settings.  Given an audience, whether in a café or a lecture hall, he became creative and set his ideas dancing. He might be sitting with a companion, his head impishly cocked to one side,  watching on the inner stage of his mind  the drama of the world. He often squinted at his puppet’s play, which was really his own, of course, always with half an eye locked on his listener, or better, spectator.  Like a stand-up comedian, again and again, by an interjected question—wie? or nicht wahr?—Scheler assured himself of holding  his companion’s attention and of the effects of his clever intellectual moves. He had the gift of making present what is often called ‘abstract’.It was simply magic! He was truly a magician of the mind/spirit (Geist ). Like Mephisto, what he called forth from the spirit realm came, and now and then one could see a glint in his eyes, indicating a triumphant feeling of joy that he was being obeyed. In an instant, like a skilled hypnotist, he could transform the environment, fill it with his ideas, and make them dance to his tune. He called these public performances “Doing Phenomenology.”

The half an eye for the spectator was Scheler’s good eye. A stigmatic defect of his right eye gave  the impression that it was focused on the world of ideas or on the Infinite.

As there was no published biography of Scheler available anywhere when I researched, wrote and published mine. So I had the good fortune to become the “go to” Scheler man for over a dozen years until several other English language Scheler books appeared. 

After interviewing some of Scheler’s former students,I met and interviewed  Maerit Fürtwaengler, Max Scheler’s second wife, in Heidelberg. I later met and interviewed Maria Scheler (née Scheu) in Munich. She had been one of his students in Cologne and became his assistant and his lover. After several years of this ménage a trios, Maerit divorced Max and he moved in with Maria. When he died, the two women fought bitterly over who should have his wedding band. Maria tore it off the corpse and kept it. According to legend, they also fought over possession of his brain which had been extracted from the corpse and analyzed by scientists. I believe that Maria got this trophy as well.

Particularly helpful to me among Scheler’s former students were the philosopher  Helmuth Plessner, in Bonn, the political scientist, Arnold Bergstrasser in Freiburg, and the philosopher/sociologists Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer, in Frankfurt. 

That was the beginning of my lifelong interest in the work of the famous neo-Marxist social scientists of the Frankfurt School. After meeting Adorno and Horkheimer, I later became acquainted with other Frankfurters who had a strong influence on my evolving world view, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, who I used to visit at the height of his glory in La Jolla, while I was teaching in Riverside in 1966-1967, and Leo Loewenthal, the sociologist of literature and culture who later settled in Berkeley where he became Chairman of the Sociology Department and who I worked with when I did my post-doc in sociology there in 1968.

After my initial interviews with Maerit I realized that I needed to improve my German, so I went to Munich, where I enrolled at the Goethe Institute. The secretary placed me in the school in Achenmühle, a tiny village near Rosenheim, about 30 miles east of Munich. Meanwhile, Laurie followed me to Munich uninvited—determined to “get her man,” and got herself placed by the Goethe Institute in a lovely little spa town, Bad Aibling, not far from my boring hellhole. 

Boy was I surprised the day I received a sweet card from Laurie from Bad Aibling inviting me to come visit on the weekend if I had nothing better to do, and quoting some lines from Saint Exupery’s “le Petit Prince” which touched my heart, but which I don’t remember now. Of course I went. I was a sitting duck. We had some nice times together, and curious to find out what sex with her might be like, I finally broke down and asked her to marry me.

I was there in Achenmühle for two months and then returned to Munich where I lived at a Pension on the Biedermayerstrasse. In Munich, besides seeing Laurie regularly, I often visited my friend Pierre Mendell (who was like a brother to me) at his graphics design studio. My parents came to visit us for Christmas and we all went to midnight mass at the neighborhod church near the pension amidst dozens of Christmas trees illuminated by lighted candles. Nobody does Christmas like the Germans do!

After my parents returned to the states I was feeling lonely in Munich and  asked Laurie to agree to sleep with me since we were officially engaged. She said “No. You gotta marry me first.” I loved it in Germany but she insisted on getting married back in California. I agreed–with much reluctance. In fact the wedding was almost cancelled several times, and the item that determined our fate was believe it or not—the printed wedding invitations. Since they had been printed, I was told by my mother-in-law-to-be that there was no going back on my decision now. Like it or not, I must go through with it!

Throughout our married life–which lasted only five years–I found myself unable to stand up to Laurie. Eventually I left her.

We were married in San Marino, in Southern California on Feb. 23rd, 1963, and we  honeymooned in Big Sur, which is a wild coast south of Monterey, about  midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

We lived in Berkeley for a few months in the spring before we  returned to Europe in June. Back in Germany, we lived in Ziegelhausen  in a romantic little cottage near the banks of the river Neckar to be near Heidelberg and Maerit Fürtwaengler, without whose help I never could have written the book I did

           I tried to mix with the history graduate students in Professor Conze’s historisches Seminar seminar at Heidelberg University, but I felt that I was an outsider, as always. This has been the basic pattern of my life. Even today I feel I am an outsider.

In September, somewhat reluctantly, we returned to California, where I had lined up a job to teach Western Civilization at a small Catholic girl’s school, the College of Notre Dame located in a beautiful old mansion in Belmont near Stanford. The students were not too swift, but that was okay, because I didn’t have enough time to adequately prepare my classes since my priority was to complete my dissertation by the end of the academic year if possible.

Laurie taught high school in the city, and we lived in a small apartment on Greenwich Street in San Francisco and spent a lot of time hanging out at the famed City Lights Bookstore and in Italian restaurants and cafes in North Beach. Sex with frigid Laurie never amounted to much, but she did manage to get pregnant by June somehow, after many manipulative strategizing moves, and much patience and tolerance of her resistance to sexual intercourse on my part.  

“Just relax lay back, take a deep breath, hold your nose, close your eyes, count down slowly from 100 and think of the future of our family, dear. It’ll all be over in a jiffy. I promise.”

The following fall (1964), I took up my first full-time teaching position–at Duke University where I had once been an undergraduate student. I taught four sections of the introductory modern history course which began with the Renaissance and went up to World War Two and beyond.

Our first son, John-Mark, was born on Oct. 6th, soon after we got settled in Durham, called for no reason I can imagine “the city of exciting stores.” He was a healthy child with very strong lungs to let everyone know of his needs. When we had married, in the Roman Church, Laurie, an Episcopalian, reluctantly had signed a document agreeing that our children would be baptized and raised Catholics, so the baby was soon baptized and accompanied me to mass, which I still attended dutifully in those days.

In the summer of 1965 I got a grant to return to Europe. I went to Munich to study Russian images of Weimar Germany. I worked at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. We lived in Bogenhausen in an apartment that belonged to the German film star Sabina Sesselman. I had a very fruitful summer doing research in Munich and then returned to Duke for my second year there in the fall.

While teaching at Duke I made friends with a great Catholic intellectual layman, Wallace Fowlie from the Department of Romance Languages. It was his Guide to Contemporary French Literature that had inspired me to go study in Paris when I finished my undergraduate studies at Georgetown in 1958. He was a wise and inspiring Catholic layman, and discussions with him helped me strengthen my faith as a Catholic intellectual. 

One time he gave a talk on the philosophy of Jacques Maritain who he knew personally, which impressed me immensely  because Maritain was a Catholic writer that  I admired. I had recently read his autobiography, The Peasant of the Garonne and read his wife’s delightful memoir, We Were Friends Together as well.

Wallace became a very good friend and mentor to me. I stayed in touch with him for several years after I moved on from Duke and still treasure the signed copies of the wonderful books he gave me and later sent to me as they came out, especially his delightful perceptive study of the childlike imagination of the adolescent poet Arthur Rimbaud, and his life of Mallarmé, for whom the goal of life was to transform his every experience into poetry. Wallace planted seeds in my soul that are only now taking root and sprouting.

My Experiences in Europe in the Seventies

That summer (1973) we  took off from London headed for the continent in search of Jung and fun. We went by train from London to Paris and then to Lugano. From there I wrote “Am here in Lugano again—feeling very much at home—staying in a beautiful villa overlooking Lago di Lugano and enjoying Castalia (the Jung –Hesse conference). Among the guests here I have particularly enjoyed

Rabbi Herbert Wiener, whose book 9 and a Half Mystics you must read. He gave a beautiful Sabbath service on Saturday. On Sunday everyone went to mass at the little country church here in Montagnola and visited Hesse’s grave in the church yard afterwards.

Harvey Cox, Prof of Comparative Religions from Harvard is also here. He’s giving a series of lectures on the Bahavagad Gita. I met him some years ago when he lectured at Duke in 1965. He has acquired a beard and hippie clothes since, but is still as brilliant as ever. Then June Singer, the Chicago Jungian who just published her new books The Unholy Bible on Blake and Boundaries of the Soul  on Jung, is here.She will be lecturing this morning.There is one core-key lecture each day. Gene Nameche, the director and a real soul brother gave a talk on Hesse and his grandfather—very moving—last night outside by candlelight. I am scheduled to give the core-key lecture on Jung on Thursday morning.”

After Castalia we travelled on to Munich and Vienna and from thence to Graz (Grüss aus Graz!) and then settled in the Salzkammergut at Strobel am Wolfgangsee, not far from Salzburg. We also went south to Venice and from there into Yugoslavia, visiting  Lubliana and Pirano. 

In mid August I attended the Eranos Conference in Ascona. I wrote home: “Here I am back on my own ground in Europe. I feel very much at home here in Ascona.”

I had no idea then that I would eventually be living there! I found the lectures interesting. I particularly enjoyed Gilbert Durant, Prof.of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Grenoble who had just published a book on The Structural Anthropology of the Imagination. He was a disciple of the great Gaston Bachelard. “We recognized that we were kindred spirits at once and I look forward maintaining contact with him.” Another interesting man was Prof Ernst Benz a Protestant theologian from Marburg. How tortured and obscure the German language can be in  contrast to French clarté-bien  raisonné. Then today—best of all—a Zen Roshi spoke on “The Interior and the Exterior of Zen” with simplicity, sincerity and profundity that (in my mind at least) put all the other scholars to shame. All in all, it was a worthwhile experience.

“I tried to get more information from Frau Jaffe,(from Zurich) Jung’s former secretary and editor of the Jung Letters, but she’s determined not to reveal anything other than what she brings out in print. I think she’s jealous and possessive thinking that she alone has the right to work on Jung.But I had a good talk with Jim Hillman, an analyst also from the Jung Institute, whose work I admire. He encouraged me to continue writing my Jung book, saying he thinks it will be very good to have  a sympathetic outsider’s  perspective on Jung. He’s pretty fed up with the idealizing Zurich cult of Jung himself.”

We returned to London in the fall, and settled in Lambolle Road in the Belsize area  above Swiss Cottage. We loved it there. It was so centrally located.

We decided to stay in London for Christmas in 1973. 

We had spent a lot of money on our travels in the summer and felt the need to conserve our resources. My mother sent me a generous Christmas gift plus the $500 which she sent each month. I bought a nice hi fi music system with it. Meanwhile I submitted a budget to the trust asking them to increase my income from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred a month and begged my mother not to interfere in this. The trust turned me down.

I enrolled in a training program with the British Association of Psychotherapists headed by Marianne Jacoby so as to become a certified Jungian analyst. The program took three years. As part of my training I continued my analysis with Richenda Martin. I was scheduled to have my first patient (under supervision) in the fall. The tuition was $500 per year plus the cost of my analysis. I wrote Tony  some of the reasons why I wanted to become an analyst. One of the most important is that as an analyst I can be financially independent and can live where I want (eventually San Francisco) “I am also finding that thinking of myself becoming a therapist has given me a new perspective in  reading Jung for my book. It makes me less of an outsider and will give me greater confidence and more connections as a person and a writer.”

 I love literature, and began reading my favourite authors from a Jungian perspective. I wrote an essay on Nietzsche, Jung and Hesse which I called “The Daimon of Creativity.” 

I was hired to teach Comparative Sociology at Brunell University and was invited to lecture on Jung to the History of Ideas Seminar at Oxford after Christmas. I also lectured on Fritz Perls at the Tavistock Clinic relating him to Humanistic and Existential Psychology.

Through my work on Scheler and Jung, Mann and Hesse I began to feel that the generation born in 1875 was “my generation,” my specialty. But “in my conversation with my intellectual history colleagues at Oxford I felt quite keenly how far away my own orientation has grown from the taken for granted world of most of my colleagues in history and the social sciences. They would probably call me a romantic or an idealist.

I find that one of the deepest differences between me and them is my religious belief and my commitment to my own personal vision as expressed artistically (symbolically) rather than in purely rational terms. It has been hard for me to accept the consequences of this my own inner truth. As long as I was seeking to fit in to external standards I could not hear and follow my own inner truth. Having begun to do this now, I feel the next step is for me to work out a way of holding on to this and yet being able to live in the world, to be in the world but not of it .”

In May I went to Amsterdam for a Dutch Philosophical Congress, for the session on Max Scheler and to lead a Gestalt Group and also to visit my friend Prof Alvin Gouldner from Washington University days. I found the Dutch more spontaneous than the English and wrote home that  “for me right now doing therapy with people who want their lives to be more fulfilling is much more satisfying than either philosophy or sociology discussions.”

I was getting established in the international growth center circle doing workshops at places like Esalen in Europe. I was scheduled to do a workshop in German in Munich in September. “Sometimes I feel impatient,” I wrote, “in that I’m already being a successful as a Gestalt therapist when I am only an apprentice Jungian analyst.” My writing was progressing slowly, but I found it hard to get back into it after my travels.

In October I began a series of six lectures I gave on the topic “Consciousness in Self and Society” in which I presented my ideas of humanistic sociology to an audience of people interested in humanistic psychology at Quaesitor, a growth center in London. At the same time I began teaching a course  on “Sociology for the Pastoral Ministry” at the Richmond Fellowship.

On October 1st we moved from Lambolle Rd. in Swiss Cottage up into the center of Hampstead to Redington Road. And we were feeling stressed financially. I wrote home: “We are on an absolute minimum expenditure budget now as we are still paying for the fantastic travels of the summer—Norway, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Toronto, Montreal and California! It was expensive, but it was worth it. We both got so much out of it! And now that winter is settling in upon us again we are taking time to digest and  integrate all or experiences and recent acquisitions. Fortunately I took meant photographs and films, so we can  re-live and enjoy our wonderful travels again and again and share them with others less fortunate than we. Thank you again for your hospitality to me and especially to Kathy. You took such good care of her while I was “about my Father’s business” in Canada (I had attended the world congress of sociology in Toronto.)The experience of California has really changed Kathy—as she is the first to admit. There she met ‘real people’—warm and friendly and imaginative—that she had seldom encountered before either in the East or in Europe.”

The new abode on Reddington Road was a delight. “It has great possibilities as an artist’s studio being unusually large with huge high windows  to let in the natural light. Kathy and I have decided to decorate it very very simply making the most of the feeling of vast spaciousness in the living room. In a Zen way I like the idea of keeping everything simple—the walls almost empty—to make room for decorating them with images from my own inner life—from my psyche, as Jung would say.It’s amazing how much most of us externalize our experience ignoring the riches of the inner man within.”

“I am presently selling everything I don’t need—especially books—which I had accumulated in the last few years when I felt so insecure and had projected myself into things that I then bought as if to be building up a “collection of bits of myself.” (I recognize the voice of my analyst in these words). Zen,Christ and Richenda have helped me to recollect that we do not need to lay up riches here on earth where dust corrodes them, but rather to rest in the Sacred Heart and Mind of Our Lord, building the Kingdom of God within our own souls. One really needs so little to live beautifully! And I have accumulated so much excess and unnecessary baggage along the way on my Quest!

So now this autumn as we celebrate the Harvest time, I am consolidating essentials and selling or giving away to the needy everything I do not really need. I feel it is sinful and selfish and psychologically unhealthy to horde things (books) as I have done. It is time to embrace Our Lady Poverty, as St.Francis did.

Speaking of hoarding, I am watching the squirrels outside my window gathering nuts and food to pack away for the winter. They know just what they need. They don’t take too much—just enough. Would that man (I) was so wise instinctively.

“I am so delighted with my study here; I want to describe it to you. I call it ‘the tree house’. You’ll understand why in a moment. The Living Room is very large, as I told you , with very high ceilings and windows to let in the natural light. Well high up near that light trap is my study in the minstrel gallery. I’ve even put a picture of a medieval minstrel on the balcony railing to reinforce the idea. (Unfortunately real live minstrels are hard to find these days!) Anyway, there is a tiny stairway at the far corner of the living room . I crawl up this stairway to my loft, minstrel gallery, firebox, study therapy room (I have a couch here for my patients) and now that I have got a pot of ivy growing up the pole by the staircase ascending  to the gallery and a nice window box of geraniums hanging out in front as in Austria—I call my nook up here ‘the tree house.’”

“To me trees firmly rooted in the ground with their branches reaching up to the stars and heavens are an image of man—rooted in his own inner depths and in the Love of God and reaching out to share God’s love and Grace with his fellow creatures like St Francis whose feast day we recently celebrated. (Oct 4th)”

Now that I have started my own garden apartment I appreciate more your love of gardening of growing and planting, Madole, which you do so well. I feel filled with love and appreciation of you today, Madole. I wish I could give you a big hug and kiss right now. So take this expression of my filial love and admiration for you (a fellow artist and seeker) from afar from your son.

PS Your Butterfly card with the lovely quotations from Blake and St Paul just arrived. Thank you! I look forward to reading your promised letter containing ‘food for thought and action’. My first reaction to your words was one of fear and dread—as I foolishly felt that old fear that you were about to withdraw the $500/mo we count on. But I know you won’t go back on your promise and your stated wish to share some of your wealth with me now before it is taken away in taxes later. You know how I suffered from the push/pull, giving with one hand and taking away with the other that you and Tony did to me with the Big Sur land PLEASE don’t let me down again now that I’ve begun to TRUST YOU and get over my pain and mistrust. Pax Christi!”

 We loved the place on Reddington Road in Hampstead,  but in November, 1974 we were kicked out of that flat after three months because I got too much candle smoke on the ceiling. We had one more flat in Hampstead before we left England, at 32 Ferncroft Ave. We were there for six months.

As usual, I was worried about money. In December 1974 I wrote home that I had not heard from the trust but “appreciate your reassurance that everything will work out so I can continue my training analysis here and  have time to continue writing my book…I want very much to bring it to completion within the next year I would appreciate if you would abstain from commenting on it in your letters, Madole. I am doing the best I can. Prodding is not necessary and only produces a contrary spirit in me. I hope you are enjoying yourself and your own creative work.” After Christmas I wrote Thank you for your generous Christmas present.The money was very welcome indeed.” I was feeling lonely and wrote: “These days we both prefer staying alone together…rather than making further futile efforts to establish contacts here. Am making the best of it knowing that next summer we will be able to return to California for good.” 

 What about my three year training program? I decided to abandon it. I was just too lonely in London, as I had been in Zurich. 

On Dec.28th 1975 I wrote my mother: I love you and hope we will be able to get along better after I return to California next summer. I hope you understand that the resentment you sensed last summer comes from my own inner struggle to free myself from my dependence on the mother imago within. It spills over into my attitude towards you against my will. I know that you do love me and want to be my friend and I am working on my own inner self in order to become more capable of carrying on an adult relationship with you henceforth.

“I appreciate your agreeing to continue depositing $500 per month into my bank account through July. I feel it is a terrible burden that generates resentment in me when you give me the financial support I need with strings attached. It is infantilizing and very destructive for me. That is why I have asked you to give me the money freely, simply because I need it to live here now, because you want me to have it—not to prove to you or to anyone that I can do anything or that I have been ‘a good and faithful servant’ as in the Parable of the Talents (which she loved to quote to me). Of course, I am writing my book and I intend to complete it, but the situation where I am constantly on trial and being called to account for myself must stop now. I feel confident that you understand. I don’t want you to ‘believe in’ me—because then I would have to try to live up to that belief and that produces more resentment and destructive results—no, I simply want you to love me and accept me as I am. As I see it this is the only way for us to be friends with each other. A friend is someone you can be yourself with, because a friend accepts you as you are rather than imposing on you the demand that you be what they think you ought to be. I am not an extension of you, but an autonomous being with my own inner direction just as you are.”

At the end of the year 1975, I wrote a friend, Henry Ramsey, summarizing my progress on the book. I had written seven chapters. The one I was working on at that time I called “World War Within.” Since the chapter dealt with Jung’s inner struggles during the First World War. In the chapter I sought to recount Jung’s inner journey and to show how it formed the basis for his later work. As an historian I sought to place Jung’s inner quest in the context of other related literary, cultural and artistic developments such as Expressionism and phenomenology. I also sought to analyze the sources of Jung’s creativity and the relations between illness, social catastrophe and artistic creativity through a comparison of Jung and Mann and Hesse during this period.

“The question about the psychological sources of creativity interests me very much right now. I have found a great release of my writing block through changing my  pattern of work and allowing myself to roam freely from chapter to chapter in my manuscript, depending on what interests me, as opposed to forcing myself to stick to one chapter until it is finished. By doing this I have changed my inner coding of my activity from ‘work’ to ‘what I want to do.’ Furthermore, by going into my own depression and deadness repeatedly I have begun to discover my own creativity that was hiding behind this deadness. I found the key that opened the door in painting and drawing which I am doing a lot of thee days. I have even drawn pictures of the contents of books I wanted to fall back on to show myself that I really have it inside me now and don’t need to waste my time with endless research! I’m moving along at full steam and hope to have a good first draft of the whole book completed by August.”

I was painting a lot in those days and put up some of my pictures on the walls, particularly the ones with Native American themes. I came to believe that painting and music were modes of expression I could use to let my inferior functions come through. I was blocked when using my intellect alone and having gone as far as I could with that function for the present turned around and dropped down to a more primitive sensuous level and was able to bring into play my sensation and feeling functions. Above all I made progress in my writing when I let my Red Man (Indian) write for me. He is the intuitive one, brother of Raphael What I like best about painting is that I don’t know what is coming next; it just comes along all by itself. 

I am sure that Kathy’s accepting attitude helped. Before I always felt inhibited by the internalized critic-mother, the professional artist. It is important to me now that I can protect my drawings from her corrections and improvements. I will never forget the drawing of Pooh I once made that my mother painted over giving it a better shape and then stuck up as my work. I am at a point now where I can create my own shape structure and form and do not want anyone to ‘improve’ me. I still find the mandala structure of a closed circle inhibiting, and prefer to paint from a central point outward develop freely without having to work within the limits of a closed circle. However I feel OK about the limits of a square or rectangular sheet of paper. I like the feeling of having the full space of the page.

I was getting to know some of the images in my unconscious through my drawings, dreams and fantasies I hoped that in coming to terms with these I could free myself and my mother from the projections I put onto her that distorted our relationship. Writing to my analyst I described the following fantasy: I closed my eyes and saw an owl appear before me. It was grey-blue with large black eyes. I remembered what Jung said about not letting an image get away until you have gotten its message; so I kept the owl before me and watched. Pretty soon I saw my mother step out from behind the owl figure, which I now saw as a large idol, with an altar at its feet. My mother bent down nearby and started digging and planting little plants, My two sons appeared and helped her.I had the sense that they were carrying on their normal activities in Big Sur. Meanwhile I remained in contact with the owl idol and saw myself bowing down before it and asking humbly as if speaking in fear and trembling before a god ‘What can I do to please you? How can I satisfy you?’ the owl god answered: ‘Nothing you do will ever be good enough. You can never please me. This is what you live for, to love, honor and obey me. I have spoken.’

As I mused over this fantasy I had a clear sense of how I still keep myself locked into this punitive system, and how it is I who  hold on to my image of my mother inside me now whereas she has let go and is carrying on her own adult life. I am held in servitude to this demanding inner deity. I hate him/her/it, and yet I fear it and do not break free. The resentment engendered by this delusional system spills over into my relationship with my real mother when I am in contact with her, though I don’t with to hurt her and actually love her and would like to be more loving when I am around her.

On January 30, 1975  I wrote my mother telling her how much I love her and reporting that I had fallen in love with a new “lady”—painting and drawing. “You introduced me to her in my childhood and in our home. Today looking around my empty flat I saw the walls covered with my pictures! Can you imagine? Not other people’s pictures, as I’ve had for so long, but my own!

I take it for granted that I’m no good yet but I feel encouraged that this great French painter, Jean Dennis Maillert, that I met at Maria’s has taken an interest in my painting and even Maria said “You have very good ideas, powerful images, John.” And that’s it .I have the imagination and I have vision. I love to write to photograph to draw and to paint whether in words or music or visual images. My “Portrait of Jung” is coming along marvellously well since I  gave up trying to do a book to satisfy the critics and sociologists and decided instead simply to sing my song no matter what. I write well and I enjoy writing. I know this is my main medium, but I enjoy painting too. I use it as an exercise in contacting and meeting my “lady” creativity la belle dame sans merci.”

Kathy has gone to New York to visit her family and I miss her, but I am getting along well thanks to dear Maria and Richenda and my own internal family and friends such as Plato, Blake, Dante and Jung. I am in good company here in my study…and I have been enjoying getting to know Jean Dennis Maillert. Today I took the plunge and decided to have Jean Dennis do a portrait of me. He is truly a great artist, a famous portraitist in France, here in England in bad shape financially because of family problems. His God was once Degas, then Cocteau and more recently Max Ernst now that Picasso is dead. So he is going to do my portrait. Only a charcoal sketch because that alone costs more than  I can really afford, 250 pounds! As I look at it having your portrait done is like having your horoscope made The value of the ‘chart’ depends upon the artist.”

If the sketch is really outstanding I might later want him to do it in oil, but that costs 1000 pounds so it is out of the question for me now. Even so, his works are going to be shown at the National Gallery in May, and maybe his portrait of John-Raphael may be hung there too. It doesn’t really matter to  me, but it would be fun if it happened.

When the work was finished, I was disappointed. “What I learned is that it its more satisfying and salutary for me to continue to work on my own self-portraits (trees, animals, the Big Sur coastline, whatever I draw) than to have a ‘professional’ do a portrait of me. I put up the portrait yesterday in the living room and studied it. One can study if for a long time. It says a lot, perhaps too much. Unfortunately I don’t think he quite got ‘me’ but then I really would not want him to have “me” anyway. I belong to my Self  now and I will no longer serve any other master. Nietzsche put it all so well in the end of Book one of Zarathustra when he wrote: ‘Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; only when you have all denied me will I return to you. One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil’ 

“Yes I learned a lot from Jean-Dennis. But I find that he and his work rather  ‘overshadow’ me .Therefore tomorrow morning I am putting his portrait of Raphael in the closet to make from for my own creative work.”

“Today I told Richenda that seeing my drawings on the wall I at last could honestly think of myself as an ‘artist’, too. She encouraged me to channel this excitement I now feel about painting back into my writing, and I agreed and am doing that as best I can right now, though I must confess that painting has got me tight in its web and I can well imagine that for a while painting and drawing will be more exciting than writing. But that is a matter that will work itself out.”

It was a cold winter and on Feb 27th 1976 I wrote gratefully that “spring has come—and I hope to stay. The heath where I roam daily—trees having replaced bookstores as my favorite haunts—the heath is resplendent with bright yellows and oranges, blue, magenta, purple and red flowers blossoming up everywhere adding a dash of colour in fields of green grass all around us. It is most beautiful, a most welcome change from the heavy deadening atmosphere of the university tombs where   I spent so many years!”

“Today I went to hear a lecture on intellectual history by a brilliant young man, Martin Jay, who now holds the position Schorske had when he was at Berkeley. He is Schorske’s successor. He is my age and we are on friendly terms, though I only met him recently. Yet I slipped out of his lecture early in order to go back to my beloved trees and squirrels in the heath. I would much rather study the  shapes and forms, structures and colours of trees and plants, to watch the gentle graceful movement of the birds, squirrels and deer and converse with my friends in the  animal kingdom than to listen to or discuss what most intellectuals seem to thrive on. I now marvel that I ever could have been so narrow. Looked at functionally most intellectuals’ conversations and debates hardly differ from the pettiness and meanness of pub gossip or locker room chatter. It is usually just another ego trip.

“Yes Mother, I have changed a great deal during the last year. It was only a few days ago that I became aware how much this change in me is now consolidated. There will be no more turning back. I have finally ‘found myself’. Not for a minute do I doubt that there will be many changes in my life ahead, and I look forward to continual growth and change. To remain too much the same is to grow old….We must learn that through our creative imagination we can enter into everything transforming ourselves, renewing ourselves continually. 

My study of Jung has helped me discover my own center or Self and I have begun to draw on this Self as a guide, as Jung suggested that we do, as Jesus Christ did….All this brings me face to face with a practical dilemma. I seen now that I am a person of strongly artistic temperament and inclination, not a terribly practical person, but a very imaginative and creative person.  Unfortunately, in our society such as it is now constituted such a person like myself is bound to have a difficult time in many ways, particularly in supporting himself. Up to now I have supported myself through teaching, but this year I feel rather like the painter who, to support himself gives painting lessons, but his heart is not in it. He wants to be painting his own pictures, from inside his own soul, not instructing young people who have quite different interests and experience and objectives. So I have pretty much decided not to look for another teaching job for next fall, but simply to return to my home at Anderson Canyon Big Sur and live there very modestly and attempt to get by on my small income I get automatically from the trust. I do not want to be dependent on you for financial support after my return. I appreciate your help now but I want to be financially independent as soon as possible, certainly before the end of next year. So there is the dilemma. I don’t want to take on another teaching job, but I must find some way to support myself, at least until, hopefully, I can live off the royalties from my creative work.”

Meanwhile I wrote and submitted a very scholarly article to a scientific sociology journal, Theory and Society. The article was entitled “From Depth Psychology to Depth  Sociology: Freud, Jung and Levi-Strauss.” In the article I compared and contrasted Jung and Levi-Strauss’s approaches to the interpretation of myths and symbols. I find it interesting looking back on it now how on the one hand I could have been feeling so anti-intellectual and at the same time written the most intellectual paper I ever wrote! I got an enthusiastic letter of acceptance from Prof. Collins who wrote: “Your recent work radiates energy and real imagination. What I found fault with in your Scheler book…was that it did not go beyond history. I sense that the Jung book will be more than Ernest Jones on Freud and more than Mitzman on Durkheim or Weber; that it will be more intellectually and personally a statement to the current world…”

I spent the year in seclusion preferring to commune with my own muse and with my own internal figures than to engage in small talk with the people I was acquainted with in London. At that time I was struck to discover that both Freud and Jung went thorough a similar period of withdrawal, if not several, during their lives, and that these periods were either their most creative ones or led to a creative overflowing afterwards. I felt that this was what is happening to me. 

I was pleased with the understanding I had acquired of  Jung’s character and his relationships with Freud and Hesse. Nevertheless, I felt that I could never know C.G. Jung the way people knew him who were close to him. I felt torn between my conscience as an historian, bound by sticking to the facts, the evidence, however meagre, and the writer or creative artist who can image and create a ‘higher or ‘poetic’ truth that may be more accurate than could be any reconstruction based solely on documentary evidence. Furthermore I had my own ideas, beliefs and values which I wanted to communicate in my writings. “Where do these come in legitimately in my Jung book?” I asked myself. “It is going to be a very personal book. I hope it will be read by people from many walks of life, not just academics. But I will be satisfied if it is as highly regarded as Jones’ Freud or my even as solid as my Max Scheler. In many ways I am finding Jung more difficult to deal with than Scheler.It is not so much that he is a more complex thinker as that I have changed in the intervening decade as I am now aware of so many more dimensions of human experience to pay attention to and to account for in my biographical research.” 

“At the moment I am having a fabulous time pouring through the classical Greek myths and fables and nineteenth century fairy tales and even the works of  great writers like Dostoevsky, and Daudet, Maupassant and Robert Louis Stevenson  as examples of archetypal symbolism… I am also getting a great deal from Zarathustra now that I  have learned how to begin to interpret visionary material.”

In the spring of 1975 I organized my first international transdisciplinary conference. The theme was: “Consciousness in Self and Society.” I invited twenty scholars I knew from London, Paris and Berlin to attend the conference, which was held at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park near Windsor Castle.  In the Call for Papers I posed the following topics for discussion:

“What is the nature of human consciousness? And what are some of the implications of recent discoveries about consciousness for our personal and inter-personal and transpersonal experience?’

“Most conferences have the aim of a meeting of peers of similar professions, attitudes and specializations. We do not have this aim. We propose a dialogue which will be cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and which will confront directly the individual/social and mind/body dichotomies. Dialogue will address itself to the grounds of common human concern in several areas:

1.the nature of consciousness

2.Work, leisure and creativity

3.Family, Sex Roles, Basic Human needs

4. Transpersonal, Spiritual dimensions of consciousness

“Our intention is to stimulate dialogue with the maximum of participation by conferees. Each day there will be several Lectures presented by specialists to provoke discussion around the theme of the day. In the afternoon we will split into small discussion groups to pursue themes of interest This mini-society experience will be an experiment to foster integration of the substance of each day’s activities. In the evening we will reassemble as a united body to draw things together for the entire community. We hope to use the conference as a source of ideas about human relationships as well as to explore the outer regions of contemporary knowledge about consciousness in self and society. 

The program included the following lectures: John Staude (Brunell University) “The Nature of Human Consciousness,” Zygmunt Bauman. (University of Leeds)  “Emancipatory Consciousness and Society Consciousness, Richard Grathoff, (University of Constance) “Biographical Frames and Social Consciousness, Herminio Martines (Oxford University) “Consciousness of Time and Change in Social Theory” Paul Walton “Consciousness and the Production of Consciousness in the Mass Media” (University of Glasgow), Hans-Peter Dreitzel (Free University of Berlin) “In Search of Authenticity,” Lillemor Johnsen, “Personal Growth, the Body and the Unconscious” (Oslo), John O’Neil,(York University, Toronto) “The Self and Embodiment in Montaigne,” Zev Barbu (University of Sussex) “Consciousness and Imagination: On the Limits of Self-Transcendence,” Fred Blum (London. Society of Analytical Psychology) “The Development of a New Consciousness”, John Crook (University of Sussex) Personal Change and Enlightenment: East and West, Christian Delacampagne (Paris) “The Transpersonal Basis for Society” and Geoffrey Whitfield, (University of Sussex) “Personal Transcendence in Zen, Christianity and Gestalt Therapy”.

The conference was a success. It was attended by about forty people. Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park is a royal hunting lodge and very handsomely appointed. The food was not very good but other than that everything went well and everyone was delighted and thankful to me for arranging the conference. I planned to publish the papers and submitted them to Routledge but they decline to publish them, so I started my own academic journal Consciousness and Culture and published some of the papers in my journal.

After the conference was over we rested up at The Compleat Angler Inn in Marlow on the Thames and then we packed up our things, put them in storage, and flew to California in time to attend my mother’s 40 year retrospective show at the Janus Gallery in Los Angeles.

I have had very good times in London over the years. I loved walking around Hampstead, a writer’s paradise, in the footsteps of D.H. Lawrence and Katharine Mansfield. Plaques on the walls everywhere remind one of the famous people who were there before us. I used to eat at a delightful Italian restaurant in Hampstead and also at San Carlo in Highgate and to go weekly to analysis with Richenda at her flat in Chelsea near the  King’s Road.

But in a letter written from Marlow on April 21st I wrote: “Kathy and I  are delighted to be leaving England at last. We may come back for a visit, but I hope not to ever live here again. I still can’t believe that we really are going to get away for good tomorrow.I’ll only believe it when we are on the plane bound for New York.” I had no idea when I wrote that that fifteen years later I would  return to England and work there for  six years in the nineties!

I had been teaching sociology to priests and nuns at the Richmond fellowship, but decided to give this up at the end of the spring term. Richenda, my analyst,  was away and I ran into difficulties with my supervisor at the British Association for Psychotherapy. My response was to leave.