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, et.al. 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 inside.my 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.

Eranos

Beginning in 1933, after the advent of the Third Reich in neighboring Germany, in Switzerland, on the shores of Lago Maggiore, on the Swiss-Italian border, an annual meeting began to take place for two weeks every year in August. There the war-widow Frau Olga Froebe-Kapteyn created what she hoped would become a permanent free space for the human spirit [Geist], a meeting place between East and West, and a Round Table [consciously drawing inspiration from images in Arthurian myths]  where the spirit and  images of the very soul and our civilization could be preserved [“we are keepers of the flame”] imaginatively evoked, amplified, and  endlessly re-imagined as archetypal Gestalten and Vorbilder [Essential Forms and Models] in a world which she believed and hoped could thereby become freed from Nazi tyranny and totalitarian oppression in all its forms and manifestations. 

      At the end of the patio in front of Casa Gabriala, stands a large round table where conference speakers shared meals together after sharing their thoughts in Casa Eranos. Near the table stands an impressive abstract sculpture altar  monument which always impressed me dedicated to the “unknown spirit of the place.” 

           [Building and dedicating such altars to “unknown spirits” whose presence was acknowledged though unseen, was a common practice in the civilizations of classical antiquity]

       Doktor C.G. Jung was the spiritus rectorat Eranos, and the meetings were usually filled with his expanding retinue of mostly ugly female disciples [die Jungfrauen], like the perpetual vestal virgins worshipping at his feet, Miss Marie-Louise von Franz,  Miss Barbara Hannah, and  Miss Anniella Jaffe, Jung’s amanuensis to whom he dictated his autobiographical Memories, Dreams and Reflections.

          The word ERANOS, which first appears in Homer’s Odyssey,and means a “banquet or shared feast” applies to both spiritual as well as material dimensions of experience. In the ancient world this was to be developed by participants in a spirit of joy and an atmosphere of freedom a with songs, music, dance and spontaneity and/or with a symbolic offering to the group.

At the August meetings the presenters would  give their original paper and grant its publication in the Eranos Yearbook[there are more than 60 now, and 6 on specific topics like “The Ancient Mysteries” edited and translated by Joseph Campbell under the series title, Papers from the Eranos Year Books] in exchange for Frau Olga’s hospitality.

In 1928 a German WWI war widow and heiress, Olga Fröbe who like many disillusioned people after the German defeat had become a pacifist and internationalist, built a large meeting hall “Casa Eranos” on the grounds of her property close to her home, which she called “Casa Gabriella,”  without having any idea that this was the beginning of an incredible success story of international Tagungen [gatherings] that reunited and supported both financially and culturally many among the finest intellectuals of the world. For example, the Bollingen Foundation at Princeton, responsible for the publication of so many important visionary scholarly books in the 2nd half of the 20th century was conceived, gestated, and born at Eranos and financially sponsored secretly by CIA money as a secret weapon in the Cold War. 

Casa Gabriella was where Hillman lived on the Eranos campus, and that’s where I saw him for our weekly analytic sessions.  When I was there in 1975, Casa Gabriella contained an excellent basic research library particularly strong inholdings on art history, the history of religions, classical and early modern European philosophy and poetry, Italian, German, and comparative literature including extensive bi-lingual classical Greek and Latin classic texts which Hillman and I both used for our respective researches and  the Geisteswissenschaften[spiritual, cultural and historical sciences] in general.

The “Eranos Tagungen” and the “Archetypal Approach to Symbolism,” sometimes called “The Eranos Method ” [now practiced both at the Warburg Institute in London, and at ARIAS, an interdisciplinary center dedicated to this approach in New York]  were progressively shaped under the influence of important scholars who regularly attended these meetings such as Carl Gustav Jung, Rudolf Otto, Martin Buber, Mircea Eliade, Karl Kerényi, Erich Neumann, Adolf Portmann, Si Herbert Read, Joseph Campbell, Ira Progoff,  David Miller, and James Hillman, among others. 

To give you an idea of some of the presentations at  Eranos Meetings, here is a sample of the program in 2010:

The general topic was:  “What is the role of love today in generating new forms of social organization?” 

The Visiting Professor

Perugia is a city apart, an old Etruscan fortress town perched high on a hilltop in the centre of Italy. It never joined in the hurly burly of Italian politics as did Milan, Florence, Sienna and Rome; but remained aloof, introspectively apart, locked away with its own mixture of piety and violence. Taciturn, introspective, and xenophobic, the Perugians were also known and feared as the most warlike people of ancient Italy.

To practice and prepare themselves for combat in the Middle Ages, the Perugini played a ferocious game in which the male inhabitants divided themselves into rival teams. Having padded themselves with clothing stuffed with deer hair and assuming beaked helmets like the heads of eagles or hawks, they stoned each other savagely until the streets were strewn with casualties. It was not unusual for a dozen or so men to die or at least to be seriously wounded in these encounters, but their relatives accepted their deaths calmly as the price of heroism.

In the twentieth century the Perugini became better known for their chocolates and their craftsmanship than for their heroism and their combatitiveness, but despite the fact that tourism became a mainstay of their economy, they never lost their distrust of foreigners. This was ironic because Perugia also became famous for its international university for foreigners.

It was into this tight-knit clanish provincial university town that there came as a Visiting Professor an American specialist in Shakespeare and Elizabethan literature, Professor John Santé. He was invited to Perugia to teach a seminar on Hamlet, about which he had written a distinguished monograph. 

At first he was lonely in Perugia, however, after a short time he found some friends among whom he counted a young psychiatrist, Dottore Francesco Cherubini who regaled him with tales of his patients in the local insane asylum. He also enjoyed the company of a noted art critic and connoisseur, Prof. Bruno L. deVita who taught aesthetics and critical theory at the  Perugia Academy of the Fine Arts. They shared a common interest in Freud’s interpretation of art and artists such as Leonardo da Vinci.

Our professor was married, but had been separated from his wife in the United States for several months before leaving for Italy. He was not really looking for an adventure, but at a party in Perugia one evening he met a young woman with long dark hair who fascinated him. Her name was Anna Maria. She came from a wealthy family in  Cortona, a small town near Perugia. She had married young, but her husband, who was a rich playboy, and a bit of a drunk, had died in an automobile accident a year after they were married. She now lived alone on a small vineyard in the country and  had a caretaker and a few employees who managed the vineyard for her. 

As soon as he saw Anna, the professor knew there was something indefinable about her that fascinated him. He could not figure out what it was, and this made her even more fascinating. She, too, felt attracted to him, and agreed to see him again despite her resolve not to become involved with a man ever again. When he went home after the party that night, he was surprised to note that his only thought was of seeing her again. In fact ,he tried to call her the next day to arrange a date, but failed to reach her. 

Several days later they did go out to dinner at the Hosteria del Olmo, a lovely restaurant in a small village near Perugia. After dinner  he took her home  and she invited him in for a drink. The house was a large stone country house, a casalle, with large light brown wooden  shutters flanking  the windows. In the living room was a large fireplace big enough for several adults to enter. There were stone benches along the sides, indicating that this was a comfortable place to sit during the cold winter months. The stone walls were covered with original paintings, mostly done by Anna herself.

They sat on a couch in front of the fireplace and drank grappa and gazed into each others eyes. He asked her about her paintings and she told him about each one. He thought they were very close when  suddenly she surprised him by saying that it would be better that they not meet again. He was puzzled by this remark. It was obvious that they both had a strong attraction for each other. When he asked her, she told him that although she did feel attracted to him, having a relationship with a man did not fit  her picture of how she wanted her life to be.

“It’s been as wonderful evening, John. I like you very much,” she said,  “but I think you had  better go now. It is best we not  see each other again. Otherwise we are likely to get  involved with each other, and I don’t want that.”

“We are already involved,” I said. “And it’s good for both of us. I don’t understand why you want to destroy this. What are you afraid of?”

“I just don’t want an intimate relationship with you, that’s all. It is too painful, and too dangerous.”

“Dangerous? To fall in love? How is it dangerous?”

“What do you want from me?” she asked. 

“Answer my question first. “How is it dangerous to open yourself to me?” he countered.

“You’d  better not ask. I don’t want to think about it. I’d rather stay alone and safe in my own world, ” she said.

“Tell me,” he insisted.”

“It has nothing to do with you, really. As far as men go, I find you very attractive. I just do  not want a serious relationship with anyone. It means too much responsibility. Eventually  someone is bound to  get hurt or to be disappointed. I don’t want to hurt you. That’s why we must break off this relationship now before it is too late.”

“I think that you want a relationship very much, but are afraid of getting hurt yourself. That’s why you don’t want to get involved. Not because you want to protect me.”

“It is  more complicated than that. You just don’t understand. How could you?  I didn’t want to tell you but I guess I’ll have to tell you my story. Then you’ll see why another relationship is impossible for me. 

“I was  married when I was very young, as people usually are here in Italy. I was only seventeen. My husband was quite a bit older than me. There were thirteen years between us. The first year of our marriage went pretty well. He seemed very devoted. I thought that he loved me. Then I found out that he was being unfaithful to me. With other men. Yes, he was a homosexual. Well, at least it wasn’t another woman. I was hurt and disgusted and I told him that we must separate. He became very angry. He hit me and threatened to kill me if I tried to leave him. Soon after that he was killed in an automobile accident.  Then I discovered that he had been  involved in taking drugs and  had thrown away most of my inheritance buying drugs and paying off his endless gambling debts. All I had left to me was this vineyard and a bit of money. I resolved then and there never to become seriously involved with another man. So you see it’s not you. It’s me that’s the problem.”

“I feel very moved by your story. You have suffered a lot. But that is no reason to cut yourself off from having a relationship that could bring you much happiness.”

She was crying now. He tried to put his arm around her, but she pushed him away abruptly. Wiping her eyes with her handkerchief she snapped: “Happiness? I’m better off alone. I don’t want another relationship. What can you offer me, anyway? You’re only here for a short time, you told me that after the end of the year  you’ll be going back to America.”

He was silent after this outburst. Looking at her sadly he nodded. 

“Perhaps you’re right. I suppose it is better this way, at least for you.” he said with a tone of reluctance in his voice. He began moving towards the door.

“No, wait,” she said. “Don’t go yet.” 

She moved towards him and reached out to him. 

“Put your arms around me and hold me tight,” she said.  “I don’t know what’s the matter with me but I can’t stay away from you. There is a force between us that is so strong. I can’t let you go.” 

He kissed her deeply and she melted in his arms. He pulled her down to the couch. She resisted weakly, then said. “Not here. Upstairs.” And she led him to her bedroom. He undressed her slowly. He kissed her tenderly and gently caressed her body, gradually moving his head down to her crotch where he licked her till she began to breathe more intensely and her body began to girate to the pulse of  his darting tongue. She grabbed his head and pulled  him up to her waiting lips. As they kissed she felt  his fingers penetrating her rectum and her vagina and she soon  was taken over by the delicious rhythms pulsing through her body. When he licked her nipples, she flinched. “Piano, piano,”  she said. “Be more gentle, please. That hurts.” 

He nibbled on her ear. Finally he plunged into her  thrusting  wildly, joyously, abandoning himself to his ecstasy. He held himself back waiting for her orgasm. She screamed and moaned deliriously as she peaked. Then he thrust himself into her vigorously,  giving her all he had till he was empty and slumped exhausted with his head on her heaving breast. 

“Do you have a cigarette?” she asked.

“I’m sorry, I don’t smoke, so I don’t have one.”

“It’s better for me not to smoke, but I would have liked a cigarette at this moment.”

“I’ll be your cigarette. Here, hold me instead.”

“It’s so beautiful and so strange-this feeling I have inside me now” she said, stroking his head tenderly. “It is  as if you were my child, my lover,  and my father at the same time.” 

“I feel good, too. It’s so wonderful being in your arms. I love you.”

“Don’t say that. You don’t realize what you’re saying. It’s not true.”

“It is true.”

“Well, don’t say it. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”

“Why?”

“Don’t ask me.”

“No. Tell me. Why?  What’s wrong with being loved?”

“I told you. It’s not possible for me. You’d better go now.”

“Hey, wait. Two minutes ago we were very close. You were happy. I could see it in your face, in your smile. What happened to that smile? Now you’ve got your hands on your head and you look so troubled. It’s your thoughts that are doing it. That’s all. Don’t let them ruin this experience. Don’t push me away. This is your chance for happiness. Now. Here.  With me. Don’t throw it all away. It’s not easy to find the closeness we have. This thing between us is very special. Do you realize how rare it is. Just feel the energy between us. Can’t you feel it?’

“Of course I can feel it. That’s what frightens me. It’s so strong. If we go one this way what will happen to us?”

“Let’s find out.”

“I can’t.”

“O.K. You win.” He started to get up and to pull on his undershorts.

“Where are you going? No, wait. Don’t go  yet. Hold me.”

He came back to the bed and held her, stroking her head. She purred like a cat in his arms. Their eyes met and they gazed into each others eyes for a long time saying nothing. 

Finally she spoke. “I feel at home in your arms, in your heart. I feel like I have come home at last, when I look in your eyes. I need you. I really do. I don’t  want to let you go. But I know that I must. This can’t be.”

He squeezed her tenderly and continued to stroke her head. “I love you Anna. I love you. I wish you could clear your head of this fixed idea that you must not have a relationship. Let me tell you what I’d like. It’s just a fantasy, but I want to share it with you. We are living together. Right here in this house. I go to work at the university a couple of times a week. The rest of the time I’d stay home and cook for you and take care of you and help you with the farm. On weekends we might make little excursions, to the Lake of Trasimeno or to Florence or Rome or to the beach. Wouldn’ t that be nice?”

Her eyes were glowing as she replied, “It’s a nice fantasy. But of course it is impossible.”

“Of course it is possible. Anything is possible, if you want it enough.”

“How American you are.”

“Well, it’s true.”

“That you’re American?”

“No, that you can have what you want if you really want it.”

“Well, I don’t want it.”

“What do you want, anyway? To live alone forever on this little farm, hiding away from the world? Forever protecting yourself from life? Doing nothing with your life”

“That’s unkind.”

“But it’s true. And I’m saying it because I love you. You are still young enough to marry again and to have children, if you want. You have every possibility in front of you, and you are just throwing your life away on this damn farm.” He shook his fist and then heaved a sigh of resignation.

“What can I do? This is my destiny. You speak of all kinds of possibilities but I see no other possibility for me but this. I have no skills. What else could I do?”

“Anything you want.”

“But I don’t want anything. 

“You don’t you have any wishes, any dreams? I don’t believe you.”

“Well, I sometimes think I’d like something, but then after thinking about it  awhile I sink back into my old self realizing that it is impossible.”

“The problem is one of motivation, Anna. I wish I could build a fire under you, but I can’t. It has to come from inside you. All I can do is to give you a few suggestions and cheer you on. The rest is up to you. You can have anything you want. Just like other people.”

“Perhaps you’re right. In a way I’d like to be like other people, to be able  to have a relationship. But don’t you see, John, I can’t. I really can’t. Something inside me prevents it. That’s the way I am and there is nothing else for me to do but accept it. I feel afraid to even think about having a relationship. I’m sure I’ll get hurt.”

“So your barrier to having a relationship is fear of being hurt. And you protect yourself from experiencing this fear by holding on to the idea that having a relationship is impossible for you. Now, tell me honestly, are you willing to try to change this?”

“I don’t know. I know I can’t have a relationship.”

“Are you willing to try to change this?”

“Don’t play therapist with me.”

“Are you willing to try to change this belief system of yours, or do you want to remain imprisoned in it?”

“Leave me alone. It’s hopeless.”

“This is the last time I’ll ask you this: are you willing to try to change…?”

“No. I’m not. I’d like to, but I can’t. I’m sorry to disappoint you, John, but I can’t change and that’s why we must end this relationship and not see each other any more.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t want it. It is too risky for me and for you. Somebody is bound to get hurt.”

“Somebody? You mean you. So what, if you get hurt? That is a risk you must take if you want to change your life and to grow. You’ve been hurt a lot in the past, I can see that. But you’ve survived. And if you should get hurt again, you’ll survive again. But if you want to, you can change your life.”

“You said that fear is my barrier. What can I do about that? Whenever I think of change I feel afraid.”

“Look at your fear; then put the fear aside. Take the risk and go for what you want.”

“But the fear is still there.”

“Yes, fear may come up. But its just an emotion. You don’t have to let yourself be ruled by your emotions. As I said before, be clear about what you want,  acknowledge your fear when it comes up,  then  put the fear aside, take the risk, and go for what you want courageously. You  know, Anna,  living courageously is not living without fear, but going for what you want despite  your fears.

“Well, I’ll think about it. It sounds too easy to me.”

“Translation. I’m afraid that I might get what I want and then I might not be happy with it or it might not work out or… That reminds me of the story of the young student who was walking down the street in Perugia and asked a rather well dressed older man the time of day. The older man looked at his watch, then looked at the student, who was rather shabbily dressed, and refused his request. The student was perplexed and asked the man why he would not tell him the time. Well, the man said, if I were to tell you the time, then we might strike up a conversation and pretty soon I might invite you to come home with me for lunch. At lunch you’d meet my daughter. You might fall in love with her and want to marry her and I don’t want my daughter marrying a poor student shabbily dressed like you. So that’s why I won’t tell you the time.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“And so is this conversation. It’s getting late and I think we’d better call it a night. I didn’t mean to play therapist with you. It just came up. But I see that I can’t change you. It was foolish of me to try. I hope what I told you may be of some use to you. I will call you tomorrow, if I may.”

“I’d like that.”

La Dolce Vita

                                

An exciting phase of my life began in May 1982 when I went to a conference on “Love and Philosophy in the Italian Renaissance” which took place in Naples. There I met the woman who was to be the great love of my life–Giuliana Mariniello.  She was a gorgeous dark-eyed Italian beauty, a Prof of English Literature specialized in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. Among other things, were both passionate about photography. 

Giuliana was having some marital difficulties at that time, when we first met, and when I told her that I was a psychologist, she thought that perhaps I could help her revive her failing marriage. However, there was a strong physical and intellectual attraction between us and within a few days we had begun dating. Before long Giuliana decided to leave  her architect husband in Naples and to move to Rome to begin a new life there.

In the meantime I was  enjoying my bachelor  life in Florence where I was studying intermediate Italian and running a psychotherapy group for women. I was scheduled to do a few workshops at the Institute of Psychosynthesis in the summer. However, I got restless staying home too much and after a few months I applied for a job as a tour guide with Globus Gateway Tours.  I was hired immediately, but this meant giving up my Italian course and my plans for my workshops at the Institute of Psychosynthesis. 

So now I launched myself on a new career—as a professional tour director. This job only lasted for several months, but I enjoyed it. Every few weeks  I flew to London and was assigned the job of leading a new tour group bound for France, Switzerland, and Italy. The usual tour consisted in a few days of sightseeing in Paris, then a one night stand in Lucerne where the tourists shopped for watches, chocolates and other Swiss products, and then on to Italy, usually with a couple of nights in Venice, and two or three nights in Florence. 

The tours culminated in  Rome. There Giuliana was waiting for me.  After staying for a few days in Rome to be with my lover and to recuperate from the tour job, which could be quite demanding and tiring, I would fly back to London to pick up a new group and start another tour. It was often exasperating and very exhausting, and I soon grew disenchanted with this job, so one day I quit.

 I then took a much needed month-long holiday and went  (with Giuliana) to England to spend a week in Oxford and a week in London and then to Paris and Marseilles.  I was  her hide-away lover, her clandestino, as she had been mine in Paris, Rome, and other places during my tours. We had a wonderful time at a little hotel in Woodstock, a short distance from Oxford,  where we had marvelous time making love in a gigantic antique four poster bed. From Oxford we traveled to London, where we stayed in Chelsea and went to the theatre every night. Particularly memorable was a matinee production  of  “Twelfth Night” performed outdoors in Regent’s Park. 

After our adventures in London we returned via train to Paris and from there took an overnight train to Marseilles and the French Riviera. I recall one time, when I lost track of time while making passionate love in the public park in Antibes, we  missed our train. Another  time,  in Marseilles, I  left Giuliana sitting in the train while I went looking for a mailbox. Suddenly the train  started to move. Giuliana was terrified. There she was, surrounded with piles of baggage. She didn’t dare  leave the train  and abandon our luggage, but she was worried about leaving Marseilles without me— especially  because I had the train tickets! 

When we arrived in Florence Giuliana told me that she had had a good time, but she was tired of me and wanted to end our relationship. I was dumbfounded, and begged her to reconsider and to think about it. She left for Naples that night, but after a few days she phoned me and invited me to join her there.

Shortly after Giuliana left Florence, I was shown a beautiful apartment with a view of the Duomo (cathedral) and all of Florence below and offered not only this but a car as well. Despite the beauty of the apartment, I was undecided  whether I would stay on in Florence. I  felt it was more important to go after Giuliana, my  dear love and win her; so I decided to forget all about the beautiful apartment and pursue the beautiful Giuliana. 

I made a complete fool of myself discarding my self-respect completely and throwing myself at her desperately, rushing  to Naples on an overnight train and  begging her to go off with me to the Sorrento Peninsula and explore the Amalfi Coast.I really didn’t care where went as long as she  agreed to travel with me. Finally she consented.

We stayed at a lovely small hotel in Ravello with a panoramic view of the Amalfi. coast below. It was delightful. However, when we drove back to Naples,  unexpectedly Giuliana drove me to the train station and  told me that she wanted me to leave. She was tired of me again, she said. She wanted to be rid of me once and for all, to be free to do as she pleased. 

Was she nuts? I was stunned, and I just couldn’t believe it. It was like Florence all over again. What was it with this woman anyway? Was she a psycho? A femme fatale?  She reminded me of Henry Miller’s Mona. I begged and pleaded with her and  eventually talked her into  sailing to Capri with me, where we eventually  spent a very peaceful and loving honeymoon like month together.

We rented a small house in the country, high up on the island near the Villa Tiberius. Each day in the mornings I did research and wrote while she read and lay in the sun. In the afternoons when the temperature cooled down we went to the beach for a swim usually at the Bagni di Luigi. In the evenings we often  went for  walks in the town stopping at the Piazetta for a drink. 

Then we went home and made love. 

My University Experiences

After graduating from Webb in 1954. I choose to attend Duke, a Southern university, because I wanted to become a writer and was inspired by Southern writers such as Carson McCullers, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Thomas Wolfe. I planned to major in English, but I found my English teachers too pedantic and pickey. Their red pencil marks covered my essays. They did not seem to realize what a great writer I going to be. At Duke I submitted some poems and stories  to the Archive  a literary magazine, edited at that time by Reynolds Price, who later did become a distinguished Southern writer, but to my chagrin he rejected my work. I soon discovered that I was better at re-working  material than creating it from scratch; so I wrote  copy for the theatre  Playbill.

When I was 18 I discovered that I had a calling to undertake a personal spiritual quest and to develop a personal relationship with God. During my second year at Duke I met Sali Wali an Egyptian mystical thinker who worked on ESP at the parapsychology lab with Dr. Rhine. Through guided reading and Socratic conversations conducted over many months Sali instructed me in the rudiments of Vedanta, Buddhism, and the perennial philosophy. To my surprise I found myself becoming seriously interested in mysticism and began devouring books on the subject. I decided I wanted to become a saint.

Even as a freshman I was impressed with the poetry of the English romantic poets, particularly Wordsworth and Shelly. I think this set the tone for my religious ideas and feelings. 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. Long ago I accepted the idea that we live in multiple realities and embraced 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 consistently in my daily life.

There was one English professor I liked very much, Russell Fraser, a distinguished Shakespeare scholar. He organized a literary discussion group for his students which met at his home once a month. It was called Areopagus, after the original Supreme Court of the Athenians, as described in the Oresteia. I was thrilled to be invited to participate. I had never been chosen to be a member of any group before. I was disappointed when he moved to Princeton the next year.

Professor Harold Parker, a brilliant military historian who specialized in Napoleonic battles, influenced me greatly. From him I first discovered that history was not so much a collection of facts or chronologies but the interpretation of the relationships among these facts. Another important mentor at this time was Prof. Ernest Nelson, a Renaissance man, who taught me to appreciate the Greek and Latin classics in translation. Partly as a result of the influence of these fine teachers, I later became a professional historian myself.

The summer between Duke and Georgetown I drove a traveling bookshop around Cape Cod. While on the Cape I met the literary critic Edmund Wilson, and a Russian emigré writer Paul Chavchavadze, who encouraged me as an aspiring young writer. I’ve always had a fascination with Russians, Poles and Eastern Europeans and later in my life I lived in Prague. 

In the fall of 1956 I transferred to Georgetown University in Washington D.C. where I majored in politics and international relations. I found the scholastic philosophy and theology taught  at Georgetown dry and boring. Instead I turned to the French Existentialists and began 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 context of personal drama.  The evocative images speak to my heart. On the other hand, to evoke my own spiritual feelings I prefer sacred music and art. I was fortunate to study philosophy of religion with the brilliant urbane English Jesuit and Father Martin D’Arcy, the former Master of Campion Hall at Oxford, but unfortunately much of the time I found his discourse to be over my head. 

The one philosophical work I remember reading with great interest while in college, a book that really opened up new religious vistas for me, was William James’ Varieties of Religions Experience. Even today I can hardly recall a work of greater personal significance, for James introduced me to both the phenomenology of consciousness and the psychology of religious experience. At this time I also became interested in the psychology of Freud and Jung, as I was looking for a therapeutic alternative to Thomistic psychology. 

Despite all my courses in philosophy and theology, I was still troubled by intense sexual guilt, and it took years of psychotherapy to enable me to move beyond that quagmire of sexual and religious abuse. I also lost  my first fiancé, Joanie Knowles, during my senior year because of my obsessive guilt about sex. We had been sleeping together regularly at my apartment but I felt so guilty that I usually rushed out to confession the next morning. Before long a less scrupulous guy replaced me in her arms. It took me years to discover that I was a sex addict as a result of my childhood sexual abuse and still more years to overcome it.

One person and place that had a profound influence on my spiritual development was Father Damasus Winzen, at Mt. Saviour, a Benedictine community in Elmira, New York. I made several retreats there during my senior year before going to Europe. “Incline the inner ear of the heart and listen to the world of God” Benedict said in the prologue to his rule. Through Father Damasus,  Brother Gregory and Brother David Steindl-Rast, 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 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. Among the Benedictines I experienced it in my heart.  

In my senior year I also became interested in modern French Catholic literature and philosophy, particularly after reading Wallace Fowlie’s book, A Guide to Contemporary French Literature. Before I graduated I had read some Sartre,  Camus, and Claudel in French, and had even written a one-act play based on one of Claudel’s plays. This led me to Paris to embark for a year of study of French literature at the Institut Catholique and the Sorbonne. Even though I had spoken French at home, I was not proficient enough to read everything I wanted to in the original, so I made this my goal.