Each person works on his own pillar,
until one day the temple will be built.
Max Zeller: Memory of C.G. Jung:
When I was in Zurich in 1949, the first time after the war, I was terribly occupied with the question, “What am I doing as an analyst?” With the overwhelming problems in the world, to see twenty or twenty-five patients, that’s nothing. What are we doing, all of us? I stayed in Zurich about three months and saw Jung quite a number of times. Then I had to return to Los Angeles, and the last hour with him came. The evening before, there was a great feast, a celebration of students and faculty from the Institute at an elegant Swiss hotel. Every single analyst was made fun of in the most incredible way. We laughed and howled. Meier was there, and he got quite a load to carry. Then they took on Mrs. Jung and she got her share. When they were all through Jung said, “But where am I? What is the matter with you? You don’t dare to tease me that way? That’s awful!” That was the night before I had my last appointment, and it went on late into the night.
The next day I came to Jung with the material I had prepared, and Jung said to me, “We have time, I’ve all morning.” He took me into the garden, and there was a bench, and he sat beside me and we talked, and talked, and talked, and I told him about this and that. When the time was up I took the train, and as I sat in the train I suddenly thought, “My God!” The night before I had had a dream, and I should have started with it but never even told it to him. I went right then to the post office and wrote: Dear Dr. Jung, I forgot totally to tell you the dream of last night and I think it is very important. And no matter what, I want you to know it at least, because I am occupied with it anyway. Well, the next morning, my last day there, I got a call from Jung’s secretary right after the mail was delivered at eight o’clock. She wanted to know if I wanted to see him. Well! Of course I wanted to see him, so I went out for the very last time to Kusnacht.
And this was my dream: A temple of vast dimensions was in the process of being built. As far as I could see-ahead, behind, right and left-there were incredible numbers of people building on gigantic pillars. I, too, was building on a pillar. The whole building process was in its very first beginnings, but the foundation was already there the rest of the building was starting to go up and I and many others were working on it.
Jung said, “Ja, you know, that is the temple we all build on. We don’t know the people because, believe me, they build in India and China and in Russia and all over the world. That is the new religion. You know how long it will take until it is built?” I said, “How should I know? Do you know?” He said “I know.” I asked how long it will take. He said, “About six hundred years.” “Where do you know this from?” I asked. He said, “From dreams. From other people’s dreams and from my own. This new religion will come together as far as we can see.”
And then I could say goodbye. There was the answer to my question what we, as analysts, are doing. There is not an analyst who doesn’t experience it. We work with a person, and there is a critical family situation, or difficulties here and there, and as this individual works, what he or she does spreads. It has a much greater effect than we think. It is not as it looks from the outside, that we sit in a narrow cubbyhole; because the material we work with transforms. It transforms us and, we, being touched, touch other people without even talking about it.
It is like the story of the rainmaker. Jung loved to tell that story as often as anyone wanted to hear it. The group around Jung would be having dinner together, and Jung would say, “I have to tell you a story, the story of the rainmaker. Did you ever hear it?” And everyone would shout, “No! We never heard it!” And then he would tell the story. It is not a Just So story. It was reported to Richard Wilhelm who experienced the drought in China and the coming of the rainmaker. He saw it with his own eyes. It is this: there was a drought in a village in China. They sent for a rainmaker who was known to live in the farthest corner of the country, far away. Of course that would be so, because we never trust a prophet who lives in our region; he has to come from far away. So he arrived, and he found the village in a miserable state. The cattle were dying, the vegetation was dying, the people were affected. The people crowded around him and were very curious what he would do. He said, “Well, just give me a little hut and leave me alone for a few days.” So he went into this little hut and people were wondering and wondering, the first day, the second day. On the third day it started pouring rain and he came out. They asked him, “What did you do?” “Oh, “he said, “that is very simple. I didn’t do anything.” “But look,” they said, “now it rains. What happened?” And he explained, “I come from an area that is in Tao, in balance. We have rain, we have sunshine. Nothing is out of order. I come into your area and find that it is chaotic. The rhythm of life is disturbed, so when I come into it I, too, am disturbed. The whole thing affects me and I am immediately out of order. So what can I do? I want a little hut to be by myself, to meditate, to set myself straight. And then, when I am able to get myself in order, everything around is set right. We are now in Tao, and since the rain was missing, now it rains; now we are all in Tao.”
~Max Zeller, J.E.T., Pages 108-110