Excerpt from Richard Noll`s The Aryan Christ
The Secret Life of Carl Gustav Jung
Sun worshipers in German Europe
Jung's massive hymn to the sun could not have come at a more opportune time in German cultural history. All around him, in places such as Bavaria, Thuringia, and Ascona, German-speaking youths were on the march. They were hiking, singing German folk songs, reading Navalis, Goethe, Haeckel, Wilhelm Bblsche, Hesse, and Madame Blavatsky, wearing swastika pendants and runic rings, bathing nude in the sun, and dancing around bonfires on the days of the summer solstice-the ancient German festival of the "changing sun" (Sonnwendfest). They carried banners with the ancient Aryan "sun wheel" on them, a symbol of god that could be found in the ancient homelands of the Aryans-Iran and especially India-in the for-in of circular mandalas. And they sang hymns of praise to the sun. Because of decades of Volkish speculation about the consequences of the work of philologists such as Muller and Renan, there was an extraordinary revival of interest in not only the symbolism of sun worship but also its practice. The natural religion of the ancient Aryans-and indeed, of all humans if one were to speculate far enough-was revived by a multitude of groups all over Germany, Austria, and especially Switzerland, where cults and heretical sects had blossomed for centuries. Some actually performed group rituals in honor of the sun. But sun worship was just one element in a confused mass of cultural contradictions that beset Ger-inany in the three decades preceding the First World War. From the racialist right to the anarchist left a culture of "progressive reaction" against industrial capitalism was on the rise. All of the values that formed the foundation of the industrial order-repressive Judeo-Christian antihedonism, utilitarianism, and rational thought-were confronted with new philosophies of life or of pure experiences that exalted myth over history, impulsive action or deed over conscious reflection, and feeling or intuition over rational thought. This progressive reaction, as historian Jost Hermand has termed it, was manifest in a profound sense of loss, a sense that a spiritual connection with nature and the cosmos had been sacrificed with the rise of a more highly mechanized, industrialized, and urbanized civilization. Much of the sense of loss was expressed in metaphors of degeneration and decay. Civilization had ruined human beings by forcing them into unnatural, cramped, urban environments. Diseases physical and mental were hatched in some places, and the medical science of the day believed that such damage to an individual could be passed down to successive generations. Racial renewal, whether for the individual or society as a whole, was associated with new attitudes toward sexuality and eroticism. There was a cry to recover the Volk-that mystical union of a people with its blood and landscape-from the degenerate industrialized masses. The iron cage of "civilization"-Judeo-Christian beliefs and other political and value systems-had to be cast off in order to recover true culture, the primordial ground of the soul, the Volk. There was only one solution: recover the "archaic man" within, allowing a rejuvenating return to the chthonic powers of the Edenic, Aryan past. It is no coincidence that these same ideas are expressed time and again by C. G. Jung, especially in the first sixty years of his life. The multifaceted Volkish movement (Volkstumbewegung) had a broad plan for Germanic society: at the individual level, the taking of cures, abstinence from alcohol, nudism, vegetarianism, the eating of health foods, contact with the ancestors through spiritualist practices, and hiking through Nature were all remedies to erase the sense of profound loss that so many suffered. At the level of culture, a cleansing of the Aryan race through eugenics and deportations was proposed. Inspired by Herder, Schleiermacher, Ernst Mortiz Amdt, and Turnvater Jahn, throughout the nineteenth century the movement grew increasingly influential as the Germans sought their place in the sun. After German unification in 1871, Volkish energies fueled the establishment of a multitude of lodges, clubs, societies, and so on, all devoted to spiritual renewal. Some of these groups were motivated by blood mysticism and fantasies of reform through a return to the worship of the old Aryan gods. As early as 1814, Amdt had proposed a return to the celebration of the summer solstice as a way to return politically fragmented Germans to their cultural and religious roots. It was left to future leaders to bring his dream into reality. Eugen Diederichs, the famous Jena publisher of many of the new texts of this mystical, Volkish, neo-romantic movement, was one of them. He personally led sun-worshiping rituals with his youth-movement disciples beginning in 1904, expressing the beliefs of so many of them when he said, "My view of god is this, that I regard the sun as a source of all life." The youth organization of the Monistenbund-inspired and led by Haeckel-sponsored sun-worshiping festivals each summer solstice. Haeckel himself was not a practicing neopagan but loved the spirit of the movement. In 1910, the year Jung got lost in sun-hero myths while researching Wandlungen, a Monistenbund joumal reproduced this hymn to the sun:
We are all children of the sun. Out of its womb our planet was bom. An eter nal law of nature compels us to be within its sphere and influence. The im mensity of space is cold, still, lifeless-our luminous mother sun, warming and ripening our fruit, appears as the simple, true element of life. Our ances tors knew this in ancient times. Thus their justifiable joy when the sun made its slow victoriou@ spiral across the sky. They then remembered that all those trees, which concealed their greenness in the wintertime, were consecrated to the god, Wotan.45
Others wanted a Wagnerian twist to their Volkish neopaganism. They gathered in bearskins and made ritual sacrifices of animals to Wotan, Thor, Baldur, and other Teutonic deities. They studied the symbols of the ancient Norse runes and took visionary joumeys to meet with members of an ancient spiritual brotherhood. There were dozens of groups like these, large and small. They convinced themselves that they were chosen, like the grail knights in Wagner's Parsifal, to seek and protect the Holy Grail-in this case, the spiritual purity of Aryan blood. The most famous of these was the Tannenberg Foundation of General Erich Ludendorff, war hero and, later, a co-conspirator in Adolf Hider's failed putsch in 1923. The symbol of Ludendorff's organization was the hammer of Thor. Like many in German culture at the turn of the century, Ludendorff wanted to eradicate Christianity and replace it with an Aryan faith. As one commentator on the neopagan movement in Germany revealed, "In line with the Tannenberg program for the restoration of the ancient Germanic religion, General Ludendorff, accompanied by a few young men, would from time to time retire to the forests near Munich, where a bonfire was lighted and a horse sacrificed in honor of Thor, the god of thunder."
Jung's German spirituality was never more apparent: his references to the rootedness of one's spirituality, of the fact that one's spirituality must come from one's blood, and the appeal to stay within the boundaries of one's mystical landscape. In a 1918 essay, "Uber das Unbewusste" (translated as "The Role of the Unconscious"), Jung used "rootedness" to argue that the psychoanalysis of Freud and Alfred Adler could apply only to Jews. Jung argued that Germans would find Jewish psychoanalysis unsatisfying. Analytical psychology is therefore an Aryan science and form of spiritual psychotherapy that can truly assist only those of Aryan blood. Whereas Jung considered the English an extension of Germanic blood, his tolerance did not extend to Slavs such as Ouspensky. The English were Aryans, they could be redeemed with his methods. Slavs, although originally Aryan, had too much Asian blood mixed in; they would have a difficult time. Jews could not be redeemed.
Although every foreigner who came into contact with Jung received a heavy dose of Volkish mysticism, few understood its uniquely German context.
The term rooted was constantly invoked by Volkish thinkers-and with good reason. Such rootedness conveyed the sense of man's correspondence with the landscape through his soul and thus with the Volk, which embodied the life spirit of the cosmos. It provided the essential link in the Volkish chain of being. Moreover, rural rootedness served as a contrast to urban dislocation, or what was termed "uprootedness." It also fumished a convenient criterion for excluding foreigners from the Volk and the virtues of rootedness. In addition, the concept of rootedness provided a standard for measuring man's completeness and his inner worth. Accordingly, having no roots stigmatized a person as being deprived of the life force and thus lacking a properly func tioning soul. Rootlessness condemned the whole man, whereas rootedness signified membership in the Volk which rendered man his humanity.