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Jung's twin brother. Otto Gross and Carl Gustav Jung



This paper is a preliminary communication of several years of research into the life and work of the Austrian psychoanalyst and anarchist Otto Gross (1877–1920). Although he played a pivotal role in the birth of modernity, acting as a significant influence upon psychiatry, psychoanalysis, ethics, sociology and literature, he has remained virtually unknown to this day. Following a biographical sketch and an overview of his main theoretical contributions, the impact of Gross' life and work on the development of analytical theory and practice is described. His relationship with some of the key figures in psychoanalysis is presented, with particular emphasis on his connections to Jung. The paper concludes with an account of relevant contemporary interest in his work: the founding of the International Otto Gross Society, the first edition of The Collected Works of Otto Gross on the Internet, and the 1st and 2nd International Otto Gross Congresses which took place in Berlin in 1999 and at the Burghölzli Clinic, Zürich, in October 2000.
Jung’s Twin Brother.
Otto Gross and Carl Gustav Jung.
With an hitherto unpublished letter by C.G. Jung. (Note 1)
Abstract: This paper is a preliminary communication of several years of research
into the life and work of the Austrian psychoanalyst and anarchist Otto Gross (1877 –
1920). Although he played a pivotal role in the birth of modernity, acting as a
significant influence upon psychiatry, psychoanalysis, ethics, sociology and literature,
he has remained virtually unknown to this day. Following a biographical sketch and
an overview of his main theoretical contributions, the impact of Gross’ life and work
on the development of analytical theory and practice is presented. His relationship
with some of the key figures in psychoanalysis is described, with particular emphasis
on his connections to Jung. The paper concludes with an account of relevant
contemporary interest in his work: the founding of the International Otto Gross
Society, several of its congresses the most recent one held at the Burghölzli Clinic,
Zürich the establishment of the Otto Gross Archive, London, and a number of
recently published collections of Gross’ works, including the first edition of The
Collected Works of Otto Gross on the Internet.
Key Words: analytical psychology, Freud, Gross, history, Jung, psychoanalysis,
Conservatism in the sense of a dread
of consequences is altogether out of
place in science - which has on the
contrary always been forwarded by
radicals and radicalism, in the sense
of the eagerness to carry
consequences to their extreme.
Charles Sanders Peirce, 1955, p.58
In this paper I shall give a brief biographical and theoretical survey of the life
and work of the Austrian psychoanalyst Otto Gross (1877 - 1920) and his role in the
history of psychoanalytic and Jungian theory and clinical practice. My main focus
will be the relationship between Gross and C.G. Jung and the effect it had on the
development of Jung’s ideas. The purpose is to re-introduce certain of Gross’ ideas
into current analytic discourse. Many important issues can only be briefly mentioned
in a single paper and have to await more detailed elaboration at a later date.
‘The best way of understanding psycho-analysis is still by tracing its origin
and development,’ Freud wrote in 1923 (Freud, 1955, p. 235). More than seventy-five
years later, this is still true. Similarly, a full understanding and appreciation of Jung’s
work is impossible without looking at its origins. This has to include the more
shadowy and murkier aspects, too. It means that a critical approach is required. Yet in
the introduction to A Most Dangerous Method, John Kerr recently wrote,
‘psychoanalysis continues to exhibit an unconscionable disregard for its own history.
No other contemporary intellectual endeavour, from conventional biomedical research
to literary criticism, currently suffers from so profound a lack of a critical historical
sense concerning its origins’ (Kerr 1993, p. 14). This verdict seems to be true for
Jungian psychology as well. In addition, there is much reliance on ‘historical data’
that are, in fact, rumours, myths and legends.
Oscar Wilde’s dictum ‘the one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it,’
(Haughton 1998, p. 15) certainly applies to the history of psychoanalysis. Without
unnecessarily conflating history on the individual level with history on the collective
level, it is not too far-fetched to advance the argument that Otto Gross has become the
present-day symbolic representation of attitudes to experience that were too
threatening to be consciously lived through and assimilated in their time. European
culture in general, and psychoanalysis in particular, has had to store them away in an
encapsulated, frozen form. Gross’ life and our image of him function on the cultural
level as what have been called ‘Black Holes in psyche(Clark 1982). ‘Gross’ - the
image as well as the historical personage - continues to exert a powerful pull. In such
a situation, the historian’s task is carefully to re-approach such an area. The hope is
that the energy frozen therein will be freed so that it may be used creatively.
Something has gone ‘wrong’ with the history of analytic ideas. There is a sort
of ‘basic fault’. For example, most of today’s analysts have forgotten about Otto
Gross. Already in 1921, less than a year after Gross’ death, the Austrian writer Anton
Kuh wrote of him as, ‘a man known only to very few by name - apart from a handful
of psychiatrists and secret policemen - and among those few, only to those who
plucked his feathers to adorn their own posteriors’ (Kuh 1921, pp. 16f.) (Note 2). The
‘Black Holes’ in our analytic past, the omissions from our history have become
lesions. As Russell Jacoby (1983) has suggested, it is reasonable to use the
terminology of ‘repression’ in non-personal contexts. My contribution, then, springs
from a desire to examine this state of affairs. It is a conscious attempt towards a form
of healing – in the words of the I Ching, it is work on what has been spoilt.
Just as there are crucial omissions in the way the development of
psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice has been perceived, so there are other,
historical omissions. The few historians who have researched the life and time of Otto
Gross have concentrated predominantly on the man alone - or on him and his
relationships to his father, his lovers and his friends. As a thinker, Gross has mostly
been relegated to (literally) a handful of footnotes.
In his autobiographical novel, written in the early 1950’s, Links wo das Herz
ist (Left Where the Heart is) which recounts the early years of this century, the
German writer Leonhard Frank wrote:
In the course of four days and four nights . . . [the Doctor Kreuz] wrote down
his latest scientific findings in the field of psychoanalysis in the form of a
brochure of thirty-two pages and then sent the text to his wife, asking her to
have it privately printed in an edition of a hundred copies . . .
(When he gave up his flat in Munich four weeks later, from one hour to
the next, to travel to Switzerland with his wife, the landlady discovered ninety-
nine copies of the brochure and sold them for wrapping paper to the butcher
Rücken whose shop was in the same street. She got a pork chop in return.
Forty-five years later, in the middle of the twentieth Century, the
psychoanalyst, who was the only one to whom Frau Doctor Kreuz had sent a
copy of the brochure in 1906, was indisputably regarded as the most ingenious
living representative and researcher of psychoanalytic science in Europe.
Nobody knew that he had based his theory, which deviated from that of Freud
in a number of ways, on the realizations and decisive remarks of his former
adversary Doctor Otto Kreuz. The Doctor, a man of genius and tragedy, had
already perished decades ago.) (1976 pp. 28f.; parentheses L.F.)
There is no doubt among literary critics (Mitzman 1977, Michaels 1983, et al.)
whom Frank had in mind as that ‘most ingenious living representative and researcher
of psychoanalytic science in Europe . . . in the middle of the twentieth Century’: Carl
Gustav Jung. And it is equally clear that ‘Doctor Otto Kreuz’ is none other than Otto
Although this is a fictionalized account, and although the brochure in question
is not listed in the index of Jung’s library (Shamdasani 1996), I believe it is
nevertheless legitimate to introduce a work of fiction to assist in raising the question
of Gross’ contemporary standing. We should recall, though, that an autobiographical
novel is obviously not the same as a historical document.
Today, as I said, most analysts have never heard of Otto Gross, and if they
have, their knowledge is often confined to, ‘Isn’t that the one who became
schizophrenic?’ This is the result of an approach to the history of psychoanalysis
which, following Erich Fromm, might be called ‘Stalinistic’ (1958 p. 195). Fromm’s
parallel works up to a point when one considers how, in the history of psychoanalysis,
just as in the Stalinistic history of the Soviet Union, labels like ‘schizophrenic’ or
‘psychotic’ were awarded to many of the most brilliant thinkers - Jung, Ferenczi,
Rank, Reich, to name but a few. They can almost be regarded as orders of merit -
expressions, really, of the (analytic) revolution’s devouring its children. It is
interesting to note here that, writing about the expulsion ‘from Freud’s circle and/or
the International Psychoanalytic Association . . . of Otto Gross, a communitarian
anarchist, Wilhelm Reich, an erstwhile communist, and Erich Fromm, a life-long
socialist’, Burston uses the term ‘purged’ (in 1909, 1933 and 1947 respectively)
(Burston 1996, p. 74).
Yet there was a time, in the first decade of this century, when the greatest minds
in analysis were full of the highest praise for Otto Gross. In 1908, Jung wrote to
Freud, ‘in Gross I experienced all too many aspects of my own nature, so that he often
seemed like my twin brother’, (Freud/Jung Letters 1974, p. 156; my emphasis. This
work is abbreviated as FJL in this paper.) (Note 3). A few months earlier, Freud had
written to Jung ‘You are really the only one capable of making an original
contribution; except perhaps for Otto Gross’ (FJL p. 126). The Hungarian writer Emil
Szittya (1886 1964) who knew Gross well, in an unpublished fragment of a novel
even goes as far as calling Gross ‘a friend of Dr. Freud and the intellectual father of
Professor Jung (Szittya n.d., p. 211)(Note 4). In 1908 year Ernest Jones met Gross in
Munich. In his autobiography that he was working on at the end of his life, Jones
recalled, Gross ‘was my first instructor in the technique of psycho-analysis’ (Jones
1990, pp. 173f.). In 1910 Ferenczi wrote about Gross to Freud, ‘There is no doubt
that, among those who have followed you up to now, he is the most significant’
(Brabant, Falzeder 1993, p. 154). In 1912, Alfred Adler referred to Gross as ‘brilliant’
(Adler 1997, p.58). Both Karl Abraham (1905[Note 5], 1909a, 1909b), and Ferenczi
(1920, 1921) repeatedly reviewed Gross’ works. Wilhelm Stekel spoke of ‘the
ingenious Otto Gross’ (Stekel 1923, p. 464).
And even as late as 1986 the eminent German scholar of psychoanalysis Prof.
Johannes Cremerius writes about the C. G. Jung of 1909: ‘He is still completely and
entirely the pupil of Otto Gross’ (Cremerius 1986, p. 20).
So who was this Otto Gross?
Biographical Survey (Note 6)
Otto Hans Adolf Gross (also Groβ, Grohs, and Grosz ) was born 17 March
1877 in Gniebing near Feldbach in Styria, Austria. His father Hans (also Hanns)
Gross (1847 – 1915) was a professor of criminology and one of the leading authorities
worldwide in this field. (He was, for example, the originator of dactyloscopy, the
science of interpreting and using finger prints.) Gross’ mother was Adele, née
Rayman (1854 – 1942), came from Retz near Vienna.
Gross was mostly educated by private tutors and in private schools. He
became a medical doctor in 1899 and travelled as a naval doctor to South America in
1900 at which time he became addicted to drugs. In 1901 - 02 he worked as a
psychiatrist and assistant doctor in Munich and Graz, published his first papers and
had his first treatment for drug addiction at the Burghölzli Clinic near Zürich. His
initial contact with Freud was either at this time or by 1904 at the latest. The writer
Franz Jung (1888 – 1963; no relation to C.G. Jung) claims that Gross became Freud’s
assistant much earlier than that but there is no evidence that Gross had any contact
with Freud before 1904 other than his (F. Jung ca.1922, P. 21), except for a passage in
a letter to Freud from C.G. Jung after his treatment of Gross, ‘I wish Gross would
meet you once again analytically’ (FJL p. 161; my emphasis). The German edition of
the Freud/Jung Letters notes at this point, “it is not known what kind of earlier
relationships Otto Gross had with Freud; he does not appear to have been his patient”
(FJL, German edition, p. 178, n. 2).
In 1903 he married Frieda Schloffer (1876 1950) and was offered a
lecturer’s position (Privatdozentur) in psychopathology at Graz university in 1906.
The following year his son Peter († 1946) was born as well as a second son, also
named Peter († 1915), from his relationship with Else Jaffé (1874 – 1973), born Else
von Richthofen. In the same year Gross had an affair with Else’s sister, Frieda
Weekley (1879 1956), who later married D.H. Lawrence. By that time Gross lived
in Munich and Ascona, Switzerland, where he had an important influence on many of
the expressionist writers and artists such as Karl Otten and Franz Werfel as well as
anarchists and political radicals, like Erich Mühsam (Note 7), who later was the first
to proclaim the republic during the Munich Revolution of 1919. In 1908 Gross had
further treatment at the Burghölzli where he was analysed by C.G. Jung - and, in turn,
analysed Jung. In the same year his daughter Camilla († 2000) was born from his
relationship to the Swiss writer Regina Ullmannn (1884 – 1961), who later became a
friend of Rilke.
In 1911 Gross was forcibly interned in a psychiatric institution. He
subsequently wanted to found a school for anarchists in Ascona and he wrote to the
Swiss medical doctor and anarchist Fritz Brupbacher that he had plans to publish a
‘Journal on the Psychological Problems of Anarchism’. Two years later he lived in
Berlin where he had a considerable influence on Franz Jung (the writer), Raoul
Hausman, Hannah Höch and the other artists who created Berlin Dada. On 9
November 1913 his father had Gross arrested as a dangerous anarchist and interned in
a psychiatric institution in Austria. By the time he was freed following an
international press campaign initiated by his friends, it is said that Gross had become
one of the psychiatrists working at the hospital. Together with Franz Kafka, Gross
planned to publish Blätter gegen den Machtwillen (Journal Against the Will to
Power)( Note 8). Legally declared to be of diminished responsibility due to his
father’s efforts, Gross was further analyzed by Wilhelm Stekel in 1914 (cf. Stekel
1925b, Dvorak 1985). He was declared cured but placed legally under the trusteeship
of his father who died a year later, in 1915, when Gross was a military doctor first in
Slavonia and then in Temesvar, Romania, where he was head of a typhus hospital.
Together with Franz Jung, the painter Georg Schrimpf and others, Gross published a
journal called Die freie Strasse (The Free Road) as a ‘preparatory work for the
revolution’. He began a relationship with Marianne Kuh (1894 1948), one of the
sisters of the Austrian writer Anton Kuh, and in 1916 she had a daughter by him,
Sophie. Because of his drug addiction, Gross was again put into a psychiatric
institution under limited guardianship in 1917. He planned to marry Marianne,
although he had a relationship not only with her sister, Nina, too, but, possibly, with
the third sister, Margarethe, as well (Templer-Kuh 1998). He died of pneumonia on
13 February 1920 in Berlin, two days after having been found in the street near-
starved and half-frozen. In one of the very few eulogies that were published, Otto
Kaus wrote, ‘Germany’s best revolutionary spirits have been educated and directly
inspired by him. In a considerable number of powerful creations by the young
generation one finds his ideas with that specific keenness and those far-reaching
consequences that he was able to inspire’ (1920, p. 55). Wilhelm Stekel, who was a
psychoanalytic outcast himself by that time, wrote a brief eulogy, published in New
York (Stekel 1920, p. 49). An announcement of Gross’ death was made by Ernest
Jones at the Eighth International Psycho-Analytical Congress in Salzburg four years
later (Jones 1924, p. 403). No other obituary notices appeared in the psychoanalytic
world following Gross’ death. (Note 9).
Theoretical Survey
What were the ideas Otto Gross contributed to the development of
psychoanalytical theory and practice and what was it about them - and himself - that
finally made the man persona non grata and the ideas quite unacceptable?
His early personal experience of what appears to have been an overpowering
father and a subservient mother, provided Gross with an experience of the roots of
emotional suffering within the nuclear family structure. He subsequently wrote in
favour of the freedom and equality of women and advocated free choice of partners
and new forms of relationships which he envisaged as free from the use of force and
violence. He made links between these issues and the hierarchical structures within
the wider context of society and came to regard individual suffering as inseparable
from that of all humanity: ‘The psychoanalyst’s practice contains all of humanity’s
suffering from itself’ (Gross 1914, p. 529).
Gross was so strongly drawn to philosophy that during his years of study he
contemplated giving up psychiatry altogether in favour of philosophy (Gross 1902a).
The roots of his theories can be seen in the philosophy of Rousseau, in Hegel’s
dialectics, in Comte and Marx and the tradition of anarchist thinkers from Proudhon’s
mutualism, Stirner’s emphasis on the individual and his own to contemporaries like
Kropotkin (Heuer 2000b, p. 67). Gross mentions the latter two. The strongest
influence, though, is from Nietzsche and Freud, both of whom he frequently praises.
In his struggle against patriarchy in all its manifestations, Gross was fascinated
by the ideas of Bachofen and others on matriarchy. ‘The coming revolution is a
revolution for the mother-right’, he wrote in 1913 (Gross 1913a, col. 387). He
focussed on sexuality, yet soon came to question Freud’s emphasis on it as the sole
root of the neuroses. In contrast to Freud’s view of the limits placed on human
motivation by the unconscious, Gross saw pathologies as being rooted in more
positive and creative tendencies in the unconscious. He wrote extensively about same-
sex sexuality in both men and women and argued against its discrimination. For
Gross, psychoanalysis was a weapon in a countercultural revolution to overthrow the
existing order – not, as he saw it becoming, a means to force people to adapt better to
it. He wrote, ‘The psychology of the unconscious is the philosophy of the
revolution . . . It is called upon to enable an inner freedom, called upon as preparation
for the revolution’ (1913a, col. 385, emphasis O.G.). It is interesting to note that the
debate about psychoanalysis and ‘adaptation’ still flourishes today (e.g. Altman
He saw body and mind as one, inseparable, writing that, ‘each psychical
process is at the same time a physiological one’ (Gross 1907, p. 7). Thus,‘Gross joins
the ranks of those researchers who refute a division of the world into physical and
spiritual-intellectual realms. For them body and soul are the expressions of one and
the same process, and therefore a human being can only be seen holistically and as a
whole’ (Hurwitz 1979, p. 66).
Nicolaus Sombart summarizes two main points:
His first thesis was: The realization of the anarchist alternative to the
patriarchal order of society has to begin with the destruction of the latter.
Without hesitation, Otto Gross owned up to practicing this - in accordance
with anarchist principles - by the propaganda of the Tat’ (deed, action,
example), first by an examplary way of life aimed at destroying the limitations
of society within himself; second as a psychotherapist by trying to realize new
forms of social life experimentally in founding unconventional relationships
and communes (for example in Ascona from where he was expelled as an
instigator of ‘orgies’) . . . Gross was not homosexual but he saw bisexuality as
a given and held that no man could know why he was loveable for a woman if
he did not know about his own homosexual component. His respect of the
sovereign freedom of human beings went so far that he did not only recognise
their right for illness as an expression of a legitimate protest against a
repressive society - here he is a forerunner of the Anti-Psychiatry of Ronald D.
Laing and Alain Fourcade - but their death wishes as well, and as a physician
he helped with the realization of those, too . . .
His second thesis: Whoever wants to change the structures of power
(and production) in a repressive society, has to start by changing these
structures in himself and to eradicate the ‘authority that has infiltrated one’s
own inner being’. In his opinion it is the achievement of psychoanalysis as a
science to have created the preconditions and to have provided the instruments
for this. (Sombart 1991, pp. 1l0 - 111)
Behind Gross’ emphatic focus on transgression lies a profound realisation of
the interconnectedness of everyone and everything. Therefore all boundaries may be
seen as arbitrary; transgressing boundaries then becomes a protest against their
unnaturalness. From a psychopathological perspective it would be too facile simply to
diagnose - not unreasonably, though - a father complex, an unresolved incestuous tie
to the mother, a neurotic longing for paradise as a return to the womb etc., etc. Very
similar diagnoses, incidentally, could easily be made of the other founding fathers and
mothers of psychoanalysis (see Atwood and Stolorow 1979). But this would mean
that we remain in the compartmentalized realm of reason and rationality alone, where
everything and everybody is separated from everything and everybody else. The
historiography as well as the history of psychoanalysis will be diminished if we were
to brand Gross - as Jung and Freud eventually did – as a hopeless lunatic, or maybe a
puer aeternus, nothing but a charismatic failure. One has to fashion a contemporary
judgement out of a sensitive evaluation of the available documents and the
judgements of the past.
From a conceptual point of view, Gross’ transgressions can be understood as a
longing for transcendence - a transcendence via the body that does not leave the body
behind in order to fly off into a purely spiritual, uncorporeal sphere. His work
involves an understanding of the ensoulment of matter and flesh. Analysts do not
unsually write about ecstasy, lust, orgy. Those who did paid the price of becoming
ostracized as outcasts - Gross, Reich, Laing. It is only comparatively recently that
psychoanalytic authors have ventured as far as to praise ‘the spontaneous gesture’
(Winnicott in Rodman, ed. 1987) or ‘acts of freedom’ (Symington 1990).
Otto Gross has remained largely unknown to this day because it might be said
that in true mercurial fashion he travelled deep into the underworld and high into the
heavens, trying to hold together experiences of both realms. Freud, Jung and Reich all
returned from their respective creative illnesses or night-sea journeys comparatively
intact and lived to tell of them in a coherent manner. Gross did not.
With his advocacy of sex, drugs and anarchy, Gross became a spectre feared
by the German-speaking bourgeoisie of Europe, a one-man threat to values of family
and state. My hypothesis is that Gross has remained relatively unknown to this day
because of this radical critique and, above all, because of the implications of his
insistence that there is no individual change without collective change and vice versa.
The tendency to romanticize Gross as a genius/madman of the analytic movement
utterly depotentiates his serious message. Ernest Jones, who had met Gross in Munich
in 1908, where Gross introduced him to psychoanalysis, called him in his
autobiography in the late forties ‘the nearest approach to the romantic ideal of a
genius I have ever met’ (Jones 1990, p. 173). But to focus on this aspect alone would
mean overlooking Gross’ contribution to his field.
The Influence of Otto Gross’ Life and Work
on the Development of Analytical Theory and Clinical Practice
As noted above, my suggestion is that Otto Gross had a far-reaching influence
on many analysts, among them Freud, Jung, Ferenczi and Reich. In his interaction
with Freud, Gross challenged the way psychoanalytic practice was beholden to the
medical model in its attempt at a non-engaged objectivity in terms of the interpersonal
relationship between analyst and patient. In opposition to Freud’s recommendation
that the analyst work as if he were an ‘opaque mirror’ (Freud 1912, p. 118), Gross
referred to what he called ‘the will to relating’. For him this stood ‘in opposition to
the will to power, and it needs to be uncovered as the elementary contrast between the
revolutionary and the adjusted - bourgeois - psyche and it has to be presented as the
highest and true goal of the revolution’ (Gross 1919, p. 68). These ideas need to be
regarded in the light of early developments in the establishment of what was later to
become object relations theory (cf. Suttie 1933; Fairbairn 1952). Gross’ position
anticipates those of Suttie and Fairbairn, both of whom he preceded.
Otto Gross was probably the first psychoanalyst to see that an analytic
perspective needed to include an appreciation of the social context within which
clinical work takes place. Thus he saw the necessity of linking internal, intrapsychic,
change with external social and political change - to the enhancement of both ends of
that much-disputed spectrum. At the First Psychoanalytic Congress in Salzburg in
1908, Freud tried explicitly to curb Gross’ efforts in this direction by admonishing
him, ‘We are physicians, and physicians we want to remain’ (Gross 1913b, col. 507).
It was to take Freud another twenty years to formulate ideas similar to Gross’ in
Civilization and its Discontents. As Sombart puts it:
Twenty years before Wilhelm Reich and forty years before Herbert Marcuse,
Otto Gross was the man who developed in his psychotherapeutic practice the
theoretical bases of the “sexual revolution”, (the term comes from him, if we
are to believe Werfel [1990 p. 349, G.H.]) - the theory of the freeing of the
erotic potential of the human being as a precondition of any social or political
emancipation. (Sombart 1991, pp. 109f.)
Bernd Laska notes that Gross was not the only one at that Salzburg congress
who linked discoveries about the making of the unconscious with discoveries about
the structure of societies and their effects on individuals. In his paper Psychoanalyse
und Pädagogik (Psychoanalysis and Pedagogy), delivered at the congress, Ferenczi,
speaking about ‘the holding on to absurd religious superstition and the customs of the
cult of authority, the clinging to decrepit institutions of society’, stated that ‘liberation
from unnecessary inner coercion would be the first revolution that would create a true
relief, whereas political revolutions usually just dealt with outer powers, i.e. means of
coercion, changing hands’ (Ferenczi 1908, pp. 12f.). Freud ‘refused to give any
comment, though urgently requested. Gross soon became a “case” and died in 1920,
ignored by Freud. Ferenczi curbed his radical ambitions and for a long time became
Freud’s closest collaborator’ (Laska 1993ff., p. 3). Three years later, in the
Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse, a report on the 1908 Salzburg Congress was
published, listing the papers presented. Gross’ name is not even mentioned (Rank
1911). Only Wilhelm Stekel confirms Gross’ presence at the Salzburg Congress in a
paper on the history of psychoanalysis as well as in his autobiography (Stekel 1925 in
Dvorak 1985, p. 47; Stekel 1950, p. 122). In his biography of Freud, Jones does list
both Otto Gross and his wife Frieda as participants at the 1908 Salzburg Congress
(Jones 1974, p. 45).
The impact Gross had on Freud may, by the present day, have been so
frequently overlooked that attempts to discover a connection in terms of clinical
practice have become very difficult. It seems likely that Freud was afraid that he
might be influenced by Gross but, in the end, came to similar (though more cautiously
expressed) conclusions in his own critique of society as well as in his attitude towards
lay-analysts, though both, of course, were developed much later.
It is interesting to study exactly how Freud defended himself against being
influenced too strongly by Gross. He wrote to Jung in 1908, explaining why he
himself had not wanted to take Gross as a patient: ‘the difficulty would have been that
the dividing lines between our respective property rights in creative ideas would
inevitably have been effaced; we would never have been able to get away from each
other with a clear conscience. Since I treated the philosopher Swoboda I have a horror
of such difficult situations’ (FJL 1974, p. 152). Yet two years later Freud wrote to
Ferenczi, ‘I... tend strongly towards plagiarism’ (Brabant, Falzeder 1993, p. 133).
It may be similarly difficult to trace Gross’ influence on Freud’s followers
directly, but there seem to be several psychoanalytic concepts that Gross formulated
before anyone else did - for example the defence mechanism of identification with the
aggressor (F. Jung 1921, pp. 45f), as Anna Freud later came to call it (A. Freud 1936),
after Abraham had already described it in 1925 (Abraham 1925, p. 9). Young-
Bruehl’s statement about this as ‘the one defense that [Anna Freud] presented in this
section (of The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense) for which there was no existing
literature’ (Young-Bruehl 1990, p. 210) is incorrect. Summarising Gross’ ideas, Franz
Jung writes in 1921 about the development of the individual within the context of
family embedded in the larger collective of the state:
. . . it is the . . . distorted and sick movement of the individual towards the
collective . . . Correspondingly, this movement is based on the concept of
ensuring safety in order to thus preserve normality and an equilibrium. The
rupture in earliest experience which leads the individual into the conflictual
tension of a new concept, i.e. that of rape, projects as transference the idea of
authority. Authority is being born in the mind of the oppressed. Then it gets
converted into convention as an authoritarian organisation that appears to
organically belong to the individual as family, religion etc. and finally the
state. . . Decisive is the formation of authority within the lonely experience of
the individual, the striving towards being ruled over, out of which grow ruler
and rule. (F. Jung 1921, pp. 45 – 46)
Ferenczi is usually credited as the originator of ‘mutual analysis’ (e.g. Doucet
1992, p. 647) and that is seen as one point of origin of today’s intersubjectivity. Yet
Ferenczi knew of Gross, he quoted him, reviewed his writings and was impressed by
his ideas. In 1910 he wrote to Freud, ‘ I am reading Gross’ book about inferiority and
am delighted by it’ (Brabant, Falzeder 1993, p. 154). Martin Stanton states that Jung’s
and Gross’ analyses ‘serve as the model for “mutual analysis”, later evolved by
Ferenczi’ (Stanton 1990, p. 14).
Gross’ influence on Wilhelm Reich has already been the subject of conjecture
(Michaels 1983, pp. 66 - 69) due to the striking similarity of some of their key
concepts. A generation before Reich, Gross laid out the dialectical interdependence
between individual and political change. He went on to suggest that the public and the
private meet in the sphere of sexuality. Yet Gross’ influence on Reich has not been
proven. Reich’s papers are sealed until the year 2006 - fifty years after his death - and
he was not a man, it seems, who liked to acknowledge his sources anyway. But Gross’
linking of psychoanalysis and revolutionary politics and his focus on the body via
sexuality predates that of Reich, as mentioned above, by one generation. It is
inconceivable that Reich, having been described as an eager student of
psychoanalysis, ‘soaking up everything’ (Grete Bibring, Reich’s co-student, in Sharaf
1983, p. 59) in the field, was not aware of Gross’ ideas. Yet there is no reference to
Gross in any of Reich’s writings that have been published so far. And neither of
Reich’s daughters, a general practitioner/psychotherapist and a psychiatrist/teaching
psycho-analyst respectively, both of whom I have contacted, have ever come across
the name of Otto Gross in any of their father’s writings, published or unpublished
(Eva Reich 1997; Lore Reich Rubin 1997). Franz Jung, who knew Gross’ work best
from personal experience and from their collaboration, and who had been in contact
with Reich’s work since the early 30’s wrote in a letter from America in 1955,
“Wilhelm Reich has turned up in New York and has appeared here like a direct copy
of Otto Grosz. He has written a book on ‘Orgiasm’ (sic) (Note 10) that could actually
have been written by Otto Grosz, the orgiastic forms of sex as a basis of life, almost a
religion, as the political bonding of society” (F. Jung 1996, p. 491). The German
psychoanalyst and Reich-scholar Bernd Nitzschke (Fallend, Nitzschke, eds. 1997)
said about Gross’ influence on Reich in the discussion of his paper on the
relationships between Freud, Gross and Reich, presented at the 1st. International Otto
Gross Congress, Berlin, “One can almost say that whenever one finds with one writer
such a degree of correspondence with another one, the latter is not being quoted. The
same is true for Freud with regard to very important chief witnesses. For me this
confirms that Reich must have read Gross very carefully and that he took a lot from
him. He does not quote him – but that is no coincidence” (Nitzschke 2000, p. 51).
Many of Gross’ innovative ideas and concepts seem to have been forgotten.
In the areas of gender, sexuality, the mind/body-split, and, specifically, the dialectical
linking of analysis with politics, Gross posed radical challenges that continue to be
burning issues because satisfying solutions have yet to be found. It is important that
we face these challenges today and a careful study which casts a retrospective glance
at Gross’ life, his work, and the influence he has had on other analysts, can not only
contribute to giving Gross his rightful place in the history of analysis but also further
the contemporary exploration of issues that Gross was the first to raise.
Otto Gross and C.G. Jung
‘He is a man whom life has to cast
out.’ C.G.Jung 1908 (FJL 1974, p.
‘He will still pop up here and there as a
Golem.’ Sándor Ferenczi 1918
(Falzeder, Brabant 1996, p. 261) (Note
The encounter with Gross and the impact this had on Jung’s life and work is
most closely charted in case notes Jung made of his work with Gross (Jung 1908) and
in letters he and Freud exchanged. As the main thrust of this paper suggests, Gross
had a much greater influence on Jung than the latter ever acknowledged. On the one
hand, Jung wrote to Freud, ‘The analysis [with Gross] has yielded all sorts of
scientifically beautiful results which we aim to formulate soon’ (FJL p. 153). On the
other hand, in his published works, Jung’s acknowledgment is very slight indeed. This
discrepancy is important and requires investigation. What had happened between the
two analysts who at one point had felt so close to each other that Jung felt towards
Gross ‘like my twin brother’(FJL p. 156)? I shall address this multi-levelled task in
two parts, first focussing on the direct personal relationship of the two men, and then
on the less direct influence Gross had on Jung’s life and ideas.
In the Freud/Jung correspondence, Gross is mentioned a number of times,
mostly in positive vein, before Freud refers Gross to Jung for treatment in early May
1908. Freud calls Gross, ‘a highly intelligent man’ (ibid., p. 69), and ‘a highly gifted
and assured man’ (ibid., p. 141). Jung agrees. For him, too, Gross has got ‘an
excellent understanding’ (ibid., p. 67) and ‘a very intelligent mind’ (ibid., p. 85).
Interestingly, it appears that Ernest Jones’ impression of Jung’s attitude towards
Gross at this time is anything but positive. In the first letter ever which Jones writes to
Freud – which is mostly about Gross – he says, “I hear that Jung is going to treat him
[Gross] psychically, and naturally I feel a little uneasy about that for Jung does not
find it easy to conceal his feelings and he has a pretty strong dislike to Gross”
(Freud/Jones 1993, p. 1). At that time, Freud has already referred Gross to Jung for
On 6 May Freud writes to Jung, ‘Enclosed the certificate for Otto Gross. Once
you have him, don’t let him out before October when I shall be able to take charge of
him’ (ibid., p. 147).This certificate now resides with Jung’s case notes in the archive
of the Burghölz1i. Jung replies, ‘Only a short letter for now as I have Gross with me.
He is taking up an incredible amount of time’ (ibid., p. 151). Only eleven days later
Jung writes:
I have let everything drop and have spent all my available time, day and night,
on Gross, to further his analysis as much as possible. . . Whenever I got stuck,
he analysed me. In this way my own psychic health has benefited too . .
Psychically his condition has improved a lot, so that the future looks less
sombre. He is a man of rare decency with whon one can immediately get on
very well, provided one lets go of one’s own complexes. Today is my first day
of rest, as I finished the analysis yesterday. So far as I can see, there will
probably just be gleanings from an after all very long string of minor
obsessions of secondary importance. (ibid., p. 153)
Four days later, Freud replies encouragingly, ‘Gross is such a worthy man, and
such a strong mind, that your work must be regarded as an important achievement for
society. It would be a fine thing if a friendship and collaboration between the two of
you were to grow out of this analysis’, and he continues with a subtle rebuke, ‘I must
say I am amazed about the speed of youth that is able to finish such tasks in only two
weeks, with me it would have taken longer’ (ibid., p. 154). Freud finishes this letter
with, ‘I have never had a patient like Gross; he should be able to clearly show the
nature of the matter’ (ibid., p. 155). Jung replies the following day, ‘I am writing in a
great hurry, but I shall soon write you more about the issue of Gross’ (ibid.).
It is nearly three weeks before he does,
Finally after a long time I have a quiet moment to concentrate on a letter. Until
now the Gross affair has consumed me in the fullest sense of the word. I have
sacrificed days and nights to him. Under analysis he voluntarily gave up all
medication. The last three weeks we worked only with very early infantile
material. During this time I gradually came to the sad realization that although
the infantile complexes could all be described and understood, and although
the patient had momentary insights into them, they were nevertheless
overwhelmingly powerful, being permanently fixed and drawing their affects
from inexhaustible depths; with the utmost effort on both sides to achieve
insight and empathy we are able to stop the leak for a moment. The next
moment it opens up again. All these moments of profound empathy leave not a
trace behind them; they quickly became insubstantial memory-shadows. There
is no development, no psychological yesterday for him. . . I am afraid you will
have already read from my words the diagnosis I long refused to believe and
which I now see before me with terrible clarity: Dementia praecox.
A most careful anamnesis of his wife and a partial psychoanalysis of her
have only given me all too many confirmations of the diagnosis. (ibid., pp.
155 – 156; emphasis Jung)
It seems somewhat unusual to arrive at the diagnosis of a patient by ‘a partial
psychoanalysis of his wife’. It is clear from Jung’s description that the immediate,
early success did not last. But there is something else that has happened to change
Jung’s opinion of Gross. Jung continues in the above letter with,
His exit from the stage is in keeping with the diagnosis: the day before
yesterday Gross, unguarded for a moment, escaped over the garden wall and
will without doubt soon turn up again in Munich, to go towards the evening of
his fate. (ibid., p. 156.).
Jung does not only display a negative response towards Gross, possibly
springing from hurt feelings of rejection and abandonment when Gross decamps.
There are also expressions of profound grief. Jung continues,
In spite of everything, he is my friend, for at bottom he is a very good and
noble man with an unusual mind . . . I don’t know with what feelings you will
receive these news. For me this experience is one of the harshest in my life,
for in Gross I experienced only all too many aspects of my own nature, so that
he often seemed like my twin brother minus Dementia praecox. This is tragic.
You can guess what powers I have summoned up in myself in order to cure
him. But in spite of the suffering, I would not have wanted to miss this
experience for anything; for in the end it has given me, with the help of a
unique personality, a unique insight into the nethermost depth of Dementia
praecox. (ibid., p. 156).
Freud replies two days later,
I have a feeling that I should thank you most extraordinarily intensively - and
so I do - for the treatment of Otto Gross. The task should have fallen to me but
my egoism or perhaps I should say my self-defence rebelled against it. . .
Deeply as I empathize with Otto Gross, I cannot underestimate the importance
of the fact that you had to do his analysis. You could never have learned so
much from another case. (ibid., pp. 157f.)
I would like to advance the possibility that Jung is using the diagnosis of
Dementia praecox, i.e. schizophrenia, to distance himself from the power of his
feelings, and that this is done with Freud’s encouragement. In a letter more
professionally modulated five days later, Jung discusses Gross as a case only from
which interesting insights into the ‘term of Dementia praecox sive schizophrenia sive
paranoia that is close to my heart’ (ibid., p. 160) might be gained.
From now on, Gross becomes indeed ‘a case’ (Laska 1993ff., p. 3). In October
Jung writes to Freud, ‘His family have now accepted my diagnosis’(FJL p. 174).
Jung’s diagnosis - which he never retracted – then formed the basis for a legal battle
between Gross and his father about Otto Gross’ legal responsibility for himself and
his citizen’s rights, which his father wanted to deprive him of. This battle is to occupy
both father and son for the rest of their lives. Hans Gross dies in 1915 but for Otto
Gross this struggle continues until his own death. During the Great War he is seen fit
to be the head of several hospitals and hospital departments in Eastern Europe, but he
never again regains full citizen’s rights after 1913 when they were taken from him.
On only a few further occasions, as far as we can know from those documents
that are accessible, Jung referred to his experience with Gross or to the pain he had
caused him.
In an unpublished letter, dated 25 February 1909, Jung writes to Ernest Jones,
I believe that by openly advocating certain things one cuts off the branch on
which culture rests . . . In any case the extreme which Gross preaches is
defintely wrong and dangerous for the whole causeGross sterilizes himself,
so the danger emanating from him is going to lessen. (C.G. Jung 1909) (Note
This is a peculiar use of the term “sterilize”. Is it possible that Jung is referring
to the dire consequences of his diagnosis and might he be trying to hold Gross himself
responsible for that just as he onesidedly seems to have blamed him for the failure
of their analysis?
A year later, in June 1909, after the end of his affair with Sabina Spielrein he
writes to Freud, ‘Gross and Spielrein are bitter experiences. To none of my patients
have I extended so much friendship and from none have I reaped a similar pain’
(ibid., p. 229).
But with both, negative feelings seem to have taken the upper hand in the end.
Jung’s way of proceeding is quite similar in both the cases of Gross and Spielrein. He
explains his errors and rationalises them. For example, in the same letter he writes
about Spielrein,
She was, so to speak, my psychanalytic test case, for which reason I
remembered her with special gratitude and affection. Since I knew from
experience that she would immediately relapse if I withdrew my support, the
relationship continued for years and in the end I found myself morally obliged,
as it were, to entrust her with a large measure of my friendship, until I saw that
an unintended wheel had started turning, whereupon I finally broke with her. .
. What she is now planning is unknown to me. Nothing good, I suspect . . . I
need hardly say that I have finally made a clean break. Like Gross, she is a
case of fight-the-father, which in the devil’s name I was trying to cure
gratissime (!) with soandso many hundred-weights of patience, even abusing
our friendship for that purpose. (ibid., pp. 228f.; emphasis and exclamation
mark Jung)
Just as, without him, Gross can only ‘go towards the evening of his fate’,
Spielrein can possibly only be up to ‘nothing good’. And who was abusing which
friendship? Jung continues,
On top of that, naturally, an amiable complex had to throw quite a cudgel
between my legs [a phrase from German that has the same meaning as ‘putting
a spoke in someone’s wheels’ G.H.]. . . During the whole business Gross’
notions flitted a bit too much in my head’ (ibid.)
I cannot help wondering what Freud’s associations to the cudgel between
Jung’s legs might have been. Did he smile when he read this sentence?
Another late mention of Gross by Jung in the Freud/Jung correspondence had
been in April 1909. Again, pain and fury are mixed. Jung’s pupil Honegger has just
committed suicide, and Jung writes about him,
It is an evil thing that such people, marked by the gods, should be so rare and,
when they exist, should be the victims of madness or an early death. Gross is
an out-and-out madman, for whom Steinhof [yet another psychiatric institution
in which Gross was interned; G.H.] is a fitting sinecure. . . He tries to
parasitize wherever he can. (ibid., p. 416)
So, in the end, Jung accuses Gross of parasitism.
Resentment prevails. Jung may be regarded as reacting emotionally, somewhat
like a scorned lover - a fury that lasted for decades. As far as I know, the last time that
Jung referred to Gross was in a letter of 4 January 1936 (but dated 1935) to the
psychoanalyst Fritz Wittels who was at that time living in New York. Wittels had
written to Jung in German on 20 December 1935,
My main reason for this letter is a request. Dr. Brill here tells me that you
knew Dr. Otto Gross well who died about fourteen years ago. I would like to
know the following: Is it correct that he suffered for years from auditory
hallucinations that he did not dissimulate at all? Was he repeatedly interned in
mental institutions and did you treat him? What did his genius consist of that
so many who have known him talk about? And finally: what did he die of? It
seems that he has had pupils and that he even practiced psychoanalysis: in
coffeehouses and restaurants. (Wittels 1935)
There seems to be the probability of a mis-dating by Jung of his letter. Fritz
Wittels’ letter is dated ‘20. XII. 35’. Did Jung in early January put the date of the
previous year at the top of his reply? McGuire (1982, p. 22) quotes just a few lines
from this reply by Jung but the whole part of this letter that refers to Otto Gross has
never been published before. After a few sentences about a patient of his, Jung wrote:
Indeed, I have known Dr. Otto Gross well. I have met him 30 years ago now,
in 1906, when he was interned at the Zürich clinic for cocainism and
morphinism. One cannot really say that he actually possessed the qualities of a
genius, but rather an ingenious instability which deceived many people. He
practiced psychoanalysis in the most notorious bars. Usually the transference
affairs ended with an illegitimate child. He suffered from the most awful
mother-complex that his mother has consistently nurtured in him. He was
plagued by never-ending addictions which he preferably fed with alcaloids
(sic) that from time to time put him into a psychotic state. As I never saw
Gross again after 1906, I cannot say anything definite about his later life,
which, by the way, lasted only for a few more years. In any case, in 1906 he
did not suffer from auditory hallucinations. He was interned twice at the
Zürich Clinic where I treated him both times mainly for cocainism. He
delighted in an unlimited megalomania and always thought that he himself
was treating the doctors psychically, myself included. By then already he was
socially completely derelict. He never accomplished any systematic work in
his life with the exception of his paper on the Secondary Functions which
contains a theory on the psychophysical restitution of incitability. I have
included his main idea in my book on types. It has been taken up on occasions
in various places by psychologists for example in Holland and America. It is
undoubtedly a fortunate idea that can definitely be used as an allegorical
formula for certain reaction sequences. I have not observed any other
indications of a genius in him unless one sees wisecracking and incessant
chatter about problems as a creative symptom. He was morally and socially
totally derelict and physically run-down, too, as a consequence of the
excesses, so that he died of pneumonia already before the war, if my memory
serves me correctly. At least, so I have been told. He mainly hung out with
artists, writers, political dreamers and degenerates of any description, and in
the swamps of Ascona he celebrated miserable and cruel orgies.
I must, however, complete my very negative description after all insofar
as amid all the sick entanglement that he developed, every now and then there
would be a sort of flashes of brilliancy which is why I tried to do my best for
him during his stay at the institution, albeit without any success whatsoever.
(Jung 1936[?])(Note13)
Let us speculate, without denying it as such, about possible reasons for this
diatribe written twenty-seven years after the event and fifteen years after Gross’ actual
death. After all, other letters of Jung’s, for example written to Freud, have repaid such
speculation which can then be tested out against the historical data. Winnicott writes
about Memories, Dreams, Reflections: ‘Jung, in describing himself, gives us a picture
of childhood schizophrenia’ (Winnicott 1964, p. 450). Is it possible that in the
encounter with Gross, his ‘twin brother’, Jung came too close to his own split-oof
shadow, a psychic content of his own that he was unable to embrace and hence had to
try and ban from his life and thoughts? Did the encounter with Gross and the sudden
abandonment open for Jung an abyss of the kind I referred to in the introduction, an
event that could not be lived through consciously and hence had to be split off? These
are interesting questions which need answering.
Freud has been called a father in the Judeo-Christian tradition who kills his
own sons (Roland 1988, p.9). Is this a case of the sons killing each other? Is the end
of the relationship between Gross and Jung caused by fratricide? With Freud not
uncritically but consistently praising Gross, could it be that Jung felt Gross to be a
threat to his designated role as ‘crown prince’, i.e. favourite son? Dementia praecox
would have been an expedient weapon with which to dispose of Gross. If so, it is
possible to find in this personal tragedy archetypal traces of a theme of fratricide -
Cain and Abel, or, more aptly, Esau and Jacob? Does Jung need to split off his
experience with Gross in such a violent way that he had to take recourse to character
assassination, as revealed in the letter to Wittels?
Under ‘Misc.’ in the Bollingen Archives of the Library of Congress, there is
an eight-page document, Otto Gross - Biographische Daten (Otto Gross -
Biographical Data)(Note 14). Unfortunately it is undated and the author is unknown.
S/he writes:
Looking through Gross’ case notes at the Burghölzli, nothing can be found
that can be interpreted as schizophrenia in the sense of Bleuler’s basic
symptoms, nothing that fits the description of Dementia praecox in
Kraepelin’s sense. The same is true for the case notes from Mendrisio -
another of the psychiatric institutions Gross was interned at. (Anonymous n.d.,
p. 6).
In the last line of the document Gross is called ‘the victim of a wrong
diagnosis’ (ibid., p. 8). Also, Dr. Emanuel Hurwitz, who for years in the 70’s held
Jung’s former post as Oberarzt (Senior Consultant) at the Burghölzli, disputes Jung’s
diagnosis. Jennifer Michaels summarised the findings of his 1979 book:
Hurwitz, . . . says that Jung’s treatment of Gross was not successful and,
rather than admit defeat, Jung tried to blame Gross’ illness, not his own
treatment, for the failure. Instead of accepting the original diagnosis of a
neurosis, with which Freud also agreed, Jung said that Gross had an incurable
[Note 15] mental illness, which branded Gross for life with the stigma of
mental disease...Hurwitz finds it puzzling how Jung arrived at his diagnosis.
He suggests that the diagnosis stemmed from Jung’s revenge for hurt feelings
and from the need to justify the failure of his treatment. The diagnosis freed
Jung form all responsibility for his failure. (Michaels 1983, p.63)
Recently, Hurwitz reviewed all the available psychiatric documents concerning
Gross including diagnoses by other psychiatrists that have been newly discovered
(Berze, Stelzer 1913) – and has found no reason to revise his earlier conclusions about
Jung’s diagnosis (Hurwitz 2000). Although at the present stage of our knowledge
about psychiatric diagnosis at the Burghölzli in 1908 it is difficult to say with
certitude whether the relevant criteria were correctly applied, there does not seem to
be much evidence to support the diagnosis Jung made. To the degree that uncertainty
exists, biographical as well as medico-legal factors will remain in the explanatory
Gross’ Influence on Jung’s Life and Ideas
In this section the focus will be on three important aspects of Gross’ influence
on Jung - two acknowledged by Jung and the third, possibly the most important one,
not. These three aspects are (1) Jung’s ideas as expressed in ‘The significance of the
father in the destiny of the individual’; (2) some themes in his Psychological Types;
(3) The Psychology of the Transference .
In the final version of ‘The significance of the father . . . Gross is mentioned in
a footnote only. This was not always so. In later editions of the text Jung omitted the
reference to Gross. Yet Martin Green (1999, p. 87) actually considers this text as
having been jointly written by Jung and Gross. Is it this that Jung is referring to
when he writes about ‘all sorts of scientifically beautiful results which we aim to
formulate soon’ ? (FJL p. 153; my emphasis) In April 1911 Freud wrote to Jung,
A bit of news that you will be able to deal with equally well either en route or
later in case your post should be forwarded. Otto Gross has turned up. He has
written a reverential letter to me from Steinhof sanatorium near Vienna,
urgently requesting that I publish an enclosed paper as soon as possible. This,
most untidily scribbled in pencil, is entitled ‘In my own Cause. Concerning
the so-called Bleuler-Jung School.’ and it contains two accusations: that
Bleuler stole the term Dementia sejunctiva from him and presented it as
schizophrenia, and that your article ‘The significance of the father etc.’ was
derived from statements he made to you in the course of his analysis. Yet
nothing else. (Ibid., p. 414; Freud’s emphasis).
There are reasons to believe that Gross may indeed have been right as far as
Bleuler was concerned. At the end of his article ‘Ueber Bewusstseinszerfall’ Gross
suggests that Dementia praecox be called from now on “Dementia sejunctiva” (Gross
1904a, p. 51). In the same year, he published a separate paper, ‘Zur Nomenclatur
“Dementia sejunctiva”’ (Gross 1904b). What Gross referred to in his letter to Freud
is the fact that Dementia praecox could be translated as ‘adolescent madness’,
whereas Dementia sejunctiva could be translated as ‘split-off madness’. So Gross
might rightly claim to have introduced the concept of split-offness into the
formulation of the term. Bleuler’s term ‘schizophrenia’ is not more than the
translation of the Latin term Dementia sejunctiva into Greek. Could it not also be
possible that Gross was right as far as Jung’s paper was concerned? Enraged, Jung
responds over two weeks later with,
Gross is an out-and-out madman, for whom Steinhof is a fitting sinecure.....
Infringement of priority is out of the question, since the passage in my paper
mentioning Gross was the formula we agreed on. Furthermore he was
perfectly free to use his ideas himself and if he didn’t that’s his affair. He tries
to parasitize wherever he can. (ibid, p.416)
Now, whose ideas is Jung speaking of? And what is it that makes him so furious? In
view of Jung’s indignation it is interesting to note that a statement on the second page
of the originally published version of this paper, noting that it is based ‘not at least on
an analysis carried out conjointly with Dr. Otto Gross’ (emphasis by Jung), only
appeared when the paper was reprinted as a pamphlet in the same year, 1909, and then
again in the second edition which was published in 1927. In the third edition, revised
and expanded and published in 1949, this statement has been omitted. In the English
edition of Jung’s Collected Works, this statement survives at least in the form of a
footnote quoting the deleted passage. The German edition does not mention Gross at
all at this point. (Note 16)
I believe that in this realm of the father and the significance of his role, the
encounter with Gross influenced Jung profoundly (cf. Vitolo 1987). Both men had
their own yet different reasons for fighting the father and all he represents. Of course,
having the same enemy does not necessarily mean the existence of an alliance, still
less an influence. And Jung did not need Gross to become aware of the problems he
had with his father and father figures. But there is a need for wider debate on this
Nevertheless, it is probably reasonable to say that, in many respects, Gross’
influence radicalized Jung. It seems, for example, that both Jung and Gross
independently questioned the central role Freud ascribed to sexuality in the aetiology
of neuroses. It appears from Sabina Spielrein’s diary that it was Gross who
encouraged Jung to break his marriage vows by conducting an intimate relationship
with his patient (or, if one follows Lothane 1999, his former patient). In 1909 she
Now he [Jung] arrives beaming with pleasure, and tells me with strong
emotion about Gross, about the great insight he has just received (i.e. about
polygamy); he no longer wants to suppress his feeling for me, he has admitted
that I was his first, dearest woman friend etc. etc. (Carotenuto 1984, p. 107)
Two years earlier, Jung had written to Freud that he envied Eitingon for ’the
unrestrained abreaction of his polygamous instincts’ (FJL p. 90). He continues,
Dr Gross has told me that he quickly removes the transference by turning
people into sexual immoralists. He says the transference to the analyst and its
persistent fixation are mere monogamy symbols and as such a symptom of a
repression-symbol. The truly healthy state for the neurotic is sexual
immorality. . . It seems to me that sexual repression is a very important and
indispensible civilizing factor, even if pathogenic for many inferior people.
Still, there must always be some unwholesomeness in the world. What else is
civilization but the fruit of adversity? It seems to me that Gross, together with
the Modernists is getting too far into the teaching of the sexual short-circuit,
which is neither intelligent, nor in good taste, but mereley convenient, and
therefore anything but a civilizing factor. (ibid)
So did Jung decide after all to go along with ‘unwholesomeness in the world’ in
relation to women for whom he would have been an authority figure, whether
formally patients or not? Jung’s attitude towards what Gross called the ‘sexual
revolution’ was highly ambivalent. It seems apparent from Spielrein’s diary (see
above) that there was a time when Gross’ attitude concerning marital fidelity was
welcomed by Jung. Early in 1910 he wrote to Freud, ‘The prerequisite for a good
marriage, it seems to me, is the license to be unfaithful’ (FJL, p. 289). Yet in the letter
to Wittels of 1936 Jung takes a very different and negative attitude to the issue.
‘In 1910, or so’, Gerhard Wehr writes, ‘when Sabina Spielrein had barely left
the stage . . . , a new arrival came on the scene, the twenty-three-year-old Toni
Wolff . . . , who became Jung’s patient because of a severe depression after the
sudden death of her father in 1909, and only two years later, of course, took part in the
Weimar Congress of Psychoanalysts’ (Wehr 1988, p. 143). (In fact, Wehr may be
wrong: Barbara Hannah dates the initial consultation and the Congress as 1911
(Hannah 1976, p. 104)). Just before this congress, Jung wrote to Freud, ‘This time the
feminine element will have conspicuous representation from Zürich: Sister Moltzer,
Dr. Hinkle-Eastwick (a charming American), Frl. Dr. Spielrein (!), then a new
discovery of mine, Frl. Antonia Wolff, a remarkable intellect with an excellent feeling
for religion and philosophy - last not least, my wife’ (FJL p. 440; comments in
parentheses by Jung; ‘last not least’ English in the original). As it turned out, Jung did
not confine his attentions to Wolff’s intellect alone. ‘Reconstructing the details of the
affair between Jung and Antonia Wolff is very difficult, for Jung later burned all his
correspondence with her . . . Yet it is probable that the liaison followed on logically
from the treatment, as was often the case with Jung’s female patients, and was well
under way by 1910; certainly by the time of the Weimar Congress in September it
was widely known that Jung and Wolff were lovers of long standing’ (McLynn 1997,
p. 166). Again, McLynn’s dating contradicts Hannah’s. Moreover, it is not proven
that they were lovers by the time of the Weimar Congress. The interesting questions
for many present-day commentators seem to be whether Spielrein and Wolff were
patients or ex-patients and how frequently Jung actually did have relationships with
either. However, the main concern of this paper is Jung’s attitude to his sexuality, and
Gross’ influence on that, rather than opining about Jung’s record as a transgressing
For both Jung and Gross the fight against the father meant a fight for mother -
in both senses of the word: on her behalf as well as to have her. Elphis Christopher
(1993, p. 14) writes of the inherent irony of Jung, who thought sex less important,
succumbing ‘in a shameful, humiliating way’, while Freud, who thought sex to be all-
important, does not seem to have done likewise (with patients). For Jung, Gross seems
to have served (ambivalently, as his 1936 letter shows) as a model for his emotional
and sexual relations with women, patients, ex-patients and non-patients alike. He also
seems to have taken from Gross the ‘technique’ of prescribing lovers to some of his
patients and to make other recommendations concerning intimate relationships.
Love’s Stoy Told (Robinson 1992) describes an account of the life of the American
psychologist Henry Murray who was involved in a complex analytical and, at the very
least, highly emotionally and sexually charged triangular relationship with Christiana
Morgan and Jung (see also Douglas 1993, pp. 163 - 167). Morgan was the creator of
the paintings on which Jung based his Visions seminars.
There are similarities and dissimilarities between the break between Jung and
Gross and that between Jung and Freud. Jung’s position alters, after all, from ‘father’
(or brother who has usurped the role of father) to ‘son’ respectively. Yet the overall
dynamic of gifted son versus authoritarian father may be discerned in both situations.
Jung describes in his memoirs (1963, pp. 181f.) the decisive moment when Freud’s
authority is altogether lost to him, the moment that foreshadowed the end of their
relationship. Just over a year after Jung’s encounter with Gross and their experience
of a mutual analysis, Freud – contrary to what had been agreed - refuses to participate
fully in just such a mutual analysis (against what had been agreed) with Jung whilst
on their way to America. Jung’s father complex, especially in his later life, has been
cited as an important aspect of his anti-semitism as well as of his spirituality, as
demonstrated in his Answer to Job (Jung 1952; cf. Slochower 1981).
Gross’ influence on Jung’s concept of Psychological Types, first published in
1920, is duly acknowledged. For Jung, Gross’ early work is one of the critical sources
on which he bases his categorization of the introverted and extraverted types. Gross
had first formulated these ideas some twenty years earlier in his book, Die cerebrale
Sekundärfunction (The Cerebral Secondary Function. Gross, 1902b) (Note17). Gross
used this term after 1902 for a cerebral function which he first described in his paper,
Zur Frage der socialen Hemmungsvorstellungen (On the Question of Mental
Representations of Social Inhibition. Gross 1901) in the previous year. Here, Gross
describes creative thought processes as chains of associations, fanning out via our
nerve fibres. He argues that thoughts do not follow pathways predetermined by
previous experience. Thus there is an ‘unlimited variety’, an ‘infinity’ of psychic
facts. The chain of associations is a question of choice based on affects. Yet there is
an internal mechanism preventing associations going in random directions, thus
preserving a sense of meaning. Gross calls this the Nach-Funktion’ (post-function),
and, later, the Sekundärfunction’ In 1902 he specifies, ‘I call the action of a nervous
element . . . which means the appearance of an idea in consciousness, the Primary
Function and the action following it the Secondary Function’ (Gross 1902b, pp. 10,
emphasis O.G.). Gross continues by hypothesizing about this concept on a cellular
level. He assumes that the metabolism may have an effect on intensity and duration of
the Secondary Function. He thus links psychology with physiology and observes that
changes in the intensity of the Secondary Function create
well defined and typical changes in consciousness. The intensification of the
Secondary Function corresponds to a narrowing and eventually a deepening of
consciousness and a weakening of the Secondary Function corresponds to a
shallowing and eventually broadening of consciousness’. (ibid., p. 18,
emphasis O.G.)
This is one of the first formulations of what was eventually to become in Jung’s
development of the concept of two basic psychological types, the differentiation
between introvert and extravert.
Gross defines the two types as follows: ‘We have seen that . . . (the two basic
types) can be traced back to the shallow-broadened and the narrowed-deepened
consciousness, and this in turn to a habitual decrease or increase of the Secondary
Function’ (ibid., p. 58, emphasis O.G.). McGuire’s portrayal of ‘Gross’ hypothesis of
two psychological types representing the primary and secondary function, in his Die
zerebrale (sic) Sekundärfunktion (sic)’ (FJL p. 85, n. 5) is clearly incorrect.
For the shallow-broadened consciousness we have found: prompt grasp and
quick, instantaneous utilization of external impressions, presence of mind,
cleverness and courage; defective capacity to create larger and complex
conceptualizations, particularly in an ethical and social respect, incapacity for
a deepening; strong, volatile affects, a levelling of ideas that have an
emotional emphasis; affective lack of discrimination. For the narrow-deepened
consciousness we have found: Impeded grasp of and dealing with external
stimuli, particularly when they are accumulated and disparate, embarrassment,
impractical nature; dissolution of the intellectual personality into single, large
conceptualizations that are within themselves tightly coherent, extensive and
profoundly deepened, yet between them are inadequately linked associatively;
long-lasting affects, tendency of over-valuing ideas with an emotional
emphasis; affective lack of discrimination. (ibid., p. 59, emphasis O.G.)
In an authoritative paper. Otto Gross und die deutsche Psychiatrie (O.G. and
German Psychiatry), psychiatrist and Lacanian analyst Michael Turnheim comments,
With an utterly simple terminology (changes between two functions; contrast
between diffuse and circumscript as well as acute and chronic disturbances)
Gross tries to explain the nosological units of contemporary psychiatry more
or less in its entirety... By making the potential links between ideas (i.e. in the
last analysis linguistic elements) the pivotal point of his explanation, Gross
arrives at a conception of psychopathology that partly anticipates later
attempts of applied linguistics. (Turnheim 1993, pp. 79f.)
The third and final area of influence I intend to focus on here is to be found in
Jung’s theory of the Psychology of the Transference. One of the most important issues
in the history of psychoanalytic ideas is the gradual development of, at first, the
concept of transference and, later, that of countertransference. These concepts are
attempts to come to terms with and understand what happens between the two people
who form the analytic couple, and they are, as Jung wrote, ‘the alpha and omega of
psychoanalysis’ (CWl6, para. 276).
As has been well documented, transference initially was seen as a hindrance,
later as a most valuable tool. A similar process evolved in the discovery of the
countertransference. This led to developments such as Langs’ communication theory
approach in which everything that happens in the analytic session, regardless of
whether it originates from analysand or analyst, can be understood as symbolic
communication and the analysis then seen as an interactive field (Stein 1995; Aron
1996). From this perspective the term ‘countertransference’ appears to lose its precise
meaning since both participants enter the analysis with transferences and respond to
those of the other with countertransferences. Freudian analysts use the term
‘intersubjectivity’ to describe this mode of perceiving the analytic process; ‘relational
psychoanalysis’ is another term (cf. Heuer 1996).
The earliest formulation of this overall perspective to date, however, was
developed by Jung between 1929 and 1946. He describes the analytic process as
dialectical, as his diagram attempts to show (CWI6, para. 422):
Adept Soror
Anima Animus
Although the text in which this diagram appears, The Psychology of the
Transference (CW 16, 1946), does not include the term ‘countertransference’, it is
clearly present in Jung’s mind. What Jung expressed in his diagram is possibly his
most important contribution to clinical work. He arrived at the idea through the study
of alchemical texts, begun in the 1920’s.
My contention is that something else helped Jung arrive at such far-reaching
discoveries. For him ‘every psychological theory (is) in the first instance ... subjective
confession’ (CW1O, para. 1025), following Nietzsche’s ‘Man can stretch himself as
he may with his knowledge . . . ; in the last analysis, he gives nothing but his own
biography’ (1906, I, No. 513; III.,No. 369). What might the subjective confession be
in relation to The Psychology of the Transference?
Twenty years before he started his study of alchemical texts Jung experienced
a mutual analysis with Otto Gross. How deeply this affected him was apparent from
the letters he wrote to Freud at the time and it was illustrated by Jung’s language: ‘in
Gross I discovered many aspects of my own nature, so that he often seemed like a
twin brother’ (FJL p. 156). Do not these words resemble those he would use later to
unravel the clinical implications of the alchemical treatises in which the experience of
relationship between alchemist and his or her ‘other’ (adept, soror) is described?
In an individual analysis, important issues may first emerge from the
unconscious in the form of enactments, before being consciously grasped and
integrated. The mutual analysis between Jung and Gross may well have been such a
seminal enactment, an acting out leading, in time, to Jung’s differentiated and
integrated conceptual understanding of the transference-countertransference
interaction as a dialectical procedure in which both partners are engaged as equals.
Thus, within the development of theory about the essence of the analytic relationship,
there are lines that unmistakeably spring on from Gross’ mutual analysis with Jung.
These lines, linked, in Gross’ case, to the anarchist concept of mutual aid (Kropotkin
1902)(Note 18), lead via Ferenczi to what is now called intersubjectivity by some
psychoanalysts (Dunn 1995).
There are several more concepts in Jung’s works that can be linked to ideas
formulated earlier by Gross, among them synchronicity, the persona, the innate
morality of the unconscious, the androgyne and others. These I shall detail in further
The Future of Gross Studies
In the past few years, research into the development of analytic theory and
into the personal and ideological entanglements of the pioneers who
struggled with creating the new science, has led to the discovery that at the
time when I started my research two of the four known children of Otto
Gross were still alive and living in Germany. They were Camilla Ullmann
who died in May 2000 and Sophie Templer-Kuh who lives in Berlin. What
makes this discovery a particularly important one is the fact that, for the
researcher, the historical past of the early decades of this century becomes a
living presence, something to balance, but not replace, the study of
documents. Sophie Templer-Kuh has two children, Anita and Anthony
Templer, who live in Hawaii and the Bay Area of San Francisco
respectively. I have conducted extensive interviews with all the living
descendants of Otto Gross.
The introduction to Anthony Templer has had several results. Together with
Raimund Dehmlow of Hannover, Germany, we founded the Otto Gross
Society in the spring of 1998. All of Otto Gross’ descendants and all the
European and American scholars mentioned in this paper have now become
members. The Otto Gross Archive has been established in London. This
already contains the largest collection of original documents, texts, films,
audio tapes and internet documents relating to Otto Gross in German,
English, French, Italian, as well as Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian,
Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Mr.
Templer and I have begun to publish the first complete edition of The
Collected Works of Otto Gross on the Internet, with myself in the role of
editor. The texts are to be presented in the original German, preceded by a
content summary and brief commentary in English and translations in
English wherever available ( ). The ‘Golem’ has
‘popped up’ on the Internet!
Two collections of the earlier and later works of Gross have recently been
published albeit without the emphases that are an integral part of Gross’
style of writing - (Gross 2000a, 2000b), so that at present there are more of
his works available in print than at any time before.
With Raimund Dehmlow I have compiled a Complete Bibliography of Otto
Gross: Primary and Secondary Literature (Dehmlow & Heuer 1999), which
lists all of Gross’ works, presents all known photographs of him and lists
well over 800 titles relating to Gross. This was published in time for the First
International Otto Gross Congress which took place at the Bauhaus-Archiv
in Berlin in May 1999. Raimund Dehmlow and I have published the
proceedings in bookform (Dehmlow, Heuer 2000). In June 2000 the
International Otto Gross Society together with the Erich-Mühsam-
Gesellschaft co-hosted an international conference in Malente, Schleswig-
Holstein, northern Germany, under the title, “Anarchism and Psychoanalysis
at the Start of the 20th Century. The Group around Erich Mühsam and Otto
Gross” (Note 19). And in October 2000 the 2nd International Otto Gross was
held at the Burghölzli Clinic, Zürich (Heuer 2000c). These gatherings
attracted participants from ten European countries, five US States and Japan.
Preparations for the 3rd International Otto Gross Congress in Munich from
15 – 17 March 2002 – the 125th anniversary of Gross’ birth – are under way.
I am most grateful to Sonu Shamdasani, Ph.D., and to Dr. Emanuel Hurwitz for
carefully reading this paper and for their invaluable comments and suggestions.
I am extremely grateful to Professor Martin Green, Cambridge,
Massachussetts, for having shared with me his biography of Otto Gross (Green 1999)
when it was still in the manuscript stage.
I would like to thank both my wife Agnes Birgit Heuer and my friend Jan-
Floris van der Wateren for their support of my work. Many thanks also to my belle
soeur Laurence Heuer for her efforts on my behalf in the ‘Kafkaesque’ libraries of
(1) ‘Otto Gross. Psycho-Analyst/-Anarchist. The Influence of the Life and Ideas of
Otto Gross on the Life and Ideas of C. G. Jung. Anarchy, Psychoanalysis and Turn-of
the-Century German Culture. Ph.D. thesis in preparation, Centre for Psychoanalytic
Studies, University of Essex.
(2) Translations from publications given in German are all mine.
(3) Quotations from the Freud/Jung Letters have been modified after careful
comparison of the translation by Ralph Manheim and R.F.C. Hull with the original
(4) I am grateful to Hermann Müller of the Deutsches Monte Verità Archiv,
Knittlingen, Germany, for drawing my attention to this text.
(5) Karl Abraham’s review of Otto Gross’ text has not been included in any edition of
his works and I am grateful to Raimund Dehmlow, Hannover, Germany, for bringing
it to my attention.
(6) In telling the story of Gross’ known life, Hurwitz’ (1979) and Green’s (1974,
1986, 1999) works have been most valuable.
(7) Jewish German anarchist and writer (1878 1934). In 1907 he wrote an
enthusiastic letter to Freud (in Hirte 2000b, pp. 12 14), thanking him for “the
recovery from a severe hysteria, brought about by your disciple, Dr. Otto Gross of
Graz, applying your method” (ibid., p. 12). For the relationship of Gross and Mühsam
see Heuer 1999b and Hirte 2000a. Erich Mühsam was murdered by the Gestapo in
Oranienburg Concentration Camp.
(8) From 1904 to1905 Kafka had read law for three terms 16 hours per week!
(Haymans 1982, p. 50) - with Hans Gross who was then teaching in Prague. Many of
Kafka’s portrayals of an authoritarian, patriarchal law in his writings are said to derive
from this experience (cf. Anz 1984).
(9) Gross name was hardly mentioned again in psychoanalytic publications. A rare
exception is Paul Federn’s 1938 paper where he writes, ‘Otto Gross brought forward
the brilliant hypothesis of the secondary function’ (Federn 1938, p. 174). Martin
Stanton’s 1992 paper is a further exception (Stanton 1992). After Federn’s paper,
which was published in The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis it took just over
50 years before Gross’ name was mentioned in that journal again (cf. Heuer 1999).
(10) Reich 1961; first published in 1942, revised version of Reich 1927.
(11) Letter from Ferenczi to Freud, in Falzeder, Brabant 1996, p. 261. “‘Golem” is a
creature, but more especially a human being that is created in some magic way
through some magic act, usually using the names of God. It serves its master. There is
a legend where Adam was called “Golem”, meaning body and soul. There are various
Golems throughout Jewish history but the most famous and popular legend is
connected with Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague. This Golem was created in the second
half of the 18th century. The trouble was that instead of helping its creator it began to
get out of hand and made everybody’s life impossible. So it had to be disposed of.’
(Rabbi David Freeman 1998).
(12) I am very grateful to Dr. Sonu Shamdasani for drawing my attention to this letter.
In the German original the passage reads: Ich glaube, dass man mit der offenen
Verkündigung gewisser Dinge den Ast absägt, auf dem die Cultur sitzt; . . . jedenfalls
ist das Extrem, das Gross verkündet, ganz entschieden falsch und derganzen (sic)
Richtung gefährlich Gross sterilisiert sich, daher wird sich seine Gefährlichkeit
(13) I am very grateful to the Jung Erbengemeinschaft and to the Jung
Copyrightholders for allowing me to quote from this letter for the first time in full all
those paragraphs that relate to Gross. This is the original text:
Ich habe in der Tat Dr. Otto Gross gut gekannt, und zwar habe ich ihn
kennengelernt vor nunmehr 30 Jahren, 1906, als er in der Zürcher Klinik
wegen Kokainismus und Morphinismus interniert war. Von eigentlicher
Genialität kann man nicht reden, sondern eher von einer genialischen
Instabilität, welche viele Menschen blendete. Er hat Psychoanalyse getrieben
in den verruchtesten Kneipen. Gewöhnlich endeten die
Übertragungsgeschichten mit einem unehelichen Kinde. Er litt an einem
grauenhaften Mutterkomplex, welchen die Mutter ihm auch konsequent
anerzogen hat. Er war von unendlichen Süchten geplagt, und fütterte diese
vorzugsweise mit Alcaloiden (sic), welche ihn zeitweise in einen sozusagen
psychotischen Zustand versetzten. Da ich Gross nach 1906 nie mehr sah, kann
ich über sein späteres Leben , das übrigens nur noch wenige Jahre dauerte,
nichts Bestimmtes sagen. Jedenfalls hat er 1906 nicht an
Gehörshalluzinationen gelitten. Er war in der Zürcher Klinik zwei Mal
interniert, wo ich ihn beide Male hauptsächlich wegen Kokainismus behandelt
habe. Er erfreute sich eines eines unbeschränkten Grössenwahns und war
immer der Ansicht, dass er die Aerzte inklusive meiner selbst psychisch
behandle. Er war schon damals sozial vollkommen verlottert. Er hat überhaupt
nie irgendwelche systematische Arbeit geleistet, mit Ausnahme seiner Schrift
über die Sekundärfunktionen, welche eine Theorie über die psychophysische
Restitution der Reizfähigkeit enthält. Ich habe seine wesentliche Idee auch in
mein Typenbuch aufgenommen. Sie ist an verschiedenen Orten, z.B. in
Holland und Amerika gelegentlich von Psychologen wieder aufgenommen
worden. Sie ist unzweifelhaft ein glücklicher Gedanke, der als allegorische
Formel für gewisse Reaktionsabläufe entschieden verwendungsfähig ist.
Sonstige Zeichen Genialität habe ich keine beobachtet, wenn man nicht
Gescheitschwätzerei und die Problemwälzerei als schöpferische Symptome
ansieht. Er war sittlich und sozial völlig verlumpt und auch physisch infolge
von Excessen dermassen heruntergekommen, dass er, wenn ich mich recht
erinnere, noch vor dem Kriege einer Pneumonie erlag. So wenigstens bin ich
berichtet (sic) worden. Er hat sich hauptsächlich mit Künstlern, Litteraten (sic)
politischen Schwärmgeistern und Degeneraten jeglicher Beschreibung
herumgetrieben und im Sumpfe von Ascona ärmlich-grausame Orgien
Ich muss meine sehr negative Schilderung aber doch noch dahin
ergänzen, dass in all dem ungesunden Wust, den er entwickelte, gelegentlich
etwas wie Geistesblitze aufleuchteten, um derentwillen ich mich bei seinem
Anstaltsaufenthalt um ihn bemüht habe, allerdings ohne den geringsten Erfolg.
Mit vorzüglicher Hochachtung, Ihr ergebener C.G. Jung.
(14) I am very grateful to Deirde Bair, Easton, Connecticut, who is currently working
on a detailed biography of C.G. Jung, for providing me with a copy of this document.
(15) Jung uses the term ‘eine im Prinzip unheilbare Geisteskrankheit’(a mental illness,
incurable in principle) in a letter to Hans Gross of 6 June 1908 a copy of which was
recently discovered by Dr. Berhard Küchenhoff in the Burghölzli Archive (cf.
Küchenhoff 2000).
(16) Jung’s reference on the same page to Robert Sommer and his book
Familienforschung und Vererbungslehre (Family Research and the Doctrine of
Heredity; Sommer 1907), later highly valued by the Nazis for its racism (cf. Samuels
et a. 1993), has been left unchanged throughout all editions. In 1907 Hans Gross
wrote a highly positive review of Sommer’s book (H.Gross 1907).
(17) The copy in the Library of the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London, carries
Ernest Jones’ signature on the fly-leaf and the date ‘9/07’, the year before he met
Gross, according to his memoirs. Yet in an earlier paper, Jones gives different dates.
There he writes, ‘My first meeting with another analyst was with the gifted but erratic
Otto Gross in Munich in 1906, and in September, 1907 I met Jung at the International
Neurological Congress in Amsterdam’ (Jones 1945, p. 9).
(18) Nicolaus Sombart writes that Gross personally knew Kropotkin (Sombart 1991,
p. 110). In his paper “Protest und Moral im Unbewußten”, Gross speaks of ‘the inborn
‘instinct of mutual help’. . . already known from P. Krapotkin’s (sic) discoveries’
(Gross 1919b, p. 682).
(19) The proceedings of this joint conference have been published in bookform
(Erich-Mühsam-Gesellschaft 2000) and are available from Erich-Mühsam-
Gesellschaft, c/o Jürgen-Wolfgang Goette, Arnimstr. 70, D-23566 Lübeck. Fax: 0049-
451-610 2050.
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... Il nome di Gross fece la sua comparsa nella corrispondenza che Jung teneva con Freud il 28 giugno 1907, in una lettera nella quale lo psichiatra svizzero lo descriveva come uno psicopatico, seppur dotato di una mente molto brillante. Circa il pensiero psicoanalitico di Gross, che era stato allievo di Emil Kraepelin a Monaco, è importante ricordare che egli concepiva la psicoanalisi freudiana come un utile strumento sia per la terapia dell'individuo sofferente sia per l'attuazione di una rivoluzione sessuale -pour épater la bourgeoisie -su scala collettiva [11]; attribuiva però scarso valore alla sessualità come elemento eziopatogenetico nelle affezioni mentali, vedendo invece la psicopatologia strettamente connessa alla qualità del contesto sociale e alla frustrazione della fisiologica "volontà di relazione" propria di ogni individuo [11]. Tuttavia, Gross Sembra che tale scetticismo sul ruolo svolto dalla sessualità all'interno delle relazioni umane e delle nevrosi fu presente in Jung fin dall'inizio del rapporto col padre della psicoanalisi; uno degli elementi che portarono alla rottura con Freud quando «Ciò che all'origine era stata una necessità personale di negare l'importanza della sessualità, era divenuto un problema tecnico» ( [8], p. 27). ...
... Il nome di Gross fece la sua comparsa nella corrispondenza che Jung teneva con Freud il 28 giugno 1907, in una lettera nella quale lo psichiatra svizzero lo descriveva come uno psicopatico, seppur dotato di una mente molto brillante. Circa il pensiero psicoanalitico di Gross, che era stato allievo di Emil Kraepelin a Monaco, è importante ricordare che egli concepiva la psicoanalisi freudiana come un utile strumento sia per la terapia dell'individuo sofferente sia per l'attuazione di una rivoluzione sessuale -pour épater la bourgeoisie -su scala collettiva [11]; attribuiva però scarso valore alla sessualità come elemento eziopatogenetico nelle affezioni mentali, vedendo invece la psicopatologia strettamente connessa alla qualità del contesto sociale e alla frustrazione della fisiologica "volontà di relazione" propria di ogni individuo [11]. Tuttavia, Gross Sembra che tale scetticismo sul ruolo svolto dalla sessualità all'interno delle relazioni umane e delle nevrosi fu presente in Jung fin dall'inizio del rapporto col padre della psicoanalisi; uno degli elementi che portarono alla rottura con Freud quando «Ciò che all'origine era stata una necessità personale di negare l'importanza della sessualità, era divenuto un problema tecnico» ( [8], p. 27). ...
This article has a double aim: (A) rediscover the theoretical and clinical contributions that the Swiss psychiatrist and analytical psychologist Carl Gustav Jung gave to the psychiatry and psychodynamic psychotherapy, and (B) show how those contributes have been related to his personal life’s experiences.
... Existe un cierto halo de misterio en torno a la controversial figura de Otto Gross. Su nombre orbita la historia del psicoanálisis, presentándose a menudo como un autor marginal y disidente cuya influencia se hizo patente especialmente en ámbitos paralelos a la reflexión y la práctica clínicas (teoría política, sociología, literatura, etc.) (Heuer, 2001). Las ideas de Gross en torno a la necesidad de acabar con el sistema de autoridad patriarcal que primaba en Europa a comienzos del siglo XX, su crítica al valor de la represión sexual y sus postulados anarquistas, entre otros elementos de su pensamiento, le valieron una serie de conflictos con sus pares, tanto dentro como fuera del círculo más cercano a Freud. ...
... propia) Gross fue quien por primera vez introdujo el psicoanálisis en el ámbito universitario hacia 1902, mientras desempeñaba labores académicas en Graz, Austria (Heuer, 2012). Sin embargo, su nombre fue literalmente borrado de la historia del movimiento psicoanalítico (Heuer, 2001(Heuer, , 2012, probablemente debido a los motivos que ya hemos comentado. En este sentido, el lugar de Otto Gross en la historia del psicoanálisis podría compararse con el de otros notables disidentes que cuestionaron la autoridad de Sigmund Freud, como fue el caso de Wilhelm Reich. ...
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En este breve ensayo llevaremos a cabo un análisis reflexivo del film “Un Método Peligroso” del director canadiense David Cronenberg a la luz de la teoría analítica de Carl Gustav Jung. La película ilustra ciertos pasajes de la vida del psiquiatra suizo, reparando especialmente en los pormenores de la relación que sostuvo con su paciente y amante Sabina Spielrein, así como con el creador del psicoanálisis Sigmund Freud. Sin embargo, en nuestro trabajo abordaremos la figura de un personaje que, si bien ocupa un lugar aparentemente secundario en la trama de la película, consideramos de gran importancia a la hora de reflexionar en torno al proceso de individuación de Jung.
... La reciente investigación de Gottfried Heuer (2001Heuer ( , 2017 ha sacado a la luz la importancia del psicoanalista austríaco Otto Gross también para la génesis del análisis mutuo. De hecho, Gross había tomado prestado este enfoque dialéctico del concepto de mutualismo del filósofo igualitario francés Pierre-Joseph Proudhon y del libro Mutual Aid del anarquista ruso Pjotr Kropotkin (Heuer 2017, p. 59). ...
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Este artículo muestra que Georg Groddeck y Carl Gustav Jung compartían un trasfondo cultural común, en el cual la teoría de la psique de Carl Gustav Carus era preeminente. De acuerdo a ello, ambos enfatizaron la simbolización y la creatividad inconsciente. Estos aspectos incidieron en su trabajo clínico, orientando a terapias pioneras: Jung con esquizofrénicos, Groddeck en el tratamiento de las enfermedades orgánicas. Ellos superaron los límites del psicoanálisis de su tiempo y, fuero más allá de la neurosis, descubriendo el período Preedípico y el papel fundamental de la relación madre-hijo. Mientras que la técnica de Freud se basaba en un paradigma de una persona, tanto Jung como Groddeck consideraron la terapia analítica como un proceso dialéctico, marcando el comienzo de un paradigma de dos personas. Por lo tanto, ellos no usaron el sofá; un encuadre que se evalúa a la luz de las recientes investigaciones sobre las neuronas espejo. También se destaca que los grupos analíticos influenciados por Groddeck y Jung han desarrollado ideas similares tanto en la teoría como en la técnica; un hecho que puede inducir más estudios sobre la historia de la psicología profunda.
... 179 and 181) put together Ferenczi, Groddeck, and Jung like those innovators who developed 'alternatives to strictly Freudian models of therapy and technique' up to risk mutuality.3 Gottfried Heuer's (2001Heuer's ( , 2017) recent research has brought to light the importance of the Austrian psychoanalyst Otto Gross also for the genesis of mutual analysis. In fact, Gross had borrowed this dialectical approach from the concept of mutualism of French egalitarian philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and from the book Mutual Aid by Russian anarchist Pjotr Kropotkin (Heuer 2017, p. 59). ...
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This paper shows that Georg Groddeck and Carl Gustav Jung shared a common cultural background, in which Carl Gustav Carus’s theory of the psyche was preeminent. Accordingly, they emphasized symbolization and unconscious creativity.These aspects affected their clinical work, aimed at pioneering therapies: Jung with schizophrenics, Groddeck treating physical diseases. They overcame the limits of the psychoanalysis of their time and, going beyond neurosis, discovered the pre-Oedipal period and the fundamental role of mother-child relationship. While Freud’s technique was based on a one-person paradigm, both Jung and Groddeck considered analytic therapy as a dialectical process, ushering in a two-person paradigm. Therefore, they did not use the couch; a setting that is assessed in the light of recent research on mirror neurons. It is also highlighted that the analytic groups influenced by Groddeck and Jung have developed similar ideas in both theory and technique; a fact that may induce further studies on the history of depth psychology.
... This represents not so much a tradition as a method which is radical. Mutual analysis, that is, an analysis in which the roles of the analyst and analysand are interchanged, was practised by Carl Jung and Otto Gross (with each other) (Heuer, 2001), Sandor Ferenczi with Elizabeth Severn and Clara Thompson (Kahn, 1996) and by Trigant Burrows with some patients (see Burrows, 1926), an experiment which, for Burrows, led to conducting group therapy that had a distinct sociological influence. The radicalism of mutual analysis was -and is -its challenge to the inherent power dynamic between the trained therapist and the lay patient, a challenge which, some 30 years later, found expression in re-evaluation counselling and co-counselling (Jackins, 1973;Heron, 1974;Kauffman & New, 2004). ...
... It is however necessary now to mention the influence that Otto Gross had on Jung during the (almost mutual) analysis of the former on the latter; they were the only psychoanalysts that, in Freud's opinion, were really original thinkers (Jones, 1953). The name of Gross appeared in Jung's correspondence with Freud on June 28th, 1907, in a letter in which the Swiss analyst described him as a psychopathic, despite being gifted with a very brilliant mind. 2 Regarding the psychoanalytic thinking of Gross, who had been a pupil of Emil Kraepelin in Munich, it is important to remember that he saw Freudian psychoanalysis as a helpful tool both for the therapy of a suffering individual and for the establishment of a sexual revolution -pour épater la bourgeoisie -on a collective level (Heuer, 2001); however, he attributed little value to sexuality as a aetiopathogenetic element in mental illnesses, envisaging psychoanalysis as closely linked to the quality of the social context and to the frustration of the "relational will" of each individual (ibid.). However, as mentioned earlier, Gross suffered from psychic disorders and had been addicted to cocaine and opiates for a long time; for this reason, in the early months of 1908, his father Hans Gross (a famous Austrian jurist and magistrate, professor of criminology in Prague and Graz, the father of modern criminal psychology) got in touch with Freud, asking for help. ...
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The aim of this paper is to contextualize and analyze historically the birth and early development of the concept of countertransference, introduce by Freud in 1909. In order to do so, will be considered scientific publications, the epistolary and the historical information about the personal relationship between Freud and his students, and among them and some of their patients.
Despite a number of recent developments in broadening of the discipline, the field of Fashion Studies at large to date has been largely predominated by a pair of prevailing paradigms. One of them is to address fashion as a monolithic phenomenon internally undifferentiated by diversity of creators, variety of production and distribution methods, and the evolving aesthetic tendencies. The other is to deny individual seasonal collections presented both in course, and outside the realms of, the international fashion week circuit, the agency to express complex concepts and sophisticated cultural critique through the encompassing medium of a fashion show or presentation in a manner such agency is readily granted to art exhibitions, dance and music performance, or literature. This article departs from both of the former tendencies by specifically addressing a unique seasonal fashion collection and the philosophical and critical questions developed within it. It will analyze the Spring/Summer 2018 Collection by Rodarte, presented as part of the Paris Haute Couture week on July 2, 2017, in the context of Georges Bataille’s thesis of the imperative of complimentary dialectic between homogeneity and heterogeneity. Developing this subject, the following text will also approach the broader interrelated issues of eco fetishism and paradoxically co-existing socio-cultural discourses of valorization and denigration of femininity as they were addressed in the collection and its presentation.
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The aim of this paper is to historically contextualize and analyze the birth and early development of the concept of countertransference, introduced by Sigmund Freud in 1909. In order to do so, scientific publications will be considered, as well as the epistolary and the historical information about the personal relationship between Freud and his students, and among his students and some of their colleagues and patients.
Searching out the private man as well as the public figure, this biography follows Henry Murray through his discoveries and triumphs as a pioneer in the field of clinical psychology, as a co-founder of Harvard's Psychological Clinic, the co-inventor of the Thematic Apperception Test, and a biographer of Herman Melville. Murray's fascination with Melville's troubled genius, his wartime experiences in the OSS and his close friendships with Lewis Mumford and Conrad Aiken are employed in this reconstruction of a life. And always, at the heart of this story, Robinson finds Murray's highly erotic and mystical relationship with Christiana Morgan. "Love's Story Told" examines this figure in American intellectual life at mid-century.
Review of book: Ernst Falzeder and Eva Brabant (Eds.; Peter T. Hoffer, Trans.) The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2000, 473 pp. Reviewed by Paul Roazen. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
New Literary History 27.1 (1996) 73-82 The scope and vicissitudes of human sociability and our need for recognition are themes very close to my heart. However, Tzvetan Todorov's paper "Living Alone Together" provokes so many trains of thought along these lines that I am almost at a loss to know where to begin. Psychoanalysis, both past and present, is so rich with corroborating testimony and parallel formulations one could invoke in light of Todorov's ideas that in order to furnish some cogent commentary, one has to be extremely selective. Accordingly, I will focus on only some of the analytic theorists whose work anticipates or supplements his before coming to some of my own criticisms. The concept of sociability in Freud is a confused and confusing one. In the opening passages of Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Freud noted that in any individual's mental life others are always involved, whether as models, helpers, or adversaries of various kinds, implying that the fabric of fantasy, and the most intimate interstices of our psyche, are in some sense already social. Furthermore, his characterization of the superego as an internalization of early "object relationships" suggests that conscience, in its core, is a social phenomenon as well. Nevertheless, the bulk of Freud's work describes the psyche structurally as a (more or less) monadic system of interlocking systems (for example, the id, ego, and superego), or dynamically, as an ensemble of reciprocally inhibiting or facilitating energic impulsions, or drives, that strive for periodic relief from surplus tension -- the so-called "economics of the libido." In these structural and dynamic models of the mind, sociability is not a primary datum, but a derivative phenomenon, based on the secondary transformation of libidinal drives, for example, sublimation, which is rooted, in turn, in the exigencies of drive satis-faction as the organism struggles to adapt to its surrounding. Despite its somewhat secondary nature, however, this derivative sociability acquires great significance, because the sexual and self-preservative instincts -- which originally constellated all instinctual conflicts, but later comprise Eros in its various manifestations -- operate, presumably, as a constant brake upon and antidote to the destructive promptings of the death instinct. In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud echoes Hobbes, and grimly intones "Homo homini lupus. Who, in the face of human history and experience, has the courage to dispute this assertion?" In view of the preceding then, it is not surprising that Freud's earlier remarks on sociability and the ineluctably social character of fantasy got lost sight of by the majority of his followers. At the end of the day, reading him backwards, so to speak, one gets the distinct impression that for Freud, at any rate, the instinctual endowment of human beings is so strongly loaded in an antisocial direction that sociability, instead of being primary or basic, is an artifact of culture and civilization. Were it not for the urgent demands of the drives, and the constraints imposed by society on their expression, Freud implied, humans would be essentially a-social, that is, lacking interest in other people altogether. The Freudian view did not go unchallenged in the analytic world, however. It was first criticized by Left-wing theorists like Otto Gross, a communitarian anarchist, Wilhelm Reich, an erstwhile Communist, and Erich Fromm, a life-long socialist, all of whom, significantly, were expelled from Freud's circle and/or the International Psychoanalytic Association in due course. (Gross was purged in 1909, Reich in 1933, and Fromm in 1947.) Though they differed in their political agendas, Gross, Reich, and Fromm were in broad agreement that human beings are prosocial beings, first and foremost, and that the sadistic, predatory, and perverse "instincts" Freud attributed to humanity were deformations of human character brought on by faulty or excessive socialization. They were also severe critics of patriarchy, and of Freud's patriarchal worldview, and embraced selectively modified versions of the matriarchal theories of J. J. Bachofen, Lewis Henry Morgan, Friedrich Engels, and Robert Briffault. Significantly, one of the merits of Todorov's work is that it frames the issue of human sociability both beyond and outside the traditional...