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Memories, Dreams and Reflections - School Years - C.G.Jung

My eleventh year was significant for me in another way, as I was sent to the Gymnasium in Basel. Thus I was taken away from my rustic playmates, and truly entered the "great world," where powerful personages, far more powerful than my father, lived in big splendid houses,drove about in expensive carriages drawn by magnificent horses,and talked a refined German and French.My eleventh year was significant for me in another way, as I was sent to the Gymnasium in Basel.

Thus I was taken away from my rustic playmates, and truly entered the "great world," where powerful personages, far more powerful than my father, lived in big splendid houses,drove about in expensive carriages drawn by magnificent horses,and talked a refined German and French.Their sons, well dressed, equipped with fine manners and plenty of pocket money, were now my classmates. With great astonishment and a horrible secret envy I heard them tell about their vacations in the Alps.

They had been among those glowing snowy peaks near  Zurich, had even been to the sea- this last absolutely flabbergasted me.I gazed upon them as if they were beings from another world, from that unattainable glory of flaming  snow-covered mountains and from the remote, unimaginable sea. The, for the first time, I became aware how poor were, that my father was a poor country parson and I a still poorer parson's son who had holes in his shoes and had to sit for six hours in school with wet socks.

I began to see my parents with different eyes, and to understand their cares and worries. For my father in particular I felt compassion-less, curiously enough, for my mother. She always seemed to me the stronger of the two. Nevertheless I always felt on her side my father gave vent to his moody irritability This necessity for taking sides was not exactly favorable to the formation of my character.

In order to liberate myself from these conflicts I fell into the role of the superior arbitrator who willy-nilly had to judge his partents. That caused a certasin inflatedness in me; my unstable self-assurance was increased and diminished at the same time.In order to liberate myself from these conflicts I fell into the role of the superior arbitrator who willy-nilly had to judge his partents. That caused a certasin inflatedness in me; my unstable self-assurance was increased and diminished at the same time.When I was nine years old my mother had a little girl. My father was excited and pleased.

"Tonight you've been given a little sister," he said to me, and I was utterly surprised, for I hadn't noticed anything. I had thought nothing of my mother's lying in bed more frequently than usual, for I considered her taking to her bed an inexcusable weakness in any case.My father brought me to my mother's bedside, and she held out a little creature that looked dreadfully disappointing: a red, shrunken face like an old man's, the eyes closed, and probably as blind as a young puppy, I thought. On its back the thing had a few single long red hairs which were shown to me-had it been intended for a monkey?

I was shocked and did not know what to feel. Was this how newborn babies looked? They mumbled something about the stork which was supposed to have brought the baby. But then what about a litter of puppies or kittens? How many times would the stork have to fly back and forth before the litter was complete. And what about cows? I could not imagine how the stork could manage to carry a whole calf in its bill. Besides, the farmers said the cow calved, not that the stork brought the calf. This story was obviously another of those humbugs which were always being imposed on me. I felt sure that my mother had once again done something I was supposed to know about.

This sudden appearance of my sister left me with a vague sense of distrust which sharpened my curiosity and observation. Subsequent odd reactions on the part of my mother confirmed my suspicions that something regrettable was connecte with this birth. Otherwise this event did not bother me very much, though it probably contributed to intensifying an experience I had when I was twelve.

My mother had the unpleasant habit of calling after me all sorts of good advice when I was setting out for some place to which I had been invited. On these occasions I not only wore my best clothes and polished shoes, but felt the diginity of my purpose and of my appearance in public, so that it was a humiliation for me to have people on the street hear all the ignominious things my mother called out after me, "And don't forget to give them regards from Papa and mama, and wipe your nose-do you have a handkerchief? Have you washed your hands? And so on.

It struck me as definitely unfair that the inferiority feelings which accompanied my self-importance should thus be exposed to the world when I had taken every care, out of amour-propre and vanity, tom present as irreproachable an appearance as possibleIt struck me as definitely unfair that the inferiority feelings which accompanied my self-importance should thus be exposed to the world when I had taken every care, out of amour-propre and vanity, to present as irreproachable an appearance as possible.

Reference: Memories, Dreams, Reflections: School Years: C.G. Jung 

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