Bollingen Turm (Tower)

Bollingen Turm (Tower)

The central tower or Turm of Bollingen is surprisingly short (2 stories) and quite thick. Note the small water spout in the shape of a hand, upper left. While the buildings are mostly unadorned, there are small iron and bronze figures like this, giving a whimsical appearance to the otherwise very thick and castle-like structures. Interior photos are not allowed. The ground floor consists of a small circular living area like the inside of a hut, with a rustic wood table and chairs, a cast iron range, some cabinets, and other storage areas with crockery and cast iron cookware and other miscellaneous items, built into the thick walls. The walls are covered with shelves and hooks to hang everything from keys and ropes to battered tin cannisters with flour and herbs. Mr. Hoerni said that once the other buildings were added on, this room was seldom used by the family because it was so dark. The upper floor, which can only be reached by narrow and steep curving stone steps with no railing along one of the walls, and visitors are not normally permitted to go up. The 2nd floor contains 3 rooms – 2 bedrooms for Jung, and for his children, and 1 very small study. The bedrooms contain the famous murals in very close quarters, hovering over the simple wooden beds. Over Jung’s own bed is another nearly floor-to-ceiling mural of a brilliant blue and white mandala, with a piercing white center like the diamond images in the Red Book, and outer concentric layers of knotlike and mosaic design. The main wall of the children’s room is painted with a nearly floor-to-ceiling mural of Jung’s spirit guide Philemon, along with a prayer for protection in calligraphy. It is very similar to the one in the Red Book, with some variation in the background images, and represents a complete unification of masculine and feminine principles (blue and red), as well as other symbols interpreted by Jung in the Red Book. Jung had “met” Philemon during his process of active imagination, and was devoted to him as a figure of transcendent wisdom. From the Red Book:


About pcooperwhite

Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion, Union Theological Seminary, New York NY
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