The Jung Connection

From October, 1988, to June, 1989, I studied in Basel, Switzerland on a Rotary International scholarship. At that time, I had finished my master’s degree in statistics and was applying to graduate school to study Germanics the following year. For a time, I thought of majoring in psychology, and I had taken a few basic psychology classes in college. Yet I didn’t really know the specific theories and approaches associated with specific researchers.

In the early 1990s, I read M. Scott Peck’s book, Further Along the Road Less Traveled. I enjoyed the blend of psychology and spirituality and learned of some of Carl Jung’s theories. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I later realized my belief system was definitely Jungian.

After the 1998 breakdown / breakthrough experience, I learned a little more about Carl Jung. My experiences with synchronicity drew me to him. I even appreciated that my passion growing up was synchronized swimming. I didn’t delve into his work all that deeply, though.

I knew that Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, and at some point, I looked him up to see where he was from. I saw that he was born in Kesswil and thought that someday I should go and see where he was born.

Somehow I totally missed that he attended the University of Basel, and was later a faculty member there. The university in Basel doesn’t have a consolidated campus like universities in the United States. Several classes were held in multiple locations throughout the main part of the city. When I learned of Jung’s connection to the university, I envisioned him walking along the same streets and past the same buildings I walked past regularly while I lived there.

It was sometime in the summer of 2019 that I learned that Jung grew up near Basel. In fact, both of his parents’ families lived in Basel. Sheesh, how embarrassing. When I learned that, I chided myself with a laugh, “Geez, Penni, how could you not know that???”

In September, 2019, I was making reservations to stay in Basel a few nights during an upcoming trip to Europe. I looked on a website that listed private rooms for rent. I found one in the same general area of where I lived thirty years earlier. I made the reservation.

The following day, I received the confirmation email regarding my room. I smiled as I read the address of where I would be staying. It was one digit off from the address where I lived when I studied in Basel.

I can only guess that somewhere Carl Jung was chuckling.