By Jane R. Pretat
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His dreams and visions from this time are detailed in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. At one point during his illness, Jung had a series of what today are called near-death experiences. They came at the critical peak of Jung's transition into a new way of being in the world. In fact, a change in conscious attitude is frequently preceded by such a numinous experience. This was certainly true for Jung. He moved through depression and somatic response into a late-liminal metanoia. In 1945, after his recovery, he wrote to a dying friend to console her and reflected on his own experience: Throughout my illness something has carried me.
It was mostly a matter of trial and error, discovering what worked and what didn't. The most significant of Jung's analysands proved to be Toni Wolff, who quit her own analysis with Jung at the time of his midlife crisis so that she could accompany him on his inner journey. By all accounts highly creative and intuitive, Toni had come to Jung in extreme distress. Her analytic work with Jung halted, she soon became an integral part of both the analytic group in Zürich and Jung's personal life. 50 In contrast Emma Jung appears calm, beautiful, col- 49 See The Freud/Jung Letters.
As London analyst Anthony Stevens writes: Archetypal symbols of initiation arise spontaneously in dreams at critical periods in the life-cycleat puberty, betrothal, marriage, childbirth, at divorce, separation, or death of a spouse, at the betrothal and marriage of one's children, at the approach of old age and death. . It seems that the attainment of a new stage of life demands that the initiation symbols appropriate to that stage must be experienced. " 15In Midlife: A Jungian Perspective, p.