In a letter to Jung dated 24 June 1960 Frau Frobe described the following vision:
Somewhere in an endless night, dimly illuminated, stood the ruins of an old cathedral . . .
High up there was a sort of wooden scaffolding beneath the ruins of the roof.
On this scaffolding I was fastened crosswise, facing downwards. . .
I knew that I was going to be pierced through the heart with a lance from behind . . ."
"I was in my bed in the clinic in Bellinzona.
Around me were the 'little nurses' . . .
One of the nurses was supposed to sleep on a pile of mattresses beside my bed.
I was afraid because the matron said she was going to Jock us in until she returned at 11 o'clock.
Then I grew frightened and the room changed into a cellar in
which my bed stood . . . .
The nurse slept beside my bed . . .
and I touched her head to assure myself that she was still there . . . .
I spent the whole night in terror of being locked in."
The letter says: "Now [a month after the operation] I do not see any more visions, but try every day to reconstruct something [from them]."
To Olga Frobe-Kapteyn
Dear Frau Frobe, 28 June 1960
With great regret I have heard that you have had to undergo an operation for cataract.
I am now greatly relieved to know that the operation has been a success.
As you know, physical events of this kind are always at the same time psychic ones, and what the doctors not unjustly consider to be post-operative shock is in reality the release of concomitant psychic phenomena that are already present.
In so far as cataract causes blindness, it represents psychologically an unconsciousness of those contents which then appear in the shock.
The more of these contents there are and the stronger they are, the more closely does the conscious perception of them approximate to a delirious state.
The medicaments in the prescription you mention do not in themselves cause delirium, but they can bring about an abaissement du niveau mental which helps to make the unconscious contents visible.
The first vision depicts what comes to consciousness in the night of blindness.
The cathedral is an expression of the collective Christianity in which you as a Christian are crucified (imitatio Christi).
This vision indicates that you, as a contemporary, whole human being, are still nailed fast in the Christian form.
The cathedral, however, is in ruins.
Consequently-one might say-you get into the cellar, i.e., from high up aloft down into a depth in which you appear to be locked up.
The presence of the nurse shows that this is the post-operative period, the time of the so-called shock, when you still cannot make out where you are locked up, or at least are afraid of being locked up .
There you feel so absolutely alone with yourself that you have anxiously to assure yourself that the nurse is still there.
This is a clear indication that the unconscious is manifesting a strong tendency to lock you up with yourself, so that you are deprived of any form of communication with the outside world.
Anyone who falls down from the roof or ceiling of the Christian cathedral falls into himself.
Think of the situation of the historical Jesus who felt himself abandoned by God on the Cross and was nothing more than himself alone!
We have believed this for so long and have asserted that sometime it must become a reality.
Now the reconstruction has begun.
We must build ourselves up again with all the means at our command (the temple that is built again on the third day).
You have to do this yourself, and I would therefore advise you to carry on with your attempts to create form and at least to build up in pictures what you can build up out of yourself.
If you do that you are wholly on the right track.
From that which you do it will be seen who you are.
In your newest attempts the very oldest things of all, the most primordial, become visible.
With best wishes,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 568-569