Was Carl Jung’s Ancestor an Illuminatus?
by Terry Melanson (17/2/2009)
There’s two Illuminati with the last name Jung identified in Hermann Schüttler’s Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93 (Munich: Ars Una 1991): Franz Wilhelm Jung (1757-1833) and Johann Sigmund Jung (1745-1824).
The latter, it turns out, was probably the uncle to the famed Swiss psychoanalyst’s grandfather, Carl Gustav Jung (1794-1864).
Here, from “Carl Gustav Jung, Avant-garde Conservative,” a 2008 doctoral dissertation by Jay Sherry.
Jung was descended from two well-known Basel families. His paternal grandfather and namesake Carl Gustav Jung (1794-1864) was born in Mannheim, Germany and studied medicine at the universities of Heidelberg and Berlin. He came under the influence of two leading liberal Protestant theologians Jacob Fries and Friedrich Schleiermacher. Besides a close personal relationship there was a social connection as well, Jung’s uncle Johann Sigismund von Jung was married to Schleiermacher’s younger sister. Due to Schleiermacher’s influence, Jung renounced his Roman Catholic faith and converted to Protestantism.
Even though Sherry doesn’t provide a date of birth and death, the mere fact that “Johann Sigismund von Jung” was the uncle of Carl Gustav Jung (b. 1794), narrows it down, and brings us squarely into the era of the Illuminati. A further search at Google books seems to confirm that “Johann Sigismund von Jung” was indeed the same “Johann Sigmund Jung” identified as an Illuminatus.
According to a few biographies of Carl Jung, “Johann Sigismund von Jung” was born in 1745 and died in 1824 – the same date of birth and death as the Illuminatus Johann Sigmund Jung (1745-1824) – and was a “chancellor” of Bavaria. Similarly, in Schüttler’s short bio of Illuminatus Johann Sigmund Jung we learn that in 1799 he was a member of the legislature (Regierungsrat) in Straubing, Bavaria; and from 1799 to 1802, on the governing court council (Hofgerichtsdirektor) in Memmingen, Bavaria, and a director of the Court of Appeals in Straubing. (Eighteenth-century German occupations and titles are notoriously difficult to translate; a Bavarian “Regierungsrat” or “Hofgerichtsdirektor” might very well be simplified as “Bavarian chancellor” to denote an official of high rank.)
Johann Sigmund Jung was a member of the Masonic Lodge “Maximilianische vollkommene Einigkeit zur goldenen Sonne” [Maximilien United to the Golden Sun] in Munich. His rank within the Illuminati was that of Minerval, and he had two code-names: Columella and Penelop(e). The last alias is a mystery. Penelope is a feminine noun (strange indeed), alluding to any of the following: 1) Penelope (dryad), the mother of Pan; 2) the wife of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey; or 3) Penelope of Celtic/Welsh fairy lore.
If Johann Sigmund Jung (1745-1824) and Johann Sigismund von Jung (1745-1824) are one and the same – more likely than not – there is no indication that Carl Jung was aware of the fact that one of his extended-ancestors was a member of the Illuminati. And despite this, Jung was still highly attuned to his forebears. He was aware of his grandfather being a Freemason, for instance, and that the latter’s coat of arms included Rosicrucian and Masonic symbolism. Jung had also claimed to have been a descendant of an original 17th-century Rosicrucian:
Crucially, in his autobiography Jung goes on to trace the roots of his destiny as the founder of analytical psychology beyond his grandfather. Although his train of thought is typically obscure on this point, Jung suggests he is descended from a Dr. Carl Jung of Mainz (d. 1645), whom he portrays as a follower of none other than Count Michael Maier, a ‘founder’ of Rosicrucianism. As a ‘Paracelsian’ this supposed ancestor was purportedly acquainted with Gerhard Dorn, a man whom Jung believed to have “grappled with the process of individuation” more than any other alchemist. Jung goes on to comment suggestively that “all this is not without certain interest” in light of his own concern with alchemical symbolism and the coniunctio oppositorum (‘conjunction of opposites’). In this way Jung intimates that the unanswered questions he felt driven to resolve through his lifelong intellectual and therapeutic work stretch back to the Rosicrucianism of Count Michael Maier and the alchemy of the Paracelsians.
– Hereward Tilton, The Quest for the Phoenix: Spiritual Alchemy and Rosicrucianism in the Work of Count Michael Maier (1569-1622), Walter de Gruyter, 2003, p. 23