Praxis für Alternative Psychosomatik und Traumdeutung, Dr. Remo F. Roth, CH-8000 Zürich

Remo F. Roth

Dr. oec. publ., Ph.D.

dipl. analyt. Psychologe (M.-L. v. Franz)

© copyright 1998 by Pro Litteris and Remo F. Roth, CH-8810 Horgen-Zurich. All rights reserved

First published in Jung-Zeit, Journal der C.G. Jung-Gesellschaft Köln e.V., vol. 2, Jan. 1999

Photo: © copyright 1989 Remo F. Roth, CH-8810 Horgen-Zurich

Remark: If you click on , there in 'Search for keywords' enter 'Marie-Louise von Franz' , in 'Search for Author' 'Remo Roth' and in 'display results' chose 'posts' , you will get many more impressions about my relationship with MLvF and my further development of her thoughts.


My Personal Memories of Marie-Louise von Franz

by Remo F. Roth, PhD, CH-8038 Zurich, Switzerland


Marie-Louise von Franz in the year 1989 during a personal meeting with Remo F. RothSince her death on Feb. 17th, 1998 there has been a lot written about Marie-Louise von Franz. Therefore I would like to limit the following reflections to some of the very important aspects of our personal relationship.

Some months after the publication of her last book Traum und Tod (On Dreams and Death) in the autumn of the year 1984 Marie-Louise fell ill with Parkinson's disease. After this, she told me several times that she had the distinct feeling that the illness was the direct effect of writing this book.

She never did go into details, but I felt she had not yet found the individual solution to the problem of the developing of the so-called subtle body (the diamond body in eastern mysticism) for the life after death. This was one of the most important topics in her book and I saw that she continued to deal with this subject very intensely.

For thirteen years, until she was redeemed by death, Marie-Louise suffered her severe disease with stoic patience. In spite of the fact that she finally was hardly able to talk, her alert and critical mind was preserved. It was therefore a very great pleasure for me, when I realized that she, despite her disease, continued to be very interested in my creative work, the research on the application of Carl Jung's synchronicity theory on psychosomatic and somatic illness, which is itself based on the phenomenology of the subtle body.

Again and again she gave me symbolical hints about the direction of my research, based on dreams I sent by mail or told her during personal meetings. It was exactly the fact that her advice was given in this symbolic language, formulated in extremely short statements, which allowed me to have the space for my own creative ideas.

Through this behavior, developed out of her intense, conscious suffering, Marie-Louise accepted my individual freedom of research, and only by this it was possible that my Body-Centered Imagination or Symptom Symbol Transformation for psychosomatic and somatic disease could be born [example see in A Body Centered Visualization for Arrhythmias of the Heart]. To my great pleasure, I could also see that she began to experience this body-centered method for the subtle body's creation herself, which is based on a combination of Active Imagination and creative insights of Paracelsus, and seems to be a modern interpretation of Gerardus Dorneus' unio corporalis.

But the last 13 years of her life were not only stamped by the role of the femme inspiratrice for close friends. When one tried to see Marie-Louise with the "inner eye", one could feel that she had finally found an imaginative technique for the developing of the subtle or eternal body, the goal of Paracelsus' vita longa, for the life in the Beyond. According to the Church Father Origenes this is the main challenge in this life on earth (as she describes in her book). And only through this transformation of the physical into the subtle body is individual life in the beyond possible.

The closer Marie-Louise's physical death came, the more intensely I felt that she succeeded in this developing of the subtle body for the individual life in the beyond, which she had described in her last book with the amplification of historical examples. It was exactly this very individual and absolutely introverted transformation, her psychological realization of Gerardus Dorneus’ body-centered unio corporalis which is intellectually almost not describable, that was the final chapter to her opus in this world.

One was able to perceive this development also with regard to the change of her physical presence. Her body - always reminding me of a peasant woman - , changed over the course of time into the body of an elf-like being. In doing so it took on - especially towards the end of her physical life - an aura inexplicable by natural science.

One of the goals of alchemy was the production of the philosophical gold or stone (lapis). As gold it possessed such an intense "radiation" that all material around it was also changed into gold. The same idea was the so-called multiplicatio of the lapis: A "radiation" coming out of it which influenced the whole universe in a positive manner. In the case of the alchemical opus applied to the physical body, this goal was nothing less than the creation of the above mentioned subtle body as the guarantee for the individual life after death.

Exactly this corpus mysticum (the mystery of the body) was the opus of the Medieval "priest-physician" Hildegard von Bingen 800 years ago. Her life-long physical suffering was the prima materia for her visions, famous today [see: Jung, CG, CW 10, §§ 765]. I am deeply convinced that Marie-Louise von Franz - by the individual developing of the insights of Carl Jung in her opus of suffering - has found a modern extension of Hildegard's work.

Horgen-Zurich, October 15, 1998

English translation, August 8th, 2002

proofread by GJS

see also   

English Homepage Remo F. Roth


The Archetype of the Holy Wedding (coniunctio) in Alchemy and in Modern Man

The New Mysticism and the Life after Death

A Body Centered Visualization for Arrhythmias of the Heart 

Neotantrism and Body Centered Visualization - Imitation of the Eastern or Creative New Beginning on the Western Way?

and Marie-Louise von Franz (in German)

further: Was uns die Träume über ein mögliches Leben nach dem Tod sagen (in German)