Miguel Serrano, a Chilean diplomat and writer was certainly a man with some controversial opinions.
However, I didn’t let that stop me from reading this rather charming yet deep little book documenting his friendship with two 20th century European notables, namely the writer, poet and painter Herman Hesse and psychologist Carl Jung, who both lived in Switzerland.
Serrano didn’t get to know them well until they were in their final years. He includes correspondence with both of them. Herman Hesse was a highly influential author of books like ‘Steppenwolf’ and ‘Siddartha’. His main concern was for the individual to find himself by breaking established rules. Serrano is clearly enchanted by Hesse’s sensitivity.
But it is perhaps Serrano’s late relationship with Carl Jung which is the most significant of the two. Serrano is completely in awe of Jung’s towering intellect and spirituality, and with good reason. Jung is perhaps the nearest anyone has come to achieving a true scientific spirituality by utilising hitherto controversial methods (to some), such as astrology, to gain insight into an individual’s psyche. Bearing this in mind, the lightning bolt which struck Jung’s favourite tree on the day he died seems to gain in significance.
In just over a hundred pages, the author has managed to convey the essence of these two important minds, and he seems to have been blessed with genuine affability to allow him to form deep, significant friendships. Our overall understanding of these two men is all the better for it. I would certainly recommend this book.
Copyright Francis 2021