This chapter demonstrates how the archetype of the demon lover was constellated in Jung’s life and work. A full analysis of the transference and countertransference present in Jung’s original treatment of Sabina Spielrein is explored as well as their ensuing relationship. The primary documents referenced are the original clinical records from Burghölzli, Spielrein’s personal diary entries, and the letters between her and Jung. One conclusion the chapter reaches is that Jung’s trauma manifested in the more traditionally masculine form of narcissism, and Spielrein’s manifested in the more traditionally female form of borderline symptoms, formerly called hysteria. The collective climate between men and women at this time was essentially sadomasochistic, with male doctors examining and exploring female patients, projecting elements of their own souls onto their patients, to be dissected and dismembered in the name of science. These same men were shored up by the projections of power and authority women gave over to them. Spielrein and countless other women were exposed and vulnerable, exciting intellectual and erotic impulses alike, while men’s vulnerability remained hidden beneath a heroic, professional veneer.
Although primarily focused on the relational and projective dynamics with Spielrein, the chapter also touches on how these same dynamics appeared in Jung’s relationships with Toni Wolff and Christina Morgan. As with most women who hold a powerful man’s anima, it did not end well for any of these exceptional women.
The teleological function of the demon lover is death. For all three of these women, where their own daimons should have been there existed the possessive bonds of a man’s dream of love. They all sought in death the coniunctio and sacred marriage unavailable to them in life, at least not with the men they loved.