Mysterium 

Mysterium is set on the deck of an ocean liner at night.  Freud and Jung are returning to Europe after visiting America.  Jung thinks America is “a wonderful place,” “intensely numinous,” charged with the “tremendous mystery of the uncanny other.”  Freud says that America is “a pig hole,” the “most vulgar sewer on earth,” “almost entirely constructed of greed, vulgarity, stupidity, self-congratulation, bigotry, and the worship of violence.”  When Jung suggests that they analyze each other’s dreams, Freud refuses to give up what he considers his authority and thinks that Jung may want to kill him.  They squabble, which Jung thinks is good, and Freud says they have to agree on the fundamental doctrine.  Jung says there is no doctrine and, when Freud accuses him of excapades with women not his wife, Jung replies that everyone knows that Freud has been sleeping with his wife’s sister.  The call each other hysterical and Jung cautions Freud about fainting.  A steward enters and asks them to be quiet because some women in the ballroom heard them talking of penises.  He suggests that they separate until they have calmed down.  Freud says that Jung’s theories are “rubbish.”  He feels the ship may have hit something, an iceberg perhaps.  Jung says that Freud is jealous of him because he is younger and stronger and full of ideas.  Freud gets angry and faints.  When the steward enters again he tells Jung that the ship has hit an iceberg and there are a limited number of lifeboats with room for only one more, Jung himself.  Jung says he can’t leave Freud but, after the steward leaves, rationalizes that, as a doctor, he could be of help in the lifeboat which would be an excellent place to study psychological types.  He leaves; we hear singing, then gunshots; and Freud wakes up.  He sees Jung in the lifeboat waving up at him and then sees “that great white thing . . . looming up out of the darkness.  He thinks he must be dreaming and wonders what it could mean.  We hear singing as the lights fade out.

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