What a Swiss Psychiatrist Learned From the Hopi Tribe Chief and How It's Relevant to Business Today
I was recently reminded of an unlikely friendship between a Swiss psychiatrist and the Hopi tribe chief.
The psychiatrist was none other than Carl Jung. He describes his relationship with the Chief Mountain Lake in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
Despite all their differences, Jung and Mountain Lake developed a special bond; they seemed to be kindred spirits.
One of the reasons Jung valued Chief Mountain Lake's friendship so much was because he was refreshingly open and candid with him.
Jung recalls in his book: "I was able to talk with him as I have rarely been able to talk with a European."
Among many fascinating insights, Mountain Lake gave Jung a very frank account of how his people saw Europeans:
Their eyes have a staring expression. They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are all mad.
Jung was amused and intrigued by Mountain Lake's remarks, and he encouraged him to share more.
"They say they think with their heads," responded Mountain Lake.
Jung was puzzled. "What do your people think with?"
"We think here," said Chief Mountain Lake, and he pointed to his heart.