Jung agreed to see a woman who had “incurable” insomnia that had resisted all previous treatment. In her presence, he found himself remembering a lullaby his mother had crooned to him in childhood. He started humming it aloud.
The song was about a girl on a little boat on a river, full of gleaming fish. It evokes the rhythms of wind and water. Jung’s patient was enchanted. From that night on, her insomnia was gone. Her regular doctor wanted to know Jung’s secret.
“How was I to explain to him that I had simply listened to something within myself?,” Jung reminisced, late in life, in the presence of his assistant Aniela Jaffe. “I had been quite at sea. How was I to tell him that I had sung her a lullaby with my mother’s voice? Enchantment like that is the oldest form of medicine.”
Once again, we see that Jung’s practice was that of a true shaman of the west.
Child and Boat by Edmund Tarbell (1899)