[Gerhard Adler was born in Berlin and of German-Jewish descent and did the Editorial work on Dr. Jung’s Collected Works]
To Gerhard Adler
Dear Dr. Adler, 9 June 1934
Best thanks for your detailed letter/ the tenor of which I find completely acceptable.
I have pointed out in several places in my article that Freud does not appear to me as the typical exponent of the Jewish attitude to the unconscious.
In fact I expressly state that his view of it is not binding for all Jews.
Nevertheless there is something typically Jewish about his attitude, which I can document with your own words: “When a Jew forgets his roots, he is doubly and triply in danger of mechanization and intellectualization.”
With these words you have laid your finger on exactly what is typically Jewish.
It is typically Jewish that Freud can forget his roots to such an extent.
It is typically Jewish that the Jews can utterly forget that they are Jews despite the fact that they know they are Jews.
That is what is suspicious about Freud’s attitude and not his materialistic, rationalistic view of the world alone.
Freud cannot be held responsible for the latter.
In this respect he is simply a typical exponent of the expiring 19th century, just like Haeckel, Dubois-Reymond, or that Kraft und Stoff ass Buchner.
These people, however, are not as completely rootless as the Jewish rationalist, for which eason they are also much more naive and therefore less dangerous.
So when I criticize Freud’s Jewishness I am not criticizing the Jews but rather that damnable capacity of the Jew, as exemplified by Freud, to deny his own nature.
Actually you should be glad that I think so rigorously, for then I speak in the interests of all Jews who want to find their way back to their own nature.
I think the religious Jews of our time should summon up the courage to distinguish themselves.
Clearly from Freud, because they need to prove that spirit is stronger than blood.
But the prejudice that whoever criticizes Freud is criticizing the Jews always demonstrates to us that blood is thicker than spirit, and in this respect anti-Semitism has in all conscience learnt much from the Jewish prejudice.
As to my assertion that the Jews have not created a “cultural form” of their own, please note that I did not say “culture.”
I expressly stated that the Jews have a culture nearly 3,000 years old, but one can have a culture without possessing a cultural form of one’s own.
For instance, Switzerland has a culture but no cultural form.
It has still to be proved conclusively that the Jews have ever created a culturalform of their own.
At any rate they haven’t in the last 2,000 years.
It is also difficult to see how a relatively small folk ranging from India through Europe to America would be in a position to create such a form.
I came across the same objection in a letter from a Jew a few days ago.
Considering the proverbial intelligence of the Jews it has always seemed to me incomprehensible that they can no longer see the simplest truths because they are blinded by hypersensitivity.
Blood is undoubtedly thicker than spirit, but, as you very rightly say, it is a tremendous danger for the Jew to get lost in the viscosity of sheer materialism.
As to your third point, the negative value of the unconscious, I ought to have said the personal unconscious.
But I thought it would be sufficiently clear from the context that the personal unconscious was meant, since when Freud speaks of the unconscious he always means just that.
Hoping that I have cleared up at least these misunderstandings, and with cordial greetings, I remain,
c . G. Ju NG
~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 164-165
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2. Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/
3. Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/
4. Lance S. Owens The Gnosis Archives http://gnosis.org/welcome.html