To M. Esther Harding
Dear Dr. Harding, 8 July 1947
At last I am through with your huge MS.
I allowed myself to make some pencil marks on it. . . . You write “noumenous.”
This word derives from Lat. numinosum (powerful ) and not from the Greek voovp.£vov == noumenon, which means: thought (part. pass.).
The correct English rendering of numinosum would be “numinous.”
You have heaped together practically the whole of analytic experience.
Thus your treatise will be a most helpful instrument in the hands of practical analysts.
I was quite surprised by the masterful way in which you dealt with the undoubtedly difficult problems of the individuation process and with the intricacies of alchemical symbolism.
Your book is a remarkably clear survey of analytical psychology.
You have a decidedly pedagogic vein, which makes your book readable even to a person of average intelligence. (In spite of the “average” it seems to be pretty rare!)
My heartiest congratulations.
P.S. I don’t know T. S . Eliot. If you think that his book is worthwhile, then I don’t mind even poetry.
I am only prejudiced against all forms of modern art.
It is mostly morbid and evil on top [of that].
I am sorry that you couldn’t come across the ocean this year.
In spite of the fact that I feel more or less all right again, I more and more consider existence as something provisional and I realize now very often that I am doing a certain thing for the last time.
It has a somewhat peculiar ring.
For untold years it has happened for the first time that I could not plant my potatoes and my corn anymore and weed has overgrown my piece of black earth, as if its owner were
Things and exterior life slip past me and leave me in a world of unworldly thought and in a time measured by centuries.
I am glad that you and others carry on the work I once began. The world needs it badly.
It seems to come to a general showdown, when the question will be settled whether the actually existing man is conscious enough to cope with his own demons or not.
For the time being it seems to be a losing fight.
It would not be the first time that darkness has fallen upon a whole civilization and Master Eckhart been buried for 6oo years.
Ships of 1500 tons have been built again only after 1700 years and the mail began to function in Europe only in the second half of the XIX century as it functioned in Roman times.
Switzerland has become an island of dreams amidst ruins and putrefaction.
Europe is a rotting carcass.
Towards the end of the Roman Empire they made attempts and had insights similar to mine. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 468-469.
Note: Psychic Energy: Its Source and Goal (1948) , with a foreword by Jung, now in CW 18; 2nd edn., 1963: Psychic Energy: Its Source and Transformation.