Dear Dr. H., 17 March 1951
To answer your long and meaty letter one must have time.
My answer therefore comes a bit late.
Psychology as a natural science must reserve the right to treat all assertions that cannot be verified empirically as projections.
This epistemological restriction says nothing either for or against the possibility of a transcendent Being.
Projection is an unavoidable instrument of cognition.
That the Christological projection remained attached to the “historical” man Jesus is of the greatest symbological significance, it seems to me.
Attachment to the concrete man was necessary because otherwise the incarnation of God-most important! -could never have come about.
The conception, already growing up on the Osiris tradition, of an Osiris belonging to the individual is continued in the Judaeo-Christian idea of the imago Dei and in the Christian idea of the v16r71,.
Docetism was a relapse into the pagan view of the world.
Bultmann’s attempt at demythologization is a consequence of Protestant rationalism and leads to the progressive impoverishment of symbolism.
What is left over does not suffice to express the prodigal ( and dangerous ) world of the unconscious, to join it to consciousness or, as the case may be, to hold it in check.
As a result, Protestantism will become even more boring and penurious than it already is.
It will also continue, as before, to split up endlessly, which is actually the unconscious purpose of the whole exercise.
With the Reformation it has lost one leg already, the essential ritual.
Since then it has stood on the hypertrophied other leg, faith, which is beset with difficulties and gradually becoming inaccessible.
Thanks to this defoliation of the symbolic tree religion will increasingly become a purely private affair, but the greater the spiritual poverty of the Protestant the more chance he has of discovering the treasure in his own psyche.
At any rate he has better prospects in this regard than the Catholic, who still finds himself in full possession of a truly collective religion. His religion is developing by leaps and bounds .
The Assumption of the B .V.M. is an eloquent example of this.
It is the first step in Christianity towards wholeness, i.e., the quaternity.
We now have the old formula 3 + 1 ,5 the 1 representing 98% a goddess and a mediatrix coordinated with the Trinity.
Dreams referring to the Assumption are extremely interesting: they show that behind the luna plena or the sun woman the dark new moon is rising up with its mystery of the hierosgamos and the chthonic world of darkness.
That is why, as early as the 16th century, Gerardus Dorneus attacked the quaternity so fiercely, because the acceptance of the binarius( = devil) in the form of the feminine principle, represented by the seven numbers 2 or 4, would break up the Trinity.
The Pope probably did well to discourage the psychologizing tendency (chiefly among the French Jesuits ).
The Trojan horse should be kept hidden as long as possible.
All in all, I consider the declaration of the Assumption the most important symbological event since the Reformation, and I find the arguments advanced by Protestant critics lamentable because they all overlook the prodigious significance of the new dogma .
The symbol in the Catholic Church is alive and is nourished by the popular psyche and actually urged on by it.
But in Protestantism it is dead.
All that remains is to abolish the Trinity and the homoousia.
Since the time of Clemens Romanus, Jakob Boehme was the first to come to grips adequately with evil .
I do not fight for a recognition of the “Fourth.”
Nowadays it doesn’t need any recognizing-it’s too obvious .
I merely point to the existence of a problem which is of great importance in the history of symbols.
I only fight for the reactivation of symbolic thinking, because of its therapeutic value, and against the presumptuous undervaluation of myth, which only a very few people have the least understanding of anyway.
I don’t quite understand why you call a venture “faith.”
A venture is a misnomer when you are convinced that it is going to turn out all right in the end anyhow.
A venture is when you neither know nor believe.
When her travelling carriage overturned, St. Teresa of Avila, lifting her arms to heaven, cried: “Now I know why you have so few friends . ”
It can also turn out like that.
I “believe” only when I have sufficient grounds for a n assumption.
The word “belief” means no more to me than that. Leaps into the dark I know very well .
For me they have everything to do with courage and nothing with belief, but not a little with hope ( i.e., that all will go well) .
This summer a new work of mine will appear, which is concerned with Christian symbology (especially the figure of Christ), under the title Aion. Then I’ll be ripe for an auto-da-fe. I can say with Tertullian:
“Novum testimonium advoco immo omni litteratura notius, o mni doctrina agitatius . . . toto ho mine maius . . . Consiste in medio anima!”
But the soul is anathema to holy theology.
“Demythologization”! “What hybris!
Reminiscent of the disinfection of heaven with sublimate of mercury by a crazy doctor who then declared God could [not] be found.
Yet God is the mythologem kat ‘exochen.
Christ was no doubt a moral philosopher-what else remains of him if he is not a mythologem?
With best regards,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 6-9