To Leslie Hollingsworth
Dear Mr. Hollingsworth, 21 April 1934
Of course one can guess what the religion of the future might be, but it’s hardly worthwhile guessing.
Surely the Christians of 8o A.D. guessed too, but they never would have guessed the splendours of the Vatican and Alexander VI on St. Peter’s throne and the popes of
Avignon and 10,000 Christian heretics burnt in Spain, etc.
So one never can tell how the future religion will look or what i t will be based on.
Also one can’t say whether the religion will be based upon Jove or upon fear, because Christianity has shown that even a religion of love can be based on fear, and moreover it can cause fear just as well as love.
We also don’t know whether it will be a brotherhood of man or anytl1ing as lovely as that.
Religions are not necessarily lovely or good.
They are powerful manifestations of the spirit and we have no power to check the spirit.
Surely great catastrophes such as earthquakes or fires are no longer convincing to the modern mind, but we don’t need them.
There are things much more gruesome, namely man’s insanity, the great mental contagions from which we actually suffer most indubitably.
Everybody wants peace and understanding and with an infernal fatality the nations are working for war and misunderstanding.
Not even the most modest disam1ament has been possible.
That shows where our real catastrophes come from.
Curiously enough people are still too unconscious to become aware of the real dangers they are threatened with.
By the way, my so-called article in the Cosmopolitan Magazine was an interview with a reporter and not an article written by myself.
I have not even seen a copy of it.
C.G. Jung [Letters Volume 1; Pages 158-159]