To H. G. Baynes
My dear Peter, 27 May 1941
Thank you very much for your long letter! Your lecturing activity is really astonishing.
But I can understand that the public realizes a certain need to compensate the onesidedness of organized activities.
And I can well imagine that the great cataclysm has knocked over many prejudices and false values.
I have noticed similar phenomena in Switzerland, but universities of course are the last to be touched or moved, which-! suppose-is the case all over the world.
The war has brought me more work instead of less. Our young people are for long stretches of time with the army and thus I can’t get rid of my patients.
My public lectures at the Technical University demand a certain amount of attention. I am actually lecturing about the psychology of alchemy.
For several years now I have been lecturing about the process of individuation.
First I gave an account of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra; then of two Buddhist treatises2concerning the attainment of Buddhahood.
The third course was about the Exercitia Spiritualia of St. Ignatius.
The fourth course is about alchemy as the absolute contrast to the Exercitia.
As they are going to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Paracelsus’s death in 1541 I had to prepare a lecture about him (on invitation of course), which has taken away practically the whole of my spring vacation as I had to dive into the unfathomable chaos of Paracelsan tracts with their queer and difficult terminology.
Recently I delivered two lectures at the Club about the main symbolism of the Mass (sacrifice and transubstantiation).
I seem to be dealing more and more with subjects not just suitable for public discussion (f.i. a lecture on the Trinity at Eranos !).
I have not continued my book, since I discovered that the subject I had in mind was much vaster than my limited knowledge and moreover I did not feel my approach was the right one.
It seems to me that I am now on a better track. The ultimate result is perhaps no book but a series of essays or lectures.
The general trend is a continuation of Psychology and Religion.
I often have interviews now with a Catholic priest; an intelligent and scholarly man, who gives me a chance to get thoroughly acquainted with the Catholic mind.
It is wonderful to see mediaeval mentality still at its best.
At the same time I realize more and more the importance of the loss Protestantism has suffered. But it was tragically inevitable.
Don’t think, please, that I am callous in not mentioning the horrors of our time.
I am confirmed in my fundamental disbelief in this world. Here we are all right so far.
With every good wish I remain,
C.G. [Letters Volume 1; Pages 299-301]