[Carl Jung letter to Aniela Jaffe]

To Aniela Jaffe

Dear Frau Jaffe, Bollingen, 22 December 1942

Heartiest thanks for the very welcome and edible Christmas present you have destined for me.

I hope you haven’t stinted yourself of these things! To me they come most opportunely, especially here in Bollingen where one is a bit pinched.

Your dream is very remarkable in that it coincides almost literally with my first systematic fantasy/ which I had between the ages of 1 5 and 1 6. It engrossed me for weeks, always on the way to school, which took three-quarters of an hour.

I was the king of an island in a great lake like a sea, stretching from Basel to Strassburg.

The island consisted of a mountain with a small medieval town nestling below.

At the top was my castle, and on its highest tower were things like copper antennae which collected electricity from the air and conducted it into a deep vault underneath the tower.

In this vault there was a mysterious apparatus that turned the electricity into gold.

I was so obsessed with this fantasy that reality was completely forgotten.

It seems to me that your dream is an important contribution to the psychology of the self.

Through the self we are plunged into the torrent of cosmic events.

Everything essential happens in the self and the ego functions as a receiver, spectator, and transmitter.

What is so peculiar is the symbolization of the self as an apparatus.

A “machine” is always something thought up, deliberately put together for a definite purpose.

Who has invented this machine? ( Cf. the symbol of the “world clock” ! )

The Tantrists say that things represent the distinctness of God’s thoughts.

The machine is a microcosm, what Paracelsus called the “star in man.”

I always have the feeling that these symbols touch on the great secrets, the magnalia Dei.

With best greetings and cordial thanks,

Ever sincerely yours,

C.G.J. ~Carl Jung, Letters Volume 1, Pages 325-326.

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