Dear Dr. N., 6 January 1943
Permit me a few remarks on the content of your letter of 25 December 42 .
It seems to be that you have very many opinions.
But if one wants to understand something, it is advisable to have no opinions and to learn to weigh the facts carefully.
In the case of dreams, for instance, you completely overlook the fact that it is not a question of mere phenomenology but of actual determinants which can only
be discovered by carefully taking up the whole dream context.
You also assume that what you know about a dream is everything that can be known about it.
But that isn’t so at all.
There are still very many things behind and besides, which one needs to know in order to understand a dream properly.
Incidentally, you can give up from the start trying to understand your own dreams, because everywhere you will strike your own blind spot.
Maybe you are of the opinion that you don’t have one, but I would advise you to drop this opinion if you want to get anywhere.
Maybe, too, you want to get nowhere and therefore your opinions are quite particularly dear to you.
One can thoroughly deceive oneself about oneself in this respect.
At all events your mental situation is thoroughly conducive to dreams about burglars.
One always has such dreams when there is something outside that wants to get inside, but is kept outside with the greatest cunning.
Dreams do not ” jumble up the personalities.”
On the contrary, everything is in its proper place, only you don’t understand it.
As to the dream of the mountaineer, I knew my colleague.
He, too, was a man who lived by his opinions and continually made his reckoning without the host.
In his case I didn’t need to prophesy anything at all, for I knew only too well that he was walking on air and could fall through at any moment, which was what actually happened
because he took my warning for a mere opinion that could be offset by umpteen other opinions.
Unfortunately my opinion was on the side of fact while his wasn’t.
Certainly telepathy is a phenomenon conditioned by space and time.
But it demonstrates the relativity of space and time, and this is something I didn’t invent.
You might consult your countryman, Prof. Jordan in Rostock, on this question.
You seem to have very strange ideas about religion.
Rightness is not a category that can be applied to religion anyway.
Religion consists of psychic realities which one cannot say are right or wrong.
Are lice or elephants right or wrong?
It is enough that they exist.
Here you show your very defective sense for facts which you compensate by masses of opinions.
I have a scientific training and hence an entirely different standpoint which is obviously alien to you in every respect.
Thus for me religious statements are not opinions but facts that one can look at as a botanist at his plants.
The criterion is the old dictum: Quod semper quod ubique quod ab omnibus creditur.
The science of religion including the psychology of religion has to come to terms with this fact.
No opinions prevail against it.
The question of dream psychology is a very difficult topic which can be discussed with some prospect of success only if one has the necessary rudiments of knowledge together with thorough practical experience.
The fact of having dreams is not nearly enough.
You also have a digestive system but this is not nearly enough to make you a physiological chemist.
Yours very truly,
~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 326-328.