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Carl Jung: All in all Nietzsche was to me the only man of that time who gave some adequate answers to certain urgent questions..
To the Rev. Arthur W. Rudolph Dear Sir, 5 January 1961
It would be too ambitious a task to give you a detailed account of the inﬂuence of Nietzsche’s thoughts on my own development.
As a matter of fact, living in the same town where Nietzsche spent his life as a professor of philosophy.
I grew up in an atmosphere still vibrating from the impact of his teachings, although it was chieﬂy resistance which met his onslaught.
I could not help being deeply impressed by his indubitable inspiration (“Ergriﬀenheit”).
He was sincere, which cannot be said of so many academic teachers to whom career and vanity mean inﬁnitely more than the truth.
The fact that impressed me the most was his encounter with Zarathustra and then his “religious” critique, which gives a legitimate place in philosophy to passion as the very real motive of philosophizing.
The Unzeitgemiisse Betrachtungen were to me an eye-opener, less so the Genealogy of Morals or his idea of the “Eternal Return” of all things.
His all-pervading psychological penetration has given me a deep understanding of what psychology is able to do.
All in all Nietzsche was to me the only man of that time who gave some adequate answers to certain urgent questions which then were more felt than thought.
Max Stirner, whom I read at the same time, gave me the impression of a man who was trying to express an inﬁnitely important truth with inadequate means.
Over against him the ﬁgure of Zarathustra seems to me the better formulation.
Those are the main points I could mention about Nietzsche and his inﬂuence on my own development.
If you have any further questions and if their answer is within my reach, I am quite ready to cope with them. Sincerely yours,
P.S. I may call the attention to the existence of notes that have been taken of my Seminars about Nietzsche’s Zarathustra.
They would be accessible to you in California. Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 621-622