To Charles Lichtenthaeler
Dear Colleague, 7 November 1950
Although the curious personality of Paracelsus is certainly not without interest for the psychologist, it is his ideas that interest psychology especially.
Indeed, I have devoted a book, Paracelsica (Rascher, Zurich, 1942) to the most important of his ideas.
Among them, the idea of the theorica is particularly interesting to psychology.
Through his theorica Paracelsus gave the patient some idea of his malady, and so enabled him to assimilate it psychologically.
In addition, a good acquaintance with the fundamental facts of the unconscious is to be found in Paracelsus’ esoteric doctrine, and it is very important, particularly for the treatment of neuroses, to be acquainted with the symbolic forms that are expressive of pathogenic contents.
These ideas were developed symbolically by Paracelsus in his Vita Longa. (See my Paracelsica.)
Paracelsus passed on his knowledge of the fundamental facts of the unconscious to his pupils (and especially to Gerard Dorn) but they were lost later, thanks to the rise of rationalism and scientific materialism.
Not until just recently have unconscious pathogenic causes been rediscovered.
It is in this connection that the work of Paracelsus is of great interest to psychologists.
But obviously his ideas are extremely difficult to elucidate, and I realize that for a doctor, whose experience has not familiarized him with the large part that is played by the unconscious background of neuroses and psychoses, Paracelsus’ ideas are almost incomprehensible.
Hoping that you will find this a sufficient answer to your question,
I am, ·
Very sincerely yours,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Page 565
Great Sites to visit:
1. Jenna Lilla’s Path of the Soul http://jennalilla.org/
2. Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/
3. Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/