C.G. Jung Letters, Vol. 1: 1906-1950

To the Secretary of the Union Mondiale
de la Femme pour la Concorde
Internationale, Geneva

Dear Madame, 27 January 1941

I agree with you entirely that it would be desirable if we could make humanity more reasonable simply by instruction and by good intentions.

But are good intentions enough to impress men?

If they were impressionable, the last war with all its atrocities should have served as a lesson.

Yet we have to assume that it produced no effect since hardly a generation later everything is forgotten.

That is why it seems to me useless to try to educate men by talking to them and instructing them .

Men have to be gripped, because only those who are gripped can grip others.

Spirit cannot be learned, it is given to us by God’s grace, which cannot be had by force or reason.

But if men if good will applied themselves to the solution of the conflicts and the causes of the conflicts in their own vicinity, and tried to free themselves from outside influences, they could at least set an example.

As we know, example is more effective than admonition.

In ten lectures I could not add anything at all to what I have just said.

I know that this way of looking at things is neither brilliant nor inspiring, and that-precisely because of its simplicity-it would not have any popular effect.

But since it is my conviction, I could not say anything else in speaking publicly.

This point of view being doubtless out of key with the aim of your organization, it seems to me that you would do better not to receive me among your lecturers.

Thanking you nevertheless for your amiable intention,

I am,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 293.