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

To Margaret Erwin Schevill

Dear Mrs. Schevill, 25 July 1946

Thank you very much for your kind birthday-letter which has reached me a day before the eventful date.

The idea of a seminar for old people is not bad at all, although it would be exceedingly difficult to find suitable material along which one could develop the ideas that deserve to be talked about.

It could be done however in an absolutely unpremeditated way in the form of questions and answers.

Of course all of the people ought to be seriously concerned with the question of death or should have felt the touch of it at least.

I’m sorry to hear that Mr. Schevill died. I did not know it.

I hope he had an easy death and not such a terrible agony as for instance Kristine Mann.

I’m terribly sorry X. has to suffer from cancer, in her case cancer really comes too early and it is a mean way of killing people anyhow.

But nature is horrible in many respects.

It is a fact that the body very often apparently survives the soul, often even without a disease.

It is just as if the soul detached itself from the body sometimes years before death actually occurs, or sometimes with perfectly healthy people who are going to die within a short delay by acute illness or accident.

As far as we know at all there seems to be no immediate decomposition of the soul.

One could almost say, on the contrary.

It is curious that you mention the problem of transference and its importance for the problem of death.

I’m just about to publish a book about the psychology of transference/ where I try to elucidate its problems with reference to its meta-psychical aspects.

I’m glad to hear that your books thrive. Mine do too!

Actually I’m enjoying my summer vacations and I’m full of the best intentions to restrict my work with patients to the utmost, and you know that the way to hell is always paved with good intentions.

You know, for old people, the concept of “next year” or something of the sort is always problematic since one has learned that time is a most relative thing and can come to a complete end whenever it chooses.

It would be nice to see you again if you come across the dividing ocean.

Cordially yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 437-438.