To Karl Srnetz
Dear Colleague, 19 December 1942
It would be very nice indeed if it should turn out that the Chwolson is obtainable.
Meanwhile I would like an older edition of the Vulgate and Septuagint and should be grateful if you could get these texts for me.
Your views concerning the effect of psychotherapy are absolutely correct.
In practice we have to take into account all the contributions and statements that have ever been made about the psyche.
That is why I have said that every psychological theory is a subjective confession.
Naturally everyone will speak of his own contribution.
If he didn’t, he’d be making no contribution at all.
But by speaking of it he gives the impression that it is the only thing he can see, or the reader gets the erroneous idea that with each renewal of standpoint everything else has been superseded.
Naturally this is a fallacy.
Depending on the peculiar nature of the case the most primitive therapeutic methods can achieve even better results than the most refined.
When we speak of drawing, for instance, this is only a minimal auxiliary method.
In certain cases this tactic has a very good effect and in other cases it means nothing.
Here again it is not a matter of a world-shaking innovation.
Also, scientifically and theoretically important statements have no psychotherapeutic value in themselves, as they are only verbal formulas without any life of their own.
Usually when a writer or any other artist makes fraudulent use of psychology he falls into his own trap, because art can no more be fashioned from concepts than from the Pythagorean theorem.
Theoretical formulations give one absolutely no idea of the practice, which is infinitely more multifaceted and alive than any theory could convey.
Nor is it the task of theory to paint a picture of life, but rather to create a workmanlike language which is satisfied with conventional signs.
With collegial regards,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 324.
Note: D. Chwolson, Die Ssabier (1856). There were two Sabaean sects, the one a semi-Christian sect of Babylonia, the other the Harranite (or pseudo-Sabaean) sect of Mesopotamia. The latter considered Ion, a son of Mercury, to be their ancestor ( “The Visions of Zosimos,” CW 13, p. 6o, n 4). Magic, astrology, and human sacrifice played a part in their religion . The Harranite treatise “Liber Platonis quartorum” (in Theatrum chemicum, V, 1622) is quoted and commented on in Psychology and Alchemy, CW 12, pars. 366ff.