To V. Subrahamanya Iyer
Dear Sir, 29 August 1938
Thank you for your kind letter which has brought back to me all the happy and beautiful memories of my short sojourn in Mysore, the
beautiful city with the nocturnal lights on Chamundi hill.
As to your philosophical questions I generally quite agree with you.
It is self-evident that there can be no happiness unless there is suffering.
The German philosopher Schopenhauer said that happiness is merely the end of suffering.
This is a somewhat negative definition.
Inasmuch as suffering is a very positive condition happiness must be an equally positive one too.
But unfortunately the fact is that the two cannot exist without each other.
So much so that happiness easily tums into suffering even as the most intense suffering can produce a sort of superhuman happiness.
They are a pair of opposites that are indispensable to life.
The phenomenon of life consists of a great many pairs of opposites, there ts no energy without opposites.
But inasmuch as you share in the opposites you are in conflict or at least in a continuous up and down of pain and pleasure.
It is certainly desirable to liberate oneself from the operation of opposites but one can only do it to a certain extent, because no sooner do you get out of the conflict than you get out of life altogether.
So that liberation can be only a very partial one.
It can be the construction of a consciousness just beyond the opposites.
Your head may be liberated, your feet remain entangled.
Complete liberation means death.
What I call “consciousness” would coincide with what you call “mind.”
It is quite evident that the ego-complex is at the root of all complexes, since without an ego complexes couldn’t be experienced at all.
If you eradicate the ego completely, there is nobody left that would consciously experience.
Too much ego always leads to a state of conflict, therefore it ought to be abolished.
But it is the same thing as with the pairs of opposites: if you abolish the ego altogether, then you create unconsciousness.
One assumes however that there is a consciousness without ego, a sort of consciousness of the atman.
I’m afraid this supreme consciousness is at least not one we could possess.
Inasmuch as it exists, we do not exist.
On this occasion I want to thank you once more for the cordial welcome you have given us in Mysore.
Hoping you are always in good health, I remain,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 247-248.