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

Dear Dr. Jung, Zurich 7. 26. 1934

Since you conjured up the spirits of theoretical physics in “Seele url Tod” [Soul and Death], your paper concerning the interpretation of so-called
parapsychological phenomena, these spirits now seem to be gradually convening.

Jordan’s essay, a copy of which is enclosed, was sent to me for appraisal by the publisher of the journal Die Naturwissenschaften.

He has certain misgivings about its publication, not because of the actual contents but because there is a risk that all sorts of incompetent people might get involved in the discussion.

However, this danger could possibly be mitigated by the addition of an appropriate editorial note to the essay.

As for the author, P. Jordan, I know him personally.

He is a highly intelligent and gifted theoretical physicist, certainly one to be taken seriously.

I do not know how he came to be involved with telepathic and related phenomena.

However, it may well be that his preoccupation with psychic phenomena and the unconscious in general is due to his personal problems.

These manifest themselves particularly in the symptom of a speech defect (stuttering), which almost made it impossible for him to pursue his career; this could have led to a certain fragmentation of his intellectual activities (he even feels that in his specialized field he has “run out of luck”).

He seems to be familiar with some of Freud’s writings, but probably not with yours.

I would be interested to hear your opinion on the contents of the essay, especially as Jordan’s ideas seem to me to have a certain connection with your own.

In the last section 01 the essay in particular, he comes very close to your concept the collective unconscious.

Do not be put off by the word “positivistic”; it is unlikely that J’s ideas have anything to do with any philosophical system, and I would suggest that he replace the word “positivist” with “phenomenological.”

I do have certain misgivings about the picture (p. 12), according to which the conscious should be located as a “narrow borderline area” to the unconscious.

Might it not be preferable to advocate the view that the unconscious and the conscious are complementary (i.e., in a mutually exclusive relationship to each other), but not that one is part of the other?

Of course, I shall be happy to refer your works to the author.

Please forgive me for taking up your time by asking you for a (brief) written comment on the essay, but it may be of interest to you, even if there is nothing new in it for you. (By the way, I do not need to have the copy returned.)

With regard to my own personal destiny, it is true that there are still one or two unresolved problems remaining.

Nevertheless, I feel a certain need to get away from dream interpretation and dream analysis, and I would like to see what life has to bring me from outside.

A development of my feeling function is, of course, very important to me, but it does seem to me that it could come about gradually through life itself, with the passage of time, and cannot emerge solely as the outcome of dream analysis.

Having given the matter much thought, I have come to the conclusion that I shall not continue with my visits to you for the time being, unless something untoward should arise.

With my deepest thanks for all your trouble,

I remain

Yours sincerely,