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

To Erich Neumann

Dear Colleague, 16 December 1939

I was happy to hear from you again.

You have obviously waited rather too long before writing to me, for your letter is so concentrated that a full-scale reaction by post is simply impossible.

Had I had your dream I would have needed either to thin it out or to round it out.

When a dream assumes this legendary form, there are contents in it that should be taken up, elaborated, and rounded out through active imagination.

I would have needed to dramatize the dream still more to make it yield up its secrets.

The Wotan association does not point to the Teutonic regression in Germany but symbolizes a spiritual movement affecting the whole civilized , world (Wotan as wind-god = pneuma ).

This explains why Wotan also figures among Jews, though only German Jews, as I have seen many times.

The hermaphrodite is certainly an archetype.

It stands for a union of opposites and is probably a duality symbol equivalent to Aquarius and would thus have about the same value as the fish symbol at the beginning of our era.

As the alchemical symbolism shows, it signifies the self, whose Indian symbols are likewise hermaphroditic. (Cf. the Atman figure at the beginning of the Brihadaranyal a Upanishad.)

This problem transcends racial differences and comes from that wind of the spirit which is blowing over Europe and probably the whole world too, for in the Far East as well things are everywhere in rapid motion.

Here we are very impressed by the immediate danger of war in our own country, but for the time being everything is still in suspense.

In my lectures I am discussing the Eastern attitude with the help of Yoga philosophy and the Western attitude with the help of Ignatius’s Exercitia Spiritualia.

My best wishes,

Ever sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 280-281.

1 N. reported a dream in which he was an old pilgrim threatened by Nazis (?).

As he was about to continue his pilgrimage, there stood at his side a “son” and a “father” who turned into an old prince. The prince told the pilgrim to go in spite of the protests of the “son,” in order to expiate his condemnation at a trial.

The pilgrim started on his journey, taking only his slouch hat (association: Wotan’s hat) and staff, without being allowed to take leave of the “son .”

The dream continues with the prince killing the pilgrim, but not before the pilgrim had prophesied the prince’s death. Many details have been omitted in this summary.

2 In a second dream there appeared “a gigantic hermaphrodite of cosmic proportions . . . , male in its upper and female in its lower part” (again details omitted). N. had mentioned in his letter that he was working on the problem of the meaning in Jewish religion of the polarity expressed in the hermaphrodite.