Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 2)
To Father Victor White
Dear Victor, Bollingen, 19 December 1947
Our letters seem to feel that they have to cover a great distance!
I have expected your letter with considerable curiosity and it confirms what I thought would be your immediate reaction.
It’s all very bewildering.
Wylie’s book, I find, is• a most remarkable picture of the things a European has great difficulty to understand.
Certainly such a book would be utterly impossible in Europe because it kills itself.
Yet to my mind nobody can foretell the effect it may have upon the average American.
Don’t forget that “Mom” has not turned into a mother from a lovely girl on account of nothing but maturation.
The animus of women is an answer to the spirit which rules the man.
It has its origin in father’s mind and shows what the girl has received from the lovely, kind, and incompetent father.
His family weakness on the other hand he owes to the animus of his mother and thus the evil is handed on from generation to generation.
I don’t think that Wylie’s book defeats its own ends in America.
The general hide is enormously thick. W. is ethical, but he does not-not yet-understand religion.
That is the reason why his outlook on a further moral development is so peculiarly hazy and so incredibly shallow.
But that is decidedly no reason why it should not appeal to the American appetite, which ever so often prefers sawdust instead of real food.
You remember my unsympathetic dream figure of the dry Jesuit logician?
Not very long after I wrote to you, I simply had to write a new essay I did not know about what.
It occurred to me I should discuss some of the finer points about anima, animus, shadow, and last but not least the self.
I was against it, because I wanted to rest my head.
Lately I had suffered from severe sleeplessness and I wanted to keep away from all mental exertions.
In spite of everything, I felt forced to write on blindly, not seeing at all what I was driving at.
Only after I had written about pages in folio, it began to dawn on me that Christ-not the man but the divine being-was my secret goal.
It came to me as a shock, as I felt utterly unequal to such a task.
A dream told me that my small fishing boat had been sunk and that a giant (whom I knew from a dream about 30 years ago) had provided me with a new, beautiful seagoing craft about twice the size of my former boat.
Then I knew-nothing doing! I had to go on.
My further writing led me to the archetype of the God-man and to the phenomenon of synchronicity which adheres to the archetype.
Thus I came to discuss the “Aion” and the then new aeon of *0° (following cr 30 o), the prophecy of the Antichrist and the development of the latter from 1000 A.D. in mysticism and alchemy until the recent developments, which threaten to overthrow the Christian aeon altogether.
I have found some beautiful material.
Last night I dreamt of at least 3 Catholic priests who were quite friendly and one of them had a remarkable library.
I was the whole time under a sort of military order and I had to sleep in the barracks.
There was a scarcity of beds, so that two men had to share one bed.
My partner had already gone to bed.
The bed was very clean, white, and fresh and he was a most venerable looking, very old man with white locks and a long flowing white beard.
He offered me graciously one half of the bed and I woke up when I was just slipping into it.
I must say that up to now I have handled the problem of Christ strictly on the level with the dogma, which is the leading thread through the maze of “my” un-thought thoughts.
Ad ”neurosis : I mean, of course, that it is as a rule better to leave neurotics to themselves as long as they do not suffer and seek health.
There is enough of a task for the psychotherapist.
I am glad to hear that “they” gave you a hearty welcome in New York.
Please give them my best regards.
The conditions in England are indeed lamentable.
Perhaps it is just as well that you have more dreams to deal with than to write.
The latter can wait, but what you are meant to be cannot wait.
My best wishes for Xmas and New Year,
Yours cordially, c . G . ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 479-481.
Note: Possibly a dream Jung had when working on Psychological Types: a small horse was trying to pull a large ocean liner to the pier. Suddenly a giant appeared, slew
the little horse, and pulled the liner into dock.