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

To Father Victor White

My dear Victor, 23 April 1947

You are a more conscientious letter writer than I am.

I have been eaten up by work.

But now there is a lull-most welcome indeed.

I have just finished the MS of Symbolik des Geistes.

From now on it will take quite a while until it is printed.

I had to revise my paper “Geist der Psychologie” (“Geist” meaning the same as f.i. in Esprit des Lois ) completely.

It has increased in size considerably.

I quite understand that it is very difficult to catch my meaning from the very sketchy first form of the paper.

I think we agree that the unconscious is psychic, i .e., a sort of mind.

Yet it is unc. since it is not associated with ego-consciousness, which is precisely the reason why it is “unconscious.”

Though it might be conscious to another subject, an alter ego, it is at all events severed from the ego.

Yet it has according to its effects a psychic nature, or at least we assume it has.

I have covered these points in the new edition.

The paper is now going into print and I will send you an offprint as soon as copies are available.

I have made a great effort to explain what I mean by “psychic: I call those biological phenomena “psychic” which show at least traces of a will that interferes with the regular and automatic functioning
of instincts.

This formulation raises a mountain of problems, f.i., Who is the subject of this will? What is the “knowing” coupled with every volitional act? etc.

I have dealt with these questions to the best of my ability in the enlarged paper, so you’d better wait for it.

I have gone once more through your splendid essay “De Revelatione.”

I think, if you would give a short survey of The Psychology of St. Thomas at the Eranos meeting, you would fulfil our expectations.

You must realize that your public appreciates the demonstration of a mediaeval psychology which is strange to our ears.

We are not used to it as your colleagues are.

Moreover a genius like St. Thomas, who takes into consideration the action of angels and demons, will be accepted with the greatest attention, because it gives us a chance to
understand how a mediaeval mind tackled the modern problem of the collective unconscious.

Thus a part of your essay on St. Thomas, if you arrange it a bit for the occasion, would do.

The psychological conceptions of Aristotle have already been dealt with.

Since St. Thomas was influenced by Avicenna the latter’s views might deserve some attention.

O. is still torn asunder by the opposites inside a dense cloud of inflation.

But his is a big problem.

I am no more strong enough to tackle it myself.

I have seen him.

I can only hope that by the grace of God some light will dawn upon him.

I know what’s wrong, but how can I bring it home to him?

He won’t lap it up. No cause for optimism in his case!

X.-yes, I think she would be giving headaches right and left.

I got them too as long as she was on the premises. “God protect me from my friends” said Bismarck. So do I.

But I have heard nothing of what she is up to recently.

When you come to Zurich before Eranos, I hope you will give us the pleasure of putting you up in the style of last year.

Yours cordially,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 457-458.