“But 2000 years of Christianity have to be replaced by something equivalent.”
To Sigmund Freud
Dear Professor Freud, 11 February 1910
I am a lazy correspondent.
But this time I have (as always) excellent excuses: Preparing the Jahrbuch has taken me an incredible amount of time, as I had to work nightly with the blue pencil.
The book of the manuscripts goes off today.
It will be an impressive affair.
Enclosed is a list of addresses.
Please let me know if I have forgotten anyone from abroad.
You will see that I am setting about it on a rather large scale-I hope with your subsequent approval.
Our cause is forging ahead.
Only today I heard from a doctor in Munich that the medical students there are taking a massive interest in the new psychology, some of them poking fun at the gentlemen at the Clinic because they understand nothing about it.
Meanwhile I too have now received an invitation from the apothecary Knapp in Bern to join the I.O.
I have asked for time to think about it and have promised to submit the invitation to the Nuremberg Congress.
Knapp wanted to have me also for lectures.
The prospect appeals me. I am so thoroughly convinced that I would have to read myself the longest ethical lectures that I cannot muster a grainof courage to promote ethics in public, Jet alone from the psychoanalytical standpoint!
At present l am sitting so precariously on the fence between the Dionysian and the Apollonian that ( wonder whether it might not be worthwhile to reintroduce a few of the older cultural stupidities such as the monasteries.
That is, I really don’t know which is the lesser evil.
Do you think this Fraternity could have any practical use?
Isn’t it one of Forel’s coalitions against stupidity and evil, and must we not love evil if we are to breakaway from the obsession with virtue which makes us sick and forbids us the joys of life?
If a coalition to have any ethical significance it should never be an artificial one but must be nourished by the deep instincts of the race.
Somewhat like Christian Science, Islam, Buddhism.
Religion can be replaced only by religion.
Is there perchance a new saviour in the I.O.?
What sort of new myth does he hand out for us to live by?
Only the wise are ethical from sheer intellectual presumption, the rest of us need the eternal truth of myth.
You will see from this string of associations that the problem does not leave me simply apathetic and cold.
The ethical problem of sexual freedom really is enormous and worth the sweat of all noble souls.
But 2000 years of Christianity have to be replaced by something equivalent.
An ethical fraternity, with its mythical Nothing, not infused by any archaic-infantile driving force, is a pure vacuum and can never evoke in man the slightest trace of that age-old animal power which drives the migrating bird across the sea and without which no irresistible mass movement can come into being.
I imagine a far finer and more comprehensive task for Psychoanalyst than alliance with an ethical fraternity.
I think we must give it time to infiltrate into people from many centers, to revivify among intellectuals a feeling for symbol and myth, ever so gently to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of the vine, which he was, and in this way absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for the one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal.
That indeed was the beauty and purpose of classical religion, which from God knows what temporary biological needs bas turned into a Misery Institute.
Yet how infinitely much rapture and wantonness lie dormant in our religion, waiting to be led back to tl1eir true destination!
A genuine and proper ethical development cannot abandon Christianity but must grow up within it, must bring to fruition its hymn of love, the agony and ecstasy over the dying and resurgent god the mystic power of the wine, the awesome anthropophagy of the Last Supper-only this ethical development can serve the vital forces of religion.
But a syndicate of interests dies out after 10 years.
Psychoanalyst. makes me “proud and discontent,” I don’t want to attach it to Forel, this hair-shirted John of the Locusts but would like to affiliate it with everything that was ever dynamic and alive.
One can only let this kind of thing grow.
To be practical: I shall submit this crucial question for psychoanalyst to the Nuremberg Congress.
I have abreacted enough for today-my heart was bursting with it.
Please don’t mind all this storming.
With many cordial greetings,
Very sincerely yours.
Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 17-19.