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

To Arnold Kunzli

Dear Herr Kunzli, 12 January 1944

Having been away from home for some time I am only now getting down to answering your kind letter with your review.

Above all I want to thank you heartily for the excellent review, which I’m sorry to hear must be printed in abbreviated form.

This is yet another reminder of the fact that I have to be presented to my contemporaries only as a third-class passenger.

It all hangs together with Switzerland being a hundred years behind the times.

Compared with Pulver’s review, yours has the great merit of singling out the essential, which remains invisible with Pulver, and not only with him but with all the others as well, so that it then looks as if one had actually said nothing.

I don’ t hold it against the Swiss for being officially one of the most unspiritual nations in Europe, on the contrary I sympathize, since their spirituality consists in their fear of the spirit.

They still have, thank God, sufficient instinct to avoid its dangers and to enjoy poets who have been dead for a hundred years or, if more recent, are insignificant.

In our age of worldwide deracination it is a veritable blessing that there are still people who are immune to the spirit, or at least take serious pains to skirt round everything the spirit might mean with all conceivable circumspection.

This shows true respect for the spirit, even though it is sometimes a hard job to play the role of the tabooed with good grace.

Therefore I wouldn’t care to belong to any other nation, for even a positive evaluation of the spirit, however enjoyable it may momentarily be for an author, always degenerates into capriciousness: you then have the spirit, or think you have, and are thus relieved of the obligation to fear it.

Then the spirit comes in the form of the devil, as the cruel fate of Germany shows.

Perhaps you could place the whole review with a Swiss daily? Bund? Basler Nachrichten?

With best regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1., Pages 340-341.