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


Dear Mr. N., 22 March 1939

As you will realize it is extremely difficult to judge an individual case in which one doesn’t know the dramatis personae.

If a young man loves a woman who could almost be his mother, then it always has to do with a mother complex.

Such a union is sometimes quite useful for many years, particularly in the case of artistic persons who haven’t fully matured.

The woman in such a case is helped by an almost biological instinct.

She is hatching the eggs.

The man as the son-lover benefits by the partially sexual, partially motherly interest of the woman.

Thus such a relationship can be satisfactory in every respect for an indefinite period, but the advancing years would certainly put a definite limit to it as it is not quite natural.

It may be that even an artistic nature becomes so adult that the need of becoming a father and a grown-up man in general begins to prevail against the original son-attitude.

When that is the case the relationship is overdue.

What I say is a general rule which shouldn’t be recklessly generalized.

Man is a most peculiar experiment of nature and particularly in erotic respects simply anything is possible.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 266-267.