Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

To Pastor Oscar Nisse

Dear Pastor Nisse, 2 July 1960

It was actually through my therapeutic work that I began to understand the essence of the Christian faith.

It became clear to me that the preoccupation with anxiety in psychoanalysis, where as you know it plays a considerable part, is not to be explained by the presence of religious teaching but rather by its absence.

With Freud personally-as I saw clearly over a period of years anxiety played a great part.

It is not hard to see that in him its source was the fear of Yahweh which is always present in the unconscious, particularly of Jews.

In the Jewish mentality this imprint is so deep that the individual Jew can rarely get away from it.

That is because he is Jewish, because he belongs and has belonged for thousands of years to a people characterized by their intimate connection with Yahweh.

With the Christian this anxiety is less important thanks to the fact that it was not until the day before yesterday that he rid himself of the gods, who represented the numinous aspects of the transcendent being as a plurality.

I assure you it was precisely through my analytic work that I arrived at an understanding not only of the Christian religion but, I may say, of all religions,

The Freudian idea that religion is nothing more than a system of prohibitions is very limited and out of touch with what is known about different religions.

To be exact, I must say that, although I profess myself a Christian, I am at the same time convinced that the chaotic contemporary situation shows that present-day Christianity is not the final truth.

Further progress is an absolute necessity since the present state of affairs seems to me insupportable.

As I see it, the contributions of the psychology of the unconscious should be taken into account.

With highest regards,

I am, Yours sincerely,

C..G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 631-632