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

To Pastor W. Arz

Dear Pastor Arz, 17 February 1933

It is of little use having any convictions about the question you ask.

I therefore determine the probability of certain views whenever possible by the empirical method.

It is naturally quite out of the question that we shall ever be able to furnish a proof of the immortality of the soul.

On the other hand, it does seem to me possible to establish certain peculiar facts regarding the nature of the soul which at least do not rule out the immortality affirmed by religious belief.

What is commonly understood by “psyche” is certainly an ephemeral phenomenon if it is taken to mean the ordinary facts of consciousness.

But in the deeper layers of the psyche which we call the unconscious there are things that cast doubt on the indispensable categories of our conscious world, namely time and space.

The existence of telepathy in time and space is still denied only by positive ignoramuses.

It is clear that timeless and spaceless perceptions are possible only because the perceiving psyche is similarly constituted.

Timelessness and spacelessness must therefore be somehow inherent in its nature, and this in itself permits us to doubt the exclusive temporality of the soul, or if you prefer, makes time and space appear doubtful.

Every ephemeral phenomenon requires limitation in time and space, but if time and space are doubtful, then the peculiar limitation of such phenomena becomes doubtful too.

It is sufficiently clear that timelessness and spacelessness can never be grasped through the medium of our intelligence, so we must rest content with this borderline concept.

Nevertheless we know that a door exists to a quite different order of things from the one we encounter in our empirical world of consciousness.

This is about all that science can contribute to this question.

Beyond that there is still the subjective psychological experience which can be in the highest degree convincing for the individual even though it cannot be shared by the
wider public.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung, Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 117-118