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I had to think of my American visitors who fly over in six hours


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Letters, Vol. 2: 1951-1961
To Roger Lass

Dear Mr. Lass, 11 February 1961

It seems to me-to judge from your expose-that you have a correct idea of my leading thoughts.

Only, in par. 6, I would like to emphasize that it very often does not depend upon the use one makes of an image, but rather upon the use the archetypes make of ourselves, which decides the question whether it will be artistic creation or a change of religious attitude.

I find that this “choice” is in many cases rather a fate than a voluntary decision.

I see that many of my pupils indulge in a superstitious belief in our so-called ” free will” and pay little atten- tion to the fact that the archetypes are, as a rule, autonomous entities, and not only material subject to our choice.

They are, as a matter of fact, dominants up to a certain point.

That is the reason why one is confronted with an archetype, because we cannot undo it by merely making it conscious. It has to be taken into account and that is the main task of any prolonged analysis.

The deviation from the dominants causes a certain dissociation, i.e., a loss of vitality, what the primitives call “a loss of soul.”

The primitive has a very keen realization in this respect.

I would mention the story of a primitive Negro who had been invited to be driven in a car. After half an h our he asked the people to stop.
He stepped out and stretched himself on the ground.

They asked him whether he was sick, and he said “no,” he felt all right, but he had just to wait for his soul that had remained behind, as they went too fast for it.

I had to think of my American visitors who fly over in six hours and are still in America for several days, with- out noticing it.

Your expose is perfectly clear otherwise and it can serve you well in your further investigations.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 625-626