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Do you believe we are heading for complete barbarism in the new aeon


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C. G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters (Bollingen Series XCVII)

QUESTION 3: Do you believe we are heading for complete barbarism in the new aeon, or is there still some likelihood that cultural disaster can be avoided?

Dr. Jung: I must confess that in this matter I believe nothing, for I just don’t know.

I can’t believe anything I don’t know, and once I know it I don’t need to believe it any more.

I don’t know whether we are heading for complete disaster, I only know that things look very black—but you know that too.

I don’t want to play the prophet, but you see, the great problem before us is over-population, not the atom bomb.

The atom bomb, teleologically considered, makes provision for the disposal of the surplus.

There are population statistics which already predict even more serious food shortages in 1965; India, the entire subcontinent of India is already in the grip of this crisis.

The slightest disturbance in the seasonal fertility leads to frightful famines, and the same is true of China.

Now they have stamped out malaria in India and that alone causes an immense population increase, quite apart from all the epidemics of cholera and plague that have been averted.

However, it is likely that in time they will have to be allowed to spread again; it is the only possible way of skimming off the surplus population.

This is not my idea; I have talked with the Chief of Public Hygiene who has a big laboratory on the Gulf of Kutch, the main import center for such articles as smallpox, cholera, and plague.

He told me that they can imagine no other solution of the overpopulation problem in India except a colossal epidemic. In 1920, for instance, following the influenza epidemic, they had a loss of 675,000 lives.

But that is exactly the surplus birthrate for one year and it goes on piling up like an avalanche. QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE: Can’t something be done with birth control?

Carl Jung: Well, they have granted half a million pounds for that, and you should just ask the Indians what good it has done and how it went down with the masses—you can imagine.

It amounts to nothing at all, a drop of water on a hot stove.

The decrease of population doesn’t begin with the educated classes who understand birth control; it must be- gin with the lower classes, and in India until recently only 20 per cent of them were not illiterate.

Today about half the population is still illiterate.

You can imagine what birth control means under these conditions: nothing.

They are little better than cave-dwellers, and many of them are still completely wild tribesmen. Reasonable measures like these are quite hopeless.
The birth rate can only be controlled by catastrophes, short of a miracle.

The question naturally arises: What will happen if the world population goes on increasing and people are huddled together still more as a result?

It will produce a frightful tension which can discharge itself in one way or another, and on the rational side we have no answer and on the irrational side we can expect heaven knows what, at any rate nothing particularly hopeful.

You can put this down to the pessimism of old age.

At all events, it is highly probable that we are heading for an extremely critical time, which all of us may per- haps not experience—the peak of it, that is—because we are the end of the Pisces aeon and can certainly expect that with the transition to the new aeon of Aquarius, approximately 150-200 years from now, our distant descendants will experience all sorts of things.

This atom bomb business, for instance, is terribly characteristic of Aquarius, whose ruler is Uranos, the Lord of unpredictable events.

But this is speculation.

Have you any questions? I wouldn’t want my esteemed audience to be left out of it! Carl Jng, C.G. Jung: In- terviews and Encounters, Pages 374-375.