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

Stephen Black: Professor Jung, what do you think will be the effect upon the world of living, as we have been living, and may still have to live, under the threat of the hydrogen bomb?

Dr. Jung: Well, that’s a very great problem.

I think the West is more affected by it than the East, because the East has a very different attitude to death and destruction.

Think, for instance, of the fact that practically the whole of India believes in reincarnation, so when you lose this life you have plenty of others.

It doesn’t matter so much.

Moreover, this world is illusion anyhow, and if you can get rid of it, it isn’t so bad. And if you hope for a further life, well, you have untold possibilities ahead of you.

Since in the West there is one life only, therefore I can imagine that the West is more disturbed by the possibility of utter destruction than the East.

We have only one life to lose and we are by no means assured of a number of other lives to follow.

The greater part of the European population doesn’t even believe in immortality anymore and so, once destroyed, forever destroyed.

That explains a great deal of the reaction in the West.

We are more vulnerable because of our lack of knowledge and contact with the deepest strata of the psyche.

But the East is better defended in that way, because it is based upon the fundamental facts of the human soul and believes more in it and in its possibilities than the West.

And that is a point of uncertainty in the West.

It is a very critical point. Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 252-267.