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

To Leo P. Holliday

Dear Sir, 6 November 1960

You are obviously deeply impressed by the present non-political moral and psychological situation. As far as I can see, it is a psychological problem par excellence.
Man is confronted with powers apparently created by himself but which he cannot control.

This is au fond a primitive situation, with the difference only that the primitive does not imagine himself to be the author of his demons.

The very objects and methods which have led civilized man out of the jungle have now attained to an auton- omy which terrifies him, all the more so as he sees no ways and means to cope with them.

Since he knows that his ogres are man-made, he lives under the illusion that he could and should control them and he does not understand why this is not so.

He is like Goethe’s sorcerer’s apprentice who, using his master’s magic, vivified his broom and could not stop it any more.

This prejudice increases the difficulties, of course.

In a way it would be a much more manageable situation if man could understand his unruly monsters in the primitive way, as autonomous demons.

But they are indeed not objective demons, they are mere rational structures which simply and inexplicably es- cape our control.

Yet we are still, as a matter of fact, in the same old jungle, where the individual is still threatened by danger- ous factors-by machines, methods, organizations, etc., even more dangerous than the wild animals.

Something has not apparently changed at all: we have carried the old jungle with us, and this is what nobody seems to understand.

The jungle is in us, in our unconscious, and we have succeeded in projecting it into the outside world, where now the saurians are lustily playing about again in the form of cars, airplanes, and rockets.

Now, if a psychologist should participate in your world organization, he would be up against the thankless task of making his colleagues from other disciplines see where they have the blind spot.

Do you think that such a thing would be possible?

I have already tried it for about 6o years, and there are relatively few individuals who were inclined to listen to me.

The human mind, still an adolescent boy, will sacrifice everything for a new gadget but will carefully refrain from a look into himself.

You must judge for yourself whether my view is pessimistic or optimistic, but I am rather certain that some- thing drastic will have to happen to wake up the dreamers who are already on the way to the moon.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 608-609