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Carl Jung on Suicide.


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Carl Jung’s to “Mrs. N.”, a 47 year old woman concerned about the impact of her suicide attempt at age 21. This statement is contained in a letter dated 13 October 1951.

“It isn’t possible to kill part of your “self” unless you kill yourself first. If you ruin your conscious personality, the so-called ego-personality, you deprive the self of its real goal, namely to become real itself. The goal of life is the realization of the self. If you kill yourself you abolish that will of the self to become real, but it may arrest your personal development inasmuch it is not explained. You ought to realise that suicide is murder, since after suicide there remains a corpse exactly as with any ordinary murder. Only it is yourself that has been killed.” ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 2, Page 25.

Carl Jung in a Letter wrote dated 10 July, 1946, to a correspondent regarding suicide.

“The idea of suicide, understandable as it is, does not seem commendable to me. We live in order to gain the greatest possible amount of spiritual development and self-awareness. As long as life is possible, even if only in a minimal degree, you should hang onto it, in order to scoop it up for the purpose of conscious development. To interrupt life before its time is to bring to a standstill an experiment which we have not set up. We have found ourselves in the midst of it and must carry it through to the end.” ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, 1973, Page 434.

( 25 July, 1946) Carl Jung in a letter to Eleanor Bertine concerning Kristine Mann’s death dated 25 July 1946.

“It is really a question whether a person affected by such a terrible illness should or may end her life. It is my attitude in such cases not to interfere. I would let things happen as they were so, because I’m convinced that if anybody has it in himself to commit suicide, then practically the whole of his being is going that way. I have seen cases where it would have been something short of criminal to hinder the people because according to all rules it was in accordance with the tendency of their unconscious and thus the basic thing. So I think nothing is really gained by interfering with such an issue. It is presumably to be left to the free choice of the individual. Anything that seems to be wrong to us can be right under certain circumstances over which we have no control and then end of which we do not understand. If Kristine Mann had committed suicide under the stress of unbearable pain, I should have thought that this was the right thing. As it was not the case, I think it was in her stars to undergo such a cruel agony for reasons that escape out understanding. Our life is not made entirely by ourselves. The main bulk of it is brought into existence out of sources that are hidden to us. Even complexes can start a century or more before a man is born. There is something like karma.” ~Carl (Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 435-436.

Carl Jung to a terminally ill person 19 Nov. 1955.

“The reason for such an “unreasonable” attitude with me is that I am not at all sure what will happen to me after death. I have good reasons to assume that things are not finished with death. Life seems to be an interlude in a long story.” ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 279.

Letter from Carl Jung to Alice Lewisohn Crowley suggesting Suicide:

My Dear Mrs. Crowley,

I begin to feel my age and whenever I get a bit too tired I also feel my heart and that is decidedly disagreeable and makes me cross with the whole world, which is damnable anyhow. I went through a period of black depression during the first 4 days. Only yesterday I began to feel human again. And then your situation in Europe came back to me with a bang!

I beg you to consider your life. If they are going to send you to Poland, you only can suicide yourself. Please forgive this crudeness! It is my anxiety for your life which makes me say such things. Remember, I warned you before America went to war. It is urgent that you do something and quick! Europe is in a desperate situation.

I am sorry and I am helpless.

Yours affectionately, C.G. Jung

Note: The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941