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Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume I, 1906-1950 (Vol 1)

To Albert Oppenheimer

Dear Herr Oppenheimer 10 October 1933

Not being a prophet, it is impossible for me to predict where the world is going to.

But I know from my own experience of very many individuals of our time that a very definite instinctive tendency is at
work to bring them back to consciousness of themselves.

The catastrophe of the World War is no doubt responsible for this.

What happens to the individual also happens to nations after a time, by a process of natural summation.

The economic crisis operates as a contributory causative factor.

Nations will become more and more entrenched in their idiosyncrasies and we may expect an increase in
nationalism everywhere.

Contrary to the rational expectation of worldwide understanding, the individuality of each nation is going to be built up for a long time to come.

Economic hardship makes people egoistic as well as increasing mistrust between them.

It is clear that civilization, if not exactly threatened, is being held up in its advance.

This is to be welcomed in that our advance has been much too rapid for the real man, which is why we have become
lopsidedly intellectualistic and rationalistic and have quite forgotten that there are other factors which cannot be influenced
by a one track rational intellect.

Hence we see on all sides a mystic emotionality flaring up, which had been declared extinguished ever since the
Middle Ages.

It fares with nations as with the individual: if he grows too high in the air his roots go down too deep, which means that
however fast he progresses he will after a time be overtaken by his own shadow, where he will find plenty of work to do on himself at

In the individual one calls it a conflict, in the nation it’s a civil war or revolution.

I think the continuing divisions and upheavals will gradually lead to a state of balance which will form the basis for a reconstruction.

But I think the phase of disintegration will last at least several decades more.

I see no special social or political gain for our generation but an all the greater spiritual one.

This, of course, is not identical with what used to be called the march of civilization.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 128-129.