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

To Henry Corbin

Dear M. Corbin, 4 May 1953

A few days ago I received an offprint of your essay “La Sophie Eternelle.”

Unfortunately it is impossible for me to express all the thoughts and feelings I had upon reading your admirable presentation of your subject.

My French is so rusty that I cannot use it to formulate exactly what I want to say to you.

Yet I must tell you how delighted I was by your work. It was an extraordinary joy to me, and not only the rarest of experiences but even a unique experience, to be fully understood.

I am accustomed to living in a more or less complete intellectual vacuum, and my Answer to Job has done nothing to diminish it.

On the contrary, it has released an avalanche of prejudice, misunderstanding, and, above all, atrocious stupidity.

I have received hundreds of critical reviews, but not a single one that comes anywhere near yours in its lucid and penetrating understanding.

Your intuition is astounding: Schleiermacher really is one of my spiritual ancestors.

He even baptized my grandfather-born a Catholic-who by then was a doctor.

This grandfather became a great friend of the theologian de Wette,who had connections of his own with Schleiermacher.

The vast, esoteric, and individual spirit of Schleiermacher was a part of the intellectual atmosphere of my father’s family.

I never studied him, but unconsciously he was for me a spiritus rector.

You say you read my book as an “oratorio.”

The book “came to me” during the fever of an illness.

It was as if accompanied by the great music of a Bach or a Handel.

I don’t belong to the auditory type.

So I did not hear anything, I just had the feeling of listening to a great composition, or rather of being at a concert.

I should mention that de Wette had a tendency, as he said, to “mythize” the “marvellous” Bible stories (that is, the shocking ones).

Thus he preserved their symbolic value.

This is exactly what I have been forced to do not only for the Bible but also for the misdeeds in our dreams.

I don’t know how to express my gratitude but, once again,

I must tell you how much I appreciate your goodwill and your unique understanding.

My compliments to Madame Corbin.

The caviar is not forgotten.

With grateful regards,

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 115-116.