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

Dear Pastor Niederer, Easter Monday [26 March]1951

While tidying up my MSS I came across your kind gift! of Feb. 1949.

I doubt whether I ever thanked you for it.

Though I have a secretary upon whom it is incumbent to protect me from the consequences of my absent-mindedness and forgetfulness, she too occasionally drowns in the floods of paper which pour down upon me without cease.

At any rate I will now make good my thanks and beg you for indulgence and forgiveness of sins.

At the end of your lucid expose you inquire about the “merit” of Christ, which you no longer understand as a magical occurrence, replacing it, so to speak, by the integration of projections.

This is rationally correct but, it seems to me, scarcely an adequate answer.

The psychological “merit” (or rather, significance) of Christ consists in the fact that, as the “firstling,” he is the prototype of the “perfect”, the integral man.

This image, as history testifies, is numinous and can therefore be answered only by another numinosity.

It touches the imago Dei, the archetype of the self in us, and thereby awakens it.

The self is then “constellated” and by virtue of its numinosity compels man towards wholeness, i.e., towards the integration of the unconscious or the subordination of the ego to a holistic “will,” which is rightly conceived to be “God’s will.” πληρότητα in the psychological sense means the “completeness,” not the “perfection” of man.

Wholeness cannot be conscious, since it also embraces the unconscious.

Hence at least half of it is a transcendental state, mystical and numinous.

Individuation is a transcendental goal, an incarnation of the [Greek word.]

The only part of this we can understand rationally is the holistic religious striving of consciousness, i.e., the religiose observare of the holistic impulses in the unconscious, but not the existential reality of wholeness or of the self, which is prefigured by the “being in Christ”.

Very sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 13-14