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

To V. Subrahamanya Iyer

Dear Sir, 16 September 1937

I quite agree with you that it is a noble pursuit for any philosophy to seek a way to happiness for all mankind.

It is quite obvious that one cannot attain to this end without eradicating misery.

Philosophy must find a way to accomplish the destruction of misery in order to attain to happiness.

I should call it a pretty ambitious task, however, to eradicate misery and I’m not so optimistic as to believe that such a task could be accomplished.

On the contrary, I believe that misery is an intrinsic part of human life, without which we could never do anything.

We always try to escape misery.

We do it m a million different ways and none of them entirely succeeds.

Thus I come to the conclusion that a feasible thing would be to try to find at least a way how to enable people to endure the inevitable misery which is the lot of every human life.

If anybody achieves at least endurance of misery, he has already accomplished an almost superhuman task.

This might give him some happiness or satisfaction.

If you call this happiness, I wouldn’t have much to say against it I sincerely hope that I shall see you again in India.

In the meantime I remain with every good wish,

Yours faithfully,

C.G. Jung [Letters Volume 1, Pages 235-236]