Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

Dear Dr. Hoch, 30 April 1953

It was very kind of you to write to me again in spite of the fact that I never answered your letter of s .XII. 52.

Since I have not been in the best of health for some time, and you are evidently not in a position to follow my line of thought.

I quailed at the prospect of answering you yet again.

It is simply a question of something that the primitive Christians understood and that was understood again and again even in the Middle Ages and that the whole of India has understood from time immemorial.

How very much you misunderstand me is evident from your remark that “psychanalysis (!) tries to lead man to the discovery of his self as the ultimate goal.”

Maybe “psychanalysis” aims at something of the sort, but I intend no such futility, for the self is by definition a transcendental entity with which the ego is confronted.

It is a total misunderstanding (and the opposite of what I have always emphasized) to say that the self is a “concentration On the Me.”

That is just what it is not.

Whatever the ultimate fate of the self may be (and the Christian mystics have something to say here), it means at any rate first the end of the ego.

Indeed, you yourself say (as Orelli said and I have always said) that Christ is “the self of all selves.”

This is the correct definition of the self and means that just as Christ is related to all individuals, so all individuals are related to Christ.

Every self has the quality of belonging to the “self of all selves,” and the self of all selves consists of individual selves.

The psychological concept fully agrees with this.

I have nothing against your theological formulations, and if I wanted to criticize them I would first have to acquire a lot more theological knowledge.

You treat psychology cavalierly and do not notice how very much you misunderstand it.

My aim was therefore to give you a fairer conception of my psychology.

This is evidently not possible, as I must admit to my regret.

It is really not easy to talk with theologians: they don’t listen to the other person (who is wrong from the start) but only to themselves (and call this the Word of God).

Perhaps this comes from their having to preach down from the pulpit, with nobody allowed to answer back.

This attitude, which I met practically everywhere, has shooed me out of the Church like so many others.

I like discussions with theologians, Protestant and Catholic, who understand and want to understand what I am talking about.

But the discussion comes to an end when you bang your head against the walls of Church and credo, for there contumaciousness begins and the power-drive that countenances nothing except itself.

That is why the devil laughs in the face of the 400 feuding Protestant sects and the great reformatory schism.

If even the Christian Churches can’t agree!

What an infernal scandal!

You have not exactly encouraged my attempt to build bridges.

But I won’t molest you any further with my paradoxes, rather I must ask your forgiveness for what must inevitably appear to you as unjustified aggressiveness.

I have no wish whatever to offend or annoy you pointlessly, and therefore I repeat that I have nothing against your theological formulations but, on the contrary, find them justified in their fashion.

My hope was only that I might inculcate into you a somewhat more reasonable and less distorted view of my psychology.

I am evidently a bad advocate in my own cause and would therefore like to take leave of you with many apologies.
Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 113-114.