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

To the Rev. S.C.V. Bowman

Dear Sir, 10 December 1953

Your problem of the liberum arbitrium has of course many aspects which I wouldn’t know how to deal with in the frame of a letter.

I only can say that as far as consciousness reaches, the will is understood to be free, i.e., that the feeling of freedom accompanies your decisions no matter if they are really free or not.

The latter question cannot be decided empirically.

Where you are not conscious, there can obviously be no freedom.

Through the analysis of the unconscious, you increase the amount of freedom.

A complete consciousness would mean an equally complete freedom and responsibility.

If unconscious contents approaching the sphere of consciousness are not analysed and integrated, then the sphere of your freedom is even diminished through the fact that such contents are activated and gain more compelling influence upon consciousness than when they were completely unconscious.

I don’t think that there are any great difficulties in this line of approach.

The actual difficulty, as I see it, begins with the problem of how to deal with the integrated formerly unconscious Contents.

This, however, cannot be dealt with by correspondence.

Hoping to see you in spring,

I remain,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 139.