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

My dear Dr. Mann, 1 February 1945

Eleanor Bertine has already given me the news of your illness in a letter I received a few days ago.

I wish I could talk to you personally but one is so far from each other and it is such a long time we are separated from the rest of the world that one feels quite hopeless about a communication.

We don’t trust even our letters to be capable of jumping over the abyss which yawns between us and the wide world.

Still I hope that a good star conveys my letter to you.

As you know the angel of death has struck me down too and almost succeeded in wiping me off the slate.

I have been practically an invalid ever since recovering very very slowly from all the arrows that have pierced me on all sides,

Fortunately enough my head has not suffered and I could forget myself in my scientific work.

On the whole my illness proved to be a most valuable experience which gave me the inestimable opportunity of a glimpse behind the veil.

The only difficulty is to get rid of the body, to get quite naked and void of the world and the ego-will.

When you can give up the crazy will to live and when you seemingly fall into a bottomless mist, then the truly real life begins with everything which you were meant to be and never reached.

It is something ineffably grand.

I was free, completely free and whole, as I never felt before.

I found myself 15,000 km. from the earth and I saw it as an immense globe resplendent in an inexpressibly beautiful blue light.

I was on a point exactly above the southern end of India, which shone in a bluish silvery light with Ceylon like a shimmering opal in the deep blue sea.

I was in the universe, where there was a big solitary rock containing a temple. I saw its entrance illuminated by a thousand small flames of coconut oil.

I knew I was to enter the temple and I would reach full knowledge.

But at this moment a messenger from the world (which by then was a very insignificant corner of the universe) arrived and said that I was not allowed to depart and at this moment the whole vision collapsed completely.

But from then on for three weeks I slept, and was wakeful each night in the universe and experienced the complete vision.

Not I was united with somebody or something-it was united, it was the hieros gamos, the mystic Agnus.

It was a silent invisible festival permeated by an incomparable, indescribable feeling of eternal bliss, such as I never could have imagined as being within reach of human experience.

Death is the hardest thing from the outside and as long as we are outside of it. But once inside you taste of such completeness and peace and fulfillment that you don’t want to return.

As a matter of fact, during the first month after my first vision I suffered from black depressions because I felt that I was recovering.

It was like dying.

I did not want to live and to return into this fragmentary, restricted, narrow, almost mechanical life, where you were subject to the laws of gravity and cohesion, imprisoned in a system of dimensions and whirled along with other bodies in the turbulent stream of time.

There was fullness, meaning fulfillment, eternal movement (not movement in time).

Although your letter is dated Nov. 27th 1944, I hope that my answer will reach you.

Your letter arrived today and I am writing at once.

Throughout my illness something has carried me.

My feet were not standing on air and I had the proof that I have reached a safe ground.

Whatever you do, if you do it sincerely, will eventually become the bridge to your wholeness, a good ship that carries you through the darkness of your second birth, which seems to be death to the outside.

I will not last too long any more. I am marked.

But life has fortunately become provisional.

It has become a transitory prejudice, a working hypothesis for the time being, but not existence itself.

Be patient and regard it as another difficult task, this time the last one.

I greet you,

Carl G. Jung [Letters Volume 1, Pages 355-356]