Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961
To James Kirsch
Dear Kirsch, 16 February 1954
I scarcely think that the Jews have to accept the Christ symbol.
They need only understand its meaning.
Christ wanted to change Yahweh into a moral God of goodness, but in so doing he tore apart the opposites ( Satan falling from heaven, Luke 1 0:1 8) that were united in him (God) though in an inharmonious and unconscious way; hence the suspension between the opposites at the crucifixion.
The purpose of the Christian reformation through Jesus was to eliminate the evil moral consequences that
were caused by the amoral divine prototype. One cannot “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel” (Matt. 23:24) or “serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24) at the same time.
This moral differentiation is a necessary step on the way of individuation.
Without thorough knowledge of “good and evil,” ego and shadow, there is no recognition of the self, but at most an involuntary and therefore dangerous identification with it.
The Jew has roughly the same moral development behind him as the Christian European, consequently he has the same problem.
A Jew can recognize the self in that hostile pair of brothers, Christ and Satan, as well as I can or perhaps even better, and with it the incarnation or Yahweh’s assimilation to man.
Naturally the status of man is profoundly altered because of this.
The Jew has the advantage of having long since anticipated the development of consciousness in his own spiritual history.
By this I mean the Lurianic stage of the Kabbalah, the breaking of the vessels and man’s help in restoring them.
Here the thought emerges for the first time that man must help God to repair the damage wrought by the Creation.
For the first time man’s cosmic responsibility is acknowledged.
Naturally it is a question of the self and not the ego, although the latter will be deeply affected.
That is the answer I would give a Jew.
With best regards,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 154-155.