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How is Death Possible?


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

To J. Meinertz

Dear Colleague, 3 July 1939

Best thanks for kindly sending me your investigation on psychotherapy.

As I see from an at present only cursory reading of your book, you give the problem of psychotherapy a central place in the discussion of modern German philosophy.

This affords me the great advantage of being able to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of modern philosophy at all essential points, since I can find everything I need in your book.

What Heidegger, Klages, and Jaspers have to say in this respect has never affected me very deeply, for one notices the same thing in all writers who have never had to wrestle with the practical problems of psychotherapy.

They all have an astonishing facility with words, which they endow with an almost magical

If Klages had had to treat a single case of neurosis he would never have brought off that thick tome on the obnoxious spirit.

Similarly, Heidegger would have lost all desire to juggle with words.

You have done the psychotherapist a favour by cutting useful footpaths through this linguistic jungle, and at every turn he can see the most curious vistas opening out before him.

An especially delectable morsel is the way the philosophers juggle with death.

I can’t wait for the dissertation “How is Death Possible?” or “The Philosophical Foundations of Death.”

Excuse these heretical fits of mine; they spring from practical experience, where the impotence of philosophical language is revealed at its starkest.

Without a doubt your book meets an essential need, namely the necessity of a philosophical rapprochement with the psychotherapeutic insights that were wholly unknown to an earlier philosophy.

To you, dear Colleague, belongs the honour of being a pioneer in this field.

It is also greatly to your credit that you do not, like the Heidegger school, merely play verbal tricks but say something substantial.

Again with best thanks,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung, ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Page 273.

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Great Sites to visit:

  1. Jenna Lilla’s Path of the Soul http://jennalilla.org/

  2. Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/

  3. Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/

  4. Lance S. Owens The Gnosis Archives http://gnosis.org/welcome.html