Carl Jung on The ruler of my birth
To Upton Sinclair
Dear Mr. Sinclair, 25 February 1955
Thank you very much for all you have sent me!
You are really of an astounding fertility.
I have read your drama with the greatest interest.
I could not help being deeply moved by the human aspect of this horrible problem.
There is indeed no other answer to it but suicide.
It is so because these inventions-the uranium and hydrogen bomb-are produced by the human mind, instigated by the great genocide the unconscious is planning in order to compensate the incessant and inevitable increase of populations, which must eventually lead to gigantic catastrophes if miraculous and unforeseen inventions do not intervene.
But even then the conflagration would only be postponed.
This is the sword of Damocles suspended on a thin thread above our heads.
Your drama is certainly a thrust that goes home, at least in the case of a naive spectator like myself, of whose literary incompetence I must warn you.
I have read your letter to Time and I have added-with your permission-some further historical detail.
Thank you for the copy of Time!
A. Keller was enthusiastic about my portrait.
Needless to say I don’t know myself from that side.
The photographer must have caught me at something.
I thank you also for your interesting Mental Radio.
Each time I read such reports I am reminded of the fact that our psyche has an aspect that defies space and time and incidentally causality, and this is just the thing our parapsychologists do not yet understand.
Your idea of a feminist revolt in Heaven is most amusing.
Incidentally, this is the reason, viz. the Assumptio B .V. Mariae, why I enjoy a relatively decent press on the Catholic side, while the usual stuff I get is just the kind you have sent me.
The incompetent and profoundly ignorant reviewers sneeze at me.
On the average, I only get bad reviews, which ought to convince me that I am writing pretty good stuff.
Sometimes it is hard to believe it.
Yet in the same mail I received a very decent review of Psychology and Alchemy by an American, a Mr. Sykes.
He has to do with Salzburg and the American School there.
But fortunately enough, to judge from the satisfactory sale of my books, the public does not heed such inadequate criticism.
You are quite right; with the dogma of the Assumptio the unconscious “wells into the Church,” since Woman is its (the unconscious) representative on earth.
Concerning “Enemy in the Mouth,” you might try the Bollingen Press. ( . . .)
Let me know and I shall recommend it to Barrett.
Alcoholism is a terrible threat to a nation. Look at France!
My Answer to Job was left by the Bollingen Press to the English publishers, since they were apparently afraid of something like “Unamerican activities” and the loss of prestige presumably.
It is a book for the few, yet-I am afraid-the many may read and misunderstand it.
Yet even in this case I get most enthusiastic letters, but almost without exception from simple people.
They seem to be the main readers of my books.
Now don’t tease yourself-! am hardly respectable, but you are much better known in USA than I am.
Please don’t put yourself out for my little book.
It will get on its way slowly as all my other work has done.
The ruler of my birth, old Saturnus, slowed down my maturation process to such an extent that I became aware of my own ideas only at the beginning of the second half of my life, i.e., exactly with 36 years.
I beg your pardon for using old astrological metaphors.
“Astrology” is another of those “random phenomena” wiped off the desk by the idol of the average, which everybody believes to be reality itself while it is a mere abstract.
Soon a little book of mine which I have published with the physicist Prof. W. Pauli will come out in English.
It is even more shocking than Job, but this time to the scientist, not the theologian.
It deals with the “random phenomenon” of extrasensory perception, especially its theory, as far as my contribution goes.
Pauli’s part deals with the role the archetype plays in the formation of certain physical concepts.
The public reaction will be even worse than in the case of Job.
The way in which the scientific world reacts reminds me strongly of those remote times when I stood up all alone for Freud against a world blindfolded by prejudice, and ever since I have been the subject of calumny, irritation, and contempt, although I have harvested a good deal of appreciation paradoxically enough just from universities (among them Oxford and Harvard).
I hardly dare to assume that they did not know what they were doing.
Now who is right, my critics or the academies?
In the meantime, I can say with Schopenhauer (whose fate was worse: of his first edition only 1 copy was sold!): “I am read and I shall be read.”
I am sorry taking up your valuable time with such personal outpourings.
I only wanted to explain why I take bad criticism as the thing to be expected, whereas a decent review is a rare exception and therefore an unpredictable “random phenomenon.”
Hoping that I have answered every point in your letter,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 230-232.