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Carl Jung: I am unable to thank you for sending me your book.


abe84 1gnosis

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

To Pater Raymond Hostie

Dear Pater, 25 April 1955

Unfortunately I am unable to thank you for sending me your book.

As you know through Father Bruno, you criticize me as though I were a philosopher.

But you know very well that I am an empiricist whose concepts have-as such-no content, since they are mere nomina that can be changed as convention requires.

I have given you every opportunity in the past to discuss obscurities.

You never came out with your criticism.

I have no doctrine and no philosophical system, but have presented new facts which you studiously ignore.

It is as though one were to criticize the labels on the drawers of a collection of minerals Without looking at their contents.

It is not so much your fault that you do not appear to understand how it is that the psychic facts designated by my concepts possess an autonomy of their own.

This is an empirical fact which is not understood by most people anyway, because they have never gone through the same experiences-quite understandably, since they take no notice of my method.

Si parva licet componere magnis, the situation is the same as with Galileo, who discovered the hitherto unknown moons of Jupiter by means of a telescope.

But no one wanted to look through it.

So Jupiter had no moons.

Mandala symbols, for instance, are seen not only in Zurich but also in Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco-naturally only by psychiatrists who get their patients to draw.

These are the facts that count, not the names.

You overlook the facts and then think that the name is the fact, and thus you reach the nonsensical conclusion that I hypostatize ideas and am therefore a “Gnostic.”

It is your theological standpoint that is a gnosis, not my empiricism, of which you obviously haven’t the faintest inkling.

I must also express the conjecture that I may be doing injustice to you personally by taking your criticism as a perversion of the facts.

You are, after all, the member of an Order whose principle is:

“We have to pronounce as black what appears to our eyes white if she [the Church] calls it black.”

Hence in any discussion there is no personal opponent with whom one could come to an understanding.

Yours truly,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 244-245.