Letters Volume I

To J. Allen Gilbert

My dear Dr. Gilbert, 2 January 1929

Please be kind to your fellow beings!

Don’t think that they are all damned fools, even if they say excitingly foolish things, even if they are the most inconsistent idiots.

Allow for one grain of wisdom in all their foolishness.

Can’t you conceive of a physicist that thinks and speaks of atoms, yet is convinced that those are merely his own abstractions?

That would be my case.

I have not the faintest idea what “psyche” is in itself, yet, when I come to think and speak of it, I must speak of my abstractions, concepts, views, figures, knowing that they are our specific illusions.

That is what I call “nonconcretization.”

And know that I am by no means the first and only man who speaks of anima, etc.

Science is the art of creating suitable illusions which the fool believes or argues against, but the wise man enjoys their beauty or their ingenuity, without being blind to the fact that they are human veils and curtains concealing the abysmal darkness of the Unknowable.

Don’t you see that it is life too to paint the world with divine colours?

You never will know more than you can know, and if you proudly refuse to go by the available “knowledge” (or whatever you like to call it) you are bound to produce a better “theory” or “truth,” and if you should not succeed in doing so, you are left on the bank high and dry and life runs away from you.

You deny the living and creative God in man and you will be like the Wandering Jew.

All things are as if they were Real things are effects of something unknown.

The same is true of anima, ego, etc. and moreover, there are no real things that are not relatively real.

We have no idea of absolute reality, because “reality” is always something “observed.”

And so on.

I am sure all this stuff gets your goat, but that’s not the point.

The point is that if you create a better theory, then I shall cock my ears.

Cordially yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 56-57


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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/