Letters Volume I

To Abraham Aaron Roback

Dear Mr. Roback, 19 December 1936

I have received your big book1 for which I thank you warmly.

As a matter of fact I found it at home when I came back from my rather long trip.

Your remark has interested me very much, namely that you have made experiments about the mental differences between Jews and non-Jews and I should be much obliged to you if you could drop me a hint about your results.

When I wrote about this difference I had in mind my own experiences which are not experimental but medical.

There is indeed a marked difference which has much to do with the age of the race.

I found something very similar in Hindus, namely an extension or extensibility of consciousness into the subconscious mind which is not to be found or is at least very rare with non-Jews.

Also the tendency of consciousness to autonomy with the risk of severing it almost entirely from its instinctive sources.

Freud is very typical in that respect.

To him as to many other Jews, as I have seen with my own eyes, the re-establishment of the communication with the instincts means a true and vital find and source of satisfaction and joy.

Non-Jewish people don’t feel like that, they rather experience it as a restriction of moral freedom.

That explains the peculiar leaning of Protestant parsons to Freudian analysis.

In their hands it is a beautiful means to show a brand-new category of sins to people of which they never dreamt before.

I see that you assume that I have almost no Jewish pupils in the United States.

That is not quite true.

There is a number of Jewish doctors who have studied with me, but the reason why you haven’t discovered them is that they are undiscoverable on account of their fear of being recognized as Jungians.

The monopoly of psychoanalysis doesn’t stand outsiders.

So they are just afraid of deviating from the creed.

As a matter of fact my first and most gifted pupils were Jews.

In Europe there are however two or three who dared to show their hand and to acknowledge the origin whence they came.

I’m quite aware of the fact that Freud’s statement is necessary for the Jew, yet in so far as there are non-Jews and in so far as there are even among Jews not a few who ought to see beyond, I have been forced by my patients to develop a point of view that considers the one and the other need.

Unfortunately the political events in Germany have made it quite impossible to say anything reasonable about the most interesting difference between Jewish and non-Jewish psychology.

The disinterested discussion of this most interesting difference is well-nigh impossible in our time of a new barbary.

One risks being labelled as anti-Semite or pro-Semite without being heard at all.

I have not yet read your book carefully, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to thank you for your very generous gift.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 223-224

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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