To M. Esther Harding
Dear Dr. Harding, 30 May 1957
Your letter is a reminder that I have not written to you as I should have done about your book and thanked you expressis verbis for your very kind dedication.
As at least 90% of our sins are those of omission, I am no exception!
As a matter of fact I began reading your book in December, but too much work of all sorts overwhelmed me and set me adrift.
The deeper reason was that I was then occupied with the English translation of a paper of mine, “Present and Future.” It has since appeared this spring in German (Gegenwart und Zukunft ) and I am going to send you a copy.
The English version is not yet out.
Part of it should appear in Atlantic Monthly and the whole afterwards.
The trouble is that I have to read so many manuscripts or offprints of my pupils that I simply can’t keep up any more.
The burden of 82 years is rather noticeable.
After I had accomplished the task of writing the paper that was expected from me, I indulged in the vain hope that having fed the world of men by my paper, my own unconscious would spare me as it has done for about three years, spare me, namely, new ideas.
As a matter of fact nothing new from within has happened, as it has done so often before, but somebody lifted the iron lid that has been clamped down over my head from without and in came the question: what do you think about the Flying Saucers?
This is the thing that carried me away as soon as I had finished the other work, and again the already frightening pile of unanswered letters and unread manuscripts grew higher.
Ever since I have been busy on this new errand.
It is most adventurous and has carried me further than I ever expected.
But please keep this news under the hat.
Otherwise people get funny ideas about my senility.
I don’t know why these unpopular things have this uncanny attraction for me.
Now I hope, having come to an end with this new task, I shall be able to devote my available time to your book again.
For the time being there is nothing in sight that could lure me away from a quiet and friendly occupation.
I have heard quite a little about a certain awakening in theological circles in U.S.A.
One could not say the same thing about theologians over here.
They much prefer existentialist philosophy because it is very much up to date and entirely harmless. ( . . .)
Our Christianity with its Summum Bonum conception has entirely Forgotten that one of the main aspects of real religion is fear.
No charity in all the world can take away the divine terror.
It could not even do away with the H-Bomb!
Please don’t mind my negligence.
The prerogative of old age is to be tolerated.
Please give my best regards to Eleanor Bertine, as well as my thanks for her book.
My best wishes to you both,
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 362-363.