Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume I, 1906-1950 (Vol 1)

To Eugene M. E . Rolfe

Dear Mr. Rolfe,                                                                   3 March 1949

I’m sorry to have kept your manuscript so long, but I wanted to have it thoroughly researched, in which purpose

I have been helped by a friend.

The first part of your book is a quite interesting atter 1pt to apply the idea of wholeness to the individual in

the light of your own experience, but in the second part you fall more and more a victim to the idea of a collective


You say in your letter that you had a dream while writing the first stages of your book, namely that you were

going to have a child, and that in the later stages you dreamt that you had a baby small but like yourself, and that at

the end you were afraid that it was a miscarriage.

I’m afraid that these dreams apply to your book inasmuch as the second part and the end are premature attempts

to translate your individual experiences into a collective application, which is impossible.

You cannot teach a certain kind of morality or belief; you must be it.

If you are it, then you can say what you want and it works.

But you are not out of the woods yet.

For instance, you entirely neglect the fact that man has an anima that plays the dickens with him-you married

her and the shadow rolled into one.

Under those conditions it is almost impossible to realize one’s own anima, because her reality is all the time

right under your nose and it is always pointed out to you that she is your wife.

It is a great temptation in our days, when one talks to Germans, to look for a sort of collective teaching or a

collective ideal, but you find only words that don’t carry.

But if you are a really integrated personality, in other words, if you know all about your shadow and all about

your anima (which is worse), then you have a hope to be the truth, namely truly yourself and that is a thing that


I could repeat the words of an early Christian Papyrus which says: “Therefore strive first to know yourselves,

because ye are the city and the city is the kingdom.”

I hope you will not mind the almost rude directness of my letter.

It is well-meant, as I know that if you should succeed in publishing the book as it is now, it would be no success

whatever, or it would have a wrong effect.

I should therefore advise you to keep the manuscript unpublished until the most important question of the

shadow and the anima has been duly settled.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 523-524.

Note: Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 6:54, ii, in Grenfell and Hunt, New Sayings of Jesus and Fragments of a Lost Gospel

(1904), p. 15. The exact words are: “(strive therefore?) to know yourselves . . . (and? ) ye shall know that ye are in (the city of God?) and ye are (the city?).” Cf. also James, The Apocryphal New Testament (1924 ), pp. 2 6f.