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Carl Jung: It is the role of the individual that especially concerns me.


ce16b 1individual

letters Vol. II

[Carl Jung: Well, at the moment, thank God, I have no new work in view.]

To Martin Flinker

Dear Herr Flinker, 17 October 1957

You have been kind enough to ask me what I am working on now and what questions and problems concern me most.

Well, at the moment, thank God, I have no new work in view.

The works I completed this year have cost me energy and time enough, and I hope I may now be granted a longish spell of leisure without any new questions forcing me to new answers.

Within the political and social sphere it is the role of the individual that especially concerns me.

Improbable as this may sound, it is only the individual who is qualified to fight against the threat today of international mass-mindedness.

In this very unequal-looking struggle the individual does not by any means occupy a lost outpost if he succeeds in seriously getting down to the old Christian injunction to see the beam in his own eye and not worry about the mote in his brother’s.

My views on the problem of the individual and the mass, with all its political and religious implications, are set forth in my essay “The Undiscovered Self.”

In my proper field of work, psychiatry, I have dealt with the theory of schizophrenia and the still unresolved question of its aetiology in a long report to the International Congress for Psychiatry, Zurich 1957.

Here the recent researches into the possible influence of a toxin seem to me just as interesting and important as the continued investigation of the images and visions appearing in the fantasies of schizophrenics.

As I have always been intrigued by what is off the beaten track and is usually ridiculed or simply shrugged off with a joke, I have, after studying the available literature for many years, undertaken to interpret the myths that have grown up around the reports of “flying saucers.”

This inquiry is now in the press, with the title Ein modemer Mythus von Dingen, die am Himmel gesehen werden.

This, too, is an expression of something that has always claimed my deepest interest and my greatest attention: the manifestation of archetypes, or archetypal forms, in all the phenomena of life: in biology,physics, history, folklore, and art, in theology and mythology, in parapsychology, as well as in the symptoms of insane patients and neurotics, and finally in the dreams and life of every individual man and woman.

The intimation of forms hovering in a background not in itself knowable gives life the depth which, it seems to me, makes it worth living.

Please would you let me know whether these lines will be published in German or French in your Almanac.

If in French, I would be glad of an opportunity to review the translation.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 396-397