Letters Vol. I

To Erich Neumann

Dear Colleague, 19 December 1938

Please don’t worry about having written me such a long letter.

I would have liked to know long ago what you are doing.

You should not imagine me enthroned above world events on snow-covered peaks.

I am right in the thick of it and every day I follow the Palestine question in the newspapers and often think of my friends there who have to live in this chaos.

Unfortunately I foresaw all too clearly what was coming when I was in Palestine in 1932.

I also foresaw bad things for Germany, actually very bad, but now that they have come to pass they seem unbelievable.

Everyone here is profoundly shaken by what is happening in Germany.

I have very much to do with Jewish refugees and am continually occupied in bringing all my Jewish acquaintances to safety in England and America.

In this way I am in ceaseless touch with contemporary events.

I am very interested in what you have told me about your plans for work.

Your experiences exactly parallel those I have had in Europe for many years.

But I think you should be very cautious in judging your specifically Jewish experiences.

Though it is true that there are specifically Jewish traits about this development, it is at the same time a general one which is also to be found among Christians.

It is a general and identical revolution of minds.

The specifically Christian or Jewish traits are only of secondary importance.

Thus the patient you want to know about is a pure Jew with a Catholic upbringing, but I could never with absolute certainty characterize his symbolism-in so far as I have presented it-as Jewish although certain nuances occasionally seem so.

When I compare his material with mine or with that of other academically trained patients one is struck only by the astonishing similarities, while the differences are insignificant.

The difference between a typically Protestant and a Jewish psychology is particularly small where the contemporary problem is concerned.

The whole problem is of such overwhelming importance for humanity that individual and racial differences play a minor role.

All the same, I can very well imagine that for Jews living in Palestine the direct influence of the surroundings brings out the chthonic and ancient Jewish element in a much more pregnant form.

It seems to me that what is specifically Jewish or specifically Christian could be most easily discovered in the way the unconscious material is assimilated by the subject.

In my experience the resistance of the Jew seems to be more obstinate and as a result the attempt at defence is much more vehement.

This is no more than a subjective impression.

The Zosimos essay is the last thing of mine to be published.

Stilloutstanding are an article on India (written in English for an American magazine), two lectures on the mother complex, which will appear in the Eranos-Jahrbuch 1938, a long commentary on Zen Buddhism, and finally an introduction to the individuation process for an American edition of my Eranos lectures.

Dr. X. has apprised me of a detailed correspondence with you.

It is clear that the devil has been up to his tricks again.

As soon as one notices that, one should say no more but withdraw into oneself.

I was glad to hear that you are fully occupied, though it would be even more agreeable if you also had time to realize your great plan.

Hoping that you are keeping fit, and with friendly greetings,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 250-252

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