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Carl Jung: If I were an Indian I would definitely be a Buddhist.


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Letters Vol. I

To Georg Krauskopf

Dear Herr Krauskopf, 31 December 1949

Your book Die Heilslehre des Buddha has arrived safely.

I can perfectly understand your preference for Buddhism.

It is something magnificent.

I have visited the holy places of Buddhism in India and was profoundly impressed by them, quite apart from my reading of Buddhist literature.

If I were an Indian I would definitely be a Buddhist. But in the West we have different presuppositions.

No Hindu pantheon lies behind us, instead we have a Judeo-Christian background and a Mediterranean culture, consequently different questions await an answer.

Buddha would settle our account too early, and then it would go with us as it did when we European barbarians had that sudden arid shattering collision with the ripest fruit of antiquity-Christianity-not to the
advantage of our inner development.

Something in us has remained barbarian; in India things are different.

But we aren’t Indians.

Soon I shall get down to reading your book with the greatest interest.

Buddha “gets” me again and again.

By way of criticism I would only remark that I regret very much not having the footnotes in the text.

This makes the reading of the book uncommonly tiresome, and I hope that in a later edition you will put the footnotes in the text where they belong.

For me books that have the annotations at the back are almost unreadable.

With best thanks,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 538.