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letters Vol. II

To Eugene Rolfe

Dear Sir, 19 November 1960

Having finished reading your book from cover to cover, I am now better prepared to give you my impressions or rather some of them.

The theme itself is so rich that one cannot hope to explain it.

I have discovered quite a number of old friends in your book and I admire your wisdom and caution in not connecting them with my name of ill omen.

I can say: you have fulfilled your task of demonstrating the approach to Christianity to a Christian-minded agnostic.

But if the latter should not be “Christian-minded,” but thoroughly blackened by the fires of Hell which have broken through in Europe for 20 years now, what then?

It is beautiful to hear of the Love of God again, but what about the Fear of God, the ominous message of Evangelium Aeternum? [whence evil?), in a word.

The agnostics of our days are by no means all Christian-minded. There is a terror which goes much deeper.

You call up again Tertullian’s Christian anima of the first Roman centuries, which claimed to be the light that shineth in the darkness.

What about the anima of our benighted days?

Let us hope that your readers will find the way back to the path of the centuries, the beautiful and spirit-filled baptisteria with their mysteria, the Eucharist and its first emotions, the ruling the spiritual universe.

But here the ominous history of the world will begin again with the fearful question of the unredeemed dark- ness which comprehendeth not.

The sophism of the privatio boni is too obviously thin.

By the way, you seek the enigmatic oracle Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit in vain in Delphi: it is cut in stone over the door of my house in Kusnacht near Zurich and otherwise found in Erasmus’s collection of Adagia5 (XVIth cent.).

It is a Delphic oracle though.

It says: yes, the god will be on the spot, but in what form and to what purpose?

I have put the inscription there to remind my patients and myself: Timor dei initium sapientiae.

Here another not less important road begins, not the approach to “Christianity” but to God himself and this seems to be the ultimate question.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 610-611