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Letters Volume I

To Father Victor White

My dear Victor, 31 December 1949

Before the old year goes to end, I should like to write to you-a thing I tried a while ago, but never found time enough.

First we had (at the end of Oct.) a regrettable accident: my wife fell in the corridor (slipping on a carpet) and broke her right arm in the shoulder a nasty fracture indeed.

I had her in the hospital for 2 months.

Then I myself was laid up with a gastric grippe and a troublesome liver; then Marie-Jeanne Schmid came down with a similar ailment, knocking her out completely.

My correspondence and other obligations could go and did go up the chimney, i.e., they just dropped into Nirvana.

Now I am reasonably well again and can write to you.

You have kept me busy for a while with your “Correction of Fools” in Dominican Studies.

I found it very interesting and illuminating and it has forced me to go as far back as Basilius Magnus, who is the perpetrator of “All Evil comes from Man” (Hom. II. in Hex.-Migne, “Each of us should acknowledge that he is the first author of the wickedness in him” (par. 83).

Evil originates out of a “Condition of the Soul” and thus it is “Not a Living Entity”.

It merely derives from “carelessness, indifference, frivolity”, from carelessness and negligence which are obviously as they are merely psychological.

And so it is today: reduce something to a whim or an imagination, then it vanishes into “that which does not exist, non-being” nothingness

I firmly believe however that psyche is an “substance; essence”.

I also took a dive into St. Thomas, but I did not feel refreshed afterwards.

All and sundry disregard the fact that good and evil are the equivalent moieties of a logical judgment.

They also omit to discuss at the same time the eternity of the devil, hell and damnation, that are certainly not and equally not good ( i.e., good only to the heavenly spectators).

This privatio boni business is odious to me on account of its dangerous consequences: it causes a negative inflation of man, who can’t help imagining himself, if not as a source of the [Evil], at least as a great destroyer, capable of devastating God’s beautiful creation.

This doctrine produces Luciferian vanity and it is also greatly responsible for the fatal underrating of the human soul being the original abode of Evil.

It gives a monstrous importance to the soul and not a word about on whose account the presence of the Serpent in Paradise belongs!

The question of Good and Evil, so far as I am concerned with it, has nothing to do with metaphysics; it is only a concern of psychology.

I make no metaphysical assertions and even in my heart I am no Neo-Manichean; on the contrary I am deeply convinced of the unity of the self, as demonstrated by the mandala symbolism.

But dualism is lurking in the shadows of the Christian doctrine: the devil will not be redeemed, nor shall eternal damnation come to an end.

Origen’s optimistically hoping or at least asking whether the devil might not be redeemed in the end was not exactly welcomed.

As long as Evil is aμ~ ov, nobody will take his own shadow seriously.

Hitler and Stalin go on representing a mere “accidental lack of perfection.”

The future of mankind very much depends upon the recognition of the shadow.

Evil is-psychologically speaking-terribly real.

It is a fatal mistake to diminish its power and reality even merely metaphysically.

I am sorry, this goes to the very roots of Christianity.

Evil verily does not decrease by being hushed up as a non-reality or as mere negligence of man.

It was there before him, when he could not possibly have a hand in it.

God is the mystery of all mysteries, a real Tremendum. Good and Evil are psychological relativities And as such quite real, yet one does not know what they are.

For this reason they should not be projected upon a transcendent being.

Thus you avoid Manichean dualism without petitiones principii and other subterfuges.

I guess I am a heretic.

You must have had an interesting time in Spain.

I had indeed not the faintest idea of what an English College in Valladolid would do.

I know you must criticize me.

I am decidedly not on the winning side, but most unpopular right and left.

I don’t know whether I deserve to be included in your prayer.

Yet there is a consolation that has reached me across the gulf of an aeon: “and where there is one alone I say I am with him”.

With all good wishes for a successful and happy New Year.

Yours cordially, C.G. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 539-541

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Great Sites to visit:
1. Jenna Lilla’s Path of the Soul http://jennalilla.org/
2. Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/
3. Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/