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Carl Jung: Freud could explain the neuroses-up to a point on the principle of repression

06206 162bvolkening

To Ernesto A. C. Volkening

Dear Colleague, 19 August 1950

Many thanks for your kind wishes and also for your offprint.

Unfortunately I am not on an intimate footing with Spanish, so I am having a report made of your essay.

Your argument with the Freudian school leaves ample room for discussion, for the simplification which makes the psyche coincide with such an important instinct as sexuality has something beguiling and seductive about it.

Especially at the present time, which is distinguished by its iconoclastic tendencies, this simplification is dangerous, because it disposes of an extremely complicated and difficult subject, the psyche, in a form acceptable to common prejudice.

It is generally overlooked that the psyche cannot of necessity be based only on the instinct of sexuality, but rests on the totality of the instincts, and that this basis is only a biological foundation and not the whole edifice.

Reducing the total psyche to its darkest beginnings not only devalues it but shifts the problem on to an Inadmissibly simple plane, rather as if one were to reduce man to a cell, which, highly complicated though it is, even in the form of an amoeba is constructed very much more simply than a man.

Thus, in his passion for simplification, Freud could explain the neuroses-up to a point on the principle of repression, but completely overlooked the psychology of the repressive principle itself, which proves to be even stronger than instinct and also belongs to the nature of the psyche,
as has already been said very aptly by the old alchemist Demokritos: Natura naturam superat.

I understand very well that anyone approaching it from the standpoint of medicine or the physical sciences will find my psychology difficult or incomprehensible, because it does not reduce the psyche to simple processes but leaves it in all its complexity-not describing the edifice only as a foundation and deriving the whole from the part, but making it, in its immensity and boundless multiplicity, an object for scientific description and elucidation.

Hence I value it all the more that you have found your way through these difficulties to a real understanding of my psychological endeavours.

I am taking the liberty of sending you a recent publication in which you will find perhaps the most thorough analysis of a product of Romanticism.

With collegial regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 563-564