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Letters Volume II

Dear Mrs. Milbrand, 6 June 1958

I have often been asked the question you put to me: whether I have any reason to believe in a survival.

As it means very little to me when somebody says “I believe this or that,” I assume that it would be pretty futile to say “Yes, I believe in survival. ”

I dislike belief in every respect, because I want to know a thing, and then I don’t have to believe it if I know it.

If I don’t know it, it looks to me like an usurpation to say “I believe it,” or the contrary.

I think one ought to have at least some more or less tangible reasons for our beliefs.

One should have some knowledge at least that makes a hypothesis probable.

Your experience f.i. is not a convincing reason, since we have no means of establishing whether it is a hallucinated piece of memory or a real ghost.

In other words, I would dismiss neither the one nor the other possibility.

The only scientific approach to the question of survival is the recognition of the fact that the psyche is capable of extrasensory perceptions, namely of telepathy and of precognition, particularly the latter.

This fact proves a relative independence of the psyche from time and space.

This means that the two elements of time and space, indispensable for change, are relatively without importance for the psyche.

In other words: the psyche is up to a certain point not subject to corruptibility.

That’s all we know.

Of course one can have experiences of a very convincing subjective nature which need no support through scientific possibilities.

But for those people not possessing the gift of belief it may be helpful to remember that science itself points to the possibility of survival.

I remain, dear Mrs. Milbrand,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 445