Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group

Questions to Jung and His Answers:

Question 1. You say that religion is psychically healthy and often for the latter part of life essential, but is it not psychically healthy only if the religious person believes that his religion is true? Do you think that in your natural wish to keep to the realm of psychology you have tended to underestimate man’s search for truth and the ways in which he might reach this as, for example, by inference?

Nobody is more convinced of the importance of the search for truth than I am.

But when I say : something transcendental is true, my critique begins.

If I call something true, it does not mean that it is absolutely true.

It merely seems to be true to myself and/or to other people.

If I were not doubtful in this respect it would mean that I implicitly assume that I am able to state an absolute truth. This is an obvious hybris.

When Mr. Erich Fromm criticizes me for having a wrong idea and quotes Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism he demonstrates how illogical his standpoint is, as are the views of those religions themselves, i.e., their truths contradict each other.

Judaism has a morally ambivalent God; Christianity a Trinity and Summum Bonum; Buddhism has no God but has interior gods.

Their truth is relative and not an absolute truth—if you put them on the same level, as Mr. Fromm does.

I naturally admit, and I even strongly believe, that it is of the highest importance to state a “truth.”

I should be prepared to make transcendental statements, but on one condition: that I state at the same time the possibility of their being untrue.

For instance “God is,” i.e., is as I think he is.

But as I know that I could not possibly form an adequate idea of an all-embracing eternal being, my idea of him is pitifully incomplete; thus the statement “God is not” (so) is equally true and necessary.

To make absolute statements is beyond man’s reach, although it is ethically indispensable that he give all the truth to his subjective truth, which means that he admits being bound by his conviction to apply it as a principle, of his actions.

Any human judgment, no matter how great its subjective” conviction, is liable to error, particularly judgments concerning transcendental subjects.

Mr. Fromm’s philosophy has not transcended yet—I am afraid—the level of the twentieth century; but the power-drive of man and his hybris are so great that he believes in an absolutely valid judgment.

No scientifically minded person with a sense of intellectual responsibility can allow himself such ,. arrogance.

These are the reasons why I insist upon the criterion, of existence, both in the realm of science and in the realm of religion, and upon immediate and primordial experience.

Facts are facts and contain’ no falsity.

It is our judgment that introduces the element of deception.

To my mind it is more important that an idea exists than that it is true.

This despite the fact that it makes a great deal of difference subjectively whether an idea seems to me to be true or not, though this is a secondary consideration since there is no way of establishing the truth or untruth of a transcendental statement other than by a subjective belief.

question 2. Is it possible that you depreciate consciousness through an overvaluation of the unconscious?

I have never had any tendency to depreciate consciousness by insisting upon the importance of the unconscious.

If such a tendency is attributed to me it is due to a sort of optical illusion.

Consciousness is the “known,” but the unconscious is very little known and my chief efforts are devoted to the elucidation of our unconscious psyche.

The result of this is, naturally, that I talk more about the unconscious than about the conscious.

Since everybody believes or, at least, tries to believe in the unequivocal superiority of rational consciousness, I have to emphasize the importance of the unconscious irrational forces, to establish a sort of balance.

Thus to superficial readers of my writings it looks as if I were giving the unconscious a supreme significance, disregarding consciousness.

As a matter of fact the emphasis lies on consciousness as the conditio sine qua non of apperception of unconscious contents, and the supreme arbite in the chaos of unconscious possibilities.

My book about Types is a careful study of the empirical structure of consciousness.—If we had an inferior consciousness, we should all be crazy.

The ego and ego-consciousness are of paramount importance.


It would be superfluous to emphasize consciousness if it were not in a peculiar compensatory relationship with the unconscious.


People like Demant start from the prejudiced idea that the unconscious is something more or less nasty and archaic that one should get rid of.


This is not vouched for by experience.


The unconscious is neutral, rather like nature.


If it is destructive on the one side, it is as constructive on the other side.


It is the source of all sorts of evils and also the matrix of all divine experience and—paradoxical as it may sound—it has brought forth and brings forth



Such a statement does not mean that the source originates, i.e., that the water is created just at the spot where you see the source of a river; it comes from deep down in the mountain and runs along its secret ways before it reaches daylight.


When I say, “Here is the source,” I only mean the spot where the water becomes visible.


The water-simile expresses rather aptly the nature and importance of the unconscious.


Where there is no water nothing lives; where there is too much of it everything drowns.


It is the task of consciousness to select the right place where you are not too near and not too far from water; but the water is indispensable.


An unfavourable opinion about the unconscious does not enable proper Christians, like Demant, to realize that religious experience, so far as the human mind can grasp it, cannot be distinguished from the experience of so-called unconscious phenomena.


A metaphysical being does not as a rule speak through the telephone to you; it usually communicates with man through the medium of the soul, in other words, our unconscious, or rather through its transcendental ‘psychoid” basis.


If one depreciates the unconscious one blocks the channels through which the aqua gratiae flows, but one certainly does not incapacitate the devil by this method.


Creating obstacles is just his metier.


When St. Paul had the vision of Christ, that vision was a psychic phenomenon—if it was anything.


I don’t presume to know what the psyche is; I only know that there is a psychic realm in which and from which such manifestations start.


It is the place where the aqua gratiae springs forth, but it comes, as I know quite well, from the immeasurable depths of the mountain and I don’t pretend to know about the secret ways and places the water flows through before it reaches the surface.


As the general manifestations of the unconscious are ambivalent or even ambiguous (“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,” Heb. 10:31 ), decision and discriminating judgment are all-important.


There is no development at all but only a miserable death in a thirsty desert if one thinks one can rule the unconscious by our arbitrary rationalism.


That is exactly what the German principle, “Where there is a will, there is a way,” tried to do, and you know with what results.


question 3. In your “Answer to Job” you state, page 463 (Collected Works, Vol. 11): “I have been asked so often whether I believe in the existence of God or not that I am somewhat concerned lest I be taken for an adherent of psychologist far more commonly than I suspect.” You go on to say, “God is an obvious psychic and non-physical fact,” but I feel in the end you do not actually answer the question as to whether or not you believe in the existence of God other than as an archetype. Do you? This question is important because I should like to answer the kind of objection raised by Glover in his Freud or Jung, page 163: “Jung’s system is fundamentally irreligious. Nobody is to care whether God exists, Jung least of all. All that is necessary is to ‘experience’ an “attitude’ because it ‘helps one to live.”


An archetype—so far as we can establish it empirically—is an image.


An image, as the very term denotes, is a picture of something.


An archetypal image is like the portrait of an unknown man in a gallery.


His name, his biography, his existence in general are unknown, but we assume nevertheless that the picture portrays a once living subject, a man who was real.


We find numberless images of God, but we cannot produce the original.


There is no doubt in my mind that there is an original behind our images, but it is inaccessible.


We could not even be aware of the original since its translation into psychic terms is necessary in order to make it perceptible at all.


How would Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason look when translated into the psychic imagery of a cockroach?


And I, assume that the difference between man and the creator of all things between man is immeasurably greater than between a cockroach and man.


Why should we be so immodest as to suppose that we could catch a <n ,J\, ^ r universal being in the narrow confines of our language? We know  that God-images play a great role in psychology, but we cannot prove the physical existence of God.


As a responsible scientist I am not going to preach my personal and subjective convictions .y, which I cannot prove.


I add nothing to cognition or to a further improvement and extension of consciousness when I confess my personal prejudices.


I simply go as far as my mind can reach, but to venture opinions beyond my mental reach would be immoral from the standpoint of my intellectual ethics.


If I should say, “I believe in such and such a God,” it would be just as futile as when a Negro states his firm belief that the tin-box he found on the

shore contains a powerful fetish.


If I keep to a statement which / I think I can prove, this does not mean that I deny the existence of anything else that might exist beyond it.


It is sheer malevolence to accuse me of an atheistic attitude simply because I try to be honest and disciplined.


Speaking for myself, the question whether God exists or not is futile.


I am sufficiently convinced of the effects man has always attributed to a divine being.


If I should express a belief beyond that or should assert the existence of God, it would not only be superfluous and inefficient, it would show that I am

not basing my opinion on facts.


When people say that they believe in the existence of God, it has never impressed me in the least.


Either I know a thing and then I don’t need to believe it; or I believe it because I am not sure that I know it.


I am well satisfied with the fact that I know experiences which I cannot avoid calling numinous or divine.


question 4. Do you ignore the importance of other disciplines for the psyche? Goldbrunner in his Individuation, page 161, says that your treatment of ”what God is in Himself is a question which you regard as beyond the scope of psychology, and adds: “This implies a positivistic, agnostic renunciation of all metaphysics. Do you agree that your treatment amounts to that? Would you not agree that such subjects as metaphysics and history have their place in the experience of the psyche?


I do not ignore the importance of other disciplines for the psyche.


When I was professor at the E.T.H. in Zurich I lectured for a whole year about Tantrism and for another year about the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.


Moreover, I have written a number of books about the peculiar spiritual discipline of the alchemists.


What Goldbrunner says is quite correct.


I don’t know what God is in himself. I don’t suffer from megalomania.


Psychology to me is an honest science that recognizes its own boundaries, and I am not a philosopher or a theologian who believes in his ability

to step beyond the epistemological barrier.


Science is made by man, which does not mean that there are not occasionally acts of grace permitting transgression into realms beyond.


I don’t depreciate or deny such facts, but to me they are beyond the scope of science as pointed out above.


I believe firmly in the intrinsic value of the human attempt to gain understanding, but I also recognize that the human mind cannot step beyond itself, although divine grace may and probably does allow at least glimpses into a transcendental order of things.


But I am neither able to give a rational account of such divine interventions nor can I prove them.


Many of the analytical hours with my patients are filled with discussions of “metaphysical” intrusions, and I am in dire need of historical knowledge to meet all the problems I am asked to deal with.


For the patient’s mental health it is all-important that he gets some proper understanding of the numina the collective unconscious produces, and that he assigns the proper place to them.


It is, however, either a distortion of the truth or lack of information when Goldbrunner calls my attitude “positivistic,” which means a one-sided recognition of scientific truth.


I know too well how transitory and sometimes even futile our hypotheses are, to assume their validity as durable truths and as trustworthy foundations of a Weltanschauung capable of giving man sure guidance in the chaos of this world.


On the contrary, I rely very much on the continuous influx of the numina from the unconscious and from whatever lies behind it.


Goldbrunner therefore is also wrong to speak of an “agnostic renunciation of all metaphysics.”


I merely hold that metaphysics cannot be an object of science, which does not mean that numinous experiences do not happen frequently, particularly in the course of an analysis or in the life of a truly religious individual.


question 5. my reading of your views is correct, I should judge that you think evil to be a jar more active force than traditional theological views have allowed for. You appear unable to interpret the condition of the world today unless this is so. Am I correct in this? If so, is it really necessary to expect to find the dark side in the Deity? And if you believe that Satan completes the quaternity does this not mean that the Deity would be amoral?

Victor White in his God and the Unconscious writes at the end of his footnote on page 6: “On the other hand, we are unable to find any intelligible, let alone desirable, meaning in such fundamental Jungian conceptions as the assimilation of the shadow’ if they are not to be understood as the supplying of some absent good (e.g., consciousness) to what is essentially valuable and of itself good:”

I am indeed convinced that evil is as positive a factor as good.


Quite apart from everyday experience it would be extremely illogical to assume that one can state a quality without its opposite.


If something is good, then there must needs be something that is evil or bad.


The statement that something is good would not be


possible if one could not discriminate it from something else.


Even if one says that something exists, such a statement is only possible alongside the other statement that something does not exist.


Thus when the Church doctrine declares that evil is not (^ 6V) or is a mere shadow, then the good is equally illusory, as its statement would make no sense.


Suppose one has something 1oo-per-cent good, and if anything evil comes in it is diminished, say by 5 per cent.


Then one possesses 95 per cent of goodness and 5 per cent is just absent.


If the original good diminished by 99 per cent, one has 1 per cent good and 99 per cent is gone.


If that 1 per cent also disappears, the whole possession is gone and one has nothing at all.


To the very last moment one had only good and oneself was good, but on the other side there is simply nothing and nothing has happened.


Evil deeds simply do not exist.


The identification of good with ousia is a fallacy, because a man who is thoroughly evil does not disappear at all when he has lost his last good.


But even if he has 1 per cent of good, his body and soul and his whole existence are still thoroughly good; for, according to the doctrine, evil is simply identical with non-existence.


This is such a horrible syllogism that there must be a very strong motive for its construction.


The reason is obvious: it is a desperate attempt to save the Christian faith from dualism.


According to this theory [of the privatio boni] even the devil, the incarnate evil, must be good, because he exists, but inasmuch as he is thoroughly bad, he does not exist.


This is a clear attempt to annihilate dualism in flagrant contradiction to the dogma that the devil is eternal and damnation a very real thing.


I don’t pretend to be able to explain the actual condition of the world, but it is plain to any unprejudiced mind that the forces of evil are dangerously

near to a victory over the powers of good.


Here Basil the Great would say, “Of course that is so, but all evil comes from man and not from God,” forgetting altogether that the serpent in Paradise was not made by man, and that Satan is one of the sons of God, prior to man.


If man were positively the origin of all evil, he would possess a power equal or almost equal to that of the good, which is God.


But we don’t need to inquire into the origin of Satan.


We have plenty of evidence in the Old Testament that Yahweh is moral and immoral at the same time, and Rabbinic theology is fully aware of this fact.


Yahweh behaves very much like an immoral being, though he is a guardian of law and order.


He is unjust and unreliable according to the Old Testament.


Even the God of the New Testament is still irascible and vengeful to such a degree that he needs the self-sacrifice of his son to quench his wrath.


Christian theology has never denied the identity of the God of the Old Testament with that of the New Testament.


Now I ask you: what would you call a judge that is a guardian of the Law and is himself unjust? One would be inclined to call such a man immoral.


I would call him both immoral and moral, and I think I express the truth with this formula.


Certainly the God of the Old Testament is good and evil.


He is the Father or Creator of Satan as well as of Christ. Certainly if God the Father were nothing else than a loving Father, Christ’s cruel sacrificial death

would be thoroughly superfluous.


I would not allow my son to be slaughtered in order to be reconciled to my disobedient children.


What Victor White writes about the assimilation of the shadow is not to be taken seriously. Being a Catholic priest he is bound hand and foot to the doctrine of his Church and has to defend every syllogism.


The Church knows all about the assimilation of the shadow, i.e., how it is to be repressed and what is evil.


Being a doctor I am never too certain about my moral judgments.


Too often I find that something that is a virtue in one individual is a vice in another, and something that is good for the one is poison for another.


On the other hand, pious feeling has invented the term of felix culpa and Christ preferred the sinner.


Even God does not seem particularly pleased with  mere righteousness.


Of course there is. I am just pointing it out.


What else is it more important to emphasize that we are speaking of our traditional image of God (which is not the same as the original) than in the discussion of the privatio boni.


We don’t produce God by the magic word or by representing his image.


The word for us is still a fetish, and we assume that it produces the thing of which it is only an image.


What God is in himself nobody knows; at least I don’t.


Thus it is beyond the reach of man to make valid statements about the divine nature.


If we disregard the short-comings of the human mind in assuming a knowledge about God, which we cannot have, we simply get ourselves into most appalling contradictions and in trying to extricate ourselves from them we use awful syllogisms, like the privatio boni.


Moreover our superstitious belief in the power of the word is a serious obstacle to our thinking.


That is the historical reason why quite a number of shocking contradictions have been heaped up, offering facile opportunities to the enemy of religion.


I strongly advocate, therefore, a revision of our religious formulas with the aid of psychological insight.


It is the great advantage of Protestantism that an intelligent discussion is possible.


Protestantism should make use of this freedom.


Only a thing that changes and evolves, lives, but static things mean spiritual death.


  1. Final Questions and Answers


question 1. Christ, in His Incarnation, concentrated, as you contend, on goodness (“Answer to Job/’ pp. 414, 429f.) what do you mean by “Christ preferred the sinner” and “Even God does not seem particularly pleased with mere righteousness”? Is there not an inconsistency here?


Of course there is. I am just pointing it out.


question 2. You stress the principle of the opposites and the importance of their union. You also write of enantiodromia in relation to the opposites but this (in the sense in which Heraclitus used the term) would never produce a condition of stability which could lead to the union of the opposites. So is there not a contradiction in what you say about the opposites?


“Enantiodromia” describes a certain psychological fact, i.e., I use it as a psychological concept.


Of course it does not lead to a union of opposites, has—as a matter of fact—nothing to do with it. I see no contradiction anywhere.


question 3. The principle of enantiodromia, a perpetual swinging of the pendulum, is always present would we not have a condition in which there would be no sense of responsibility, but one of amorality and meaninglessness?


Naturally life would be quite meaningless if the enantiodromia of psychological states kept on forever. But such an assumption would be both arbitrary and foolish.


question 4. When we come into close contact with pharisaism, theft or murder, involving uncharitableness, ruthless and selfish treatment of others, we know that they are evil and very ugly. In actual life what we call goodness—loyalty, integrity, charitableness —does not appear as one of a pair of opposites but as the kind of behavior we want for ourselves and others. The difficulty is that we cannot judge all the motives involved in any action with

certainty. We are unable to see the complete picture and so we should be cautious and charitable in our judgments. But this does not mean that what is good is not good, or what is evil is not evil. Do you not think that what you have to say about the quaternity and enantiodromia ultimately blurs the distinction between good and evil? Is not what is blurred only our capacity always to see the real moral issues clearly?


It only means that moral judgment is human, limited, and under no condition metaphysically valid.


Within these confines good is good, and evil is evil.


One must have the courage to stand up for one’s convictions.


We cannot imagine a state of wholeness (quaternity) which is good and evil.


It is beyond our moral judgment.


question 5. Theologians who believe in Satan have maintained that he was created good but that through the use of his free will he became evil. What necessity is there to assume that he is the inevitable principle of evil in the Godhead—the fourth member of the quaternity?


Because the Three are the Summum Bonum, and the devil is the principle and personification of evil.


In a Catholic quaternity the fourth would be the Mother, 99-per-cent divine.


The devil would not count, being an empty shadow owing to the privatio boni, in which the Bonum is equal to o-dcria.


question 6. You build much on the existence of four functions, thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. Is this a final or satisfactory typology? If feeling is included, why not conation?


The four functions are a mere model for envisaging the qualities of consciousness.


Conation is a term applicable to the creative process starting in the unconscious and ending in a conscious result, in other words a dynamic aspect of psychic life.


question 7. By different approaches in your later writings you add Satan and the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Trinity, but this would make a quinary. Who compose the quaternity?


The quaternity can be a hypothetical structure, depicting a wholeness.


It is also not a logical concept, but an empirical fact.


The quinarius or quinio (in the form of 4 + 1, i.e., quincunx) does occur as a symbol of wholeness (in China and occasionally in alchemy) but relatively rarely.


Otherwise the quinio is not a symbol of wholeness, quite the contrary (e.g., the five-rayed star of the Soviets or of U.S.A.).


Rather, it is a chaotic prima materia.


question 8. Would not the quaternity involve not only a revision of doctrine but of moral issues as well, for it would appear inevitably to mean complete moral relativity and so amorality having its source in the Godhead Itself?


Man cannot live without moral judgment.


From the fact of the empirical quaternary structure of 3 + 1 (3 = good, 1 = evil) we can conclude that the unconscious characterizes itself as an unequal

mixture of good and evil.


There are also not a few cases where the structure is reversed: 1 “J” 3 (l = good, 3 = evil) .


in this case would form the so-called “lower triad.”


Since the quaternity as a rule appears as a unity, the opposites annul each other, which simply means that our anthropomorphic judgment is no more applicable, i.e., the divinity is beyond good and evil, or else metaphysical assertion is not valid.


In so far as the human mind and its necessities issue from the hands of the Creator, we must assume that moral judgment was provided by the same source.


question 9. What exactly are you referring to when you use the word “quaternity” in relation to religion? Are you using “quaternity” purely for images which men form of the Godhead? You sometimes give the impression that you are referring to God-images alone. At other times you write as if you have in mind the Godhead itself. This is especially so when you stress the necessity of including Satan and also the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Godhead. If you do not refer to the Godhead itself, there seems to me to be no explanation of the urgency of your words about recognizing the evil principle in God and your welcome of the promulgation of the Assumption.


I use the term “quaternity” for the mandala and similar structures that appear spontaneously in dreams and visions, or are “invented” (from invenire = to find), to express a totality (like four winds and seasons or four sons, seraphim, evangelists, gospels, fourfold path, etc.).


The quaternity is of course an image or picture, which does not mean that there is no original 1606 If the opposites were not contained in the image, it would not be an image of totality.


But it is meant to be a picture of ineffable wholeness, in other words, its symbol.


It has an importance for the


theologian only in so far as the latter attributes significance to it.


If he assumes that his images or formulations are not contents of his consciousness (which is a contradictio in adiecto), he can only state that they are exact replicas of the original.


But who could suggest such a thing?


In spite of the fact that the Church long ago discouraged the idea of a quaternity, the fact remains that Church symbolism abounds in quaternity allusions.


As Three (Trinity) is only one (albeit the main) aspect of the Deity, the remaining fourth principle is wiped out of existence by the privatio boni syllogism.


But the Catholic Church was aware that the picture without opposites is not complete.


It therefore admitted (at least tentatively) the existence of a feminine factor within the precincts of the masculine Trinity (Assumptio Beatae Virginis).


For good reasons the devil is still excluded, and even annihilated, by the privatio boni.


The admission of the Beata Virgo is a daring attempt, in so far as she belongs to lubricum Mud genus (St. Epiphanius), so suspect to the moralistic propensities of the said Church.


However. she pas beep spi ritually “disinfected” by the dogma of Conceptio imrnacujjita.


I consider the Assumption as a cautious approach to the solution of the problem of opposites, namely, to the integration of the fourth metaphysical figure into the divine totality.


The Catholic Church has almost succeeded in creating a quaternity without shadow, but the devil is still outside.


The Assumption is at least an important step forward in Christian (?) symbolism.


This evolution will be completed when the dogma of the Co-Redemptrix is reached.


But the main problem will not be solved, although one pair of opposites ( $ and 9 ) has been smuggled into the divine wholeness.


Thus the Catholic Church (in the person of the Pope) has at least seen fit to take the Marianic movement in the masses, i.e., a psychological fact, so seriously that he did not hesitate to give up the time-hallowed principle of apostolic authority.


Protestantism is free to ignore the spiritual problems raised by our time, but it will remove itself from the battlefield and thereby lose its contact with life.


Being a natural and spontaneous symbol, the quaternity has everything to do with human psychology, while the trinitarian symbol (though equally spontaneous) has become cold, a remote abstraction.


Curiously enough, among my collection of mandalas I have only a small number of trinities and triads.


They stem one and all from Germans! (Unconscious of their shadows, therefore unaware of collective, guilt.)


I do not know at all to what extent human formulas, whether invented or spontaneous, correspond with the original.


I only know that we are profoundly concerned with them, whether people know it or not, just as you can be with an illness of which you are unaware.


It makes an enormous practical difference whether your dominant idea of totality is three or four.


In the former case all good comes from God, all evil from man.


Then man is the devil.


In the latter case man has a chance to be saved from devilish possession, in so far as he is not inflated with evil.


What happened under National Socialism in Germany? What is happening under Bolshevism?


With the quaternity the powers of evil, so much greater than man’s, are restored to the divine wholeness, whence they originated, even according to Genesis.


The serpent was not created by man.


The quaternity symbol has as much to do with the Godhead as the Trinity has.


As soon as I begin to think at all about the experience of “God,” I have to choose from my store of images between [concepts representing him as a] monad, dyad, triad, tetrad or an indistinct multiplicity.


In any serious case the choice is limited by the kind of revealed image one has received.


Yahweh and Allah are monads, the Christian God a triad (historically), the modern experience presumably a tetrad, the early Persian deity a dyad.


In the East you have the dyadic monad Tao and the monadic Anthropos (purusha), Buddha, etc.


In my humble opinion all this has very much to do with psychology.


We have nothing to go by but these images. Without images you could not even speak of divine experiences.


You would be completely inarticulate.


You only could stammer “mana” and even that would be an image.


Since it is a matter of an ineffable experience the image is indispensable.


I would completely agree if you should say: God approaches man in the form of symbols.


But we are far from knowing whether the symbol is correct or not.


The privatio boni cannot be compared to the quaternity, because it is not a revelation.


On the contrary, it has all the earmarks of a “doctrine,” a philosophical invention.


It makes no difference at all whether I say “God” or “Godhead.”


Both are in themselves far beyond man’s reach.


To us they are revealed as psychic images, i.e., symbols.


I am far from making any statements about God himself.


I am talking about images, which it is very important to think and talk about, and to criticize, because so much depends upon the nature of our dominant ideas.


It makes all the difference in the world whether I think that the source of evil or good is myself, my neighbour, the devil, or the supreme being.


Of course I am pleading the cause of the thinking man, and, inasmuch as most people do not think, of a small minority.


Yet it has its place in creation and presumably it makes sense.


Its contribution to the development of consciousness is considerable and since Nature has bestowed the highest premium of success on the conscious

being, consciousness must be more precious to Nature than unconsciousness.


Therefore I think that I am not too far astray in trying to understand the symbol of the Deity.


My opinion is that such an attempt—whether successful or not—could be of great interest to theology which is built on the same primordial images,

whether one likes it or not.


At all events you will find it increasingly difficult to convince the educated layman that theology has nothing to do with psychology, when the latter acknowledges its indebtedness to the theological approach.


My discussion with theology starts from the fact that the naturally revealed central symbols, such as the quaternity, are not in harmony with trinitarian symbols.


While the former includes the darkness in the divine totality, the Christian symbol excludes it.


The Yahwistic symbol of the star of David is a complexio oppositorum: A, fire V and water $, a mandala built on three, an unconscious acknowledgment of the Trinity but including the shadow.


Properly so, because Satan is still among the bene Elohim [sons of God], though Christ saw him falling out of heaven [Luke 10:18].


This vision points to the Gnostic abscission of the shadow, mentioned by Irenaeus.


As I have said, it makes a great and vital difference to man whether or not he considers himself as the source of evil, while maintaining that all good stems from God.


Whether he knows it or not, this fills him with satanic pride and hybris on the one side and with an abysmal feeling of inferiority on the other.


But when he ascribes the immense power of the opposites to the Deity, he falls into his modest place as a small image of the Deity, not of Yahweh, in whom the opposites are unconscious, but of a quaternity consisting of the main opposites: male and female, good and evil, and reflected in human consciousness as confirmed by psychological experience and by the historical evidence.


Or have I invented the idea of Tao, the living spiritual symbol of ancient China? Or the four sons of Horus in ancient Egypt? Or the alchemical quaternity that lived for almost a thousand years? Or the Mahayana mandala which is still alive?


question 10. One of your objections to the privatio boni doctrine is that it minimizes evil, but does not your view of the quaternity, which includes both good and evil, minimize evil much more surely and assume its existence forever?


The quaternity symbol relativizes good and evil, but it does not minimize them in the least.


question 11. You argue in “Answer to Job” (pp. 390, 430) that, because of his virgin birth, Christ was not truly man and so could not be a full incarnation in terms of human nature. Do you believe that Christ was born of a virgin? If not, the argument in “Answer to Job” falls to pieces. If you believe in the Virgin Birth, would it not be logical to accept the whole emphasis of the Christian Creeds, for they would not appear to be more difficult to believe

in than the Virgin Birth?


The dogma of the Virgin Birth does not abolish the fact that “God” in the form of the Holy Ghost is Christ’s father.


If Yahweh is his father, then it is a matter of an a priori union of opposites.


If the Summum Bonum is his father, then the powers of darkness are missing and the term “good” has lost its meaning and Christ has not become man, because man is afflicted with darkness.


question 12. Christ, so the Gospel narratives assert, was born in a manger because there was no room for Him in the inn at Bethlehem; His early life included the Slaughter of the Innocents and His family lived for a time exiled in Egypt; He faced temptation in the wilderness; His ministry was carried on under such hard conditions that He “had no place where to rest His head” (Matt. 8:24). He met and ministered to numerous sufferers; sinners received His sympathy and understanding; He endured an agony of suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and this was followed by His trials, and finally the cruellest of deaths by crucifixion. On what grounds then can you argue that Christ was an incarnation of the light side of God and that He did not enter fully into the dark aspects of existence? (“Answer to Job,” pp. sgSf., 414, 430.)


On the contrary, traditionally He has often been thought of as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”


All that has nothing to do with the dark side of man.


Christ is on the contrary the innocent and blameless victim without the macula peccati, therefore not really a human being who has to live without the benefit of the Virgin Birth and is crucified in a thousand forms.


question 13. What do you mean when in Answer to Job” you refer to Antichrist and his reign, and state that this was astrologically foretold?


It is potentially foretold by the aeon of the Fishes (>—<) then beginning, and in fact by the Apocalypse. Cf. my argument in Aion, ch. VI. ; also Rev. 20:7: “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.”


question 14. What do you mean by c(divine unconsciousness” in Answer to Job” {footnote on page 383)? Is God more limited than man?


T;nis js just the trouble.


From Job it is quite obvious that Yahweh behaves like a man with inferior consciousness and an absolute lack of moral self-reflection.


In this respect God-image is more limited than man.


Therefore God must incarnate.


question 15. One of Job’s greatest problems was: Can I believe in a just God? Individuation, “the Christification of many” the solution given in “Answer to Job” [p. 470], does not do justice to Job’s question.  Did not Job want meaning, a good God and not simply individuation?


He was concerned with metaphysical and theological issues, and the modern Job is too, and just as man cannot live by bread alone, so is he unlikly to feel that he can live by individuation alone which, at its most successful, would appear to be little more than a preparatory process enabling him to face these issues more objectively.


Job wanted justice.


He saw that he could not obtain it. Yahweh cannot be argued with.


He is unreflecting power. What else is left to Job but to shut his mouth?


He does not dream of individuation, but he knows what kind of God he is dealing with.


It is certainly not Job drawing further conclusions but God.


He sees that incarnation is unavoidable because man’s insight is a step ahead of him.


He must “empty himself of his Godhead and assume the shape of the S0OA09,” i.e., man is his lowest form of existence, in order to obtain the jewel which man possesses in his self-reflection.


Why is Yahweh, the omnipotent creator, so keen to have his “slave,” body and soul, even to the point of admitted jealousy?


Why do you say “by individuation alone”? Individuation is the life in God, as mandala psychology clearly shows.


Have you not read my later books? You can see it in every one of them.


The symbols of the self coincide with those of the Deity.


The self is not the ego, it symbolizes the totality of man and he is obviously not whole without God.


That seems to be what is meant by incarnation and incidentally by individuation.


  1. Answers to Questions from the Rev. David Cox


This question concerned Jung’s statement in Two Essays on Analytical Psychology {par. 32 j) that Western culture has no name or concept for the union of opposites by the middle path” which could be compared to the concept of Tao. It was suggested that the Christian doctrine of justification by faith is such a concept.


Not being a theologian I cannot see a connection between the doctrine of justification and Tao.


Tao is the cooperation of opposites, bright-dark, dry-humid, hot-cold, south-north, dragon-tiger, etc., and has nothing to do with moral opposites or with a reconciliation between the Summum Bonum and the devil.


Christian doctrine—so far as I know—does not recognize dualism as the constitution of Tao, but Chinese philosophy does.


It is certainly true that natural man always tries to increase what seems “good” to him and to abolish “evil.”


He depends upon his consciousness, which, however, may be crossed by “conscience” or by some unconscious intention- This factor can occasionally be stronger than consciousness, so that it cannot be fought.


We are very much concerned in psychotherapy with such cases.


The “Will of God” often contradicts conscious principles however good they may seem.


Penitence or remorse follows the deviation from the superior will.


The result is—if not a chronic conflict—a coniunctio oppositorum in the form of the symbol (symbolum = the two halves of a broken coin), the expression of totality.


1 do not know that you understand Christ as the new centre of the individual.


Since this centre of the individual appears empirically as a union of opposites (usually a quaternity), Christ must be beyond moral conflict, thus representing ultimate decision.


This conception coincides absolutely with my view of the self ( = Tao, nirdvandva) .


But since the self includes my consciousness as well as my unconscious, my ego is an integral part of it. Is this also your view of Christ?


If this should be so, I could completely agree with you.


Life then becomes a dangerous adventure, because I surrender to a power beyond the opposites, to a superior or divine factor, without argument.


His supreme decision may be what I call good or what I call bad, as it is unlimited.


What is the difference between my behaviour and that of an animal fulfilling the will of God unreservedly?


The only difference I can see is that I am conscious of, and reflect on, what I am doing. “If thou knowest what thou art doing, thou art blessed.”


You have acted. {Unjust steward.)


This is Gnostic morality but not that of the decalogue.


The true servant of God runs risks of no mean order.


Entendu! Thus, at God’s command, Hosea marries a whore.


It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that such orders could be issued even in modern times.


Who is ready to obey? And what about the fact that anything coming from the unconscious is expressed in a peculiar language (words, thoughts, feelings, impulses) that might be misinterpreted?


These questions are not meant as arguments against the validity of your view. They merely illustrate the enormity of the risk.


I ventilate them only to make sure we really believe in a Christ beyond good and, evil.


I am afraid of unreflecting optimism and of secret loopholes, as for instance, “Oh, you can trust in the end that everything will be all right.” Id est:

“God is good” (and not beyond good and evil).


Why has God created consciousness and reason and doubt, if complete surrender and obedience to his will is the ultima ratio?


He was obviously not content with animals only.


He wants reflecting beings who are at the same time capable of surrendering themselves to the primordial creative darkness of his will, unafraid of the consequences.


I cannot help seeing that there is much evidence in primitive Christianity for your conception of Christ, but none in the later development of the Church.


Nevertheless there are the seemingly unshakable scriptural testimonies to the essential goodness of God and Christ and there is—to my knowledge—no positive statement in favour of a beyond-good-and-evil conception, not even an implied one.


This seems to me to be a wholly modern and new interpretation of a revolutionary kind, at least in view of the Summum Bonum, as you add the Malum and transcend both.


In this I completely agree with you.


I only want to make sure that we understand each other when we reach the conclusion that man’s true relation to God must include both love and fear to make it complete.


If both are true, we can be sure that our relation to him is adequate.


The one relativizes the other: in fear we may hope, in love we may distrust.


Both conditions appeal to our consciousness, reflection, and reason.


Both our gifts come into their own. But is this not a relativization of complete surrender?


Or at least an acceptance after an internal struggle? Or a fight against God that can be won only if he himself is his advocate against himself, as Job understood it?


And is this not a tearing asunder of God’s original unity by man’s stubbornness?


A disruption sought by God himself, or by the self itself?


As I know from my professional experience, the self does indeed seek such issues because it seeks consciousness which cannot exist without discrimination (differentiation, separation, opposition, contradiction, discussion.)


The self is empirically in a condition we call unconscious in our three-dimensional world.


What it is in its transcendental condition, we do not know.


So far as it becomes an object of cognition, it undergoes a process of discrimination and so does everything emanating from it.


The discrimination is intellectual, emotional, ethical, etc.


That means: the self is subject to our free decision thus far.


But as it transcends our cognition, we are its objects or slaves or children or sheep that cannot but obey the shepherd.


Are we to emphasize consciousness and freedom of judgment or lay more stress on obedience?


In the former case can we fulfil the divine will to consciousness, and in the latter the primordial instinct of obedience? Thus we represent the intrinsic Yea and Nay of the opus divinum of creatio continua.


We ourselves are in a certain respect “beyond good and evil.”


This is very dangerous indeed (cf. Nietzsche), but no argument against the truth.


Yet our inadequacy, dullness, inertia, stupidity, etc. are equally true.


Both are aspects of one and the same being.


Accordingly the alchemists thought of their opus as a continuation and perfection of creation, whereas the modern psychological attempt confronts the opposites and submits to the tension of the conflict: “Expectans naturae operationem, quae lentissima est, aequo animo,” to quote an old master.


We know that a tertium quid develops out of an opposition, partly aided by our conscious effort, partly by the co-operation of the unconscious effort,

partly by the co-operation of the unconscious (the alchemists add: Deo concedente).


The result of this opus is the symbol, in the last resort the self.


The alchemists understood it to be as much physical as spiritual, being the filius macrocosmi, a parallel to Christ, the vios rov avdpdmov.


The Gnostics understood the serpent in paradise to be the Aoyo?, and in the same way the alchemists believed that their filius philosophorum was the chthonic serpens Mercurialis transformed (taking the serpent on the [cross] as an allegoria ad Christum spectans) ,


Their naivete shows a hesitation (which I feel too) to identify the self with Christ.


Their symbol is the lapis.


It is incorruptible, semel factus (from the increatum, the primordial chaos), everlasting, our tool and master at the same time (“artifex non est magister lapidis, sed potius eius minister”), the redeemer of creation in general, of minerals, plants, animals, and of man’s physical imperfection.


Hence its synonyms: panacea, alexipharmacum, medicina catholica, etc. (and hellebore, because it heals insanity).


Of course if you understand Christ by definition as a complexio oppositorum, the equation is solved.


But you are confronted with a terrific historical counter-position.


As it concerns a point of supreme importance, I wanted to clarify the problem beyond all doubt.


This may explain and excuse my long-winded argument.


In “Answer to Job” Jung claims that Jesus “incarnates only the light” side of God.


This may represent the way in which Jesus is thought of by the majority of Western men and women today, but is it not false to the New Testament and to Christian thought over the centuries?


You must consider that I am an alienist and practical psychologist, who has to take things as they are understood, not as they could or should be understood.


Thus the Gnostics thought that Christ had cut off his shadow, and I have never heard that he embodies evil as Yahweh explicitly does.


Catholic as well as Protestant teaching insists that Christ is without sin.


As a scientist I am chiefly concerned with what is generally believed, although I can’t help being impressed by the fact that the ecclesiastical doctrines


do not do justice to certain facts in the New Testament.


I have however to consider the consensus omnium that Christ is without the macula peccati.


If I should say that Christ contains some evil I am sure to have the Churches against me.


As a psychologist I cannot deal with the theological conception of truth.


My field is people’s common beliefs.


Since I am not chiefly concerned with theology but rather with the layman’s picture of theological concepts (a fact you must constantly bear in mind ) , I am liable to make many apparent contradictions (like the medieval mind acquainted with funny stories about Jesus, as you rightly point out).


The Gospels do indeed give many hints pointing to the dark side, but this has not affected the picture of the lumen de lumine, which is the general view.


I am thinking—as a psychologist—about all sorts of erroneous notions which do exist in spite of higher criticism and accurate exegesis and all the achievements of theological research.


My object is the general condition of the Christian mind, and not theology, where I am wholly incompetent. Because the lumen de lumine idea is

paramount in the layman’s mind, I dare to point to certain scriptural evidence (accessible to the layman) showing another picture of Christ.


I am certain that your conception of Christ would have a hard time getting through certain thick skulls.


It is the same with the idea of evil contained in God.


I am concerned with dogmas, prejudices, illusions, and errors and every kind of doubt in the layman’s mind, and I try to get a certain order into that

chaos by the means accessible to a layman, i.e., to myself as a representative of the humble “ignoramus.”


This question deals with the relationship between faith and projection. Has Jung, in his writing, treated faith as being connected with an outward form of religion?


This I do not properly understand. Of course “faith” is a relationship to projected contents.


But I cannot see how that “corresponds for all practical purposes to a withdrawal of the projection.”


Faith on the contrary—as it seems to me—maintains the conviction that the projection is a reality.


For instance, I project saintly qualities on to somebody.


My faith maintains and enhances this projection and creates a worshipful attitude on my part.


But it is quite possible that the bearer of the projection is nothing of the kind, perhaps he is even an unpleasant hypocrite.


Or I may project, i.e., hypostatize, a religious conviction of a certain kind which I maintain with faith and fervour.


Where is the “withdrawal of the projection”?


In case of doubt you had better refer to Symbols of Transformation.


Once I was at the beginning of things, at the time when I separated from Freud in 1912.


I found myself in great inner difficulties, as I had no notion of the collective unconscious or of archetypes.


My education was based chiefly on science, with a modest amount of the humanities.


It was a time of Sturm und Drang.


The so-called Psychology of the Unconscious was an intuitive leap into the dark and contains no end of inadequate formulations and unfinished thoughts.


I make a general distinction between “religion” and a “creed” for the sake of the layman, since it is chiefly he who reads my books and not the academic scholar.


He (the scholar) is not interested in the layman’s mind.


As a rule he nurses resentments against psychology. I must repeat again : I am a psychologist and thus people’s minds interest me in the first place, although I am keen to learn the truth the specialist produces.


The layman identifies religion with a creed, that is, with the “things done in the church.”


Thus Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. are simply religions like Christianity.


That there is a genuine inner life, a communion with transcendental powers, a possibility of religious experience is mere hearsay.


Nor are the churches over-sympathetic to the view that the alpha and omega of religion is the subjective individual experience, but put community in the first place, without paying attention to the fact that the more people there are the less individuality there is.


To be alone with God is highly suspect, and, mind you, it is, because the will of God can be terrible and can isolate you from your family and your friends and, if you are courageous or foolish enough, you may end up in the lunatic asylum.


And yet how can there be religion without the experience of the divine will?


Things are comparatively easy as long as God wants nothing but the fulfilment of his laws, but what if he wants you to break them, as he may do equally well?


Poor Hosea could believe in the symbolic nature of his awkward marriage, but what about the equally poor little doctor who has to swear his soul away to save a human life?


He cannot even begin to point out what an affliction his act of lying is, although in his solitude with God he may feel justified.


But in case of discovery he has to face the ignominious consequences of his deed and nobody will believe him to be a witness for the divine will.


To be God’s voice is not a social function anymore.


Si parva licet componere magnis—what did I get for my serious struggle over Job, which I had postponed for as long as possible?


I am regarded as blasphemous, contemptible, a fiend, whose name is mud.


It fell to my lot to collect the victims of the Summum Bonum and use my own poor means to help them.


But I could not say that a church of any denomination has encouraged my endeavours.


You are one of the very few who admit the complexio oppositorum in the Deity. (Cusanus does not seem to have really known what he was talking about, nor anybody else in those days, otherwise he would have been roasted long ago.)


That is the reason why I don’t identify religion with a creed.


I can have a real communion only with those who have the same or similar religious experience, but not with the believers in the Word, who have never even taken the trouble to understand its implications and expose themselves to the divine will unreservedly.


They use the Word to protect themselves against the will of God.


Nothing shields you better against the solitude and forlornness of the divine experience than community.


It is the best and safest substitute for individual responsibility.


The seif or Christ is present in everybody a priori, but as a rule in an unconscious condition to begin with.


But it is a definite experience of later life, when this fact becomes conscious.


It is not really understood by teaching or suggestion.


It is only real when it happens, and it can happen only when you withdraw your projections from an outward historical or metaphysical Christ and thus

wake up Christ within.


This does not mean that the unconscious self is inactive, only that we do not understand it.


The self (or Christ) cannot become conscious and real without the withdrawal of external projections.


An act of introjection is needed, i.e., the realization that the self lives in you and not in an external figure separated and different from yourself.


The self has always been, and will be, your innermost centre and periphery, your scintilla and punctum solis. It is even biologically the archetype of order and—dynamically—the source of life.


IV Here the question is concerned with Jung’s objections to the view that God is the Summum Bonum and sin is a privatio boni.


Well, I have noticed that it seems to be a major difficulty for the theological mind to accept the fact that


(1) “good” and “evil” are man-made judgments.


Somebody’s “good” may be bad or evil for another et vice versa.


(2) One cannot speak of “good” if one does not equally speak of “evil,” any more than there can be an “above” without a “below,” or “day” without “night.”


(3) The privatio boni appears to me a syllogism. If “good” and ovcria are  one without an equally valid counterpart, then “good” is also a fir) ov because the term “good” has lost its meaning; it is just “being” and evil is just “not-being” and the term means “nothing.”


Of course you are free to call “nothing” evil, but nothing is just nothing and cannot bear another name, making it into “something.”


Something non-existing has no name and no quality.


The privatio boni suggests that evil is fxi) 6v, not-being or nothing. It is not even a shadow.


There remains only the 6V, but it is not good, since there is no “bad.”


Thus the epithet “good” is redundant.


You can call God the Summum, but not the Bonum, since there is nothing else different from “being,” from the Summum qua being!


Although the privatio boni is not the invention of the Church Fathers, the syllogism was most welcome to them on account of the Manichaean

danger of dualism.


Yet without dualism there is no cognition at all, because discrimination is impossible.


I have never [as you state] understood from my study of the Fathers that God is the highest good with reference to man, no matter what he is in himself.


This is certainly new to me.


Obviously my critique of the Summum Bonum does not apply in this case.


The Bonum then would be an anthropomorphic judgment, “God is good for me,” leaving it an open question whether he is the same for other people.


If one assumes him to be a complexio oppositorum, i.e., beyond good and evil, it is possible that he may appear equally well as the source of evil which you believe to be ultimately good for man.


I am convinced, as I have seen it too often to doubt it, that an apparent evil is really no evil at all if you accept and obediently live it as far as possible, but I am equally convinced that an apparent good is in reality not always good at all but wholly destructive.


If this were not the case, then everything would be ultimately good, i.e., good in its essence, and evil would not really exist, as it would be a merely transitory appearance.


In other words the term “good” has lost its meaning, and the only safe basis of cognition is our world of experience, in which the power of evil is very real and not at all a mere appearance.


One can and does cherish an optimistic hope that ultimately, in spite of grave doubts, “all will be well.”


As I am not making a metaphysical judgment, I cannot help remarking that at least in our empirical world the opposites are inexorably at work and that, without them, this world would not exist.


We cannot even conceive of a thing that is not a form of energy, and energy is inevitably based upon opposites.


I must however pay attention to the psychological fact that, so far as we can make out, individuation is a natural phenomenon, and in a way an inescapable goal, which we have reason to call good for us, because it liberates us from the otherwise insoluble conflict of opposites (at least to a noticeable degree).


It is not invented by man, but Nature herself produces its archetypal image.


Thus the credo “in the end all will be well” is not without its

psychic foundation.


But it is more than questionable whether this phenomenon is of any importance to the world in general, or only to the individual who has reached a more complete state of consciousness, to the “redeemed” man in accordance with our Christian tenet of eternal damnation.


“Many are called, but few are chosen” is an authentic logion and not characteristic of Gnosticism alone.


Jung has been given the title “Gnostic” which he has rejected.


This term has probably been used about him [and his system] because he appears to believe that salvation is for the few and that the many cannot and ought not to attempt individuation. Is it possible that he is a “Gnostic” in this sense?


The designation of my “system” as “Gnostic” is an invention of my theological critics.


Moreover I have no “system.” I am not a philosopher, merely an empiricist.


The Gnostics have the merit of having raised the problem of whence evil?


Valentinus as well as Basilides are in my view great theologians, who tried to cope with the problems raised by the inevitable influx of the collective unconscious, a fact clearly portrayed by the “gnostic” gospel of St. John and by St. Paul, not to mention the Book of Revelation, and even by Christ himself (unjust steward and Codex Bezae to Luke 6:4).


In the style of their time they hypostatized their ideas as metaphysical entities.


Psychology does not hypostatize, but considers such ideas as psychological statements about, or models of, essential unconscious factors inaccessible to immediate experience.


This is about as far as scientific understanding can go.


In our days there are plenty of people who are unable to believe a statement they cannot understand, and they appreciate the help psychology can give them by showing them that human behaviour is deeply influenced by numinous archetypes.


That gives them some understanding of why and how the religious factor plays an important role.


It also gives them ways and means of recognizing the operation of religious ideas in their own psyche.


I must confess that I myself could find access to religion only through the psychological understanding of inner experiences, whereas traditional religious interpretations left me high and dry.


It was only psychology that helped me to overcome the fatal impressions of my youth that everything untrue, even immoral, in our ordinary empirical world must be believed to be the eternal truth in religion.


Above all, the killing of a human victim to placate the senseless wrath of a God who had created imperfect beings unable to fulfil his expectations poisoned my whole religion.


Nobody knew an answer. “With God all things are possible.” Just so!


As the perpetrator of incredible things he is himself incredible, and yet I was supposed to believe what every fibre of my body refused to admit!


There are a great many questions which I could elucidate only by psychological understanding.


I loved the Gnostics in spite of everything, because they recognized the necessity of some further raisonnement, entirely absent in the Christian cosmos.


They were at least human and therefore understandable.


But I have no yvcocris tov Oeov.


I know the reality of religious experience and of psychological models which permit a limited understanding.


I have Gnosis so far as I have immediate experience, and my models are greatly helped by the representations collectives of all religions.


But I cannot see why one creed should possess the unique and perfect truth.


Each creed claims this prerogative, hence the general disagreement!


This is not very helpful. Something must be wrong.


I think it is the immodesty of the claim to god-almightiness of the believers, which compensates their inner doubt.


Instead of basing themselves upon immediate experience they believe in words for want of something better.


The sacrificium intellectus is a sweet drug for man’s all-embracing spiritual laziness and inertia.


I owe you quite a number of apologies for the fact that my layman’s mental attitude must be excruciatingly irritating to your point of view.


But you know, as a psychologist I am not concerned with theology directly, but rather with the incompetent general public and its erroneous and faulty convictions, which are however just as real to it as their competent views are to the theologians.


I am continually asked “theological” questions by my patients, and when I say that I am only a doctor and they should ask the theologian, then the regular answer is, “Oh, yes, we have done so,” or “we do not ask a priest because we get an answer we already know, which explains nothing.”


Well this is the reason why I have to try for better or worse to help my patients to some kind of understanding at least.


It gives them a certain satisfaction as it has done to me, although it is admittedly inadequate.


But to them it sounds as if somebody were speaking their language and understanding their questions which they take very seriously indeed.


Once, for instance, it was a very important question to me to discover how far modern Protestantism considers that the God of the Old Testament is identical with the God of the New Testament.


I asked two university professors. They did not answer my letter.


The third (also a professor) said he didn’t know.


The fourth said, “Oh, that is quite easy.


Yahweh is a somewhat more archaic conception contrasted with the more differentiated view of the New Testament.” I said to him, “That is exactly

the kind of psychologism you accuse me of.”


My question must have been singularly inadequate or foolish.


But I do not know why.


I am speaking for the layman’s psychology.


The layman is a reality and his questions do exist.


My “Answer to Job” voices the questions of thousands, but the theologians don’t answer, contenting themselves  with dark allusions to my layman’s ignorance of Hebrew, higher criticism, Old Testament exegesis, etc., but there is not a single answer.


A Jesuit professor of theology asked me rather indignantly how I could suggest that the Incarnation has remained incomplete.


I said, “The human being is born under the macula peccati.


Neither Christ nor his mother suffers from original sin. They are therefore not human, but superhuman, a sort of God.”


What did he answer? Nothing.


1646 Why is that so?


My layman’s reasoning is certainly imperfect, and my theological knowledge regrettably meagre, but not as bad as all that, at least I hope not.


But I do know something about the psychology of man now and in the past, and as a psychologist I raise the questions I have been asked a hundred times by my patients and other laymen.


Theology would certainly not suffer by paying attention.


I know you are too busy to do it.


I am all the more anxious to prevent avoidable mistakes and I shall feel deeply obliged to you if you take the trouble of showing me where I am wrong.


Gnosis is characterized by the hypostatizing of psychological apperceptions, i.e., by the integration of archetypal contents beyond the revealed “truth” of the Gospels.


Hippolytus still considered classical Greek philosophy along with Gnostic philosophies as perfectly possible views.


Christian Gnosis to him was merely the best and superior to all of them.


The people who call me a Gnostic cannot understand that I am a psychologist, describing modes of psychic behaviour precisely like a biologist studying the instinctual activities of insects.


He does not believe in the tenets of the bee’s philosophy.


When I show the parallels between dreams and Gnostic fantasies I believe in neither.


They are just facts one does not need to believe or to hypostatize.


An alienist is not necessarily crazy because he describes and analyses the delusions of lunatics, nor is a scholar studying the Tripitaka necessarily a Buddhist.


  1. Reply to a Letter from the Rev. David Cox


The crux of this question is: ‘Within your own personality.”


“Christ” can be an external reality (historical and metaphysical) or an archetypal image or idea in the collective unconscious pointing to an unknown background.


I would understand the former mainly as a projection, but not the latter, because it is immediately evident.


It is not projected upon anything, therefore there is no projection.


Only, “faith” in Christ is different from faith in anyone else, since in this case, “Christ” being immediately evident, the word “faith,” including or alluding to the possibility of doubt, seems too feeble a word to characterize that powerful presence from which there is no escape.


A general can say to his soldiers, “You must have faith in me,” because one might doubt him.


But you cannot say to a man lying wounded on the battlefield, “You ought to believe that this a real battle,” or “Be sure that you are up against the enemy.”


It is just too obvious.


Even the historical Jesus began to speak of “faith” because he saw that his disciples had no immediate evidence. Instead they had to believe, while he himself being identical with God had no need to “have faith in God.”


As one habitually identifies the “psyche” with what one knows of it, it is assumed that one can call certain (supposed or believed) metaphysical entities non-psychic.


Being a responsible scientist I am unable to pass such a judgment, for all I know of regular religious phenomena seems to indicate that they are psychic events.


Moreover I do not know the full reach of the psyche, because there is the limitless extent of the unconscious.


“Christ” is definitely an archetypal image ( I don’t add “only”) and that is all I actually know of him.


As such he belongs to the (collective) foundations of the psyche.


I identify him therefore with what I call the self.


The self rules the whole of the psyche.


I think our opinions do not differ essentially.


You seem to have trouble only with the theological (and self-inflicted) devaluation of the psyche, which you apparently believe to be ultimately definable.


If my identification of Christ with the archetype of the self is valid, he is, or ought to be, a complexio oppositorum.


Historically this is not so.


Therefore I was profoundly surprised by your statement that Christ contains the opposites.


Between my contention and historical Christianity there stretches that deep abyss of Christian dualism—Christ and the Devil, good and evil, God and



“Beyond good and evil” simply means: we pass no moral judgment.


But in fact nothing is changed.


The same is true when we state that whatever God is or does is good.


Since God does everything (even man created by him is his instrument) everything is good, and the term “good” has lost its meaning.


“Good” is a relative term. There is no good without bad.


I am afraid that even revealed truth has to evolve.


Everything living changes.


We should not be satisfied with unchangeable traditions.


The great battle that began with the dawn of consciousness has not reached its climax with any particular interpretation, apostolic, Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise.


Even the highly conservative Catholic Church has overstepped its ancient rule of apostolic authenticity with the Assumptio Beatae Virginis.


According to what I hear from Catholic theologians, the next step would be the Co-redemptrix.


This obvious recognition of the female element is a very important step forward.


It means psychologically the recognition of the unconscious, since the representative of the collective unconscious is the anima, the archetype of all divine mothers (at least in the masculine psyche)


The equivalent on the Protestant side would be a confrontation with the unconscious as the counterpart or consort of the masculine



The hitherto valid symbol of the supreme spiritual structure was Trinity + Satan, the so-called 3 + i structure, corresponding to three conscious functions versus the one unconscious, so-called inferior function; or i + 3 if the conscious side is understood as one versus the co-called inferior or chthonic triad, mythologically characterized as three mother figures.


I suppose that the negative evaluation of the unconscious has something to do with the fact that it has been hitherto represented by Satan, while in reality it is the female aspect of man’s psyche and thus not wholly evil in spite of the old saying: Vir a Deo creatus, mulier a simia Dei.


It seems to me of paramount importance that Protestantism should integrate psychological experience, as for instance Jacob Boehme did.


With him God does not only contain love, but, on the other side and in the same measure, the fire of wrath, in which Lucifer himself dwells.


Christ is a revelation of his love, but he can manifest his wrath in an Old Testament way just as well, i.e., in the form of evil.


Inasmuch as out of evil good may come, and out of good evil, we do not know whether creation is ultimately good or a regrettable mistake and God’s suffering.


It is an ineffable mystery.


At any rate we are not doing justice either to nature in general or to our own human nature when we deny the immensity of evil and suffering and turn our eyes from the cruel aspect of creation.


Evil should be recognized and one should not attribute the existence of evil to man’s sinfulness.


Yahweh is not offended by being feared.


It is quite understandable why it was an EvayyeXov [evangel, “good tidings”] to learn of the bonitas Dei and of his son.


It was known to the ancients that the self-knowledge was a prerequisite for this, not only in the Graeco-Roman world but also in the Far East.


It is to the individual aptitude that the man Jesus owes his apotheosis: he became the symbol of the self under the aspect of the infinite goodness, which was certainly the symbol most needed in ancient civilization (as it is still needed today).


It can be considered a fact that the dogmatic figure of Christ is the result of a condensation process from various sources.


One of the main origins is the age-old god-man of Egypt: Osiris-Horus and his four sons.


It was a remodeling of the unconscious archetype hitherto projected upon a divine non-human being.


By embodying itself in a historical man it came nearer to consciousness, but in keeping with the mental capacity of the time it remained as if suspended

between God and man, between the need for good and the fear of evil.


Any doubt about the absolute bonitas Dei would have led to an immediate regression to the former pagan state, i.e., to the amorality of the metaphysical principle.


Since then two thousand years have passed.


In this time we have learned that good and evil are categories of our moral judgment, therefore relative to man.


Thus the way was opened for a new model of the self. Moral judgment is a necessity of the human mind.


The Christ (6 Xptcrro?) is the Christian model that expresses the self, as the AvOpco-n-os is the corresponding Egypto-Judaic formula.


Moral qualification is withdrawn from the deity.


The Catholic Church has almost succeeded in adding femininity to the masculine Trinity.


Protestantism is confronted with the psychological problem of the unconscious.


It is, as far as I can see, a peculiar process extending over at least four thousand years of mental evolution.


It can be contemplated in a “euhemeristic” way as a development of man’s understanding of the supreme powers beyond his control. [The process

consists of the following stages : ]


(1) Gods.


( 2 ) A supreme Deity ruling the gods and demons.


(3) God shares our human fate, is betrayed, killed or dies, and is resurrected again. There is a feminine counterpart dramatically involved in God’s fate.


(4) God becomes man in the flesh and thus historical. He is identified with the abstract idea of the Summum Bonum and loses the feminine counterpart.


The female deity is degraded to an ancillary position (Church). Consciousness begins to prevail against the unconscious.


This is an enormously important step forward in the emancipation of consciousness and in the liberation of thought from its involvement in things.


Thus the foundation of science is laid, but on the other hand, that of atheism and materialism.


Both are inevitable consequences of the basic split between spirit and matter in Christian philosophy, which proclaimed the redemption of the spirit from the body and its fetters.


(5) The whole metaphysical world is understood as a psychic structure projected into the sphere of the unknown.


The danger of this viewpoint is exaggerated scepticism and rationalism, since the original “supreme powers” are reduced to mere representations over which one assumes one has complete control.


This leads to a complete negation of the supreme powers (scientific materialism).


The other way of looking at it is from the standpoint of the archetype.


The original chaos of multiple gods evolves into a sort of monarchy, and the archetype of the self slowly asserts its central position as the archetype of order in chaos.


One God rules supreme but apart from man.


It begins to show a tendency to relate itself to consciousness through a process of penetration: the humanizing effect of a feminine intercession, expressed for instance by the Isis intrigue.


In the Christian myth the Deity, the self, penetrates consciousness almost completely, without any visible loss of power and prestige.


But in time it becomes obvious that the Incarnation has caused a loss among the supreme powers: the indispensable dark side has been left behind or stripped off, and the feminine aspect is missing.


Thus a further act of incarnation becomes necessary.


Through atheism, materialism, and agnosticism, the powerful yet one-sided aspect of the Summum Bonum is weakened, so that it cannot keep out the dark side, and incidentally the feminine factor, any more. “Antichrist” and “Devil” gain the ascendancy: God asserts his power through the revelation of his darkness and destructiveness.


Man is merely instrumental in carrying out the divine plan.


Obviously he does not want his own destruction but is forced to it by his own inventions.


He is entirely unfree in his actions because he does not yet understand that he is a mere instrument of a destructive superior will.


From this paradox he could learn that —nolens volens—he serves a supreme power, and that supreme powers exist in spite of his denial.


As God lives in everybody in the form of the scintilla of the self, man could see his “daemonic,” i.e., ambivalent, nature in himself and thus he could understand how he is penetrated by God or how God incarnates in man.


Through his further incarnation God becomes a fearful task for man, who must now find ways and means to unite the divine opposites in himself.


He is summoned and can no longer leave his sorrows to somebody else, not even to Christ, because it was Christ that has left him the almost impossible task of his cross.


Christ has shown how everybody will be crucified upon his destiny, i.e., upon his self, as he was.


He did not carry his cross and suffer crucifixion so that we could escape.


The bill of the Christian era is presented to us: we are living in a world rent in two from top to bottom; we are confronted with the H-bomb and we have to face our own shadows.


Obviously God does not want us to remain little children looking out for a parent who will do their job for them.


We are cornered by the supreme power of the incarnating Will.


God really wants to become man, even if he rends him asunder.


This is so no matter what we say.


One cannot talk the H-bomb or Communism out of the world.


We are in the soup that is going to be cooked for us, whether we claim to have invented it or not.


Christ said to his disciples “Ye are gods.” This word becomes painfully true.


If God incarnates in the empirical man, man is confronted with the divine problem.


Being and remaining man he has to find an answer.


It is the question of the opposites, raised at the moment when God was declared to be good only.


Where then is his dark side?


Christ is the model for the human answers and his symbol is the cross, the union of the opposites.


This will be the fate of man, and this he must understand if he is to survive at all.


We are threatened with universal genocide if we cannot work out the way of salvation by a symbolic death.


in order to accomplish his task, man is inspired by the Holy Ghost in such a way that he is apt to identify him with his own mind.


He even runs the grave risk of believing he has a Messianic mission, and forces tyrannous doctrines upon his fellow-beings.


He would do better to dis-identify his mind from the small voice within, from dreams and fantasies through which the divine spirit manifests itself.


One should listen to the inner voice attentively, intelligently and critically (Probate spiritus!), because the voice one hears is the influxus divinus consisting, as the Acts of John aptly state, of “right” and “left” streams, i.e., of opposites.


They have to be clearly separated so that their positive and negative aspects become visible.


Only thus can we take up a middle position and discover a middle way.


That is the task left to man, and that is the reason why man is so important to God that he decided to become a man himself.


I must apologize for the length of this exposition.


Please do not think that I am stating a truth.


I am merely trying to present a hypothesis which might explain the bewildering conclusions resulting from the clash of traditional symbols and psychological experiences.


I thought it best to put my cards on the table, so that you get a clear picture of my ideas.


Although all this sounds as if it were a sort of theological speculation, it is in reality modern man’s perplexity expressed in symbolic


terms. It is the problem I so often had to deal with in treating the neuroses of intelligent patients.


It can be expressed in a more scientific, psychological language ; for instance, instead of using the term God you say “unconscious,” instead of Christ “self,” instead of incarnation “integration of the unconscious,” instead of salvation or redemption “individuation,” instead of crucifixion .or sacrifice

on the Cross “realization of the four functions or of “wholeness.”


I think it is no disadvantage to religious tradition if we can see how far it coincides with psychological experience.


On the contrary it seems to me a most welcome aid in understanding religious traditions.


A myth remains a myth even if certain people believe it to be the literal revelation of an eternal truth, but it becomes moribund if the living truth it contains ceases to be an object of belief.


It is therefore necessary to renew its life from time to time through a new interpretation.


This means re-adapting it to the changing spirit of the times.


What the Church calls “prefigurations” refer to the original state of the myth, while the Christian doctrine represents a new interpretation and re-adaptation to a Hellenized world.


A most interesting attempt at re-interpretation began in the eleventh century, leading up to the schism in the sixteenth century.


The Renaissance was no more a rejuvenation of antiquity than Protestantism was a return to the primitive Christianity: it was a new interpretation necessitated by the devitalization of the Catholic Church.


Today Christianity is devitalized by its remoteness from the spirit of the times.


It stands in need of a new union with, or relation to, the atomic age, which is a unique novelty in history.


The myth needs to be retold in a new spiritual language, for the new wine can no more be poured into the old bottles than it could in the Hellenistic age.


Even conservative Jewry had to produce an entirely new version of the myth in its Cabalistic Gnosis.


It is my practical experience that psychological understanding immediately revivifies the essential Christian ideas and fills them with the breath of life.


This is because our worldly light, i.e., scientific knowledge and understanding, coincides with the symbolic statement of the myth, whereas previously we were unable to bridge the gulf between knowing and believing.


Coming back to your letter (pp. 2-3, 25 September) I must say that I could accept your definition of the Summum Bonum,


“Whatever God is, that is good,” if it did not interfere with or twist our sense of good. In dealing with the moral nature of an act of God, we have either to suspend our moral judgment and blindly follow the dictates of this superior will, or we have to judge in a human fashion and call white white and black black.


In spite of the fact that we sometimes obey the superior will blindly and almost heroically, I do not think that this is the usual thing, nor is it commendable on the whole to act blindly, because we are surely expected to act with conscious moral reflection.


It is too dangerously easy to avoid responsibility by deluding ourselves that our will is the will of God.


We can be forcibly overcome by the latter, but if we are not we must use our judgment, and then we are faced with the inexorable fact that humanly speaking some acts of God are good and some bad, so much so that the assumption of a Summum Bonum becomes almost an act of hubris.


if God can be understood as the perfect complexio oppositorum, so can Christ.


I can agree with your view about Christ completely, only it is not the traditional but a very modern conception which is on the way to the desired new interpretation.


I also agree with your understanding of Tao and its contrast to Christ, who is indeed the paradigm of the reconciliation of the divine opposites in man brought about in the process of individuation.


Thus Christ stands for the treasure and the supreme “good.” (In German “good” = gut, but the noun Gut also means “property” and “treasure.”)


When theology makes metaphysical assertions the conscience of the scientist cannot back it up.


Since Christ never meant more to me than what I could understand of him, and since this understanding coincides with my empirical knowledge of the self, I have to admit that I mean the self in dealing with the idea of Christ.


As a matter of fact I have no other access to Christ but the self, and since I do not know anything beyond the self I cling to his archetype.


I say, “Here is the living and perceptible archetype which has been projected upon the man Jesus or has historically manifested itself in him.” If this collective archetype had not been associated with Jesus he would have remained a nameless Zaddik.


I actually prefer the term “self” because I am talking to Hindus as well as Christians, and I do not want to divide but to unite.


Since I am putting my cards on the table, I must confess that I cannot detach a certain feeling of dishonesty from any metaphysical assertion—one may speculate but not assert.


One cannot reach beyond oneself, and if somebody assures you he can reach beyond himself and his natural limitations, he overreaches himself and becomes immodest and untrue.


This may be a deformation professionelle, the prejudice of a scientific conscience.


Science is an honest-to-God attempt to get at the truth and its rule is never to assert more than one can prove within reasonable and defensible limits.


This is my attitude in approaching the problem of religious experience.


I am unable to envisage anything beyond the self, since it is—by definition—a borderline concept designating the unknown totality of man: there are no known limits to the unconscious.


There is no reason whatsoever why you should or should not call the beyond self Christ or Buddha or Purusha or Tao or Khidr or Tifereth.


All these terms are recognizable formulations of what I call the “self.”


Moreover I dislike the insistence upon a special name, since my human brethren are as good and as valid as I am.


Why should their name-giving be less valid than mine?


It is not easy for a layman to get the desired theological information, because even the Church is not at one with herself in this respect.


Who represents authentic Christianity?


Thus the layman whether he likes it or not has to quote Protestant or Catholic statements pele-mele as Christian views because they are backed up

by some authority.


In my case I believe I have been careful in quoting my sources.


You as a theologian are naturally interested in the best possible view or explanation, while the psychologist is interested in all sorts of opinions because he wants to acquire some understanding of mental phenomenology and cares little for even the best possible metaphysical assertion, which is beyond human reach anyhow.


The various creeds are just so many phenomena to him, and he has no means of deciding about the truth or the ultimate validity of any metaphysical statement.


I cannot select the “best” or the “ultimate” opinions because I do not know which kind of opinion to choose from which Church.


Also I do not care particularly where such opinions come from, and it is quite beyond my capacity to find out whether they are erroneous or not.


I would be wrong only if I attributed, for instance, the idea of the conceptio immaculata to Protestantism or the sola fide standpoint to Catholicism.


The many misunderstandings attributed to me come into this category.


In either case it is plain to see that someone has been careless in his assumptions.


But if I attribute Ritschl’s christological views to Protestantism, it is no error in spite of the fact that the Church of England does not subscribe to the opinions of Mr. Ritschl or of Mr. Barth.


I hope I have not inadvertently been guilty of some misquotation.


I can illustrate the problem by a typical instance.


My little essay on Eastern Meditation deals with the popular tract Amitdyur Dhydna Sutra, which is a relatively late and not very valuable Mahayana text.


A critic objected to my choice: he could not see why I should take such an inconspicuous tract instead of a genuinely Buddhist and classical Pali text in order to present Buddhist thought.


He entirely overlooked the fact that I had no intention whatever of expounding classical Buddhism, but that my aim was to analyse the psychology of this particular text.


Why should I not deal with Jacob Boehme or Angelus Silesius as Christian writers, even though they are not classical representatives either of Catholicism or of Protestantism?


A similar misunderstanding appears in your view that I am not doing justice to the ideal of community.


Whenever possible I avoid ideals and much prefer realities.


I have never found a community which would allow “full expression to the individual within it.”


Suppose the individual is going to speak the truth regardless of the feelings of everybody else: he would not only be the most abominable enfant terrible but might equally well cause a major catastrophe.


Edifying examples of this can be observed at the meetings of Buchman’s so-called Oxford Group Movement.


At the expense of truth the individual has to “behave,” i.e., suppress his reaction merely for the sake of Christian charity.


What if I should get up after a sermon about ideals and ask the parson how much he himself is able to live up to his admonitions?


In my own case the mere fact that I am seriously interested in psychology has created a peculiar hostility or fear in certain circles.


What has happened to those people in the Church, that is in a Christian community, who ventured to have a new idea?


No community can escape the laws of mass psychology.


I am critical of the community in the same way as I suspect the individual who builds his castles in Spain while anxiously avoiding the expression of his own convictions.


I am shy of ideals which one preaches and never lives up to, simply because one cannot.


I want to know rather what we can live.


I want to build up a possible human life which carries through God’s experiment and does not invent an ideal scheme knowing that it will never be fulfilled.


Later Letter:


I am much obliged to you for telling me exactly what you think and for criticizing my blunt ways of thinking and writing (also of talking, I am afraid).


It seems, however, to be the style of natural scientists: we simply state our proposition, assuming that nobody will think it to be more than a disputable hypothesis.


We are so imbued with doubts concerning our assumptions that skepticism is taken for granted.


We are therefore apt to omit the conventional captatio benevolentiae lectoris with its “With hesitation I submit . . . ,” “I consider it a daring hypothesis ….,” etc. We even forget the preamble: “This is the way I look at it . . . .”


The case of the Jesuit was that he put the direct question to me: “How on earth can you suggest that Christ was not human?” The discussion was naturally on the dogmatic level, as there is no other basis on which this question can be answered.


It is not a question of truth, because the problem itself is far beyond human judgment.


My “Answer to Job” is merely a reconstruction of the psychology discernible in this and other Old Testament texts for the interested layman.


He knows very little of Higher Criticism, which is historical and philological in the main, and it is but little concerned with the layman’s reactions to the paradoxes and moral horrors of the Old Testament.


He knows his Bible and hears the sermons of his parson or priest.


As a Catholic he has had a dogmatic education.


When talking of “Job” you must always remember that I am dealing with the psychology of an archetypal and anthropomorphic image of God and not with a metaphysical entity.


As far as we can see, the archetype is a psychic structure with a life of its own to a certain extent.


God in the Old Testament is a guardian of law and morality, yet is himself unjust.


He is a moral paradox, unreflecting in an ethical sense.


We can perceive God in an infinite variety of images, yet all of them are anthropomorphic, otherwise they would not get into our heads.


The divine paradox is the source of unending suffering to man.


Job cannot avoid seeing it and thus he sees more than God himself.


This explains why the God-image has to come down “into the flesh.”


The paradox, expressed of course with many hesitations in the particularities of the myth and in the Catholic dogma, is clearly discernible in the fact that the “Suffering Righteous man” is, historically speaking, an erroneous conception, not identical with the suffering God, because he is Jesus Christ, worshipped as a separate God (he is a mere prefiguration, painfully included in a triunity) and not an ordinary man who is forced to accept the suffering of intolerable opposites he has not invented.


They were preordained.


He is the victim, because he is capable of three-dimensional consciousness and ethical decision. (This is a bit condensed. Unlike Yahweh, man has self-reflection.)


J don’t know what Job is supposed to have seen.


But it seems possible that he unconsciously anticipated the historical future, namely the evolution of the God-image.


God had to become man.


Man’s suffering does not derive from his sins but from the maker of his imperfections, the paradoxical God.


The righteous man is the instrument into which God enters in order to attain self-reflection and thus consciousness and rebirth as a divine child trusted

to the care of adult man.


Now this is not the statement of a truth, but the psychological reading of a mythological text—a model constructed for the purpose of establishing the psychological linking together of its contents.


My aim is to show what the results are when you apply modern psychology to such a text.


Higher Criticism and Hebrew philology are obviously superfluous, because it is simply a question of the text which the layman has under his eyes.


The Christian religion has not been shaped by Higher Criticism.


The trouble I have with my academic reader is that he cannot see a psychic structure as a relatively autonomous entity, because he is under the illusion that he is dealing with a concept.


But in reality it is a living thing.


The archetypes all have a life of their own which follows a biological pattern.


A Church that has evolved a masculine Trinity will follow the old pattern: 3+1, where 1 is a female and, if 3 = good, 1 as a woman will mediate between

good and evil, the latter being the devil and the shadow of the Trinity.


The woman will inevitably be the Mother-Sister of the Son-God, with whom she will be united in thalamo, i.e., in the tepo? yafios, quod est demonstratum by the second Encyclical concerning the Assumption.


A passionate discourse between the man Job and God will logically lead to a mutual rapprochement: God will be humanized, man will be “divinized.”‘


Thus Job will be followed by the idea of the Incarnation of God and the redemption and apotheosis of man.


This development, however, is seriously impeded by the fact that the “woman,” as always, inevitably brings in the problem of the shadow.


Therefore mulier taceat in ecclesia.


The arch-sin the Catholic Church is ever after is sexuality, and the ideal par excellence virginity, which puts a definite stop to life.


But if life should insist on going on, the shadow steps in and sin becomes a serious problem, because the shadow cannot be left to eternal damnation

any more.


Consequently, at the end of the first millennium of the Christian aeon, as predicted in the Apocalypse, the world was suspected of being created by the devil.


The impressive and still living myth of the Holy Grail came to life with its two significant figures of Parsifal and Merlin.


At the same time we observe an extraordinary development of alchemical philosophy with its central figure of the fdius macrocosmi, a chthonic equivalent of Christ.


This was followed by the great and seemingly incurable schism of the Christian Church, and last but not least by the still greater and more formidable schism of the world towards the end of the second millennium.


A psychological reading of the dominant archetypal images reveals a continuous series of psychological transformations, depicting the autonomous life of archetypes behind the scenes of consciousness.


This hypothesis has been worked out to clarify and make comprehensible our religious history.


The treatment of psychological troubles and the inability of my patients to understand theological interpretations and terminology have given me my motive.


The necessities of psychotherapy have proved to me the immense importance of a religious attitude, which cannot be achieved without a thorough understanding of religious tradition, just as an individual’s troubles cannot be understood and cured without a basic knowledge of their biographical antecedents.


I have applied to the God-image what I have learned from the reconstruction of so many human lives through a knowledge of their unconscious.


All this is empirical and may have nothing to do with theology, if theology says so.


But if theology should come to the conclusion that its tenets have something to do with the empirical human psyche, I establish a claim.


I think that in those circumstances my opinion should be given a hearing.


It cannot be argued on the level of metaphysical assertions.


It can be criticized only on its own psychological level, regardless of whether it is a psychologically satisfactory interpretation of the facts or not.


The “facts” are the documented historical manifestations of the archetype, however “erroneous” they may be.


I have stated my point of view bluntly (for which I must ask your forgiveness!) in order to give you a fair chance to see it as clearly as possible.


The end of your letter, where you deal with Christ, leaves me with a doubt.


It looks to me as if you were trying to explain the empirical man Jesus, while I am envisaging the archetype of the Anthropos and its very general interpretation as a collective phenomenon and not as the best possible interpretation of an individual and historical person.


Christianity as a whole is less concerned with the historical man Jesus and his somewhat doubtful biography than with the mythological Anthropos or God-Son figure.


It would be rather hazardous to attempt to analyse the historical Jesus as a human person. “Christ” appears from a much safer (because mythological) background, which invites psychological elucidation.


Moreover it is not the Jewish rabbi and reformer Jesus, but the archetypal Christ who touches upon the archetype of the Redeemer in everybody and carries conviction.


My approach is certainly not theological and cannot be treated as a theologoumenon.


It is essentially a psychological attempt based upon the archetypal, amoral God-image, which is not a concept but rather an irrational and phenomenal experience, an Urbild.


But in so far as theologians are also concerned with the adult human psyche (perhaps not as much as medical psychology), I am convinced that it would be of advantage to them to become acquainted with the psychological aspects of the Christian religion.


I will not conceal the fact that theological thinking is very difficult for me, from which I conclude that psychological thinking must be an equally laborious undertaking for the theologian.


This may explain why I inundate you with such a long letter.


When I see how China (and soon India) will lose her old culture under the impact of materialistic rationalism, I grow afraid  that the Christian West will succumb to the same malady, simply because the old symbolic language is no longer understood and people cannot see any more where and how it applies.


In Catholic countries anyone leaving the Church becomes frankly atheistic.


In Protestant countries a small number become sectarians, and the others avoid the churches for their cruelly boring and empty sermons.


Not a few begin to believe in the State—not even knowing that they themselves are the State.


The recent broadcasts of the B.B.C.  give a good picture of the educated layman’s mind with regard to religion. What an understanding!


All due to the lack of a psychological standpoint, or so it seems to me.


I am sorry that I am apparently a petra scandali.


I do not mean to offend. Please accept my apologies for my bluntness.


I am sincerely grateful to you for giving me your attention. Faithfully yours, C. G. Jung ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Pages 702-744