To Paul Schmitt
Dear Dr. Schmitt, Locarno, 5 January 1942
Best thanks for your New Year letter, with its welcome news that the pebbles ejected by the volcano on whose edge I am sitting have landed somewhere.
It is a never-failing pleasure to hear an echo.
The recognition of this bad quality in myself makes me indulgent with the vanity and sensitivity of otherwise competent authors-too long one can hear no echo, and this can easily lead to an obdurate and grim self-admiration-or the reverse ….
You have hit the mark absolutely: all of a sudden and with terror it became clear to me that I have taken over Faust as my heritage, and moreover as the advocate and avenger of Philemon and Baucis, who, unlike Faust the superman, are the hosts of the gods in a ruthless and godforsaken age.
It has become-if I may say so-a personal matter between me and proavus Goethe.
To the extent that I harbour a personal myth of this kind you are right in nosing up a “Goethean” world in me.
Indeed it is there, for it seems to me unavoidable to give an answer to Faust: we must continue to bear the terrible German problem that is devastating Europe, and must pull down into our world some of the Faustian happenings in the Beyond, for instance the benign activity of Pater Profundus.
I would give the earth to know whether Goethe himself knew why he called the two old people “Philemon” and “Baucis.”
Faust sinned from the beginning against these first parents ( cf,i>1.1Jp.a and Baubo).
One must have one foot in the grave, though, before one understands this secret properly.
I wish you all the best for the New Year and hope to see you again soon after my return.
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 309-310
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Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/
Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/