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Letters Volume I


Dear Dr. N., 27 October 1941

Your dream unquestionably refers to the archetypal problem of the extrusion of the soul from the body.

One is forced to conclude ‘that in your case the soul is only loosely seated in your body.

It remains to be seen whether that is correct or not.

However, the friendly lion in the dream seems to indicate that the looseness of the soul is not exactly desirable, since the lion compensates your condition in a very obvious way: the Zurich lion represents your localized instinct, firmly rooted in your earth, just as the lion’s soul-as with all animals -is securely fixed in its body.

Moreover you seem prone to eczema, which not infrequently indicates that one is not properly inside one’s body.

It is sometimes the same with other diseases.

If you devote yourself, intentionally and intellectually, to dangerous problems such as the squaring of the circle, this is yet another indication of a tendency to get away from the body, because this problem symbolizes an irrational state of wholeness which cannot be contrived but can only be experienced.

This experience cannot be brought about or discovered by even the greatest intellectual effort.

Polyps in the anal region indicate a creative impulse in that regionan impulse that is of course being misused.

It is as though you were defecating yourself out of the anus, and this is a topsy-turvy procedure since you really ought to be producing yourself.

But you obviously aren’t.

Somewhere there is a place where you are not making yourself felt, not creating yourself.

You are squeezing yourself out behind, so to speak, acting not in accordance with your instinct but in accordance with reflections or inclinations which are the very reverse of instinctively correct actions.

You jump out of your skin, but backwards.

Naturally one ought to know more about your personal life, which I don’t.

But it is conceivable that in your dealings with those around you, you are not sufficiently self-contained and therefore need the support of the Zurich lion.

The valley of darkness has to be gone through in reality and not in fantasy, otherwise one could spare oneself an infinite number of unpleasantnesses which are nevertheless important for life.

I think, therefore, that if you keep as closely as possible to concrete reality and try to create yourself there and illuminate the darkness, you will be on a more normal road than when you engross yourself
in squaring the circle as a substitute.

This problem confronts you with the extremely tricky task of uniting the principle of the square with that of the circle.

It frequently presents itself in the relationship between two people, when it is the problem of fitting a square peg into a round hole.

I hope these hints may be of some help.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 306-307

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Great Sites to visit:

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  2. Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/

  3. Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/