Jung-White Letters

My dear Professor Jung,

Blackfriars, Oxford                          13.10.46

I do not know what you can be thinking of me and my failure to write you one single line since my return to England.

It has not been for want of trying, or even of starting; but every effort I have made so far has been interrupted and frustrated in one way or another.

Since my return it has just been “one dam thing after another”; very interesting things, many of them: things I should dearly like to tell you and talk to you about.

Bollingen, Zurich, Ronco – sometimes they seem like a remote paradise in never-never land.

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed them, and how grateful I am to you and Mrs. Jung for them.

A few nights ago I dreamed that I was in a largish sailing-boat sailing from (for some reason I have not yet discovered) Norway to England.

I was roaming carefree all over the boat. You were the captain at the wheel.

After a while I noticed that we were scudding along in a southerly direction at considerable speed and amid perilous rocks and shoals; but we always missed them.

I “knew” there was no danger, not so much because you were at the wheel, but because the Wind was taking care of us and would never wreck the pair of us.

Presently I found that we were speeding along very close to the shore (on our left), but still we always missed it and its many promontories.

After a while we reached a small (?Danish) coastal town; the boat, with you calmly at the wheel and smoking your pipe, imperceptibly mounted the shore and sailed down the streets dexterously missing all the buildings and the traffic.

She was amphibious! I hope this is “all right”, and not inflation.

Certainly I do seem to have gained much more confidence than hitherto, and my various works – both in Seelsorge and Psychotherapie – seem to be going very much more easily.

You said something very important when you told me not to pretend to less “consciousness” than I’ve got.

I only hope I am not overdoing it. I have been seeing a good deal of John Layard lately, and I feel we really may be getting somewhere.

What you said about his treatment of my “kowtowing to the Archbishop” dream has proved to be a most important clue; and it has become more and more clear that his spell of trouble over the past few years had its origins then.

He had already gone a good way with the Exeter people (from whom, doubtless, you have lately heard more), but brought from Exeter to Oxford a dream which clearly showed that his “priest-riddenness” was getting in the way of further progress there.

I think that we have now pretty satisfactorily disposed of that.

But our dear John is certainly a problem; though I think a very worthwhile one.

In common honesty I must tell you that I have lately come across a whole series of ordinations of Dominican General Chapters of the 13th and 14th centuries forbidding Dominicans the practice of alchemy and the possession of alchemical books under the direst penalties!

I derive only the slightest satisfaction from the reflection that these prohibitions are no longer in force and that the very frequency of their repetition, progressively increasing in severity, indicates that not much notice was taken of them.

It is true that the practice of medicine was also forbidden to the friars, but in nothing like such unqualified terms.

If you would like to see these documents I could doubtless have copies of them made.

Such inquiries as I have been able to make so far from specialist friends regarding the origin of the “Aurora Consurgens” have as yet yielded no results, although they have vaguely heard of the work.

I am still very much hoping to be able to receive a copy, not only to submit to their expert attention, but also to read for my own profit and delight.

My own more studious activities have had a very thin time of it lately, in spite of the fact that I am resolutely keeping two days per week free from all concern with other people’s souls – a resolve I find most necessary for their own weal as well as my own.

But of writing I have done practically none.

My prospective publishers want me to double the length of my” ‘God’ and ‘The Unconscious” ‘ essay; it is certainly far too condensed as it is.

I was thrilled and amazed when I heard your magnificent Eranos lecture to find you seemed to be saying so exactly what in my essay I had been trying

to say you meant, and even (though with so different an object) following so similar a plan as I had been trying to work out.

I do not know when I shall be able to settle down to the necessary revising and rewriting.

But I should be extremely grateful if I might send you a typewritten copy when it is done.

I wonder if also I might dare ask at the same time for a few words of preface – even in spite of the fact that on one or two points I am a trifle critical?

But sufficient unto the day … There are one or two points of “business” I should add to this letter.

But I shall be writing to Miss Schmid in a few days, and I think they are matters which she will be able to deal with without my bothering you personally.

I do hope and pray that you are now having a more restful time after your many congresses; and that both you and Mrs. Jung are well.

Please remember me to her very kindly. Also to Miss Wolff; I hope her “cure” was successful.

I have not seen Dr. Bennet since his return; but I heard Dr. Crichton Miller’s address to the Guild the other day, which was very good indeed (although we got lost in a rather futile argument about the meaning of “dogma”) and much more openly “Jungian” than I had anticipated.

Tomorrow I am expecting a visit from Dr. Rivkah Schaer I so hope for more recent news from Zurich.

Please forgive this rather messy and incoherent letter; it is but a few scraps from the multitude of things I should like to write or talk about.

I enclose also a few snapshots Zur frohliche Errinernng.

Yours ever most gratefully & sincerely,

VICTOR ~Victor White, Jung-White Letters, Page 44-47

Remembering Father Victor White