Jung-Kirsch Letters

James Kirsch
Analytical Psychologist
6120 Barrows Drive
Los Angeles 48, Calif.
Walnut 9229

14 September 1953

Dear Professor!

Accept my most heartfelt thanks for your letter of 6 August. I know that at the end of July you were at the limit of your capacity for work and simply could not see any more people.

You speak from your own experience when you describe John’s exhaustion of old age.

Nevertheless I hope -Dea concedente -to see you again next year.

As I already wrote you recently, Dr. Evans-Wentz has asked me to write a short preface to your Introduction to the “Great Liberation.”

It is enclosed herewith.

Of course, I have some reservations about it, because in your Introduction you  ay enough about your understanding of “Soul”; and because “Dharmakaya” and “Soul” are only identical in one particular aspect.

Dr. Wentz was of the opinion, however, that the Eastern reader would lay aside and not even read a book which makes use of the intuitive concept of “Soul. ”

I can hardly believe that. From this viewpoint such a “preface” would not even be necessary.

What I think of the translation, I had already written to you.  I tested it on a few Americans, with same effect. I mean just linguistically.

Now I hear from Dr. Wentz that you OK’ d the Introduction in its current form, and that it is already in press.

Thus any changes will only be possible in the 2nd edition. A pity!

Here in our Club subtle changes are taking place which became evident at our last meeting.

It seems that here in America people tend over and over again to forget the shadow, feeling suddenly very satisfied with whatever’s been
accomplished, patting themselves benevolently on the shoulder – while being cut off from everything real. Also, in the admission of new members, the Club has given preference to individuals with good external, “social” adaptation over others whose state of conflict was noticeable and who were deeply gripped by the numinosity of the individuation process.

“Coincidentally,” these were all patients of mine or Hilde’s. At first I was quite dismayed that the Club was reacting in this manner.

But then I realized that this situation in the inner circle ran parallel to changes in my own attitude to the collective, that other depths of the coll. ucs. are now touching me most profoundly, and therefore – synchronistically – the collective is reacting differently toward me.

In one of your letters to me101 you wrote:

“If God’s consciousness is clearer than human consciousness, then creation makes no sense and humanity has no purpose for existence. Then indeed God does not play dice, as Einstein says, but has invented a machine, which is even worse. In fact, the creation story resembles an experiment with dice more than anything intentional. These insights probably signify an enormous change of the God-image.”

I can only concur with these statements of yours.  If I may presume to say so: I can confirm them on the basis of my latest experiences.

That God’s consciousness is less clear than that of human beings seems, on that basis, to be irrefutable.

I can also accept the image of the dice game, as long as it is presented in contrast to something intentional.

But I cannot conceive of the creation as a game of dice after all, because a Dike or Moira would have to rule over it, i.e. something that
would “arrange” the creation synchronistically, and not teleologically.

Into my thoughts on this problem there falls an image or saying which was once given me by the unconscious, “that the creation was generated once and is recurring again and again.”

This 2°d sentence would correspond to mutations which can be observed in biology.

Such acts of creation generally happen in a meaningful order, even though the “trickster” also appears to play his special tricks right here.

But how I should visualize the history of creation, I don’t know. I’m familiar with a multitude of creation myths, my favorite and nearest being from the “Zohar.”

Recently there came to me, as a nocturnal impression, the image of the double pyramid, which was hurled at me from an explosion of an
atomic bomb.

On its sides, the triangles, were transfer pictures such as we had as children. After putting water on them, colored pictures appeared.

That is also what I did in my dream image.

But what occurred inside the pyramid, I did not see. Do we have to content ourselves with these pictures?

My active imagination has been greatly engaged with this pyramid. Psychologically I feel much better.

The violent, inner altercation has simultaneously brought a great calming. I am reflecting – something new for me.

Gratefully and faithfully yours,


Enclosure in Kirsch s letter of 14 September 1953:

Preface to the Eastern Reader

This book addresses itself in the first place to the Western reader and attempts to communicate important Eastern experiences and conceptions to the Western mind.

Prof. Jung tries to facilitate this difficult undertaking by his ‘Introduction’ and ‘Psychological Commentary’.

It is therefore unavoidable that, in so doing, he speaks in images and uses concepts which are familiar to the Western mind, but
which are objectionable to the Eastern mind.

Such a term is the word “Soul”. According to Buddhistic belief, the ‘soul’ is ephemeral, is an illusion and therefore has no existence at all.

The German word ‘Seele’, which by no means is the same as the English word ‘Soul’, is an old word, sanctioned by Tradition, used by the greatest German mystics like Eckhart and poets like Goethe to signify the Ultimate Reality, but experienced under a feminine aspect.

Prof. Jung uses it frequently as a poetical term for ‘psyche’, the collective psyche. In scientific language, it represents the Collective Unconscious as the matrix of everything.

It is the birthplace of everything, even of the Dharmakaya. It is the Dharmakaya itself.

I beg therefore of you, my Eastern reader, to put your understanding of ‘soul’ aside for the time being, to accept Prof. Jung’s use of this word, and to follow him with an open mind into the depths when he tries to build a bridge from the Eastern to the Western shore and to describe the different paths to the Great Liberation, the Una Salus. ~James Kirsch, Jung-White Letters, Page 176-179