Letters Vol. II

To E. Sabott

Dear Herr Sabott,                                      3 February 1933

Your letter pleased and interested me very much.

Time and again I have had the unfortunate experience-which also befell my illustrious predecessor Heraclitus-of being named “the Dark.”

Heraclitus probably understood this darkness as little as I do, but I have so often come up against this judgment that I have finally accustomed myself to thinking that either my views or my style must be so involved that they confront ordinary so-called sound commonsense with insoluble riddles.

I admit I have always wished for readers like you.

And in later years I have gradually come to the conclusion that the muddle is not located in my head but in the heads of others, and that besides me there are a whole lot of people who still possess an uncontorted intelligence and can therefore think straight.

The reading of my books has never caused them any digestive troubles.

I also realize that his master’s voice is far less enlightening than immediate experience.

In fact, this is what so easily happens to students-they give up working on their own intellectual development when it is so easy to repeat the words of the master.

Being a student also has its advantages. But I hope that X. will win through in time.

The intellectually greedy atmosphere of Berlin has put too great a strain upon him-temporarily, let’s hope.

Moreover it is a law of fate that where there are teachers there must also be students.

All learning was originally imitation and it is not always indolence on the part of the student if he renounces his individuality and effaces himself in favour of the verbum magistri.

Were it not for these followers the voice of the teacher would be too weak to be heard above the hubbub of the crowd.

Therefore many must repeat the bare word even though this repetition is not a new birth sprung from the heart.

The picture of Goethe, for instance, would be incomplete without Eckermann-to cite a famous example ( no presumption intended).

To be a student in this sense is not a stigma, and no one has ever become a teacher without having been a student first.

Yours sincerely,

C. G. JUNG ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Page 116-117