Dr. E. Neumann,
37 Sirkin St.,
My dear Neumann, 27th April 1935
First and foremost my full apologies for tardy replies and such like.
I gathered your correspondence together in order to reply in globo and then of course I did not have the time to do it.
Recently there has been too much going on as well.
However you must not assume that you make too many demands on my time.
Sooner or later the moment will come when I can reply. I have promised you that after all.
It would be advisable though if you could mark your “private” letters “urgent” or similar so that they can be dealt with in current correspondence.
The other letters regarding the Jewish question must be responded to with some thought and consideration and therefore need longer.
Now to your general questions:
Each fundamental change in the psychological situation disposes of one psychological system of adaptation and requires a new one.
Without conscious regard to this, archetypes arise in the intermediate arena that, as a rule, remain unconscious.
They do not remain without influence on the subsequent events.
Thus Zionism contains not a little from Jewish history, the reestablishment of Israel as a nation, perhaps fantasies about national kingship, etc.
The archetypes become visible only indirectly, such as in the belligerent expectations of the Jewish National Socialists or in the corresponding fantasies of individuals, or in the revival of Hebrew as an everyday language.
Now, the archetypes can be a danger in that they bring about an archaization of social and political events, or in that they arouse rationalistic and utopian reaction phenomena that are precisely designed to suppress the effect of the archetypes.
The archaization reveals itself in Europe in the form of dictatorships with lictor bundles, roman greetings on the one hand, swastikas, Führer, heroism, the German race, etc., on the other hand.
The reactive compensation in Marxism, Communism et al.
We are thinking the same in essence. I have just abbreviated somewhat.
The apparent influence of the homeland and its characteristics on the psyche is only one half materialism, as, for me, the psyche is something fundamentally existent, upon which the material conditions can have an influence, but which for its part is also at the mercy of psychic effects, so is in the end effect, subject to the reality of ideas.
Once again it is the Jews who offer the best example of this!
Regarding Russia, an American whose name I have forgotten, observes: “If nothing came out of the entire revolution than the awakening of the Muzhik, then this alone would be an achievement.”
By the way, the Muzhik is in fact beginning to argue.
Without doubt you are correct if you reject my judgment of the Jews as I am only basing this on the external aspect.
Every judgment, if it is to hold, must be one sided at first in order to be moderated later by more general observation.
Everything that you criticize is therefore correct and I would have to feel most deeply affected on account of my one-sidedness if I had not been constantly conscious of this.
Before I defend myself, I’d like quickly to take another few steps on the sinful path and add that even the Marxist discovery (and I in no way love Marxism) of religion as the “opium of the people” unfortunately hits the nail on the head in a certain aspect.
Every religion is in danger of becoming a narcotic, even Marxism, in other words the gigantic lethargy and lazy thinking of human beings can make each and everything serviceable—and from a certain point on, also not.
From this certain point on, the opposite of everything is true, then the spirit is generative despite social circumstances, then it is a matter neither security nor insecurity of life, neither collectivism nor individualism.
Such preoccupations apply only as long as humanity is not being addicted by the spirit.
This spirit becomes evident in the king’s palace as well as in the hovel of the beggar.
I am addressed personally by the spirit, not as a member of a people or as a race or as humanity.
I could just as well be an animal or a plant.
But I am only one single “is,” the most extraordinary and imperative counterpart of the Godhead, for which I am so fundamental, as it is for me.
This dialogue in limitless eternity is a bigger thing than any millions of facets and gradations of so-called reality—when I am located there.
If I am not there, then I am “slave to worldliness,” disguised in the fateful role of a human being in a particular time, in a particular place, indissolubly bound to roots in history, nation, blood, soil, and collective opinions.
In the face of this bond something in me seems to cry for redemption.
But this voice is an inability to forget the primordial world of preconscious existence, a yearning for a redissolution of all superstructures in the All that is the only true being.
The Indian neti-neti expresses this most strongly.
But what Koigen writes about Semites seems to my mind to be characteristic:
Not to look back, but to take up the role that is waiting for me and to allow myself to be named as the President of the Society for Psychotherapy and to be appointed Professor by the Swiss Federal Council, if that’s the way it must be, because these, and many other certainties less worthy of mention, make me skilled at becoming dissimilar from God, for it is His will that I become an “is,” that I become His counterpart.
I promise myself no glorification of earth out of it, for I know that my mere existence tears the bread out of the hands of the other.
“Ultimate reality” is my goal, for sure, my laboriously hard-won decision that drives me away into infinite distance from God.
I may not look back, not even to God, for otherwise I miss my goal, which is, namely, to find myself in my most extraordinary, most intense “suchness” where the Godhead can finally speak to me.
Everything useful and so-called good that I can then do is only harmless inasmuch that I never thereby forget myself.
Koigen’s differentiations are, on the whole, correct.
Internally determined, prophetic, spirit-filled yearning and externally determined need that arouses the desire to take hold of the world and reshape it, is characteristic of Semitic religious feeling.
Equally typical for the “Indo-Germanic” is the feeling that resides in the world and its fullness that intuits higher being in the symbolization of becoming and passing away. (“All that must disappear is but a parable.”)
However one wishes to formulate this contrast, the main thing is that is exists and it expresses a peculiarly different temperament.
If you find that you are standing ominously and auspiciously in the middle of an antithesis, what is implied is that you are on the point of seeing the one as well as the other.
This undoubtedly has to do with your psychological activity that has accustomed you to seeing and thinking in antitheses.
But whoever has discovered his own inner contrast is lost for the exclusive redemptive sole truth.
The basic question of all knowledge is not the true or the untrue, but the true untruth or the untrue truth.
It no longer amazes us that the “glorification” of the earth is a disastrous utopia, and the symbolization of events is a beautiful dream, and that both are vital truths without which a conscious life would be pure folly.
It seems to be a fact that has repeated itself many times in the course of history that an idea emerges first of all as an unconscious action of a group or a people, and only much later becomes a “conscious” conception.
The emergence of the manhood of God from the kingdom of God of the ancient empires through the transformation that is portrayed in the account of the temptation of Christ must be such a case in the extreme.
One could draw the conclusion from this that every movement that grips an entire people is such an unconscious action whose concept becomes a subject of consciousness only at a much later moment.
It seems now as if this insight came to the Jews earlier than to other races, which to my mind is explained by their feeling of a covenant with Y.H.W.H. and of their being a chosen people.
In fact, it is out of Israel that Christ also emerged, the herald of the idea.
It is well known that nothing binds compatriots together more than a shared (spiritual) movement.
And nothing strengthens faith in invisible providence more than the invisibility and obscurity of the origin of the movement in the unconscious.
The chosenness of the people and their bond with Y.H.W.H. represents the social intermediate stage between pharaohhood and the Godman, so a realization of the idea of the manhood of God at an initially collective and still unconscious level.
One could describe this level as the “object level” of the Christian idea.
With Christ, the “subject level” of the idea is achieved, for Christ is the only begotten (unigenitus) son of God who represents the summation of that which constitutes the chosenness in ancient Israel.
With psychological accuracy, he considers himself therefore to be the one who fulfills the “law and the prophets.”
Christianity as a spiritual movement, which, for its part, was initiated by the appearance of the “filius unigenitus,” could also be considered as the object level of a new, as yet unconscious idea, namely, that of individuation.
In ancient Egypt itself, the idea of Osiris ran symbolically through this development from the ancient empire to the Ptolemaic era in
anticipation, as the God Osiris gradually evolved from the Osiris of the Pharaoh to the Osiris of all better people.
We should therefore expect, if everything does not deceive, such manifestations in the later course of the psychological history of humanity as, say, National Socialism which, with the abundance of power of the “Führer,” the total power of the state, the almost religious veneration of the swastika symbol and certain anti-Christian tendencies, to say nothing of the enthusiastic mass movement, demonstrates
all the characteristics of an intermediate stage in Christ’s original process of becoming human.
That Hitler has been celebrated more than once as a “savior,” indeed that his picture occasionally even adorned an altar, and that the swastika has not stopped even in front of church doors, proves the expansion or the descent of the God-manhood into the regions of humanization or the rise of a new notion in the German, which he anyway experiences falsely—or psychologically correctly—in fatal dependence on
Jewish priority (hincfillae lacrimae) as the chosenness of the blond and blue-eyed race.
The temptation episode and the confession:
“My kingdom is not of this world” are as yet absent. (For the time being, the social and political movement hopes, like certain expectations from the Old Testament, that all heathens will worship in Jerusalem or like the ancient Christian expectation of parousia.)
Nothing can become conscious that has not first been sacrificed, hence the sacrifice symbol of Christ.
His ignominious death on the cross proves that the idea of the Godman has arisen out of the unconsciousness of the entire race.
And from here on, the path to universality is open.
I think you do me an injustice when you assume that I regard the New Testament per se as a development of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is, apart from a few late texts, a self-contained world of such a strong and specific character that it could only decline or continue to exist.
The NT (including Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Book of Wisdom) seems to me, to a large extent, to be Greek rather than Hebrew.
This seems to have no small thing to do with the language in which the NT is formulated.
It is no longer conceived as Hebrew but rather Greek.
In this sense I am also speaking as of a “tribe” (if you like, of 12 tribes).
Quite apart from the fact that the OT itself insists on the “Chosenness of the people” and their tribal structure, the unity of the OT speaks for the seclusion of a largely unitary people—of a small people that one might describe as a “tribe,” at least psychologically.
I am not speculating here with the concept of race because one might easily imagine that the original “Jews” were a mixed race of the first order.
I am in no way “intentionally” ignoring the historical “material” of the OT.
I acknowledge it as the inestimable and sacrosanct spiritual inheritance of an ancient people that, for me, however, can be considered only indirectly, as comparative material as it were. I look at this like the Tao Te Ching and the Upanishads.
It is only Christianity with which I am concerned directly and most directly in its most modern problematic that points toward something that is beyond all historical causality.
Should there be a substantial difference from the Jews in this?
The change and development in the dogma within the Catholic church (for example the emergence of the infallibility, of the Sacred Heart cult, etc.) appears to me to be a durable growth, as is the expulsion of Protestantism and its hundredfold splinter groups.
Am I mistaken if it seems to me as if, for the Jews, it is a question of either a perpetuation of the ancient covenant with God or of a tearing up of roots?
What you say about the collectivity of the goal that excludes the individuation of the individual applies not only to the Jews but also to the churches.
The church is an ideal substitute for the chosenness of the people and because spiritual, therefore universal, in contrast to the racial ties of the Jews “in the circumcision.”
Inasmuch as you regard individuation as a “universal” metaphysical task even for the Jews, you concur with my view, but you put yourself at odds with your historical determinedness.
I do the same, however, but in line with my expositions above with less historical discrepancy, as I am “only” attached to the confession of an idea, but not historically to the “people within me.”
The “tribal” national bonds with their secluded character seem to me—quite separately from their historical-psychological significance—to be a primitive relic, in comparison to the constantly evolving development in the Christian world of ideas, which only gives the impression of being still identical with the worldviews of early Christianity and which, in any case, was never a national bond, but was, from the very beginning, principally universal.
Contemporary events in Germany are in a certain sense a countermovement to the world-weariness of the German, which he certainly used to be quite proud of—not quite without good reason—, and, at the same time, it is a return to this same primitive relic, the tribal bond, which wishes to draw religion once again into its circle of influence.
But this is taking place back to front: the Jewish racial bond was a result of the covenant with God, whereas the political racial bond would even like to nationalize God.
The spiritual secularization of the Germans stood in contradiction to its actual national and physical bonds; therefore, sooner or later something had to happen to show him what’s what.
The Heavenly Father has long since known this and this is why it is completely superfluous to annex him to the German nation.
The wheels of history cannot be reversed.
What you say about the “detachedness” of the Jews has my full agreement.
This has always struck me about the Jews, their ability to recognize or intuitively to grasp values or possibilities and to promote them.
A forerunner is always one step ahead.
This Jewish characteristic is certainly a danger, but also an invaluable advantage that will grant the Jew his place in society time and again.
Things do not go well for the forerunner if a people—or even humanity—must fall into the spokes of the all-too-quickly turning wheel of events because they might become too uprooted from the earth.
It in no way can be denied that Jewish cultural inheritance is absolutely interspersed everywhere. The prophetic nature of the Jewish spirit has dotted the “i” everywhere.
Hellenism, with its infinite fullness of thought, would not have reached its peak without the Jewish contribution.
It was even well on the way to drowning in its own waters, had it been deprived of the Jewish initiative.
The Jew can best be understood as a sourdough whose effect must not go too far.
If the nations of the earth were to be so cut o from their history and their link with the soil by Jewish fermentation as has happened to the German, then a reaction sets in and then the entire nation does what every single individual should have done.
This “should” is a trivial anthropomorphism, for “should” is incommensurate with a conception of history.
The historical current of events is a succession of irrational facts, for which one invents, only retrospectively, a fitting causality through which one then believes one can prove that everything had to happen in this way.
In this way, we can only determine that a tendency toward national “individuation” runs through the world, and that anti-Semitic moods arise from this—not only in Germany.
Of course, I put individuation in quotation marks here, for “collective individuality” is a contradictio in adjecto.
It would be better to say “individualization” which finds its clearest expression in Italy and Germany through the most dominant Führer figure that towers above [all else].
Now concerning the very great difficulty that you are wrestling with, I will attempt to let you briefly know my thoughts about it.
Individuation is the opposite of any historical or ethnic conditionality inasmuch as this gives rise to collective bonds that outweigh the decisions of the Self.
This conditionality is always the tragic given situation in which we are irredeemably immersed at first. But the “kingdom” is never “of this world.”
The “Self” is and remains a mysterious, otherworldly matter that insists on becoming visible with or against the conditionality or situation, to a certain individual and fatefully different degree.
The evolving of the Self is the secret and absolute goal on the transpersonal level.
We, the people, are its object (or, as medieval wisdom said very well: philosophus non est magister lapidis, sed potius minister).
However, where we are subjects, we can do nothing but use those means that are given to us. I.e., where we are only an “ego,” we are also completely bound up in people and history.
This is why “individuation” can never be realized by “egos” and their intentions.
I participate only so much in the course of history as it appears to me to be insignificant and inasmuch as I believe that there are still others who are capable of a higher achievement of consciousness, namely, of the consciousness that events are an irrational current in which, through which, and against which the Self manifests in space and time.
Whether we wish to erect a kingdom of God on earth or a heavenly realm after death seems to me to be only significant because, in this way, good intentions are announced—a human decency that one cannot get around without damage.
We have to do something after all, for only in our strongest action does the Self appear.
Yes—to the lazy, one may not betray the secret and equally as little to the evil-minded and the well-intentioned idiots.
One of the old masters says very correctly that if God reveals a secret to you, He also gives the grace of proper discretion.
Hopefully I have succeeded in conveying my views to you to some degree.
The theme is so dicult that no small doubts grip me about my inability to make such a dark matter somewhat clear.
We circumambulate a meaningful center in bows and spirals,
and must not be afraid to swim into the depths.
I certainly haven’t replied to everything.
I am too often thwarted in my writing.
But I hope you will make me aware of my omissions in your reply.
Your always faithful,
C. G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Analytical Psychology in Exile, 27 April 1935