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Carl Jung: “The combination of priest and medicine man is not so impossible as you seem to think.”


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C.G. Jung Letters, Vol. 1: 1906-1950

To Father Victor White

Dear Victor, Bollingen, 8 January 1949

Thank you cordially for your nice human letter!

I know now at least where you are. I was afraid America had spirited you away altogether.

It is of course just like me to forget your most helpful and comprehensive letter about the anima Christi, i .e., to forget to thank you.

As a matter of fact I felt particularly grateful to you for having answered my request so thoroughly.

Such things happen to me time and again and always have happened, namely that my feelings or a certain kind of them are suddenly no more in sight, especially in that moment when I should acknowledge them.

That’s how the inferior function behaves.

Your cryptic remarks about “synchronistic effects” on Dec. 16th arouse my curiosity, since I feel peculiarly innocent as to ulterior motives of my letter.

This feeling of innocence may prove the contrary. I am sorry you can’t tell me more about it.

On my side it was an inner urge that prompted me to write.

I felt a need to hear from you.

The effect America had upon you looks exactly like something that went right through to the unconscious, whence it will appear again after a more or less prolonged incubation, in a new form.

The combination of priest and medicine man is not so impossible as you seem to think.

They are based upon a common archetype, which will assert its right provided your inner development will continue as hitherto.

It is true, the “fringe” of new things is always made up of funny figures.

I imagine we could have observed very similar lunatics among the early Christian followers, f.i. those people who were cured of possession.

After all, England and our old world is your Rhodus, hie salta.

One’s anxiety always points out our task.

If you escape it you have lost a piece of yourself, and a most problematic piece at that, with which the Creator of things was going to experiment in His unforeseeable ways.

They are indeed apt to arouse anxiety.

Particularly so, as long as one can’t see below the surface.

The independent mind in you is subject and object of the divine experiment. . . . If you feel isolated in England, why don’t you make one of your fratres into a real brother in the spirit?

When I came to Zurich, the most materialistic city of Switzerland, there was nobody ready-made for my needs.

I then shaped some for me.

They were meant for this experience.

One could see it from their dreams.

Sorry this is a long letter again.

Don’t trouble to answer it.

Yours cordially,

C,. G . ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 516-517.

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