Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group
Pollensa-Mallorca, Islas Baleares, Formentor, 31st March 1931
My dear doctor,
You surely do not have a lot of time to write, but since I don’t know when I will see you again, I would like to ask you something; peut-etre que le coeur vous en dira de repondre [perhaps your heart will tell you to respond].
I would like to know whether you are familiar with the wish to die.
The last time we saw each other, and also before that, you gave me a resigned impression that went beyond all possible external causes.
Once you wrote to me about a great inner sacrifice. But have you reached the limit, as I have so often?
From my 20th year on, nothing touches me so deeply- and every time it comes to mind, tears come to my eyes – as Wotan’s cry of longing in “D;e Walkiire” ( or any other part of the trilogy), “The end!”
Especially in the glorious sixth modulation of the double repetition …
I have often been near death, and each time I have been wonderfully peaceful, almost saintly.
Recently it was worse than ever.
You have probably heard how badly I was in January and February: pneumonia with alarming heart failure.
Not nearly recovered, I had to go to Paris, after three days a relapse came, which I prevented from breaking out; if I managed to fill and spellbind the giant hall of the Trocadero for three days in one week, especially in the final lecture “La Vie et la Destinee”, where I spoke a lot about death, it was probably mainly because an almost
incorporeal spirit spoke through me – or better: a spirit spoke out of my physical shell. I collapsed immediately after.
On the train from Paris to Barcelona, I thought I was dying of complete heart failure.
The organ soon recovered to some extent I am not supposed to lack anything directly in the heart – but something new, permanent has remained in my lungs, the slightest movement makes me feverish, I cannot and must not do anything of my own accord.
And I had to continue working until the day before yesterday.
Twice I had to get out of bed, as a real “revenant”, in Barcelona for lectures.
Here I spent a real Darmstadt week in Spanish, under the pine trees by the sea, which was one of the most beautiful of my experience.
And I was completely different than usual: almost without physical vitality, but completely serene, unable to get angry, and everyone’s love just flooded towards me.
The wave is also coming back from South America.
Friends of Victoria Ocampo keep coming to me one after another, several Madrileneans visited me on their way to Buenos Aires.
Victoria has also asked me for an article for her new magazine, which I wrote during the worst pneumonia, about which she was so happy that she telegraphed to all the world about it (not to me; we no longer have a personal relationship).
What is this all about? Am I at the end? There really seems to be no art to being a saint.
A lack of salt may bring you close to it, heavy illness makes the thing perfect. But I am not really up to it.
If I am healthy I always think of death, full of fear the thought of the cessation of my radiant life force is dreadful to me.
I have been in this state for several months now, and I would welcome a brother in death.
Meanwhile I do not believe that I am really already at the end – I look very well, and what I have achieved in overcoming illness during the last week (when I went to Paris, I was just at the beginning of convalescence, which explains my relapses!) proves that I still have great strength.
On the other hand, l have not had any dreams of death or execution for a long time, everything takes place in my daytime consciousness, which is probably a worrying sign considering my nature.
There is only one thing that depresses me: that I have not been able to write for more than a year.
Count Hardenberg insists that Victoria Ocampo must have poisoned or rather “bewitched” me.
The experience must have given me a deep shock, although I feel little of it directly. Certainly, I am no longer the same.
If you can think of something to say about all this, please write to me.
You can reach me here (Hotel Formentor, Pallensa, Mallorca, Spain – takes 5 days for letters) until April 27th, then again in Darmstadt.
The hotel is quite wonderful – a wonderful house by the sea, 70 kilometres from any railroad connection; originally the love nest of an Argentine.
With real Spanish magnificence, the Catalonians have invited me to stay as their guest and rest as long as I want.
All this human warmth does me good.
By the way, the Conferencia Club in Barcelona wants to invite you to give lectures.
If they approach you, I urge you to accept – it is a most interesting milieu and the [radio] coverage from Barcelona is very good.
I have already spoken there twice and will probably come again in 1932.
You do speak French? By the way, I also had a good time in France.
I was impressed by the openness of the widest circles to the most profoundly spiritual
things: Ce 1i’est pas de /’Esprit, c’est du pain que vous nous donnez [It’s not of the spirit, it’s bread that you give us].
But also the “spiritual types” were so wonderfully different from the German ones.
The French have the probite intellectuele [intellectual integrity] ahead of our spiritual countrymen.
Happy Easter and warm greetings to you all from Hermann Keyserling.
23 April 19319
From your description I have the impression that your South American experience, especially the encounter with VO., has constellated contents in your unconscious that are the source of continued disturbances.
For better or worse we must (in collaboration with the South American earth) take V.O. as the anima, who (like South America) stands for the whole unconscious.
The unconscious has a different rhythm from consciousness and different goals.
Until now you have been accustomed, by means of intuition and literary work, to subordinate everything the psyche offered you to the aims of your conscious mind, or to create out of it a conscious view of the world.
You have made South America out of VO.
Now it is a question of expressing those contents which can be located neither in VO. nor in S.A. (and which seem to you still completely unknown), not by moulding them into a picture of the external world or incorporating them in such a picture, but, on the contrary,
By subordinating your philosophical skill and descriptive powers to those unknown contents.
Then those contents will be able to mould an inner picture of the world without your guidance or intention.
The initial question to be directed to the invisible world would be: “Who or what has come alive in S.A.? Who or what has entered my psychic life and created disturbances and wants to be heard?”
To this you should add: “Let it speak!”
Then switch off your noisy consciousness and listen quietly inwards and look at the images that appear before your inner eye, or hearken to the words which the muscles of your speech apparatus are trying to form.
Write down what then comes without criticism.
Images should be drawn or painted assiduously no matter whether you can do it or not.
Once you have got at least fragments of these contents, then you may meditate on them afterwards.
Don’t criticize anything away! If any questions arise, put them to the unconscious again the next day.
Don’t be content with your own explanations no matter how intelligent they are.
Remember that your health is seriously at stake, and that the unconscious
has an unknown and far-reaching control over it. Treat any drawing the same way.
Meditate on them afterwards and every day go on developing what is unsatisfactory about them.
The important thing is to let the unconscious take the lead.
You must always be convinced that you have mere after-knowledge and nothing else.
In this case the unconscious really does know better. Forgive me for delaying my answer so long.
With best wishes,
- G. Jung Page 91-94