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Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

To Charles E. Scanlan

Dear Sir, 5 November 1959

Thank you very much for your informative letter.

It is evident that my standpoint is not a theological one.

I make no metaphysical assertions.

My standpoint is purely empirical and deals with the psychology of such assertions.

I agree fully with the statement that God is not limited, because if He were limited

He would not be God.

The lack of limitation is a logical consequence of the assumption of a supreme being, of which man cannot judge really.

He can make more or less founded statements answering to certain needs in his nature.

We would be naturally inclined to assume that God also knows the future.

But if we make such a statement, then everything is tending towards the future.

In other words it is necessary and inevitable.

Therewith we declare that the world-process contains no problems, as everything is on its predestined way, and we are in full contradiction with the assumption of free will.

The peccatum originale has brought about a considerable change in the human status, so that man before the Fall is something different from man after the Fall.

Therefore Christ and His mother belong to another order of things than man after the Fall.

Then you call them human, your term has a double meaning.

As most of my patients are as ignorant in theologicis as I myself, we try in the first place to understand theological tenets as psychological statements and we also try to avoid flagrant contradictions like the above-mentioned.

We know that metaphysical assertions are indisputable, because no human being can know beyond himself, only God can know the truth .

Since there is no end of evil in this world, and since evil is the Indispensable counterpart of the antithesis good-evil, it would be an arbitrary limitation of the concept of God to assume that He is only good and so deprive evil of real being.

If God is only good, everything is good.

There is not a shadow anywhere.

Evil just would not exist, even man would be good and could not produce anything evil.

This is another paradox which psychology has to straighten out for our sake, because the flagrant sophisms connected with the discussion of things like the privatio boni spoil the understanding and acceptance of religious tenets.

Since metaphysical concepts are nowhere touched by psychological argument-because they are indisputable-! remain within the frame of disputable things.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 518-519