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Carl Jung and I Ching’s “Youthful Folly.”

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Letters Volume I

To Michael Fordham

Dear Fordham, 3 January 1957

I am glad to hear that your two book are ready and going to press.

My congratulations!

I will write the introduction as soon as possible.

For the time being I am nailed down to a revision of a paper I wrote in spring 1956, which should appear this month but as soon as I have finished this work I shall try to fulfil my promise.

In view of my old age I don’t trust my powers any more.

I easily get tired and my creative ability, I am afraid, has become very faint indeed.

By the way, I have just read your paper on ” Synchronicity.”

I must say, this is the most intelligent thing that has been said hitherto about this remote subject.

I have enjoyed it very much.

The experience you had with the I Ching, calling you to order when trying to tempt it a second time also happened to me in 1920 when I first experimented with it.

It also gave me a wholesome shock and at the same time it opened wholly new vistas to me.

I well understand that you prefer to emphasize the archetypal implication in synchronicity.

This aspect is certainly most important from the psychological angle, but I must say that I am equally interested, at times even more so, in the metaphysical aspect of the phenomena, and in the question: how does it come that even inanimate objects are capable of behaving as if they were acquainted with my thoughts?

This is, as the above formulation shows, a thoroughly paranoid speculation which one had better not ventilate in public, but I cannot deny my fervent interest in this aspect of the problem.

My best wishes for the New Year,

Cordially yours,

C.G. Jung

Note: As he recounts in New Developments (p.49) , F. had consulted the I Ching
for clarification on a certain problem, and after getting an answer immediately consulted it again.

He obtained Hexagram 4, “Youthful Folly,” where The Judgment says:

” the young fool seeks me.
At the first oracle I inform him .
If he asks two or three times, it is importunity.
If he importunes, I give him no information.” ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 343-344