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Sunday, July 26, 2015

[Carl Jung on Organic and Psychic Symptoms




Dear Colleague, 8 August 1951

Heartiest thanks for kindly remembering my birthday!

I see with regret from your letter that you are suffering very much from your noises in the ear.

The unconscious often uses symptoms of this kind in order to make psychic contents audible, i.e., the symptoms are intensified by a psychogenic afflux and only then do they acquire the proper tormenting character that forces your attention inwards, where of course it gets caught in the disturbing noises.

Obviously it should turn inwards but not get caught in the noises; rather it should push on to the contents that are acting on it like a magnet.

The little word "should" always means that one doesn't know the way to the desired goal.

But often it is at least helpful to know that on top of the organic symptom there is a psychic Layer that can be lifted off.

I know from experience that the demand of the unconscious for introversion-in your case the ability to listen inwards-is unusually great.

And equally great is the danger that instead of being able to listen inwards one is compelled to listen inwards.

My own otosclerosis has presented me with all manner of noises, so I am fairly well informed on this matter.

You are quite right to remember the storm that interrupted our conversation.

In a quite irrational way we must be able to listen also to the voice of nature, thunder for instance, even if this means breaking the continuity of consciousness.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 20-21.