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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Carl Jung: "This compensates for 1,000 misunderstandings!."




To Erich Neumann

My dear Neumann, Bollingen, 5 January 1952

Very many thanks for your kind letter and the way you have understood me.

This compensates for 1,000 misunderstandings!

You have put your finger on the right spot, a painful one for me: I could no longer consider the average reader.

Rather, he has to consider me.

I had to pay this tribute to the pitiless fact of my old age.

With the undimmed prospect of all-round incomprehension I could exercise no suasions and no captatio benevolentiae; there was no hope of tunnelling knowledge into fools.

Not in my livery, but "naked and bare I must go down to the grave," fully aware of the outrage my nakedness will provoke.

But what is that compared with the arrogance I had to summon up in order to be able to insult God?

This gave me a bigger bellyache than if I had had the whole world against me.

That is nothing new to me anymore.

I have expressed my sorrow and condolence in my motto, Doleo super te, fratri mi.

Your questions:

The book is about the Canonical God-image.

This is our prime concern, and not a general philosophical concept of God.

God is always specific and always locally valid, otherwise he would be ineffectual .

The Western God-image is the valid one for me, whether I assent to it intellectually or not.

I do not go in for religious philosophy, but am held in thrall, almost crushed, and defend myself as best I can.

There is no place for Gnosis or the Midrashim in this image, for there is nothing of them in it.

Only my intellect has anything to do with purusha-atman or Tao, but not my living thralldom.

This is local, barbaric, infantile, and abysmally unscientific.

The "vacillation between theological and psychological formulation" is indeed "involuntary."

I have much more sympathy with Sophia than with the demiurge but faced with the reality of both my sympathy counts for nothing.

God is a contradiction in terms, therefore he needs man in order to be made One.

Sophia is always ahead, the demiurge always behind.

God is an ailment man has to cure.

For this purpose God penetrates into man.

Why should he do that when he has everything already?

In order to reach man, God has to show himself in his true form, or man would be everlastingly praising his goodness and justice and so deny him admission.

This can be effected only by Satan, a fact which should not be taken as a justification for Satanic actions, otherwise God would not be recognized for what he really is.

The "advocate" seems to me to be Sophia or omniscience.

Ouranos and Tethys no longer sleep together.

Kether and Malkhuth are separated, the Shekhinah is in exile; that is the reason for God's suffering.

The mysterium coniunctionis is the business of man.

He is the nymphagogos of the heavenly marriage.

How can a man hold aloof from this drama?

He would then be a philosopher, talking about God but not with him.

The first would be easy and would give man a false sense of security, the second is difficult and therefore extremely
unpopular.

Just that was my lamented lot, wherefore I needed an energetic illness to break down my resistance.

I have to be everywhere beneath and not above.

How would Job have looked had he been able to keep his distance?

Although I am talking of the Western, specifically Protestant God-image, there are no texts one can turn to for a more or less reliable interpretation.

They have to be taken in the lump.

One doesn't shoot at sparrows with cannons, i.e., the God-image is a representation collective which everyone knows something about.

As for the nigredo, it is certain that no one is redeemed from a sin he has not committed, and that a man who stands on a peak
cannot climb it.

The humiliation allotted to each of us is implicit in his character.

If he seeks his wholeness seriously, he will step unawares into the hole destined for him, and out of this darkness the light will rise.

But the light cannot be enlightened.

If anyone feels he is in the light, I would never talk him into the darkness, for with his light he would seek and find something black which is not him at all.

The light cannot see its own peculiar blackness.

But if it dims, and he follows his twilight as he followed his light, then he will get into the night that is his.

If the light does not dim he would be a fool not to abide in it.

Your Psyche has arrived-many thanks-and I have begun reading it.

I will write about it later.

So far I am very impressed and am enjoying it.

Job and Synchronicity are now in the press.

At present, with my unfortunately very limited working capacity, I am still struggling with the last chapter of Mysterium Coniunctionis.

The book will run to 2 volumes, followed by a third, containing Aurora Consurgens (attributed to Thomas Aquinas) as an example of the interpenetration of Christianity and alchemy.

Again many thanks!

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 32-35.