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Friday, August 14, 2015

Carl Jung on “Carrying the Torch.”




To H. Oswald

Dear Frau Oswald, 11 November 1954

I would gladly accept your invitation to devote myself to Holderlin's work if I still felt up to this task.

Unfortunately I am no longer energetic enough and am too old-in my 8oth year-to do it justice.

I know the lines you quote from Holderlin only too well.

But I have worked so hard in these last decades that I must be wary of even relatively minor mental Exertions.

It is now up to the younger generation to open a few locked doors, perhaps with the help of the keys I have wrought.

In any case I see no one at present who could tackle Holderlin.

Such a work is reserved for a distant future.

A person carries the torch only a stretch of the way and must then lay it down, not because he has reached a goal but because his strength is at an end.

It would be most unseemly to grab Holderlin by the hair in senile impatience.

I cannot deny that all sorts of thoughts run through my head, but that traitor the body leaves me in the lurch.

Nevertheless I thank you for your pious wish, for which there is every justification.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 192-193.