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Friday, August 7, 2015

Carl Jung on the “Debacle of Old Age."




To Aniela Jaffe

Dear Aniela, Bollingen, 16 September 1953

Forgive me for answering your last letter only now.

I was swamped with proof-reading and correspondence.

On top of that the English proofs of "Synchronicity" with a lot of questions about terminology.

I have at least 3 hours of writing to do 4 days a week.

That is the maximum I can accomplish without having to pay for the excess with disturbed sleep and heart symptoms.

I have about 5 MSS to read here and besides that a lot of little jobs to do in and about the house.

Everything goes slow, and I have to spare myself as my heartbeat is still arrhythmical.

In general I'm getting better, as I can sleep properly again.

Luckily the weather in the last weeks has been wonderfully kind to me.

Nothing doing with the mountains.

It's all too complicated.

I can walk only for an hour at most and you get nowhere with that.

I see to my horror that I talk only of myself.

Please excuse this senile egoism.

The 79th year is 80 - 1, and that is a terminus a quo which you can't help taking seriously.

The provisionalness of life is indescribable.

Everything you do, whether watching a cloud or cooking soup, is done on the edge of eternity and is followed by the suffix
of infinity.

It is meaningful and futile at once.

And so is oneself, a wondrously living centre and at the same time an instant already sped.

One is and is not.

This frame of mind encompasses me and hems me in.

Only with an effort can I look beyond into a semi-self-subsistent world I can barely reach, or which leaves me behind.

Everything is right, for I lack the power to alter it.

This is the debacle of old age: "Je sais bien qu'a la fin vous me mettrez a bas."

Cordially,

C.G. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 125-128.