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Monday, August 10, 2015

Carl Jung on a review of Answer to Job.




To the Rev. Erastus Evans

Dear Mr. Evans, 17 February 1954

Allow me to tell you that I am profoundly grateful to you for your most remarkably objective review
of my uncouth attempt to disturb the obnoxious somnolence of the guardians.

That is the way in which this damnable little book looks to me.

Habent sua fata libelli!

I would not have written this thing.

I had kept away from it studiously.

I had published before the volume Aion in polite language and as much man-made as possible.

It was not sufficient apparently, because I got ill and when I was in the fever it caught me and brought me down to writing despite my fever, my age, and my heart that is none too good.

I can assure you I am a moral coward as long as possible.

As a good little bourgeois citizen, I am lying low and concealed as deeply as possible, still shocked by the a mount of the indiscretions I have committed, swearing to myself that there would be no more of it because I want peace and friendly neighbourhood and a good conscience and the sleep of the just.

Why should I be the unspeakable fool to jump into the cauldron?

\Veil, I don't want to be melodramatic.

This is just for your personal information.

I have no merit and no proper guilt since I got to it "like a dog to a kick," as we say.

And the little moral coward I am goes on whining: why should I be always the one that collects all available kicks?

I tell you these things because you have been nice, just, and lenient with me.

The attribute "coarse" is mild in comparison to what you feel when God dislocates your hip or when he slays the firstborn.

I bet Jacob's punches he handed to the angel were not just caresses or polite gestures.

They were of the good hard kind; as you rightly say, "with the gloves off."

That is one side of my experiences with what is called "God."

"Coarse" is too weak a word for it. "Crude," "violent," "cruel," "bloody," "hellish," "demonic" would be better.

That I was not downright blasphemous I owe to my domestication and polite cowardice.

And at each step I felt hindered by a beatific vision of which I'd better say nothing.

You have interpreted my thoughts most admirably.

There is only one point where it seems to me you slipped up, viz. in attributing the traditional, dogmatic, and "colloquial" picture of Christ to me.

This is not my personal idea of Christ at all, as I am quite in sympathy with a much darker and harsher image of the man Jesus.

The dogmatic and traditional conception of Christ however must be and is made as bright as possible-lumen del umine-and the black substance all in the other corner.

You have probably been shocked by the idea of the "hostile brethren" and the incomplete incarnation.

If it had been complete, the logical consequence, the parousia, would have taken place.

But Christ was in error about it.

Practically, it makes no difference whether the Christ of the gospels is undergoing an enantiodromia into the relentless judge of the Revelations, or the God of love becoming the Destroyer.

Christ has an opposite-the Antichrist or (and) the Devil.

If you see a bit too much darkness in his picture, you make him too much into the likeness of his father, and then it becomes difficult to understand why he taught a God so very different from the one of the OT.

Or you disown the whole Christian tradition of the better part of 1900 years.

Christ is most decidedly not the whole Godhead as God is lv ro 7T'iiv.

Christ is the Anthropos that seems to be a prefiguration of what the Holy Ghost is going to bring forth in the human being.
(I wish you would read my volume Aion, where you find most of the material behind Answer to Job.)

In a tract of the Lurianic Kabbalah, the remarkable idea is developed that man is destined to become God's helper in
the attempt to restore the vessels which were broken when God thought to create a world.

Only a few weeks ago, I came across this impressive doctrine which gives meaning to man's status exalted by the incarnation.

I am glad that I can quote at least one voice in favour of my rather involuntary manifesto.

Or don't you think that mankind should produce some adequate reflections before it blows itself up into eternity?

I realized something when fire was raining upon German cities and Hiroshima was flashed out of existence.

I thought it is a rather drastic world in which we live.

There is a proverb that says: a coarse block wants a coarse wedge.

No time for niceties!

This is one of the troubles of our Christianity.

I remain, dear Mr. Evans,

Yours gratefully,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 155-157