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Monday, September 14, 2015

Carl Jung and Psychology is concerned with living forces, living opinions which determine human behaviour.




To Baroness Vera von der Heydt

Dear Baroness, 13 February 1958

My remark about the Resurrection is simply an allusion to the kind of popular phraseology that goes: Christ has proved to us by his Resurrection that we also shall rise again.

And so he has shown us that the hope of immortality is a justified belief-as though nobody had believed in immortality before.

This is surely a layman's view which can easily be swept away with theological arguments.

But for that very reason it still persists with the public, just like the Marxist theory which has been refuted hundreds of times, though this still doesn't prevent so-and-so many hundreds of millions of people from holding Communist views.

It is also the general view that the event at Easter has a general significance and is not merely the local opinion that the disciples had to be given an ocular demonstration of the Lord's continued existence.

Taken in its biblical context this opinion is certainly correct but it doesn't reflect the general view at all.

As psychologists we are not concerned with the question of truth, with whether something is historically correct, but with living forces, living opinions which determine human behaviour.

Whether these opinions are right or wrong is another matter altogether.

One critic, for instance, has taken me to task for having chosen to comment on such an inferior text as the Amitayur-DhyanaSutra; there were much better Pali texts for elucidating the essence of Buddhism.

But in Japan and the Mongolian areas of Buddhism this Sutra enjoys the highest authority and is far better known than the Pali Canon.

For me, therefore, it was much more important to comment on this Sutra than on the undoubtedly more correct views of the Canon.

It is the same with the Christian doctrine: if we wish to discuss it in its present form we can only do so in terms of the current opinions and not on the basis of the best textual editions and the best possible theological explanations.

Otherwise we would be theologizing and that is decidedly off my beat.

I am concerned with the real man here and now, quite particularly so in an essay like "The Undiscovered Self."

With best greetings,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 416-417