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Monday, September 21, 2015

Carl Jung: I own the first English edition of Bohme's 40 Questions Concerning the Soul, 1647.




To Karl Schmid

Dear Professor Schmid, 8 December 1958

Having been prevented by various circumstances I am thanking you only today for your book Hochmut und Angsfl now that I have perused its contents.

I am still under the impact of the treasures displayed in it, which are indeed so vast that an effort is needed to grasp their profusion.

I own the first English edition of Bohme's 40 Questions Concerning
the Soul, 1647.

In it as a mandala or "Eye of ye Wonders of Eternity, or Looking-Glass of Wisdom," comprising Man, God, Heaven, World, and Hell.

Your book is another such looking glass of wisdom.

Not only does it mirror the countless facets of our contemporary
world, it is also an intelligent and interpretive magnifying glass which brings the barely comprehensible into sharp focus.

You hold a mirror up to the world in which it can recognize its own image, or rather could do so did not the well-intentioned reader usually think: "Yes, that's what people-other people-are like."

Only a very few readers seem to know that they themselves are also the others.

What then is to be said of the ill-intentioned?

A good many will admit that self-knowledge and reflection are needed, but very few indeed will consider such necessities binding upon themselves.

As a critique of European culture your book goes very deep, as pages 139-140 show.

A lot more could be said about that.

What is the question that the world-shaking phenomenon of Naziism answered, and what does it mean for the German psyche, and not for it alone but also for the psyche of humanity, particularly that of the West?

The East has been churned up by it to its very foundations.

But what is the reaction of the West?

Here it is not even realized that the answer has not been given.

Ostensibly it is the Russians who leave us no time for it.

We have got brainlessly stuck on the defensive.

Your book is therefore extremely timely.

One can only wish that it will be widely read and that somebody will start drawing conclusions.

This used to be the preserve of the Germans, but today Germany regards herself as an American colony and there is little hope in this respect.

In my old age the three-dimensional world is slipping away from me, and I perceive only from afar what in the year 1958 is being said and done in this one of the possible worlds.

It is an interesting historical process which-fundamentally-no longer affects me.

But I am thankful to hear another voice that has taken over the Function of one crying in the wilderness.

Very cordially,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 465-466