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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Carl Jung on “Homesickness.




To Sandor Torok

Dear Sir, 29 April 1959

Your question about homesickness is one that I can answer only from the standpoint of an empirical psychologist.

Homesickness in this sense is a special phenomenon, possibly a symptom, that has two aspects: either one is still clinging on to the memory of the original homeland, or one thinks one is still clinging to this memory-image but has unconsciously projected into it the conception of a longed-for goal.

This is so with all those people who, when they return to their homeland, or come back to the situations for which they are homesick, are bitterly disappointed.

There are people who because of their homesickness cannot accustom themselves to any new situation.

But then they would never have accustomed themselves to their homeland either.

Others, who identify with their homeland, youth, and origins, regard them as a kind of lost paradise and yearn to get back again.

A Kabbalist has said that after the Fall God removed paradise into the future.

They long to get back but don't know that it is the future they long for.

Others, again, have reversed their homesickness and labour under the delusion that things will be much better in the future than they are in the present.

But all of them share the same illusion that the goal is somewhere to be found in outward things and conditions, without realizing that psychologically they already carry it within them and always have.

If they knew that, the question of homesickness would be answered once and for all.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 503-504