To E . A. Bennet
Dear Bennet, 28 June 1959
I have chosen the title Aion because the contents of the German edition are chiefly connected with the psychological changes characteristic of the transition from one historical aeon, i.e., era, or segment of historical time, to another.
The other essay is M.-L. von Franz's "Passio S. Perpetuae," describing the psychological phenomena which accompanied the transformation of the pagan antique world into the early Christian mentality.
My contribution to the book concerns the peculiar historical transformations that took place within Christianity up to modern times.
It is evident, of course, that history takes on a new aspect when considered not only from the standpoint of our conscious reason, but also from that of the phenomena due to unconscious processes which never fail to accompany the peripeteia of consciousness.
As Dr. von Franz is chiefly concerned with the Christian transformation of paganism, my work deals in th e main with th e transformation of Christian tenets within th e Christian era.
As we are profoundly influenced in our practical life by our historical Christian education, we are also exposed to secular changes in the basic Christian dominants, e.g., the schism of the Christian Church and the development of anti-Christian traits.
Developments on such a scale are only possible when the individual, i.e., many individuals, are transforming themselves in their personal psychological life, a fact which cannot take place without a profound shaking up of one's mental peace.
The same happens today and here the alienist comes in.
That is the reason why I try to explain the bewildering situation of the modern mind by showing its own anamnesis.
I am grateful to you that you are willing to say a few useful words in the British Medical Journal.
Hoping that my answer is sufficient,
P.S. I just got a letter from Dr. Fordham telling me that he has asked you to review Aion for the Journal of Analytical Psychology.
I do not need to tell you how much I would appreciate that a balanced mind should write a review about this book, which has chiefly aroused subjective emotions but hardly any objective evaluation.
I know how much you have to do, and I hate to burden you with such a cumbersome task. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 510-511