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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Carl Jung: I have in the main to do with people who have either lost their Christianity....




To Josef Rudin

Dear Dr. Rudin, 30 April 1960

I have just finished reading your book.

I read it from beginning to end with great interest, for it has long been my dearest wish to build a bridge-or at least try to-between the two disciplines which accept practical responsibility for the cura animarum: theology on the one hand and medical psychology on the other.

However different their point de depart may be, they both converge in the empirical psyche of the human individual.

On the Protestant side I have succeeded in bridging the gap with Professor Hans Schar, of Bern; on the Catholic side I have met with extraordinary understanding from you, for which I am heartily grateful.

By skilfully negotiating the epistemological reef you have given empirical psychology its due place in Catholic thinking, in commendable contrast to those Anglo-Saxon and French theologians who are unconscious of the epistemological problem and consequently deny empirical psychology the right to exist.

Your work has performed the inestimable service of making it possible for us to go a further stretch of the way together-! hope to our mutual advantage.

We are both convinced that our imperiled epoch is in need of psychological enlightenment, and that someone has to make a beginning, although he cannot do it unaided.

Your positive attitude is therefore an important step forward and a great encouragement not only for me but, above all, for the good cause we both serve.

The difference between our points de depart, our clients and their spiritual needs, presupposes an "external" difference of aim.

Your theological orientation revolves round its ecclesiastical axis, whereas I see myself compelled to follow the guidelines of the way of individuation and its symbolism wherever they may lead.

Where you speak specifically of Christ, I as a mere empiricist must avail myself of the more cautious term Anthropos, since the Anthropos is an archetype with a history more than 5,ooo years old.

This term is less specific and therefore more suitable for general use.

I have in the main to do with people who have either lost their Christianity or never had any, or with adherents of other religions who nevertheless belong to the human family.

It is impossible for me to subscribe to the view of a theological friend who said: "Buddhists are no concern of ours."

In the doctor's consulting-room they are very much our concern and deserve to be addressed in a language common to all men.

I understand perfectly, therefore, that the individuation process and its symbolism have to come up for discussion much less often with you than with me.

One more question!

Is it in a tone of mild reproach that you say (with reference to Answer to Job) I take no account of "Bible theology"?

Had I done so I would have written from the theological standpoint, and you would have every right to accuse me of blasphemy.

A similar accusation has been made from the Protestant side, that I disregard the higher textual criticism.

But why haven't these gentlemen edited Job in such a way that it reads as it should, according to their view?

I am a layman, and I have only the (translated) Job before me that has been served up to the lay public cum consensu autoritatis.

It is about this Job that the layman thinks and not about the speculations of textual criticism, which he never gets a sight of anyway and which contribute nothing relevant to the spirit of this book.

This only by the way!

I am genuinely glad that we find ourselves so far in accord and I wish your book every possible success.

My best thanks!

Yours very sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 553-554

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