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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Carl Jung: The joyous Christian tells us how things ought to be, but he is careful not to touch things as they are.




Anonymous

Dear Sir, 7 May 1960

As your friendly letter has brought not only much amusement but also illumination to me, it deserves special consideration.

It is a model for the intelligent reader of today.

It follows the excellent rule:

Never read prefaces or introductions or footnotes as they are useless embellishments.

Best begin reading in the end or at the most in the middle of the book.

Then you see all there is about the twaddle.

What an ass I have been not to see how simple things are: God is Love, that is the thing, and the whole of theology can go into the dustbin.

Mineralogy is just stones, zoology simply animals, technology only how things are made to work, and mythology old fables of no consequence at all.

I did not know that things are as simple to a joyous Christian.

That is indeed an evangel, a Glad Tidings.

To hell with all -logies.

Why should anybody fuss with the history of symbols when everything is quite clear and can be summed up in the short formula "God is Love"?

You seem to know it.

I know much less about God, since whatever I might say about the supreme Unknown is arrogant anthropomorphism to me.

If you had cast a look into my preface and introduction you might have discovered that my little book is not interested in the least in what you or I believe about God, but solely and modestly in what the history of symbols has to say about it.

Not having noticed this little difference you misunderstand the whole of my argument, as if I had discussed the nature of God.

In reality I am dealing with anthropomorphic representations of the deity and thus walking through the dough at the bottom of the sea, as you aptly put it.

This dough however is the human mind, as it has been for several thousand years.

Being a physician I am concerned with the woes of the world and their causes, and I at least try to do something about them.

But you are a joyous Christian way above the doughy bottom and you exult in your marvellous confession that God is Love, to which nobody listens.

You are so little concerned with the "dough" that you do not even notice what I am preoccupied with.

I have to help man, who sticks in the dough.

In order to help his suffering I must understand his "dough."

To me there is no high-handed dismissal of man's folly.

It is your prerogative not to be interested in man but in your Love, which is God according to your statement.

Now, what about it?

Since Love is your highest value, how do you apply it?

It does not even reach as far as a compassionate interest in this insufferable dough, in which man is caught and suffering accordingly.

The joyous Christian tells us how things ought to be, but he is careful not to touch things as they are.

They are merely deplorable.

This admirable superiority is almost enviable: one can leave Things to themselves and let man wriggle in his comfortable mud.

Yes, what about your Love?

On p. 2 of your letter you say: "What right had Job to go crying to God about his loss of mere things?"

In case you should be married, please ask your wife how she feels About being considered as a "mere thing," a piece of furniture, f.i., Somebody has smashed.

She will certainly esteem such lovely appreciation.

Your involuntary use of language throws a telltale light on the way in which your "Love" functions.

Isn't it charming?

You deny the right of crying out to God.

Does pain ever ask whether it has a right to cry out in its need and despair or not?

Has the joyous Christian no right to cry out to his loving father or to the "God of Love" or "Love-God" for a certain amount of consideration or patience or at least of mere justice?

The "no right" for Job shows up your superior legalistic standpoint, but no human feeling.

I am weak and stupid enough to consider a certain amount of compassion, humility, love, and feeling as indispensable for the understanding of the human soul and its woeful dough, i.e., the slime and mud at its bottom, which seems to disappear when you look away from the old fables to the pleasant vistas of a simplified "reality."

I am much obliged to you for your benevolent honesty, which has allowed me to understand more and better why my Answer to Job is so thoroughly misunderstood.

Please consider my letter as a further attempt to clarify the position of Job.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 556-558


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