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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Carl Jung: I wouldn't wish any of my publications undone and I stand by everything I have said.




To: G. Kruger

Dear Sir, 17 February 1961

Please excuse my delay in answering your letter.

At my age I can no longer hurry.

I can answer it only with unsatisfactory brevity.

A detailed answer would go far beyond the framework of a letter.

I must therefore confine myself to your direct questions.

Your first question is: what do I regard as my specific contribution to modern psychology?

I consider it senseless to air my views in this matter.

I have set it all down in my books, and if anyone finds something commendable in them, he can form his own judgment.

Your second question is: how do I evaluate my works, and are they out of date, etc.?

To this I can only reply that every single book was written with all the responsibility I could muster, that I was honest, and have presented facts which in themselves are not out of date.

I wouldn't wish any of my publications undone and I stand by everything I have said.

Not being a philosopher, I have no general conception of the psyche.

I am an empiricist, as anyone can discover for himself if he takes the trouble to study my writings.

The many aspects I have worked out have naturally given rise to various changes in my formulations; these are not contradictory in themselves but are perfectly understandable if one knows the material.

Your third question concerns the use of foreign words.

You won't find any scientific study that is not obliged to make use of foreign words, not only in its technical terminology, where no equivalent concepts existed before, but also in its style, which for unavoidable reasons has to be a specialist language and is not meant to serve the aesthetic purposes of a literary presentation.

It is untrue that I and my pupils have no clue as to the meaning of modern art.

B ut there is no point in discussing our views because the psychological facts involved are still not understood by the public.

Nobody bothers to devote serious study to my contributions to scientific psychology.

The medical man lacks the time and training, and the philosophical or academic psychologist lacks practical knowledge of the material.

The theologian, the only person besides the psychotherapist to declare himself responsible for the cura animarum, is afraid of having to think psychologically about the objects of his belief.

He prefers simple childlike faith and backs out of every discussion.

Thus I stand isolated between the faculties and can only hope that someone seriously follows up this line of research, which until now has happened in only a very few cases.

The theologians who have come to grips with my ideas are Prof. Haendler and Prof. Hans Schar.

Both are Protestants.

In general, Catholic theologians are much more interested than the Protestant ones in the psychological approach.

There are a number of Anglo-Saxon publications, most of which, however, misunderstand the empirical viewpoint for lack of the necessary epistemological premises.

Klee's work is well known to me.

We psychotherapists can gain access to this kind of painting because for decades we have been familiar with the pictures our patients have produced of the contents of the unconscious, as I showed long ago in my essay on Picasso.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 628-630