Carl Jung: Aunt Anna kept her beauty into old age.

To Ewald Jung

Dear Cousin, 30 December 1959

Now at last I can pay off my long overdue debt of gratitude.

Very many thanks for the two photos of the portrait of my great-grandfather they show a distinct family likeness, in my opinion anyway.

In strong contrast to my grandfather C. G. Jung, he seems to have been an introvert, which would obviously account for the discord between father and son and probably also for the marital problem between Sophie nee Ziegler and Franz Ignaz.

My grandfather’s conversion under Schleiermacher’s influence
seems to have had a hand in it.

Best thanks also for the photo of Reimer-Jung.

Aunt Anna kept her beauty into old age.

She had an aristocratic air, a most vivacious temperament and intelligence, and flashing blue eyes.

She always embellished my Christmases with “Pfefferkuchen”
(English: gingerbread).

I visited her as late as 1900 in Stuttgart and also got to know
Uncle Reimer, a psychiatrist.

I have been reading the book about G. A. Reimer with great

Sophie Ziegler-Jung’s mental illness has absorbed me again.

The only documents relating to this are some letters of hers
in my possession.

The handwriting shows no schizophrenic traits, but rather, for
all its character, an emotional ravagement such as can be
observed in psychogenic melancholias.

My grandfather’s fervid relationship with her is a complete contra-indication of schizophrenia.

It is indicative rather of a strong mother-son relationship, which I in turn would be an occasion for dissension with her husband.

The Ziegler sisters were lively artistic personalities who did a great deal for the Mannheim theatre at the time of the memorable premiere of Schiller’s Rauber.

At that time, too, a transference to Goethe would not have been impossible; it might even have prejudiced her marriage with Franz Ignaz and given rise to all kinds of rumors, unless there is a contamination with Marianne Willerner, nee Jung.

Certainly a study of the portrait of Franz Ignaz makes his ancestorship seem likely.

I am returning the Reirner-Jung photo but would like to keep the book about G. A. Reimer a while longer, as I want to have a copy made of some passages concerning my grandfather.

I am slowly recovering from too much work and the aggravations of the Fohn which has got me down more than ever this time.

Again with best thanks and all good wishes to you and your wife for the New Year,

Your devoted cousin,

CARL ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 527-529

I have always vowed I would never write an autobiography…

To Emma von Pelet

Dear Frau von Pelet, 6 January 1960

Many thanks for your kind letter, which reminds me of how long
it is since I have heard from you.

My congratulations on the success you have had with your Interesting tasks!

As for myself, I am not planning any further publications and have nothing of the sort in hand.

It seems rumours have reached you that I am writing my biography.

I have always vowed I would never write an autobiography and in this case have only wetted my feet a little; it is rather Frau Jaffe who is writing a biography to which I have made a few contributions.

So I have nothing more to do with it and am in the fortunate position of leaving the headaches to others and indulging in otium cum dignitate, as befits my old age.

If my luck holds, I won’t be plagued by any new ideas either, but can withdraw with untroubled heart into the lands behung with dream-clouds.

Best wishes for the New Year, also to Frau von Keller,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 531

Carl Jung: In the turmoil of Kusnacht I can seldom or never turn my thoughts upon myself,

To Walther and Marianne Niehus-Jung

Dear Walther, dear Marianne, [Bollingen] 3 January 1960

On the occasion of the New Year and at the beginning of a new decade I can collect my thoughts together in the peace of Bollingen and bring to mind all the things you have done for me in the past year.

I would therefore not like to miss this opportunity of expressing my heartiest thanks and letting you both know what a deep impression your helpful attitude has left behind.

In the turmoil of Kusnacht I can seldom or never turn my thoughts upon myself, much less express them in writing.

Scarcely is one thing finished than another has already taken its place.

But here it is as it was in the years of my youth, when time was still so long that one could ask oneself, What can I do now?

Now there is so much leisure that I can remember myself and let the past unroll before my eyes.

Besides the heavy burdens which the dark twists of fate have destined for us, friendly and joyful images emerge which instill into me a warm feeling of gratitude towards you.

This is what I wanted you to know.

With best wishes for the New Year,

Your Father ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 530

Carl Jung: The past decade dealt me heavy blows…

To Eugen Bohler

Dear Dr. Bohler, Bollingen, 1 January 1960

My first letter in this New Year, which opens a new decade, shall be to you, dear friend.

It brings you my very cordial wishes not only for the corning year but also for this dawning decade 1960-70, in whose lap the black and white cards of our uncertain fate await us.

The past decade dealt me heavy blows-the death of dear friends and the even more painful loss of my wife, the end of my scientific activity and the burdens of old age, but also all sorts of honours and above all your friendship, which I value the more highly because it appears that men cannot stand me in the long run.

Since I do not deem myself god-almighty enough to have made them other than they are, I must put it down entirely to my own account and lengthen my shadow accordingly.

Your understanding and your interest have done much to restore my self-confidence, severely shaken by my incessant struggle with difficult contemporaries.

It is indeed no trifling thing to be granted the happy proof that somehow one is “possible” and has achieved something whose meaning someone else, apart from myself, is able to see.

Being well-known not to say “famous” means little when one realizes that those who mouth my name have fundamentally no idea of what it’s all about.

The gratification of knowing that one is essentially posthumous is short-lived.

That is why your friendship is all the dearer to me in my grey old age, since it gives me living proof that I have not dropped out of the human setting into the shadowy realm of historical curiosities.

Please accept this letter as a poor expression of my gratitude for the many kindnesses you have done me.

Although the years hasten away more swiftly than ever, I still hope the New Year may bring a little more light and warmth.

Yours ever,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 529-530

Carl Jung: people assume that I am talking about God himself.

To Mary Louise Ainsworth

Dear Miss Ainsworth, 23 December 1959

I have read your friendly letter with interest,!

I have been particularly interested in what you say about the book of Job, i.e., the divine omniscience.

While reading this little book you must be constantly aware of the fact that whatever I say in it does not refer to God himself, but rather to the idea or opinion man makes of God.

When I use the term “the omniscience of God” it means: this is what man says about God and not that God is omniscient.

Man always uses that knowledge he finds in himself to characterize his metaphysical figures.

Thus you could make an analogy between the obliviousness of the human being and a similar state of his God.

But this is not permissible in so far as man himself has made the dogmatic statement that God’s omniscience is absolute and not subject to man’s shortcomings.

Thus God’s omniscience means really a perfect presence of mind, and then only it becomes a blatant contradiction that He does not consult it or seems to be unaware of it.

In this sense “God” is very paradoxical and I call my reader’s attention to such and other contradictions to wake him up, so that he gets aware of the insufficiency of his representations and indirectly of the need to revise them.

This is the point which is regularly misunderstood: people assume that I am talking about God himself.

In reality I am talking about human representations.

So if anybody should talk to you about my Job, you had better refer him to this passage.

With my best wishes for Xmas and the New Year,

I remain,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 526-527

Carl Jung: Yet I think of myself as a Christian, since I am entirely based upon Christian concepts.

To Hugh Burnet

Dear Mr. Burnett, 5 December 1959

So many letters I have received have emphasized my statement about “knowing” (God) that I have written an answer to a man whose letter was particularly articulate in this respect,!

(You will find a copy enclosed.)

I explained what my opinion is about a “knowledge of God.”

I know it is an unconventional way of thinking and I quite understand if it should suggest that I am no Christian.

Yet I think of myself as a Christian, since I am entirely based upon Christian concepts.

I only try to escape their internal contradictions by introducing a more modest attitude which takes into consideration the immense darkness of the human mind.

The Christian idea proves its vitality by a continuous evolution, just like Buddhism.

Our time certainly demands some new thoughts in this respect, as we cannot continue to think in an antique or medieval way when we enter the sphere of
religious experience.

Thank you very much for the nice photos.

It is good for one’s self-education to see some undeniable evidence for the stupidity of facial expression.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 580-581

Carl Jung on “Cognition of the Whole.”

To M. Sickesz

Dear Colleague, 19 November 1959

Best thanks for your friendly letter.

Unfortunately I can answer only one central question, that concerning consciousness and self.

By definition, the self is a combination of consciousness and the Unconscious and is therefore more comprehensive than the ego.

Only what is associated with the ego can become conscious.

But since the ego is only a part of the whole, I can become conscious only of a part.

The whole can be comprehended only by a whole.

Therefore, when the self qua whole grasps something, it grasps the whole.

But this whole is much too big for the ego to grasp.

It can only be divined, but this is not cognition.

I can become conscious neither of the whole of myself nor of the whole of the world.

I know that the East believes in a consciousness without a subject and says that the personal atman is capable of encompassing the knowledge of the whole.

Nevertheless the East also says that dreamless sleep is the highest stage of cognition.

For us this is an inconceivable paradox because dreamless sleep is, for us, the epitome of an unconscious state in which no consciousness exists, as we understand it.

Empirically, we do not know what happens in this state, since there is no subject to cognize it, at least for us.

On the contrary, I must admit that as my cognition is piecemeal and that my ego is far from being able to cognize a whole.

Also, I have never discovered, either in the literature or in conversation with an Oriental, any cognition that could be said to be a cognition of the whole.

It is merely said to be so, just as we Christians say that we are redeemed of our sins by Christ.

Unfortunately I haven’t yet noticed anything of the sort, any more than I have noticed a cognition of the self as subject.

Hoping I have made my standpoint clear, and with collegial regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 523-524