A letter to Sigmund Freud from C.G Jung 1910: An early vision for psychoanalysis

Jung's early vision for psychoanalysis as described in a 1910 letter to Sigmund Freud
A letter from Carl Gustav Jung to Sigmund Freud. Küsnacht 11th of February, 1910

"Dear Professor Freud,

The ethical problem of sexual freedom really is enormous and worth the sweat of all noble souls. But 2000 years of Christianity have to be replaced bv something equivalent. An ethical fraternitv, with its mythical Nothing, not infused by any archaic-infantile driving force, is a pure vacuum and can never evoke in man the slightest trace of that age-old animal power which drives the migrating bird across the sea and without which no irresistible mass movement can come into being. I imagine a far finer and more comprehensive task for psychoanalysis than alliance with an ethical fraternity.

I think we must give it time to infiltrate into people from many centres, to revivify among intellectuals a feeling for svmbol and myth, ever so gently to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of the vine, which he was, and in this way absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for the one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were— a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal.

That indeed was the beauty and purpose of classical religion, which from God knows what temporary biological needs has turned into a Misery Institute. Yet how infinitelv much rapture and wantonness lie dormant in our religion, waiting to be led back to their true destination!

A genuine and proper ethical development cannot abandon Christianity but must grow up within it, must bring to fruition its hymn of love, the agony and ecstasy over the dying and resurgent god, the mystic power of the wine, the awesome   of the Last Supper— only this ethical development can serve the vital forces of religion. But a syndicate of interests dies out after 10 years.

Very sincerely yours,


* Fifty years later one of Jung’s pupils wrote him a letter quoting the above remarks about Christianity. In a letter of 9 Apr. 59 Jung replied: 

Best thanks for the quotation from that accursed correspondence. For me it is an unfortunately inexpungable reminder of the incredible folly that filled the days of my youth. The journey from cloud-cuckoo-land back to reality lasted a long time. In my case Pilgrim’s Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am."
A letter to Sigmund Freud from C.G Jung 1910: An early vision for psychoanalysis
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