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Carl Jung and "… the prolongation of the cross downwards signifies a predominance of the unconscious is not improbable.”

To Udo Rukser

Dear Herr Rukser, 6 September 1947

Your conjecture that the prolongation of the cross downwards signifies a predominance of the Unconscious is not improbable.

I have always regarded this prolongation as a moving upwards of the triad which goes together with the Christian Trinity symbol, i.e., with the predominance of the so-called “upper triad” representing the spirit.

The more strongly the spiritual element comes to the forefront, the greater the danger of its becoming identical with consciousness.

There then supervenes, as you correctly surmise, a compensatory emphasis on the unconscious.

You are also right when you conjecture that a one-sided orientation of consciousness always leads to a counter-reaction.

The greater the danger of mass-mindedness, the stronger the emphasis on the individual.

The fact, for instance, that our age has truly discovered the unconscious comes under this head, as well as the widespread interest in psychology, which to begin with looked like an exclusively subjective affair.

But with psychology the real man becomes a problem, that is to say the individual, for there are no other men except individuals.

In this movement, widely supported by the public, there is already an attempt to combat mass-mindedness and the resultant totalitarianism.

The interest in psychology has the inevitable consequence that individual self-awareness is heightened, which we know from experience is the best weapon against the devastating influence of the mass psyche.

If this movement forges ahead and increases in scope, the greatest threat to our civilization would be checked.

But if the reaction fails, we must inevitably look forward to further frightful catastrophes, for mass man breeds mass catastrophe.

The greatest dangers today are the huge mass States like Russia and America .

However, history teaches that such monsters are usually short-lived.

That at least is a hope!

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung, ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 476-477.

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Carl Jung and "… the prolongation of the cross downwards signifies a predominance of the unconscious is not improbable.”

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