The shrine of Philemon / The repentance of Faust: A letter from C.G Jung

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A letter from C.G Jung To Count Hermann Keyserling, 2 January 1928

Dear Count,

Your return to yourself, enforced by illness, is on the right track and is something I have wished and expected for you. You identify with the eternally creative, restless, and ruthless god in yourself, therefore you see through everything personal— a tremendous fate which it would be ridiculous either to praise or to censure!I was compelled to respect Nietzsche’s Amor fati until I had my fill of it, then I built a little house way out in the country near the mountains and carved an inscription on the wall: Philemonis sacrum— Fausti poenitentia, and “ dis-identified” myself with the god. I have never regretted this doubtless very unholy act. By temperament I despise the “ personal,” any kind of “ togetherness,” but it is so strong a force, this whole crushing unspiritual weight of the earth, that I fear it. It can rouse my body to revolt against the spirit so that before reaching the zenith of my flight I fall lamed to earth. That is the danger you too must reckon with. It is also the fear that prevents our friend X from flying. He can be nothing else but intellectual. You have paid a salutary tribute to the earth with your illness. Let’s hope your gods will be equally gracious to you next time!With best wishes for the New Year,

Yours sincerely,

C.G Jung

Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 49-50

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