Carl Jung was a prolific letter writer. Much of Jung’s writings can be very difficult reading, particularly when he digs deep into complex subjects like alchemy. But his letters are often poetic and reveal his humanity and his passionate engagement with the struggles of living an authentic and meaningful life.
The following letter, to an unknown woman, is an example of the poetic Jung. It offers words of advice for the depressed individual that go beyond our contemporary penchant for eliminating depression through medication. For Jung, depression is a messenger, an angel to be wrestled with until it reveals it’s secret blessing.
Being Forced Downwards
I am sorry you are so miserable. ‘Depression’ means literally ‘being forced downwards.’ This can happen even when you don’t consciously have any feeling at all of being ‘on top.’ So I wouldn’t dismiss this hypothesis out of hand.
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