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Freud, S. (1909). Letter from Sigmund Freud to C. G. Jung, April 16, 1909. The Freud/Jung Letters: The Correspondence Between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung, 218-220.
Freud, S. (1909). Letter from Sigmund Freud to C. G. Jung, April 16, 1909. The Freud/Jung Letters: The Correspondence Between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung, 218-220
Letter from Sigmund Freud to C. G. Jung, April 16, 1909
16 April 1909,1 Vienna, IX. Berggasse 19
I hope this letter doesn't reach you for a while. I'm sure you see what I mean. I simply prefer to write now while the feelings aroused by your last letter are still fresh.
I wrote your wife a card from Venice, where I went on an Easter trip in the vain hope of getting a foretaste of spring and a little rest. I thought you were already bicycling in northern Italy.
It is strange that on the very same evening when I formally adopted you as eldest son and anointed you—in partibus infidelium2—as my successor and crown prince, you should have divested me of my paternal dignity, which divesting seems to have given you as much pleasure as I, on the contrary, derived from the investiture of your person. Now I am afraid of falling back into the father role with you if I tell you how I feel about the poltergeist business. But I must, because my attitude is not what you might otherwise think. I don't deny that your stories and your experiment made a deep impression on me. I decided to continue my observations after you left, and here are the results. In my first room there is constant creaking where the two heavy Egyptian steles rest on the oaken boards of the bookshelves. That is too easy to explain. In the second, where we heard it, there is seldom any creaking. At first I was inclined to accept this as proof, if the sound that was so frequent while you were here were not heard again after your departure—but since then I have heard it repeatedly, not, however, in connection with my thoughts and never when I am thinking about you or this particular problem of yours. (And not at the present moment, I add by way of a challenge.) But this observation was soon discredited by another consideration. My credulity, or at least my willingness to believe, vanished with the magic of your personal presence; once again, for some inward reasons that I can't put my finger on, it strikes me as quite unlikely that such phenomena should exist; I confront the despiritualized furniture as the poet confronted undeified Nature after the gods of Greece had passed away.3
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