C.G. Jung is an example of the fact that great men’s influence lengthens and deepens, rather than diminished, with time. It takes a while, when a great man dies, for us to see just how great a tree has fallen. But it becomes easier over time. Just as the dead tree decays and fertilizes the earth it lies upon, a man’s influence comes to permeate the lives of his successors until it has reached its natural limits.
With some, that limit may not extend beyond the family, or perhaps a business or similar enterprise. For others, though, it extends far beyond — and in any case, as the guys upstairs are perpetually reminding me, we never have the data to judge another person’s life. For all we know, the people all around us are making a huge difference, just by leading their lives.
In any case, I can’t see that there can be any question of the greatness of this particular man’s influence. From an interview with the English journalist Frederick Sands in 1955:
“Without knowing it man is always concerned with God. What some people call instinct or intuition is nothing other than God. God is that voice inside us which tells us what to do and what not to do. In other words, our conscience.
“In this dark atomic age of ours, with its lurking fear, man is seeking guidance. Consciously or unconsciously he is once more groping for God. I make my patients understand that all the things which happen to them against their will are a superior force. They can call it God or devil, and that doesn’t matter to me, as long as they realize that it is a superior force. God is nothing more than that superior force in our life. You can experience God every day.”
“All that I have learned has led me step-by-step to an unshakable conviction of the existence of God. I only believe in what I know. And that eliminates believing. Therefore I do not take His existence on belief — I know that He exists.”