I have treated many artists. There are among them many neurotics, so many that one finally comes to believe that one cannot be an artist without being neurotic. Again I found in them that inner conflict which is characteristic of modern man: the conflict between a right intuition (namely, that their vocation has fundamental importance for the destiny of humanity) and a false idea (namely, that art is superfluous luxury).
Disgusted by the abuses to which it led, humanity repressed Christianity by which it had so long been dominated. Repressed, but not eliminated. Herein lies, I believe, the essence of the tragedy of modern times. The modern man lives as if Christianity were a negligible hypothesis with no relation to the concrete realities of the world and society. And yet at the bottom of his heart this man remains impregnated with Christianity, so that he lives in a state of perpetual ambivalence with regard to it.
Now, we shall be able to judge the extent of the spiritual undernourishment if we look at all these movements from another angle: not as errors but rather as attempts to find healing. I use this comparison: For a long time medical men combated fever as if it itself constituted the illness. Medicine today inclines rather to respect it, not only as a symptom of the disease but of the struggle of the organism against the disease. True, it is this struggle which makes it ill, and yet this very struggle is also the proof of its vitality and is the necessary way to healing.