C.G. Jung Letters, Vol. 1: 1906-1950

To Gebhard Frei

Dear Professor Frei, 17 January 1949

Many thanks for kindly sending me your recent paper on magic.

The question of the “subtle body” interests me too.

I try, as my custom is, to approach the problem from the scientific angle.

I start with the formula: E = M, energy equals mass.

Energy is not mere quantity, it is always a quantity of something.

If we consider the psychic process as an energic one, we give it mass.

This mass must be very small, otherwise it could be demonstrated physically.

It becomes demonstrable in parapsychological phenomena, but shows at the same time that though it obeys psychic laws it does not obey physical laws,

being in part independent of time and space, which means that psychic energy behaves as though time and space had only relative validity.

Thus psychic energy can be grasped only by means of a 4- or multidimensional schema.

This can be represented mathematically, but not envisaged.

Atomic physics does the same for quantitatively measurable facts.

The psychologist, however, sees no possibility as yet of quantitatively measuring his facts.

He can only establish them, not explain them.

There are, undoubtedly, synchronistic effects with a “vitalizing” force, i.e. “animated” by a psychic content alien to them, they are compelled
to represent it somehow or other.

These effects do not come from consciousness but from an unconscious form of existence which appears to be permanently in a merely relative

spatio-temporal, i.e., 4-or multidimensional state.

Psychic contents in this state act as much outside me as in me, just as much outside time as in time.

I think this much can be concluded with sufficient certainty.

Of course it isn’t an explanation but merely an attempt to formulate conclusions which seem to follow from the empirical premises.

The psychic seems to me to be in actual fact partly extraspatial and extratemporal.

“Subtle body” may be a fitting expression for this part of the psyche.

With best regards and cordial thanks,

Yours very sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 522-523.