Carl Jung on Parapsychological Phenomena
In more than one occasion Dr. Jung talked about parapsychological phenomena.
He said he felt that the observed phenomena could only be explained with the hypothesis that time is a psychic phenomenon, i.e., a conditioning of our psyches, or of our consciousness.
If one can once get outside this ego conditioning, time becomes entirely relative, and the present moment is as if eternal.
This observation, however, does not tell us anything about immortality, or life after death.
It refers only to the quality of our experience.
He gave as evidence the variable length of experience of a measured period of time.
There is also the experience of long-continued happenings in dreams.
And the story Zimmer told of the ahant who wanted to know the karma of Vishnu and was sent to get water, then met a maiden and lived a whole lifetime, and, when he returned, found the god just finishing his cigarette!-or something of the sort.
C. G. said it was to explain such things that he formulated his theory of synchronicity, viz., that everything that occurs in any one moment is, in some way, an expression of that particular, unique moment in time, which never was before and will never recur.
He explained the falling of the yarrow sticks for the I Ching in this way.
Then he recounted several happenings that had an aptness of coincidence which caused the greatest surprise and wonder.
For instance: the woman whose dreams had held much sexual material, which she kept trying to explain symbolically, till C. G. felt he really must enlighten her; and at the next appointment two sparrows fluttered to the ground at her feet and “performed the act.”
Or the patient who dreamed of a scarab, and one flew at the window ….
Then he spoke of ESP experiences, dreams of events still unknown to the dreamer, which subsequently do occur.
These dreams usually only come when the news is close at hand, rather than at the moment of occurrence ….
He related several experiences having to do with psychic phenomena connected with death of persons at a distance.
There sometimes were what he called “spooks” about; cracklings and snappings in furniture.
Occasionally, he had warning dreams about a person who was about to die, or. he felt an unseen presence at the time of their departure.
He twice dreamed of Baynes after his death, each time in connection with Churchill, and each time when Churchill was actually in Switzerland, though C. G. did not know this at the time. For
instance, he dreamed that he was sitting at a dinner table with Churchill or Roosevelt when a group of English officers, among whom was Baynes, in civilian clothes, came in.
At this time Churchill had landed near Zurich for his plane to refuel on his way to Africa.
A second dream was similar to the first, except that Roosevelt was not there.
This time, Churchill was spending one night in Geneva on his way to Yalta.
He told us a lot about this visit and his contact with Churchill.
He told us that in 1934 he had gone to Bollingen to work and had put up his yellow flag to warn Professor Fierz that he was not “at home.”
He was unable to work, however.
He felt terribly depressed.
A heavy cloud seemed to oppress him.
But he kept his flag up and struggled with the oppression all day Sunday and into Monday.
At last, he pulled down the flag, feeling it was no use trying to work any longer.
Immediately, Professor Fierz came over and told him of the Nazi purge, which had taken place on Sunday morning.
He spoke of exteriorized libido: how, when there was an important idea that was not yet quite conscious, the furniture and woodwork all over the house creaked and snapped, and that Mrs. Jung was aware of it as well as he.
One time there came a sharp snap at the door just as he was falling asleep.
This was repeated, and it woke him quite up.
Then, as he began to fall asleep again, he had a vision of a fish, and, just as he lost consciousness, his wardrobe gave a great crack.
He opened his eyes to see a large fish emerging from the top corner.
He told us of his hallucinations of the Ravenna mosaics.
When they went into the piscina, he and Miss Wolff, there was a misty blue light, and through it they saw the mosaics.
They stood and discussed them for about half an hour and were amazed to find the Peter symbol, Peter walking on the water and being rescued by ·Christ, combined with the others (Moses bringing water from the rock; Jonah and the whale; the miraculous draft of fishes).
He came back and narrated this in the seminar (of 1929?).
When Dr. Meier was going to Ravenna, a year or two later, C. G. told him he must not fail to see the mosaics and to get him pictures of them, for he and Miss Wolff had failed to find any
in the town. (I was present at that seminar).
When Dr; Meier returned, he told C. G. that no such mosiacs existed.
He could not believe it.
It was only some years later that he ran across the story of the countess who had vowed to make such a gift of mosaics if she were delivered from shipwreck.
The mosaics were made, but were destroyed by fire while in nearby St. Giovani’s Church.
Jung learned that a sketch does exist, but he has not seen it ….
Another time, he talked about “haunted houses.”
In Africa once he heard music and the sound of people talking, though he could not distinguish the words.
The natives told him, “Those are the people who talk.”
This occurred more than once to him.
And other travellers also have reported such experiences.
Always at these places there are evidences that there has at some past time been a settlement-for example, there are plants there only grown under cultivation …. ~Esther Harding, Conversations with Jung, Pages 13-14