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Carl Jung on the possibility of consciousness without a brain.


Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume I, 1906-1950 (Vol 1)

[Carl Jung on the possibility of consciousness without a brain.]

For example in 1930, he wrote to Alice Raphael:

… Bergson is quite right when he thinks of the possibility of relatively loose connection between the brain and consciousness, because despite of our ordinary experience the connection might be less tight than we suppose. There is no reason why one shouldn’t suppose that consciousness could exist detached from a brain . . . the real difficulty begins … when you should prove that there is consciousness without a brain. It would amount to the hitherto unproven fact of an evidence that there are ghosts.
I think that this is the most difficult thing in the world to create an evidence in that respect entirely satisfactory from a scientific point of view . How can one establish an indisputable evidence of a consciousness without a brain?
I might be satisfied if such a consciousness would be able to write an intelligent book, invent new apparatuses, provide us with new information that couldn’t possibly be found in human brains, and if it were evident that there would be no high power medium among the spectators.

But such a thing is quite unthinkable … Trance conditions are certainly very interesting and I know a good deal about them—though never enough.

But they wouldn’t yield any strict evidence, because they are conditions of a living brain. ~Jung to Alice Raphael; September, 16, 1930, Alice Raphael papers. On her contact with Jung, see Sonu Shamdasani’s “Who is Jung’s Philemon?”; An Unpublished Letter to Alice Raphael,, Jung history, 2:2, 2007, PP. 5-7-

Image: Henri Bergson