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The Symbolic Life: Miscellaneous Writings (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 18)

The International Journal of Parapsychology (New York), in its 1963 autumn issue (V:4, pp. 450L), published

Jung’s answers to a questionnaire which had been circulated in June 1960 among various authorities in connection

with a survey on “The Future of Parapsychology.”

How do you define parapsychology?

Parapsychology is the science dealing with those biological or psychological events which show that the categories

of matter, space, and time (and thus of causality) are not axiomatic.

Which areas of research, in your opinion, should be classified as belonging within parapsychology?

The psychology of the unconscious.

Do you anticipate that future research would emphasize quantitative or qualitative work?

Future research will have to emphasize both.

Do you believe that a repeatable experiment is essential to strengthen the position of parapsychological studies

within the scientific community?

The repeatable experiment is desirable but, inasmuch as most of the events are spontaneous and irregular,

the experimental method will not be generally applicable.

Have you any comments on recent criticisms with regard to statistical methods employed in parapsychological


The statistical method is most desirable and indispensable to scientific research, where and when it can be applied.

But this is only possible when the material shows a certain regularity and comparability.

Do you believe that certain qualitative researches may be quantified in order to gain wider acceptance?

The quantification of qualitative research is surely the best means of conviction.

In the qualitative area, where do you foresee the greatest potential for future research progress—spontaneous

phenomena, crisis telepathy, survival studies, out-of-the-body experiences, or any other?

The greatest and most important part of parapsychological research will be the careful exploration and qualitative

description of spontaneous events.

Do you feel that during the past decade parapsychology has become more widely accepted among scientists

active in other areas?

My impression is that, in Europe, at least, open-mindedness has increased.

Have you any comments regarding the psychological significance of certain psychic phenomena?

The psychological significance of parapsychological events has hardly been explored yet.

Have you any comments regarding the special psychological conditions that seem to favour, or reduce, the

likelihood of an occurrence of psychic phenomena?

The factor which favours the occurrence of parapsychological events is the presence of an active archetype,

i.e., a situation in which the deeper, instinctual layers of the psyche are called into action.

The archetype is a borderline phenomenon, characterized by a relativation of space and time, as already pointed

out by Albertus Magnus (De mirabilibus mundi), whom I have mentioned in my paper “Synchronicity: An Acausal

Connecting Principle.” Carl Jung, CW 18, Pages 510-511