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Letters Volume I

To J. B. Rhine

Dear Dr. Rhine, 18 September 1945

Your letter was a great joy to me.

I have often thought of you in these last years and I also often mentioned your name and your experiments to many people.

I wish I could fulfil your wish but having a scientific conscience I feel very hesitant about it since, being a doctor, my observations are all of a clinical kind, which means that they are unavoidably subjective to a certain extent, and never systematic as they are all isolated cases and facts which form a rather incoherent mass that would look like a collection of anecdotes.

I despise such a way of dealing with this matter and I would much prefer to be in a position to deal with coherent material collected along certain scientific lines.

Of course, I have had quite a number of noteworthy experiences, and you know how it is: the circumstances and persons involved, though indispensably important for the explanation of the facts, cannot be described in a way that would convince the outsider.

It would all look hopelessly haphazard and pretty flimsy.

As you assume, I have thought a great deal about parapsychological facts and I tried to establish certain connections, but I always refrain from talking publicly about such matters for the above-mentioned reasons.

But, seeing your point of view, I’m quite willing to tell you whatever I have thought if that is of any value to you.

In this case I should propose that you put certain questions to me about things that interest you and I will try to formulate my answers so far as I’m able to do so.

It might give me a certain lead to talk about matters which otherwise wouldn’t occur to me.

Parapsychology plays a subtle part in psychology because it lurks everywhere behind the surface of things.

But, as the facts are difficult to catch, their theoretical aspect is still more elusive on account of its transcendent character.

When certain people hold that it is something like a fourth dimension, they don’t seem to be very far off the truth.

During the war my health wasn’t too good.

As a matter of fact I was seriously ill and having reached the biblical age of 70, I’m none too efficient any more, though I have done a decent amount of scientific work lately.

I can’t omit to warn you that I perhaps don’t know so much about parapsychology as you suspect me to do.

It is not exactly my field, and therefore I don’t feel very competent to talk much about it.

There is only a faint possibility that you will find something of value in the maze of my thoughts.

Hoping you are always in good health,

I remain,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 378-379

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Great Sites to visit:

  1. Jenna Lilla’s Path of the Soul http://jennalilla.org/
  2. Steve Jung-Hearted Parker’s Jung Currents http://jungcurrents.com/
  3. Frith Luton’s Jungian Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy: http://frithluton.com/articles/