Carl Gustav Jung, the father of modern psychology was no stranger to the world of the paranormal. He was not only fascinated by it but experienced many unexplained instances of spontaneous psychokinesis and other strange happenings throughout his entire life. Jung’s comfortable attitude with the paranormal is not really all that surprising since he grew up in a psychically charged environment. His grandmother was known for her psychic talents and ability to see spirits of the dead and his mother kept a diary of precognitions and other strange and peculiar happenings. At age 23, Jung the young student and scholar had ambitions of becoming a surgeon. History tells us that his destiny would take a much different turn and that Jung’s desire would turn towards the study of the mind. Could the strange experiences that seemed to follow him around like a pet puppy have influenced Jung? The answer is yes.
Consider the case of the exploding table and the shattered bread knife for starters. These happenings both took place in Jung’s family home when he was a young man. One day, as he sat studying his textbooks, a loud sound that resonated very much like a gun shot rang out from the adjacent dining room where his mother sat knitting. Jung bolted into the dining room and found his mother well and unharmed but in a state of perplexity. It seems an antique solid pine walnut table had split in half. Jung was quite flabbergasted by the whole scene because his scientific mind could not grasp how a 70 year old table that had been dried out for years sitting in the high humidity of a summer day could crack open. He inspected the table for a weak seam but none was to be found. The table had split open seemingly of its own volition.
Two weeks later, Jung’s mother and sister were alarmed by another loud “gun shot” resonation and upon inspection Jung found that a bread knife inside the dining room sideboard had shattered into four pieces once again seemingly of its own volition. Shortly after these events, Jung learned that one of his young female cousins was showing signs of mediumship. Still in a more scientific frame of mind, Jung was not convinced that his young cousin had any exceptional psychic talents but he did see an opportunity to study her from a psychological perspective. The study of his cousin and those in her circle led him to a new interest in the field of psychology and his eventual doctoral dissertation was based on the psychology of the medium and what he called “part souls.” His study of the workings of the unconscious mind while in the trance state and how they complimented the conscious mind would eventually become the origin of his famous theory of balance between the unconscious and the conscious.
Jung moved on to study schizophrenia at the prestigious Burgholzli Hospital in Zurich. He began to make his mark in the world of psychiatry with his famous research based word association tests and the “complexes” they revealed. It was at this time that Sigmund Freud caught Jung’s attention. Jung was warned by colleagues to stay away from Freud but the two became fast friends. It is well known that the main source of contention that later developed between the two was over the importance of religion and spirituality. To Freud, these things were non-existent but Jung was of an entirely different mind set. On one rather interesting occasion, Jung asked Freud for his views on parapsychology while bringing up the incident involving the shattered bread knife. Freud scoffed at Jung’s story retorting his favorite word, “bosh!” Jung, a bit put out by Freud’s “bosh” is quoted as saying, “I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm was made of iron and was becoming red hot.” At that point a loud sound like a gunshot seemed to issue from a nearby bookcase. Jung’s explanation for this was that it was a “catalytic exteriorization phenomena” to which Freud again replied, “bosh!” Jung then told Freud it would happen again … and it did. This time there was no “bosh” coming from Freud. There was also no more discussion of psychokinesis between them and sometime thereafter they ended their association.
Jung continued to have “para” experiences as the years went on involving telepathy and ESP. He even had a stint as a ghost buster having seen materializations that he believed to be genuine. His work in dream analysis and the symbols and themes inherent in dreams lives on in the annals of modern psychology. AND what about his famous theory of Synchronicity? Let’s close with this Jungian tale. During dream analysis for a female patient, the young woman relayed that in her dream she was given a golden scarab. At that moment an insect flew in the window. It was identified as a rose scarab which happens to be the European relative of the golden scarab. Jung handed the scarab to the patient telling her that it was her dream scarab. Did this help the young lady? Well according to Jung it upset her skeptical rationalism and greatly enhanced and facilitated her treatment!
Biographical info of Carl Jung from Mysteries of Mind Space and Time # 13