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Freud: Studies in Parapsychology

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 21:42
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I’m sure only a few of you know that Freud’s collected papers contain three essays published together with this posting’s title, above.
The Uncanny, the first in Freud’s parapsychological studies was published in 1919, Dreams and Telepathy in 1922,and A Neurosis of  Demonical Possession in the Seventeenth Century in 1923.
Freud, unlike Jung, didn’t live into the flying saucer (UFO) era, having died in 1939, so he wasn’t privy to the flying saucer hubbub that Jung encountered and addressed in his Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky (written and published in the late 1950s and under-represented by Jungians who were and are embarrassed by the work).
Freud was always interested in things at the fringe, his works suffused by a personal dread of psychical mischief, most mental but some outside the normal exigencies of life.
A few of you are familiar with the episodes in Jung’s Memories, Dreams, and Reflections that described Freud’s fainting spells when he and Jung were engaged in discussions of peat-bog corpses and, again, during a colloquy about Amenophis IV (Ikhnaton) whom Freud thought created monotheism because of a father complex with which Jung disagreed. {Pages 156/157, Vintage PB edition, 1965]
Freud tied the uncanny to death, citing the fear one has about ghosts and spirits as remnants of the primitive thought that the deceased became the enemy of survivors, wanting to carry those still alive back to the realm of the dead to share that life.
Freud also accepted telepathy as a kind of reality, indicating that psychoanalysis might make the puzzling characteristics of telepathy more intelligible …
Demonic possession, of course, was attributed to neurotic behavior brought about by repression and the rejection of sexual desires. (That view doesn’t concern us here.)
The experience of ghosts and spirits also has its cause in Freud’s repressed complexes, “The uncanny belonging to …[and] proceeding from forms of thought … so long as the setting is one of physical reality, but as soon as it is given an arbitrary and unrealistic setting in fiction, it is apt to lose its quality of the uncanny.” [Page 58, Colliers PB, 1963]
Freud writes (about telepathy), “On August 22, 1914, at ten o’clock in the morning, our correspondent experienced a telepathic impression that her brother, who was at the time on active service, was calling ‘Mother! mother!’; the phenomenon was purely acoustic, it was repeated shortly after, but nothing was seen. Two days later, she sees her mother and finds her much depressed because the boy had announced himself to her by repeatedly calling, ‘Mother! mother!’ … some weeks later it was established that the young soldier had died on [the] day at the hour stated.” [Page 85, ibid]
Freud suggests that such experiences as that above are products of the dream state and unconscious in thrust, writing “The laws of unconscious mental life may then be taken for granted as applying to telepathy” – the state of dreaming a vehicle for telepathic messages, but closes with this:
“Have I given you the impression that I am secretly inclined to support the reality of telepathy in the occult sense? If so, I should very much regret that it is so difficult to avoid giving such an impression. In reality, however, I was anxious to be strictly impartial. I have every reason to be so, for I have no opinion; I know nothing about it.”
[Page 88, ibid]
My point is not to promote Freud’s sexually oriented and not complete thinking on telepathy or the uncanny (the paranormal).
I’m suggesting that the ideas developing, at the time, in Freud’s mind mimic how Jose Caravaca’s ideas (his Distortion Theory) are being formulated, without the sexual substrate that pushed Freud’s views from the mainstream for a while, despite being intrinsically accurate.
That is, there are psychological (and neurological) mechanisms at work in human behavior and the human mind that account for phenomena that we tend to think are tangible realities: UFOs, ghosts/spirits, sea creatures, wild men, MIB, et cetera.
The recurring meme that UFOs have crashed all over the place is a false scenario that, if accepted as possible, confirms the tangibility of the phenomenon, its reality.
The idea that craft able to traverse the galaxy or even just our solar system will crash because of a simple Earthian provocation is an idea housed in madness.
And that’s what Freud is driving at with his take on the uncanny, and Jung proposed in his flying saucer book, and Jose Caravaca suggests with his “external agent” sobriquet.
Anomalous phenomena are more than a figment of our human imaginations; they are unconscious manifestations seemingly made actual (real) but are, in fact, chimera of many kinds that haunt, not the Earth, but only our minds.
RR – The UFO Iconoclast(s)


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