Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seeing Around Invisible Corners

I've mentioned several times how much respect CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien had for John Dunne's dream experiments with Oxford students during the 1920s. These culminated in his seminal book, An Experiment With Time, about people who often dreamed of future events. Something that I think is just as interesting are the experiments Rupert Sheldrake did with cats and dogs that proved they can often find their way home from just about anywhere. Some dogs also showed an amazing ability to know the exact moment their owners were about to come home. The dogs would go over and sit by the door at the precise moment their owners were beginning their homeward journey. He wrote a book outlining his experiments called Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home.

While I have very little use for psychology, and I think Carl Jung's dream archetypes are a bit silly, Jung did have a very honest outlook on the more strange abilities that humans show now and then. The following is from a TV interview he did toward the end of his life:

Interviewer: I know that you say death is psychologically just as important as birth and like it is an integral part of life, but surely, it can't be like birth if it is an end. Can it?

Jung: [W]e know that there are these peculiar faculties of the psyche--that it isn't entirely confined to space and time. You can have dreams or visions of the future. You can see around corners and such things. ONLY IGONRANTS DENY THESE FACTS. IT'S QUITE EVIDENT THAT THEY DO EXIST AND HAVE EXISTED ALWAYS. Now these facts show that the psyche--in part at least--is not dependent on these confinements. And then what? When the psyche is not under that obligation to live in time and space alone--and obviously it isn't--then to that extent the psyche is not submitted to those laws, and that means a practical continuation of life, of a sort of psychical existence beyond time and space.

Isn't it nice those few times you come across a respected professional who acknowledges the incredibly obvious?


shadowlands said...

I shall need a body of some sort, to continue enjoying a cup of tea!!

C W Seper said...

And crumpets...umm!

Adam said...

I've enjoyed looking at your blog. I have not read C. S. Lewis for awhile and now I thnk I'll go back and read some of his books.

As far as Jung, he truly seemed to have a spiritual bent and it is funny how atheists seem to never acknowledge the intellectuals that have had a belief in something greater, the mystical, etc.

Take care and thanks for the writing.

C W Seper said...

Yes; nearly 70% of all scientists believe in a higher power of some kind. Science is actually on our side!