The occult was in the forefront of Jung’s interest from the very beginning of his professional career, and before. In psychiatric terms, he described several clinical cases of double consciousness, twilight states, and somnambulism, then presented in detail the case of an adolescent girl medium, whose seances he had witnessed in the mid 1890’s.
He sought to account clinically for the visions experienced by this young woman, and cites the theory of cryptomnesia, the coming into consciousness of unrecognized memory-images —a reference, obviously, to the unconscious. In Jung’s conclusion to the monograph, there is an allusion to what sounds very close to the collective unconscious.
“Occultism is another field we shall have to conquer —with the aid of the libido theory, it seems to me. At the moment I am looking into astrology, which seems indispensable for a proper understanding of mythology. There are strange and wondrous things in these lands of darkness. Please don’t worry about my wanderings in these infinitudes. I shall return laden with rich booty for our knowledge of the human psyche. For a while longer I must intoxicate myself on magic perfumes in order to fathom the secrets that lie hidden in the abysses of the unconscious.”
The present selection includes several further and shorter works of Jung’s on the subject of the occult, written between 1919 and 1957. His foreword to a collection of three of these studies, translated into French, forms an introduction to the volume in hand. There are numerous references to occultism also to be found in Jung’s letters.
- Foreword to Jung: Phenomenes occultes
- On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena
- On Spiritualistic Phenomena
- The Psychological Foundations of Belief in Spirits
- The Soul and Death
- Psychology and Spiritualism
- Foreword to Moser: “Spuk: Irrglaube Oder Wahrglaube?”
- Foreword to Jaffe: Apparitions and Precognition
- The Future of Parapsychology
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