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Scientists and the Paranormal

abracad, · Categories: coincidence and synchronicity, paranormal phenomena, science and spirituality

Plenty of people report paranormal experiences, but when those accounts come from prominent members of the scientific community might they be even more significant? Scientists are trained to be objective, and those that reach the top of their profession have had their objectivity endorsed by their peers.

Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, founder of Jungian analysis and originator of the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator, had several paranormal experiences.

In Jung's words: "A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me this dream I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the window-pane from outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to a golden scarab that one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), which contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt an urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment." [Synchronicity]

Jung was discussing his interest in the paranormal with his tutor Freud, a skeptic. In his biography he writes: "While Freud was going on this way I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm were made of iron and were becoming red-hot - a glowing vault. And at that moment there was such a loud report in the bookcase, which stood right next to us, that we started up in alarm, fearing the thing was going to topple over us. I said to Freud: 'There is an example of a so-called catalytic exteriorization phenomenon.' 'Oh come,' he said: 'That is sheer bosh!' 'It is not," I replied. 'You are mistaken, Herr Professor. And to prove my point I now predict that in a moment there will another such loud report.' Sure enough no sooner had I said the words than the same detonation went off in the bookcase."

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a celebrated psychiatrist who made her name in grief and death counselling. In her later career, after much experience with death and bereavement Kübler-Ross became interested in near-death experiences and developed a conviction that consciousness somehow survived the death of the body.

In her book "On Life After Death" Kübler Ross recounts how, on returning to her office after giving a lecture, she met a woman, a former patient who passed away 10 months before.

She says: "This was the longest walk of my life... I even touched her skin to see if it was cold or warm, or if the skin would disappear when I touched it. It was the most incredible walk I have ever taken, not knowing why I was doing what I was doing. I was both an observing psychiatrist and a patient."

The woman even complied with Kübler-Ross's request to write a note to a mutual acquaintance.


Filed in: coincidence and synchronicity, paranormal phenomena, science and spirituality

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