Emilie, daughter of Samuel and Agusta, too had the gift of seeing spirits. Her father would have her stand behind him as he prepared his sermons so as to keep the ghosts from annoying him as he studied. Emilie, Carl’s mother kept a diary which listed all of the strange experiences she encountered. She spoke of it as “spookish” phenomena and strange occurrences. Carl once saw the following come from his mother’s bedroom door.
I slept in my father’s room. From the door to my mother’s room came frightening influences. At night Mother was strange and mysterious. One night I saw coming from her door a faintly luminous, indefinite figure whose head detached itself from the neck and floated along in front of it, in the air, like a little moon. Immediately another head was produced and again detached itself. This process was repeated six or seven times.
Carl, as do all people, had dreams, however, he had a life-long fascination with interpretation of dreams. The first dream he remembers came to him when he was between three and four years of age. He tells us in his book Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, that this dream was to “preoccupy me all my life.” The dream consisted of a phallic symbol 15 feet high and one and one half to two feet diameter seated on a golden throne in a room deep into the subterranean parts of the earth. He heard in the dream his mother’s voice saying “Yes, just look at him that is the man eater!” The symbol he later determined to represent “the dark Lord Jesus, and a Jesuit priest.” He tells us that the dream haunted him for years and he never shared it with anyone.
At all events, the phallus of this dream seems to be a subterranean God ‘not to be named,’ and such it remained throughout my youth, reappearing whenever anyone spoke too emphatically about Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus never became quite real for me, never quite acceptable, never quite lovable, for again and again I would think of his underground counterpart, a frightful revelation which had been accorded me without my seeking it. The Jesuit’s ‘disguise’ cast its shadow over the Christian doctrine I had been taught. …Lord Jesus seemed to me in some ways a god of death, helpful, it is true, in that he scared away the terror of the night, but himself uncanny, crucified and bloody corpse….
Before Carl could read, his mother had read to him Orbis Pictus, and old, illustrated children’s book, containing an account of exotic religions, primarily Hinduism . Illustrations of the chief God’s of the Hindus were portrayed; Brahman, Vishnu, and Shiva which he had an “inexhaustible source of interest in.” He felt an affinity with these illustrations with his original revelation—his earliest dream.
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn (you) away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Deut. 13: 1-5
In the spring of 1895 Carl began his studies at the University of Basel in the study of medicine. His father died in 1896. Six weeks after his father’s death he dreamed of his father returning and standing before him. In the dream his father had recovered and was coming home. The dream repeated itself a few days later; it seemed real and forced Carl to think about life after death.
At the end of the second semester of his studies at the University Carl discovered in a library of a classmate’s father, a book on spiritualistic phenomena, dating from the 1870’s. It was the history of the beginning of spiritualism of that day. Questions concerning this subject plagued him and he read extensively of occultic author’s writings, Zollner, Crooks, Kant’s Dreams of a Spirit Seer, several other authors, and seven volumes of Swedenborg, a renowned spiritualist.
In1897 C.G. Jung lectured to a club at the University setting forth his views that the soul exists, is intelligent, immortal, and he believed in the reality of spirits and spiritualism by evidence of occult activities, believed in hypnotism, clairvoyance , telepathy, telekinesis, second sight, prophetic dreams, messages of dying people, horoscope calculations, observed levitation. (Found in the Foreword for C.G. Jung, Psychology and the Occult)
During the summer recess of 1898 an event happened that Carl records in Memories, p. 104, 105 that would “influence him profoundly.” He was sitting in one room studying and in the next room his mother was sitting and knitting and with the door open between rooms. Suddenly a noise like a pistol shot rang out. Carl found that a large walnut table top had split suddenly right through solid wood, even in a climate with plenty of moisture so the table was not excessively dried out. Two weeks later he arrived home to find his mother, sister, and maid in a state of agitation. Again a loud crack like noise had occurred, however, no new split could be found in the table. The noise had come from the sideboard, an old piece of furniture which contained bread and culinary tools. Carl found the bread knife broken into many pieces. He had the knife examined by an expert in steel and was told the steel had no defects in it.
He shortly became aware of relatives who were engaged in table turning and enjoying séances conducted by a fifteen year old cousin medium. He joined these relatives at the table for séances on Saturday nights for two and one half years. There was communication in the form of tapping noises from the walls and the table. Movements of the table apart from the medium were hard to determine and so he accepted the association between the tapping noises and communications in the séance. He wrote his doctrinal thesis on these experiences and communications received in the séances.
All in all, this was the one great experience which wiped out all my earlier philosophy and made it possible for me to achieve a psychological point of view.
This contributed to Jung’s choice of psychiatry as a specialty in spite of it being held in contempt by most physicians and non-physicians of his day. The doctors knew little more than laymen about psychiatric diseases and mental illness was a hopeless and fatal situation casting its shadow over a psychiatrist’s reputation. December 10, 1900 found Carl Jung working as an assistant at Burgholzli Mental Hospital, Zurich, so began a life and practice of psychiatry that was to influence the world, for better or for worse.
Jung tells us in Memories that he used hypnosis in the early part of his work but soon gave it up because he felt it added to working with the unknown causes of mental disorders and the apparent beneficial results often did not continue. He chose to analyze all aspects of the patient’s life and thereby arrive at a probable source for cause and effect in psychiatric disorders. So Jung began developing his psychological point of view to affect therapy to the mentally afflicted. The treatment for mental disorders in the early 20th century was very limited; more effort was placed on diagnosis than on therapy as almost nothing was known as to the etiology of mental abnormalities, or what could be done to improve the condition. Hypnosis was widely used as therapy in the latter part of nineteenth century and early twentieth.
Throughout Memories, Dreams, and Reflections Jung tells of different dreams and his attempt to interpret them. In 1914 he had three dreams he writes about in his chapter of Confrontation with the Unconscious and speaks of being under so much stress he practiced Yoga exercises in order to hold his emotions under control.
Jung speaks of some fantasies he developed such as The Biblical figures Elijah and Salome as well as a large black snake. Then came another fantasy figure which Jung says came out of the unconscious, that of Philemon. Philemon in this story was a pagan and carried an influence of old Egypt and Gnosticism. Jung states that these were entities in his psyche which he did not produce by imagination or by any method. Philemon was one of these; Philemon represented a force which was not of his self. Jung said that in his fantasies he held conversation with Philemon.
Psychologically, Philemon represented superior insight. He was a mysterious figure to me. At times he seemed to me quite real, as if he were a living personality. I went walking up and down the garden with him, and to me he was what the Indians call a guru.
Fifteen years from the first appearance of Philemon in Jung’s life he had a conversation with a friend of Gandhi that told him his guru (Gandhi’s friend’s guru) was an ancient Hindu master; Jung asked him if he were referring to a spirit? He replied to the positive and Jung states that at that moment he thought of Philemon. Gandhi’s Hindu friend stated that there are live gurus and ghost gurus as well.
Jung tells us in Memories that around 1916 an inner change began within him, he felt an urge to give shape to something. He was compelled from within to express what his spirit guide Philemon might have said, and he wrote in three nights The Seven Sermons to the Dead. Jung, op. cit., p. 190. Before he started writing he had the feeling that the air was filled with ghostly entities. His house seemed to be haunted as his daughter saw a white figure passing through the room. His second daughter, stated that twice in the night her blanket had been snatched away; and his nine year-old son had an anxiety dream involving the devil. The next day at five P.M. the doorbell began to ring without anyone to ring it.
The house was “crammed full of spirits,” Jung cried out “For God’s Sake, what in the world is this?” “Then the spirits answered back, “We have come back from Jerusalem where we found not what we sought.”
…They were packed deep right up to the door, and air was so thick it was scarcely possible to breathe. Jung, op. cit.,. p. 190. …Then it began to flow out of me, and in the course of three evenings the thing was written. As soon as I took up the pen, the whole ghostly assemblage evaporated. The room quieted and atmosphere cleared. The haunting was over. Ibid., p. 190, 191.
The Seven Sermons to the Dead was one of the key works of Jung. It was the spirits answer to the “nature of God,” the universe, and man, and contained the seeds for his future writings in psychology. Jung had the fantasy of being a Parson to the Dead. In Memories he explained this strange concept by saying that the soul establishes a relationship to the unconscious which corresponds to the mythic land of the dead. This would give the dead a chance to manifest themselves through a medium.
C.G. Jung explained as did Freud, those ghosts, spirits, and loud noises (poltergeist), and dreams all, as coming out of an unconsciousness, which each person possessed within themselves. He did not accept influences and power coming from fallen angels (demons). He rejected the great controversy between Satan and Jesus Christ as nonexistent and sought to explain the occult on the unconsciousness of the mind. This concept grew into the doctrine of “Self” that is so prevalent in the field of psychology today.
Jung had studied Gnostic writers during the years between 1918 and 1926, they too, according to Jung, had the concept of the unconscious. He stated that he began to understand in the years between 1918-20 that the goal of psychic development is the SELF. He, while being commandant of a prison camp in Switzerland during the First World War began to draw mandalas. These symbols are of a round design and with the entire symbol directing attention to the center of the mandala. The center represented the Self-concept mentioned above. He had a dream in 1927 which brought to conclusion his forming doctrine of Self. He stated that through the dream he understood that the Self is the principle, orientation, and meaning in the process of development of consciousness. Symbols of the Zodiac are related to the archetypes which Jung’s spirit guide Philemon encouraged him to believe haunted the collective unconscious. Consequently Jung had great respect for astrology and used it in his analysis. “In cases of difficult diagnosis I usually get a horoscope,” wrote Jung. Hunt, op. cit.., p. 76.
It took the first forty-five years of his life with all of the dreams, occultic phenomena, spirit guides, (Philemon), inner symbols, levitation happenings, Seven Sermons to the Dead etc., to form his theory of the unconsciousness. Jung, Memories, op. cit. 199 Analytical psychology is the product of all of Jung’s efforts to puncture the empty shell of psychological therapy during his life time. He felt need of strengthening and shoring up this theory of consciousness, unconsciousness, and the collective consciousness he postulated. He felt he found that added strength when he studied Gnosticism and then became fascinated by the study of alchemy. He felt that alchemy’s addition to the knowledge of Gnosticism gave him historical basis to bolster the theory of the unconscious. It added a historical connection to the past and a bridge to the future, to the modern psychology of the unconscious.
As I worked with my fantasies, I became aware that the unconscious undergoes or produces change. Only after I had familiarized myself with alchemy did I realize that the unconscious is a process, and the psyche is transformed or developed by the relationship of the ego to the contents of the unconscious. In individual cases that transformation can be read from dreams and fantasies. In collective life it has left its deposit principally in the various religious systems and their changing symbols. Through the study of these collective transformation processes and through understanding of alchemical symbolism I arrived at the central concept of my psychology: the process of individuation. Ibid., p. 209.
Jung wrote many articles on occult phenomena, the little book Psychology and the Occult is a booklet containing three essays by Jung. Essay 1) On Spiritualistic Phenomena, 2) The Psychological Foundations of Belief in Spirits, 3) The Soul and death.
Psychology and the East is a book composed of works by Doctor Jung. He was asked to review certain ancient writings of the Oriental religions and those written commentaries constitute this volume. These commentaries are taken from his Collected Works and translated to English. A comment at the beginning of the book Psychology and the East, The Collected Works of C.G. Jung is given by Alfred Plaut, M.D. states the following:
By temperament, Jung is nearer to the Eastern attitude of introversion and hence to the “God inside.” This enables him to understand the Eastern emphasis on detachment and inner vision and to compare the latter with the imagery of the collective unconscious, with which Eastern man appears to be in direct and almost constant contact. Jung, C.G., Psychology and the East, Princeton University Press, (1978). Jacket cover back side.
He writes commentaries on Alchemical Studies and The Secret of the Golden Flower, and from these commentaries, one realizes that alchemy is another counterfeit story of redemption by emphasizing the transformation of physical matter such as base metal into gold and in so doing one can attain immortality. He also wrote “Psychological Commentary on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Author Nandor Fordor in his book, Freud, Jung and Occultism remarks that many of Jung’s beliefs were derived from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Jung stated that it had been his constant companion since its publication in 1927. Ibid.,…
The book gives instructions to the dead and the dying and serves as a guide to the dead during the heavenly and hellish journey of forty-nine days between death and rebirth. Jung, C.G. , Psychology and the East, Princeton University Press, (1978). Jacket cover back side.
Jung’s work, Psychological Commentary on the Book of the Dead, contains some revealing concepts commented on and found in his Collected Works:
- The psyche (soul) has divine creative power within itself.
- The creative ground of all metaphysical assertion is consciousness, the invisible, intangible manifestation of the soul. 3) The soul is assuredly not small, but the radiant Godhead itself. 4) Thus far the Bardo Thodol (Book of the Dead) is,… an initiation process whose purpose it is to restore to the soul the divinity it lost at birth. Jung, C.G. , Psychology and the East, from The collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volumes 10,11,13,18, Princeton University Press, (1978) pp. 62, 63, 64.
Jung tells us that the application of this spiritualistic theory was the basis of Freud’s psychoanalysis. Also that when the European passes through this Freudian domain his unconscious contents are brought to view by analysis and he then journeys back through the world of infantile-sexual fantasy to the womb. Ibid., p. 65. Jung continues:
Originally, this therapy took the form of Freudian psychoanalysis and was mainly concerned with sexual fantasies. This is the realm that corresponds to the last and lowest region of the Bardo, known as the Sidpa Bardo, where the dead man, unable to profit by the teachings of the Chikhai and Chonyid Bardo, begins to fall a prey to sexual fantasies and is attracted by the vision of mating couples. Eventually he is caught by a womb and born into the earthly world again. The European passes through this specifically Freudian domain when his unconscious contents are brought to light under analysis, but he goes in the reverse direction. He journeys back through the world of infantile-sexual fantasy to the womb. It has even been suggested in psychoanalytical circles that the trauma par excellence is the birth-experience itself—nay more, psychoanalysts even claim to have probed back to memories of intra-uterine origin. Ibid.,….
…Freud’s psychoanalysis leads the conscious mind of the patient back to the inner world of childhood reminiscences on one side and on the other to wishes and drives which have been repressed from consciousness. The latter technique is a logical development of confession. It aims at an artificial introversion for the purpose of making conscious the unconscious components of the subject. Ibid., p. 84. (Emphasis added)
Today we have “pop psychologists” that purport to take one back into the womb by a process of deep breathing, and in so doing release the hypothetical psychological cramps of the original birthing experience, that is said to have allowed formation of anxieties, frustrations, etc., that man experiences. Below are some snippet explanations as to what today is referred to as “rebirthing.”
(…) Rebirthing is an American form of prana yoga that is closest to Kriya Yoga. It may be called scientific breathing rhythm or spiritual breathing. Simply described, it is a relaxed, intuitive, con-nected breathing rhythm, in which the inhale is connected to the exhale, and the inner breath is merged with the outer breath. This merging of pure life energy with air sends vibrations through the nervous system and circulatory system cleaning the body, the human aura, and nourishes and balances the human mind and body. Rebirthing – Maha Yoga: Spiritual Breathing, by Leonard Orr
…Rebirthing is called rebirthing because many times the suppression that comes up and is released is related to birth trauma. When a rebirthee has released enough suppression (usually in 10 to 20 sessions) they have mastered the breath and feel safe enough with the process to rebirth themselves whenever they want. What is Rebirthing? By Russell J. Miesemer