Jung on two kinds of ideas

Sunday, July 26, 2015

6:50 a.m. A new high on the anxiety front. (What, again?) Yesterday in an email Bernie Beitman said, “I would like to get together with you to hear what Jung is saying about my picking up some of his mantle in the synchronicity business. Would you be up for that?” I said, “Sure. No guarantees, of course, but always willing to try. You could also send me the questions and I’ll ask, transcribe and send.” So he sent, at half past noon, “First question: Please describe new developments you have made in the theory of synchronicity since your death.”

Dr. Jung? I have a feeling that you’re going to say that since your death it has been observation more than theorizing, but – assuming you are willing to discuss the subject, we will be interested to hear. Also, while we’re on the subject of psychiatry and Jung, should I introduce Bernie to Robert Clarke’s books?

To answer the easier question first, yes, of course at least show him the books, which have not yet had their day. But they are Robert’s work, not mine though mine inspired it, nor yours though you helped reshape the prose.

And as I write this, I realize you mean all five of his books, not only the three I was thinking of.

Yes. Dr. Beitman is a psychiatrist. He will appreciate The Four Gold Keys and An Order Outside Time at a different level than could a lay audience.

I’ll make the recommendations.

Now in regard to synchronicity and theory. You know, changing condition from what you are now calling 3D to non-3D implies both a vastly expedited, expanded, access and, to some extent, a redefinition of self. This may take a bit longer to discuss, and take us along pathways Dr. Beitman did not intend.

I have time if you do.

In life I was bounded by what I experienced first-hand, but that is a somewhat wider net than you might at first think, because it includes one’s reading, dreaming, fantasizing, and all the other activities that are neither particularly sensory nor externally oriented. However, although one may range freely in time and space from the platform (one’s body) that anchors, still it anchors. No matter how far you roam mentally, you roam from a starting- and ending-point in time and space. After June 6, 1961, I did not travel from Carl Jung’s anchorage. Before July 26, 1875, I could not travel from an anchorage that had not yet been lived.

Clear to me, anyway. We are a product of our time, intellectually, emotionally, as well as physically.

Of course. That is why you were created, to live in your own time, not some other. Even if you were a time traveler, you would be a time traveler from a given time and place.

It didn’t occur to me, until I dated this page just now, this is your birthday. Happy 140th.

Thank you. It is as well that we don’t live forever as we were.

It would be a lot of candles to blow out. Bernie is going to be wondering what happened to his question. I’m leading us astray.

Perhaps there is no “astray.” Consider, the theory is about the unique nature of a moment of time. Every moment brings its unique blend of opportunities only some of which are external. And we should talk of this.

Ideas do not float “in the air,” and neither are they the property of those who consent to entertain them. Or perhaps I should distinguish two ideas for the sake of clarity. There are ideas that are not so much gifts as the result of intellectual labor. Then there are ideas that seem a sudden fortuitous crystallization. Associative thinking is receptive to, and may benefit from, the source of ideas that is the present moment. Logical thinking works existing ideas, teasing out implications, extending their scope, critiquing assumptions. Logical thinking depends more upon labor than upon inspiration.

Neither form is entirely without the characteristics of the other, of course. The logical division I just drew is mostly for the sake of analysis. But it is not invalid.

So, extend the thought of the present moment and its unique opportunities and consider those opportunities to be both external and internal (because, of course, internal and external are two experiences of the same thing). So, certain ideas are available uniquely or primarily in a given moment, and at other moments are less available, or perhaps entirely unavailable. Cite the Emerson lines.

[Emerson: “Look sharply after your thoughts. They come unlooked for, like a new bird seen on your trees, and, if you turn to your usual tasks, disappear; and you shall never find that perception again; never, I say — but perhaps years, ages, and I know not what events and worlds may lie between you and its return!”]

Similarly, the “external” events must have their peculiar moment, because as we have said, there really is no “external” except in perception. If a given moment is particularly disposed toward certain thoughts, it will necessarily be equally disposed toward certain manifestations. And there is the basis for the phenomenon of synchronicity that I at first found so puzzling. Lacking the connector between internal and external worlds – that is, not realizing that it is the same thing seen two ways – there is no explaining their identity (seen more as affiliation or similarity) but to dismiss them without examination. “Coincidence” usually means “mere coincidence.” I had to invent a straw-man concept even to get the phenomenon and phenomena recognized, so that they might be studied.

Now the best way to proceed, I think, is for you to give this to Dr. Beitman and return with whatever questions and criticisms and reservations occur to him.

All right. Thank you for this much.

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