Jung: Inner worlds and outer

Tuesday July 28, 2015

Dr. Jung, I think we have a misunderstanding in process. Bernie writes, “to me the coincidence meant encouragement to continue this conversation. Or maybe the opposite since Jung’s response was not my understanding of how Jung would approach this and other meaningful coincidences. Please ask Dr. Jung why he dismissed the coincidence rather than asking me my interpretation first. It was a 1/365 possibility – not hugely improbable but still improbable.”

This we can do, but not while you are distracted.

True. I’ll try again in a while.

Friday, July 31, 2015

6:40 a.m. So, Dr. Jung, after a couple of crowded days, let’s try again, shall we?

Let us begin with the word “mere,” which I suspect is the root of the misinterpretation of my reaction. When I said the coincidence was as close to “mere” coincidence as could be, I meant, not that it had no meaning, but that it was, in its essentials, nothing but coincidence. That is, it had no – shall we say, ulterior motive? No associative meaning? It was, in itself, complete.

I’m having a hard time with this. I’m getting what you’re meaning, but only at the fringe of my awareness, and it is as if it is up to me to find the right words, and I’m not finding them.

Merely continue and it will emerge. Sometimes you don’t find the right words in conversation until the mind engages at a deeper level.

I don’t quite get that, but okay.

Let’s approach it this way, from the positive rather than the I-didn’t-mean-by-that way. Dr. Beitman rightly says it wasn’t wildly improbable but it was improbable. You feel, yes, that is true, but it may not mean any more than that.

I am really having a hard time, here.

You are trying too hard. There really isn’t any need for anxiety. Let me take over more.

All right.

The inner and outer world appear to be two things, but they are the same, single, indivisible thing, seen two ways, through different means. The sensory apparatus reports the world as it appears after each moment of re-creation. The intuitive world reports on that same world but during the process of creation, that split second earlier than the senses report – in other words, the world as it is before the sensory lag in reporting. To all intents and purposes, it is the same world being reported through different filters, therefore displaying different aspects of its nature.

A rose is a rose is a rose, as Gertrude Stein says. But the same rose as experienced by and reported through the senses may not seem like the rose experienced through intuition – that is directly, without the mediation of the senses.

Therefore – one thing that must be borne in mind in talking of coincidence is what we should call “mere” coincidence, meaning not “a chance event which is therefore unmeaningful” – in the deepest sense, there can be nothing that is “chance” as commonly understood. A “mere” coincidence merely is the awareness in the observer that it is both rose as perceived by senses and the identical rose as perceived by the intuitive self.

You contact me on my birthday anniversary and this does not have a symbolic meaning – it is not some sort of cosmic announcement – but it does express a connection that otherwise might not have been obvious but still would have existed, of necessity, because nothing in life is “chance” in the sense of existing without connection.

If I had contacted you on the following day, on my birthday, we still would have been able to trace a connection if we had happened to notice it.

Yes, of course. And if on the 28th, well, that is Jacqueline Kennedy’s anniversary date, and your emotional connection to the Kennedys would have done as explanation.

However, as Dr. Beitman will be well aware, there is a crucial difference between what we might call spontaneous connection and a connection that has to be grasped for – that is, forced, in a sense. You could probably see anything at all in a connecting matrix which could be read as coincidence. That doesn’t mean it would be meaningful in the way he intended.

Nor is the line that can be drawn between inner and outer perception the same from one individual to another, because of course each is different. You live in one world, he in another, a third person in a third. You share one world – inner and outer – and yet you each live in a different subset of that world.

Which way of seeing things seems closer to reality is mostly a matter of individual taste. To some, fancying themselves hard-headed, practical, clear-seeing, it will appear obvious that men share one external world and each inhabits a different internal world. I would compare them to those who see the inner world as an imperfectly seen reality that is masked by the external world. So they see one inner world, many outer worlds (for they recognize that to each individual is one sliver of the sensory world, no two slivers quite agreeing).

But for those who live seeing that there are not two worlds, one outer and one inner, and not one real world and one unreal world (either intuitive or sensory preferred and its complement dismissed or downplayed), what remains is an expectation of mere coincidence. A coincidence in that view is no more surprising than is the perspective that results from combining the vision produced by two eyes.

But Bernie is being led to study coincidence in a different way.

Not so much in a different way as for a different purpose, and from a different set of assumptions. His task is to educate a set of men and women who are only shadows to you, as your primary audience may be only shadows to him. But it is necessary that he know this going forward, if indeed he does choose to go forward.

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