UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

UFO Believers get a Nod from Jung

During a "discussion" -- at another site I moderate -- about The Book of Revelation and Predictions by alleged seers, the copy below appeared.

I thought it appropriate as to the position of UFO believers and their arch-enemies, skeptics.

(Now some of you are familiar with Jung's nomenclature -- such as numinosity -- and his slant on things, so I've left intact his wording and applied bracketed inserts to make a  specific point.)
From The Dark Side of God (Chapter 10) by C.G. Jung in Doomsday! How the World Will End – and When, Edited by Martin Ebon [Signet/New American Library, NY 1977]

The numinosity of the object makes it difficult to handle intellectually. One always participates, for or against, and “absolute objectivity” is more rarely achieved here than anywhere else.

If one has positive religious convictions, i.e., if one believes, then doubt is felt as very disagreeable and also one fears it. For this reason, one prefers not to analyze the object of belief.

If one has no … beliefs, then one does not like to admit the feeling of deficit, but prates loudly about one’s liberal-mindedness and pats oneself on the back for the noble frankness of one’s agnosticism.

From this standpoint, it is hardly possible to admit the numinosity of [UFOs], and yet its very numinosity is just as great a hindrance to critical thinking, because the unpleasant possibility might then arise that one’s faith in enlightenment or agnosticism might be shaken. Both types feel, without knowing it, the insufficiency of their argument.

Agnosticism maintains that it does not possess any knowledge of God or anything metaphysical [such as UFOs], overlooking the fact that one never possesses a metaphysical belief but is possessed by it.

Is not something that is and has real existence for us an authority superior to any rational judgment, as has been shown over and over again in the history of the human mind? [Page 92 ff.]



  • In terms of not being vested in a specific outcome, I suspect it may be a matter of a confused epistemology between the rationality of the physical brain that constantly measures and compares and imaginative processes that lack physicality and yet are required to rationality to function by placing superimpositions of meaning by imaging upon data.

    Think of a typical UFO case that has attributes that are measurable by rationality and yet what is witnessed is incommensurable in rational terms.

    The Japan Airlines case over Alaska had measurable attributes. Expert witnesses, causality in the chain of events, radar returns etc and yet what was seen was clearly an absurdity in rational terms.

    I suspect this is an example of Wheeler’s “Law Without Law” found in physics.


    This possibility has been applied to the observer effect ( by Dr Brian Joesphson ) that biology skews skews results to the extent that a non vested observation is impossible.

    Biology vests the results and that objectivity by observation and rationality is impossible.

    Going further, you can go further into epistemology by a similar division between belief systems regarding the subject, the rational school versus the imaginative and yet the two are joined at the hip in consciousness ( self-awareness) itself.

    I think this is at the heart of what Jung was pointing to, which is why the study of the subject is so exasperating.

    It is as if it were designed to throw us off track by hoisting us by our own petards.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, December 30, 2013  

  • Bruce stated:
    "It is as if it were designed to throw us off track by hoisting us by our own petards."

    It's true to anyone looking carefully and with honest discourse into the subject that self-negation and absurdity beyond all rational belief is an integral part of the UFO experience's structure - be it a sighting or contact event.

    Another tenant of all this that amuses the hell out of me - is how the phenomena seems to soundly negate in short order, whatever theory seems the most attractive at the time.

    So not only is it a confounding thumb of the nose at science, but at any attempts to organize any sound structure of theory around it.

    It seems by nature to be anti-structural.


    By Blogger JR, at Monday, December 30, 2013  

  • Jung's point, in the context of the topic from which I culled the excerpt here, is that such things are; that is they exist -- UFOs by virtue of the overwhelming evidence we have about the phenomenon.

    The problem lies in trying to cope with that awareness, that reality.

    Jung was writing about John's Book of Revelation, which came to him (John) from the unconscious, causing John difficulty with interpreting what his unconscious was telling him, thus the symbology, using common iconic items from the era.

    James Wolfe, in the following essay writes that John experienced his vision while "in the spirit" - JR's psychedelic approach.

    (Wolfe uses Huxley's view which indicates, subliminally, that John was high.)

    The essential point, however, is that the nature of the phenomenon (UFOS) doesn't allow one to handle an explanation while conscious but even an unconscious recognition isn't allowed either, as the numinosity of the phenomenon is too bizarre to be allowed a conscious recognition, the unconscious protecting the percipient.

    That's why UFOs come forth in reports as diverse as they do.

    Those reports are not unlike John's visions of the Apocalypse: weird, incomprehensible.

    And skeptics are wrong to eschew the reports or UFOs accordingly; as the phenomenon is beyond their ability to understand it, and agnosticism is misused as an excuse to unbelieve.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, December 30, 2013  

  • yet, Jung once had described UFO sightings as an example of mass anxiety in response to the stress of the Cold War felt by society.

    Of course that was Jung's take back in the 1950s vs that of later years.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, December 30, 2013  

  • The excerpt, Tim, included here, was written by Jung in his mid-70s and was about John's Revelation and God.

    I extrapolated to make a point about skepticism (and UFOs).

    Don't blame Jung for my extrapolation.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, December 30, 2013  

  • Rich, I had only provided an earlier analysis by Jung in reference to UFOs and society as a whole...based on your extrapolation, of course.

    In the context of Jung's analysis of the Book of Revelation, can one not make the same Jungian argument (1950s), that John's vision was anxiety/stress driven based on the prevailing persecutions of Christian society of that time period?

    Was John merely "echoing" the collective thoughts and fears of society against a Roman Empire that was spiraling deeper into mass insanity?

    It does smack of irony, that the Gospels depict a loving God and Christ (which we yarn for), yet in the moment of psychological crisis, we pray for vengeance and retribution as depicted in the Old Testament.

    I hope that I did not stray too far off the path. :)

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, December 30, 2013  

  • Jung's exegesis of John's Revelation is a little more complex than my excerpt indicates.

    And anxiety/stress would be a simplistic rendering of what he was driving at.

    I suggest you look for the text online. It might be provided as it was an essay among others in the book cited.

    I'd send you to the site where the matter is discussed but it's an Einstein Fellowship venue, which is hosted by others although I am able to moderate some of the comments, and I'm not permissed to to suggest members.

    (The boys are wary of my associations.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, December 30, 2013  

  • "...(The boys are wary of my associations.)..."

    I understand completely...for the same reason that I've an unlisted phone number to guard against former patient "reunions."

    I'll search online and see what pops up.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, December 30, 2013  

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