Friday, April 6, 2012

CATALYTIC EXTERIORISATION PHENOMENON

Although there is usually an explanation for everything sometimes it is hard to find.

I can give an example of that from my own life. There was a period years back in my early 50s when three or four nights a week I would be awaken to the sound of three loud raps. In the beginning I would get up, go to the door, search the house for the source, but could never find it. It was always the same three loud, quick raps.

Eventually I would just roll over and go back to sleep.

It has not happend for years now, but I still wonder about it. It always came in the middle of the night.

Then I read an account by Carl G. Jung who said when he was in deep thought and study at his home (Bolinger) the bell at his door would often ring. He would go to the door and no one would be there. Being the empirical type Jung began to investigate this phenomenon.

As a result of personal observation Jung came to define it and called it the "catalytic exteriorisation phenomenon."

In 1909 he was in Vienna visiting Sigmund Freud. He decided to discuss the phenomenon with Freud. Jung later wrote the following account of that meeting.

*****
While Freud was going on in this way, I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm was made of iron and 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 both started up in alarm, fearing the thing was going to topple over us. I said to Freud: "There, that is an example of a so-called catalytic exteriorisation phenomenon."

"Oh come," he explained. "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 be another loud report!" Sure enough, no sooner had I said the words than the same detonation went off in the bookcase.

To this day I do not know what gave me this certainty. But I knew beyond a doubt that the report would come again. Freud only stared aghast at me. I do not know what was in his mind, or what his look meant. In any case, this incident aroused his mistrust of me, and I had the feeling that I had done something against him. I never afterward discussed the incident with him.

*****
In the end Jung concluded that it was a matter of the unconscious mind over matter. He came to believe that much of what we consider psychic phenomenon are actually psychokinetic projections from our own unconscious mind. He thought it was the unconscious activity from his own mind that caused the bell to ring and caused the loud report from the bookcase .

Right or wrong, it is at least an explanation.


G. L. J.

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