High Strangeness: Something Is Seen

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Something Is Seen

When you write about UFOs, it's good to consider all the angles and remain open-minded. At least that's what open-minded people tell me. That's why I'm enjoying the latest addition to my burgeoning UFO library: "Flying Saucers--A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies," by the noted psychologist Carl Jung.

You know Jung; he's the psychologist in that movie who spanked Kiera Knightly. He was never quite as famous as his friend and mentor Sigmund Freud, but then Freud never got to spank Kiera Knightly. Anyway, this guy has got the kookiest take on UFOs ever: "Something is seen, but one doesn't know what."

At first glance it seems like a pretty meaningless statement, like saying, "I believe in UFOs." But on second glance it's exactly what you would expect a psychologist to say about something like UFOs, agreeing to nothing but dismissing nothing. "This formulation leaves the question of 'seeing' open," he later wrote. "Something material could be seen, or something psychic could be seen. Both are realities, but of different kinds." Everybody's happy!
You won't find the answer to the UFOs in that book, Dr. Jung!
Actually, when Jung first uttered this comment he got in a bit of trouble because people incapable of the kind of insightful analysis I've just posted above took his comment to mean that he believed that UFOs were physically real. He did not, in fact, believe that.

"I expressly state that I cannot commit myself on the question to the physical reality or unreality of the UFOs because I do not possess sufficient evidence either for or against," Jung stated in his defense. "I therefore concern myself solely with the psychological aspect of the phenomenon, about which a great deal of information is available."

So what did Dr. Jung really think about the nature of UFOs? I am halfway through the book and I confess I am still struggling to keep up with his analysis of the problem. Nonetheless, I will share a choice quote from the book that made me smile, just because it is so vastly, delightfully different from anything else I will ever read about UFOs...
"Considering the essential weirdness of the UFO phenomenon, we cannot expect the familiar, rationalistic principles of explanation to be on any way adequate. A psychoanalytic approach to the problem could do nothing more than turn the whole idea of UFOs into a sexual fantasy, at most arriving at the conclusion that a repressed uterus was coming down from the sky."
Take that, Freud!




2 comments:

Department 47 said...

A couple of repressed uterus sightings might be just what's needed to revive my flagging enthusiasm for this phenomenon. ;)

Mark OC said...

It does add an interesting new twist to the phenomenon....