Recently I read an article in the Seattle Times about Hillary Clinton. Surprisingly, it wasn’t about her battling it out with Bernie Sanders, Benghazi, or her Womanhood. It wasn’t even much about politics. Turns out, Hillary Clinton has some interests that don’t involve bulldozing glass-ceilings and being a hawk.
Turns out, Hillary Rodham Clinton thinks UFOs are pretty interesting.
This gave me a bit of a smile; Hillary Clinton, a woman who could cut brick with a glare, and seems as down-to-earth as concrete, thinks aliens are neat, and occasionally wonders about UFOs. Though aliens aren’t generally my cuppa, I have met a few individuals who are staunch believers, and are as fascinating as the things they believe. Such individuals I have been a slight surprised to find come from all walks of life, and one such individual is the famous Swiss psychoanalyst powerhouse, Carl Gustav Jung.
Born in 1875, Carl Jung, apprentice of Sigmund Freud (later estranged), mystic, and master of all things Mind, believed in many things, including astrology and the Occult. He believed in the power of his dreams, and even went into trances to explore the inner workings of his own soul. He also found UFOs, to quote, “fascinating”, and in his phrase referred to them as “a modern myth.”
On December 12, 1957, Carl Jung wrote a response to The New Republic editor, Gilbert A. Harrison (1915-2008), who had queried Carl on the matter and wanted a Jungian perspective on UFOs for his magazine. At the age of 82, Jung was in his twilight years, but still, his fervor for mystery and the phenomenal can be heard clearly. He writes:
Dear Mr. Harrison
the problem of the Ufos is, as you rightly say, a very fascinating one, but it is as puzzling as it is fascinating; since, in spite of all observations I know of, there is no certainty about their very nature. On the other side, there is an overwhelming material pointing to their legendary or mythological aspect. As a matter of fact the psychological aspect is so impressive, that one almost must regret that the Ufos seem to be real after all. I have followed up the literature as much as possible and it looks to me as if something were seen and even confirmed by radar, but nobody knows exactly what is seen. In consideration of the psychological aspect of the phenomenon I have written a booklet about it, which is soon to appear. It is also in the process of being translated into English. Unfortunately being occupied with other tasks I am unable to meet your proposition. Being rather old, I have to economize my energies.
Very sincerely yours
C. G. Jung
Carl Jung’s book, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies was first published in 1958. Image is courtesy of Open Culture. Also recommended, Jung The Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung’s Life and Teachings, C.G. Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and Sara Corbett’s 2009 New York Times Magazine article The Holy Grail of the Unconscious.