Carl Jung had a lifelong interest in paranormal phenomena. He explored the topic of ghosts from various perspectives, such as his own personal experiences, his theory of psychological types, his concept of the collective unconscious, and his notion of synchronicity. Jung believed that ghosts were manifestations of the unconscious mind, which could reveal hidden aspects of one’s personality, or connect one with the archetypal realm of the ancestors and the spirit world. Jung also saw ghosts as symbols of the Holy Ghost, the third person of the Trinity, who represented the unifying force of opposites and the continuing incarnation of God in space and time. His approach to ghosts was not based on superstition or dogma, but on empirical observation and psychological understanding.
He explored the phenomena of ghosts, apparitions and materializations from a psychological perspective, but he did not rule out the possibility of their existence as real entities. Here are some of his quotes about ghosts:
- “Jung told the Society that apparitions (ghosts) and materializations were “unconscious projections” or, as he spoke of them to Freud, “exteriorisations.” “I have repeatedly observed,” Jung told his audience, “The telepathic effects of unconscious complexes, and also a number of parapsychic phenomena, but in all this I see no proof whatever of the existence of real spirits, and until such proof is forthcoming, I must regard this whole territory as an appendix of psychology.””
- “In Britain, he was in a land steeped in history—and in ghosts. Jung disliked hotels, so he asked a friend to help him rent a cheap country cottage where he could stay on weekends. However, when he was at the cottage, he got little rest. On the first weekend, he woke to find a sickly smell pervading the bedroom. The next weekend, the smell was accompanied by a rustling noise of something brushing along the walls. It seemed to Jung that a large animal must be in the room. On the third weekend, there were knocking sounds. By now, most people would have given up and decided to spend their weekends elsewhere, but not Jung. On the fifth weekend, he woke up to find a hideous apparition beside him on the pillow. It was an old woman; part of whose face was missing.”
- “The future indwelling of the Holy Spirit amounts to a continuing incarnation of God. Christ, as the begotten son of God and pre-existing mediator, is a firstborn and a divine paradigm which will be followed by further incarnations of the Holy Ghost in the empirical man.”
This concept of ghosts being externalised projections is very interesting, as it brings with it that idea that one can create one’s own ghosts, which can be external to self. Where would these come from?
If we think about Jung’s concept of us each being born with our own knowledge of archetypes, which give us, in part, aspects of our character. Then it follows that our inner rejections, which create our shadow selves, are rejections of our divine archetypical character. It’s likely that it’s these aspects which our upbringing and society will find most unacceptable about ourselves.
I’d like to bring in a personal theory about the nature of reality, and suggest that the “soul” of God is a fractal. One which has been logically subdivided to create each aspect of creation. Including oneself. Each becoming a divine fractal of its own, Each individual subdivision being capable of recreating the original whole.
To take this further, I suggest that this knowledge of the archetypes which is passed down to us, to become aspects of our divine character, are part of this fractal soul, and when we reject aspects of this self-knowledge, what we are doing is further subdividing our own fractal soul.
Thus, the suggestion is, that in our rejections of self, in childhood and beyond, we are actually creating new entities, new internal “ghosts” within ourselves, which, under the right circumstances, can become externalised to the extent that we can create externalised paranormal phenomena.