In this essay we will build upon the foundations laid down by the famous psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung concerning the value and relevance of the UFO phenomena. In part 1 we will outline Jung's basic view. Then in part 2 we will build on the theory arguing that the psychological meaning of the UFO phenomenon is the integration and unification of the individual and collective psyche. The UFO phenomena compensates for psychic splitting and dissociation. That is consistent with Jung but we build on Jung's work by emphasizing the individual's moral responsibility (not only regarding his or her own psychic integration) but also concerning the collective. After all, the UFO phenomena is a collective reality.
[...] The individual is creative (if not a naturally talented artist) through creating meaning by use of psychological projection onto an existing meaningful collective phenomena. (e.g. traditional religion, Ufology).The result is meaningful in-ness. Failure to experience meaning is psychological disaster hence we hear of terms such as dissociation, anomie, existentialism, loss of soul or just plain meaninglessness. The fact that the individual should be fairly social in order to be healthy is at least implied above. Just like being disconnected from meaning is a dissociation so too, a split from social and cultural life is a dissociation. [...]
[...] As Jung writes can hardly suppose that anything of such worldwide incidence as the Ufo legend is purely fortuitous and of no importance whatever.”1 And it can hardly have diminished since Jung wrote those words the UFO phenomena is usually regarded as beginning in 1947 when Kenneth Arnold coined the term “flying saucer”. Hence it has stayed strong for over sixty years.2 To some extent it therefore has the lasting power of traditional religion in that it doesn't look like it will just die a death at any given moment. [...]
[...] Hence we can say (with Jung) that the UFO phenomena is a symbol of meaning (the ‘Self' in Jung's language). This has social-cultural relevance in that the phenomena comes to be seen not just for ones own individual interests but as uniting the social, cultural and meaningful. Hence it is of collective importance and therefore is a phenomena that equates to sociocultural solidarity/togetherness. The UFO then (again consistent with Jung's view of the Self) becomes a collective force for good so long as those western societies (and beyond: e.g. [...]
[...] Disciples are so impressed by the stature of these leaders by the force and power devotion to their visions conferred upon them that they found mythic systems based on the content of the leader's experience. The myths of the leaders, however, never have the same impact on the disciples. Jung believed it was the process of discovery of the myth that gave the leaders their power . Appropriation of the content of the founder's vision could not make the vision work in the way it did for the founder; power was lost" (Goldenberg 1979, p52). [...]
[...] Segal, writing in UFO Religions (2003) starts off his essay by saying that Jung typified 20th century psychologists in his unwillingness to offer views on phenomena beyond the boundaries of his own subject.3 He quotes Jung from Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies as saying a psychologist, I am not qualified to contribute anything useful to the question of the physical reality of UFOs. I can concern myself only with their undoubted psychic aspect, and in what follows shall deal almost exclusively with their psychic concomitants.”4 Segal goes on to explain that Jung put forward two possibilities concerning the nature of the UFOs. [...]
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