Unconscious telepathy and cosmopsychism
As pandeism postulates a common origin for all conscious beings, it would not be surprising that such beings would communicate with each other by various means. We cannot assume that all such communication occurs at a conscious level. The scientific investigation of unconscious telepathy is in its infancy. Psychoanalysis talks a lot about the unconscious, but is wary of telepathy and other parapsychological phenomena. Carl Jung was more open-minded about this than his teacher Sigmund Freud.
“Jung’s scientific interest in parapsychological phenomena and the occult was, at the time he was a student, a valid subject for scientific study In fact much of the original interest in depth psychology came from people involved in parapsychological investigation. Jung wrote of his own links to this world in his autobiography; post-modern science is again taking up this examination, while new scholarship on Jung includes him as one of the pioneers in the serious study of psychic phenomena. Through his mother’s family, Jung was part of a group in Basel involved in spiritism and seances. Much of Jung’s outside reading during his student and university years was on the occult and the paranormal. In his autobiography, Jung tells of the psychic happenings he experienced as a boy, and of the ghost and folk stories he heard; as a student, he found these phenomena studied scientifically.”
“Through Jung’s dissertation, his case studies, his seminars, and his articles on synchronicity, the paranormal came into analytical psychology as one other form through which the collective unconscious and the personal unconscious may be broached. Yet, during an era when positivist science has been dominant, and in spite of Jung’s training and empirical scrupulosity, this openness to a larger possible world has made analytical psychology problematic and has led to Jung being too often dismissed as an unscientific and mystical thinker. Jung’s interest in and knowledge about parapsychology adds a rich though suspect edge to analytical psychology which demands attention congruent with the extended scope of scientific knowledge today.”
(The Cambridge Companion to Jung)
Jule Eisenbud was an American psychoanalyst and paranormal investigator (1908-1998). He wrote:
“One of the most remarkable facts in the history of the psychoanalytic movement is the indifference with which Freud’s publications on the subject of telepathy have been received.”
Mikita Brottman is a British scholar, psychoanalyst, author and cultural critic with an interest in the paranormal. She received a D.Phil in English Language and Literature from Oxford University.
“In a paper written in 1948, Jule Eisenbud describes two dreams experienced by a pair of patients unknown to one another at the time. The first patient, Miss A, had a dream in which she sought refuge from the rain in a neighbour’s house. The following night, Miss B, the second patient, had a dream in which she gave shelter to a neighbour who came in from the rain. In Eisenbud’s analysis of the situation, Miss B was ‘telepathically acting out’ through her dream. Jealous of the first patient, she unconsciously produced the dream ‘sequel’ as a way of interfering in her rival’s analytic session, bringing the analyst’s attention back to herself. The paired dreams, then, appear to have been an unconscious collaboration between the two patients…..
What seems particularly significant here is Eisenbud’s role as catalyst in the production of at least the second of this pair of apparently collaborative dreams. ‘The telepathic episode,’ he claimed, ‘is a function not only of the repression of emotionally charged material by the patient, but of the repression of similar or related emotionally charged material by the analyst as well. In other words, certain especially sensitive patients may have the ability to spotlight something the analyst is labouring (albeit unconsciously) to repress….
Experiments in telepathy have shown that it is often precisely what someone does not think of transmitting that is transmitted most clearly.”
In the above case described by Brottman, the telepathy which appears to have occurred between Miss A and Miss B was clearly of an unconscious nature. They had never met nor consciously communicated. The significance of the inter-locking dreams they experienced was only known to Eisenbud the analyst.
Nandor Fodor (1895-1964) was a British and American parapsychologist, psychologist, author and journalist of Hungarian birth. He published several cases of dream telepathy in The Psychiatric Quarterly, 21:171-189, 1947.
1.The writer has presented a series of four paired dreams and a single fifth dream, all of which he interprets as telepathic. An impressive total of elements in common would seem to rule out coincidence.
2.The view is expressed that telepathy is a mechanism operating wholly or predominantly on the unconscious level, possibly due to a special cognitive faculty of the unconscious.
3.The suggestion is made that, since this dream series occurred among persons with strong emotional ties, such ties may be a prerequisite for telepathic dreaming, and that the investigation of dreams apparently meaningless to the dreamer in relation to the dreams of persons to whom he is emotionally bound might reveal that the phenomenon is widespread.
4.The question is raised of whether unrecognized telepathy does not play an important part in analytic transference.
I suspect that unconscious telepathy is far more common than is generally recognized, but is perfectly consistent with the pandeist idea of the common origin of conscious beings.
I would now like to explore the connection between unconscious telepathy and the philosophical notion of cosmopsychism. Cosmopsychism is “the view according to which an omnipresent cosmic consciousness is the single ontological ultimate there is and the definitive ground of all spatiotemporally localized centres of consciousness. In broad outlines, cosmopsychism is a panpsychist theory of mind; yet, in its holistic commitments it functions as an alternative to the atomistic thinking which dominates work on panpsychism in contemporary analytic philosophy.”
(Cosmopsychism: A Holistic Approach to the Metaphysics of Experience, by Itay Shani)
The “atomistic thinking” that Shani is referring to is the idea prevailing in certain philosophical circles that consciousness resides in minute sub-atomic particles. This view, sometimes referred to as “micropsychism”, is faced with the “combination problem”: How does the consciousness of sub-atomic particles combine to give rise to a human mind? (The technical definition of micropsychism is “Some physical ultimates instantiate phenomenal properties.”)
Cosmopsychism and micropsychism are varieties of panpsychism, the view that mind abides in all things. Panpsychism does not, however, mean that rocks have minds. Panpsychism does imply that that the most fundamental systems, the ultimates of nature, do have minds. “This, in turn, implies that mind has an irreducible presence at the very core of reality.”
Yujin Nagasawa presents another variant which is termed “priority cosmopsychism” according to which “exactly one basic consciousness, the cosmic consciousness, exists.”
“Priority cosmopsychism should be distinguished from existence cosmopsychism, according to which exactly one consciousness, the cosmic
consciousness, exists. Unlike existence cosmopsychism, priority cosmopsychism is compatible with the existence of multiple individual consciousnesses because it says only that there is exactly one basic consciousness. The cosmic consciousness is more basic than other consciousnesses in the sense that it is ontologically prior to or ontologically more fundamental than other consciousnesses. All consciousnesses except the cosmic consciousness itself are derivative of the cosmic consciousness.”
One thing which needs to be made clear is that the “basic cosmic consciousness” is NOT some kind of world-soul. There is no world-soul which thinks like a human mind and observes the Universe. That would be an anthropomorphic fantasy contrary to pandeism.
While a few academic philosophers are willing to write about cosmopsychism, none would dare to talk about telepathy. As I am not an academic philosopher I am able to go out on a limb and state that the unconscious telepathy described above is quite consistent both with cosmopsychism and with pandeism. If all consciousnesses are derived from the basic cosmic consciousness, why should they not be able to communicate telepathically?