What Carl Jung Gleaned from his Near Death Experience

I found this on fb, via Ed. Thanks! It reminds me of my own NDE, and it’s true, I date my own capacity for standing still inside the whirlwind to that day in Massachusetts General Hospital when I was 26 and told there was nothing more they could do for me and I asked if I was going to die and the doctor looked embarrassed and walked out of the room. That began my metamorphorsis, ongoing ever since.

Nothing can faze one who has not just “looked death” in the face, but who, as a result, realizes there is no death, there is only endless transformation. Ever since then, more and more, what replaces the see-saw of endless emotional turmoil? Equanimity. The calm center in the eye of any storm.

Pay attention especially to the final paragraph, which I enlarged for emphasis.




Carl Jung’s near death experience when unconscious from a heart attack in 1944.

“The images were so tremendous that I myself concluded that I was close to death. My nurse afterward told me, “It was as if you were surrounded by a bright glow.” That was a phenomenon she had sometimes observed in the dying. . . .

It seems to me that I was high up in space. Far below I saw the globe of the earth, bathed in a gloriously blue light. I saw the deep blue sea and the continents. Far below my feet lay Ceylon, and in the distance ahead of me the subcontinent of India. . . . Far away to the left lay a broad expanse – the reddish-yellow desert of Arabia. . . . I could also see the snow-covered Himalayas, but in that direction it was foggy and cloudy. . . . I knew that I was on the point of departing from the earth. Later I discovered how high in space one would have to be to have so extensive a view – approximately a thousand miles! The sight of the earth from this height was the most glorious thing I had ever seen. . . .

I had the feeling that everything was being sloughed away; everything I aimed at or wished for or thought, the whole phantasmagoria of earthly existence fell away or was stripped from me – an extremely painful process. Nevertheless something remained; it was as if I now carried along with me everything I had ever experienced or done. . . . I might also say; it was with me, and I was it. . . . I consisted of my own history, and I felt with great certainty: this is what I am. . . . I believed I would at last understand – this too was a certainty – what historical nexus I or my life fitted into. I would know what had been before me, why I had come into being, and where my life was flowing. . . . My life seemed to have been snipped out of a long chain of events, and many questions had remained unanswered. Why had it taken this course? Why had I brought into earth life these particular assumptions with me? What had I made of them? What will follow? I felt sure that I would receive an answer to all these questions. . . .

While I was thinking over these matters, something happened that caught my attention. From below, from the direction of Europe, an image floated up. It was my doctor Dr. H. – or, rather his likeness – framed by a golden chain or a golden laurel wreath. I knew at once: “Aha, this is my doctor, of course, the one who has been treating me. But now he is coming in his primal form. . . . . In life he was . . . the temporal embodiment of the primal form, which has existed from the beginning. Now he is appearing in that primal form.”

Presumably I too was in my primal form, though this was something I did not observe but simply took for granted. As he stood before me, a mute exchange of thought took place between us. Dr. H. had been delegated by the earth to deliver a message to me, to tell me that there was a protest against my going away. I had no right to leave the earth and must return. The moment I heard that, the vision ceased. . . .

I was profoundly disappointed, for now. . . . The painful process of defoliation had been in vain. . . . Disappointed, I thought, “Now I must return to the ‘box system’ again.” For it seemed to me as if behind the horizon of the cosmos a three-dimensional world had been artificially built up, in which each person sat by himself in a little box. And now I should have to convince myself all over again that this was important! Life and the whole world struck me as a prison, and it bothered me beyond measure that I should again be finding that quite in order. I had been so glad to shed it all, and now it had come about that I – along with everyone else – would again be hung up in a box by a thread. . . .

It was only after the illness that I understood how important it is to affirm one’s own destiny. In this way we forge an ego that does not break down when incomprehensible things happen; an ego that endures, that endures the truth, and that is capable of coping with the world and with fate. . . . Nothing is disturbed – neither inwardly nor outwardly, for one’s own continuity has withstood the current of life and of time.

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2 Responses to What Carl Jung Gleaned from his Near Death Experience

  1. Ines says:

    This experience is very similar to mine, in essence while in my primal form I knew I had returned to my origin space/place of creation and was well aware of who I was. I changed too after this experience, nothing has ever been the same, I was 24 years old when this happened, giving birth to my son by C section.

  2. Doug Zeigler says:

    I had many spiritual events in my life, NDE. I wrote a book about my events and others.It is called The Proof is in the Puddy, by Doug Zeigler: Publisher FreisenPress- July, 2014. It is only 49 pages, I call it a pocket book of hope, my goal is to recommend to people to think for them self and find their own truth,by having an open mind, as well as being a skeptic. Take look at my book front and back it will give you idea what the book is all about. It is great we do have an after life, more important we can change our self, to be a better person by living for others,rather than our self. I find the benefits very rewarding.

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