New Consciousness Review Spring, 2017 - Page 50

AWAKENING HEALTH

One hundred years ago , psychoanalyst Carl Jung first posited the theory of the collective unconscious . A modern version of this theory holds that people somehow share the contents of their psyches . Once an idea , for example , arises in one person , it creates a sort of pattern that is more easily grasped by others — even when the others haven ’ t seen or heard of the original idea .

pens around me ,” admitted one of the women . “ This kind of stuff follows me .”
I wrote every detail in my diary the day after it happened . That ’ s what I do , after all — I write . And I didn ’ t want to misremember as time might fade my memory .
Not that it would be easy to ever forget what happened .
In the years that followed , I read about other occurrences like what we had seen and heard that evening . It seems we ’ d watched a classic episode of poltergeist activity . A troubled young woman who somehow appeared to open a conduit through which the unknown erupted . When I reflect now on what I saw that evening , the spooky “ action at a distance ” that physicists can ’ t explain takes on a whole new meaning .
Today , I ’ m a professor of engineering . Among other foundational laws , I ’ ve long taught the first law of thermodynamics — which basically says that energy doesn ’ t pop up out of nowhere and allow padlocks to move themselves . Of course , I believe in these fundamental laws . But there ’ s another part of me , the part that was in that barracks room all those years ago , that says , “ there could be other possibilities …”
This sense of the power of impossibility has fueled me for decades .
Growing up , I ’ d flunked my way through math and science . I enlisted in the Army right out of high school , because I wanted to try to learn a new language . I learned Russian , and eventually settled into life as a linguist . But when I left the service at age 26 , in part fueled by my sense of the impossible , I decided to explore something completely outside my mental playbook : math . I started with remedial high school algebra . To my surprise , step by gradual step , my original “ haven ’ t-got-themath-gene ” brain became retrained so that I could understand math . And chemistry . And then physics ( with its beautiful , uncompromising laws ). Ultimately , I became an engineer . And then a professor of engineering .
If you ’ d known me growing up , when I was a total math-phobe , you would know that this was all impossible . But I ’ d already seen the impossible .
There ’ s a mindshift when you see something that just can ’ t happen . You gain a comfort with cognitive dissonance that allows you to entertain new possibilities .
One hundred years ago , psychoanalyst Carl Jung first posited the theory of the collective unconscious . A modern version of this theory holds that people somehow share the contents of their psyches . Once an idea , for example , arises in one person , it creates a sort of pattern that is more easily grasped by others — even when the others haven ’ t seen or heard of the original idea .
Is this a true theory ? Scientists say it ’ s “ unfalsifiable .” You can ’ t prove it right or wrong . That means it ’ s not science .
But it doesn ’ t mean it can ’ t be true . Or false , of course .
My sense , rightly or wrongly , is that there is a sort of mindshift that has begun to take root in the collective unconscious — a sense that we can do and
50 | New Consciousness Review