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Flying Saucers : A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies Paperback – January 1, 1979


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Flying Saucers : A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies + Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. (From Vol. 8. of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung) (Jung Extracts) + Man and His Symbols
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

While Jung is known mainly for his theories on the nature of the unconscious mind, he did have an interest in the paranormal. In this essay, Jung applies his analytical skills to the UFO phenomenon. Rather than assuming that the modern prevalence of UFO sightings are due to extraterrestrial craft, Jung reserves judgment on their origin and connects UFOs with archetypal imagery, concluding that they have become a "living myth." This essay is intriguing in its methodology and implications as to the nature of UFOs and their relation to the human psyche.

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Text: English, German (translation)
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Product Details

  • Series: Jung Extracts
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (January 1, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691018227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691018225
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of analytical psychology (also known as Jungian psychology). Jung's radical approach to psychology has been influential in the field of depth psychology and in counter-cultural movements across the globe. Jung is considered as the first modern psychologist to state that the human psyche is "by nature religious" and to explore it in depth. His many major works include "Analytic Psychology: Its Theory and Practice," "Man and His Symbols," "Memories, Dreams, Reflections," "The Collected Works of Carl G. Jung," and "The Red Book."

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What Jung did with this book is, fundamentally, setting the honest basis for UFO intereptation from a psychological point of view. That's why the open postulates he gained from this inquiry have generated many controversies and strumentalization among the ufologists' field. UFOs - says Jung - may be psycho-sociological phenomena which come from both the inner symbolic human subconscious AND from our technological era's imaginism. However, those hardly conventionally explainable episode may even - in Jung's own opinion - be a HARD and MATERIAL phenomenon, which may be explained with extraterrestrial visits. From this point of view, the sociological redutionism slips towards a postume status, leaving the question as open as ever. Definitely, the book you should be starting with if you like the subject.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Average Joe on April 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
What do Carl Jung and Allen Hynek have in common? Both were very skeptical men of science, that turned their professional knowledge and attention to the (Then very hot) topic of UFO's, and in the end they both became believers and spent most of the rest of their lives studying this incredible phenomena.

Jung was probably sick to death of hearing all the buzz in the early 50's about flying saucers and decided to discover the psychological underpinnings of what he saw as a form of mass hysteria.

He began his research, as Hynek and any good scientist would, by examining the cases first hand. As Jung was skeptical that the average man on the street could not provide accurate eyewitness accounts, he reserved his interviews to "Professional observers", pilots, military personnel, police and radar operators.

Over time he became unnerved, as he realized that these people were not only credible witness's, but were clearly quite sane. So just as Hynek eventually changed his view on the UFO phenomena, so to did Jung.

The big difference was that Jung still feared ridicule from his peers, so he never came out and said he was a believer, but it is very poignant that at the end of this short book, he leaves the topic open, by stating that either humanity is suffering some kind of mass hallucination, or we ARE being visited by aliens. He postulates that either option should give us plenty to be concerned about.

It is interesting to note that Jungs close friends claimed that he was fascinated by the UFO phenomenon for the remainder of his life.

This book is best suited for those who are fascinated with psychology, Jungs work and archetypes. If you are more interested in ufology as a whole, this book is less interesting.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on November 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Flying Saucers" is controversial psychoanalyst C.G. Jung's attempt to tackle the UFO phenomenon. The first English edition was published in 1959. In many ways, Jung's explanation is weirder than the actual phenomenon being explained!

Jung believes that the UFO's are a projection of our collective unconscious. Secularized Western man has lost his belief in the God of Christianity. However, the human psyche has a religious, myth-making function which simply cannot be turned off. At bottom, even "rational" and modern men have a religious longing. Since the conscious mind has rejected God, the collective unconscious compensates for this by projecting UFOs. The UFOs become a psychological substitute for God. Jung connects the UFO phenomenon with the universal anxieties created by World War II and the Cold War. Somehow, human fears are transformed (and lessened?) into projections of flying saucers, "a modern myth of things seen in the sky".

Had Jung meant all this figuratively, he would obviously have been on to something. While most UFO observations are non-religious in character, the "spiritual" or quasi-religious dimension has been part of the phenomenon from the start, as can be seen in the phenomenon of "contactees", purported prophets who bring messages of occult truth and salvation from the aliens, who in effect become like gods. There is an obvious connection between the ideas of many "contactees" and those of Theosophy and its off-shoots. Today, there is also a connection between "abductees" and ancient notions such as shamanism, demon possession, etc.

However, Jung goes much further, connecting the UFOs to his (contentious, to say the least) ideas about a (literal) collective unconscious, its "projections" and its "archetypes".
Read more ›
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Payne on November 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Though we can come pretty close to taking it for granted that intelligent life exists somewhere out there in the universe, I also take it for granted that this has nothing to do with the UFO phenomenon. However, since so-called UFO's have been sighted by thousands of reputable people, and have been caught on radar, it is clear that they are something. In the 1950's, when FLYING SAUCERS was written, humanity felt itself to be on the brink of self destruction with nuclear weapons. Today, that menace is not only compounded by archaic religious fanaticism, but we also face the even greater threat of global warming. Dr. Jung's notion is that such tensions in the psyche create a potential which expresses itself as manifestation of psychic energy so that a "uniting symbol" is created in the unconscious. Though the idea that UFO's are psychic projections capable of being picked up by radar is hard to take seriously, it is less so than the idea that FTL alien spacecraft have been buzzing around Earth for hundreds of years.

Even is there should turn out to be some physical explanation for UFO's, it is the meaning of the rumor that is of importance. Most alien abductions might well be delusions induced during hypnogogic states of mind, but that explanation does not eliminate the importance of the fact that thousands of people are experiencing such a delusion. Mass-mindedness -- Communism, Corporationism, Nazism, and Christian and Moslem fanaticism -- has proven itself to be the greatest danger facing modern man. So Dr. Jung postulates that the psyche projects a symbol of wholeness, a mandala, in response to this danger. Of course, if mankind ignores this symbolic warning by interpreting it as alien spacecraft, it does us no good.

(Peter Payne, author of CAPTAIN CALIFORNIA: A YOUNG MAN'S ENCOUNTER WITH THE EVIL WITHIN HIMSELF)
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