JUNG AT HEART
by Leslie Fish
The shy young man standing at the back of the crowd of post-lecture questioners was oddly familiar. The lecturer found himself drawn to that face, and brushed off the rest of the crowd as quickly as he politely could. When no one was left but his secretary, who was occupied with fetching their coats, the young man finally stepped forward to introduce himself.
"Dr. Jung, I'm William Adams, and I'd like to ask you a few questions about...the Collective Unconscious."
"Adams..." That name rang a bell. Dr. Jung let his associations collect. What they gave him was a solid image, but not from his waking life. Just to be certain, he asked: "Have we met before?"
The young man frowned and studied him carefully. "I'm sure we haven't, sir," he said.
Yet that voice too was familiar. **The psychic phenomenon of 'déjà vu'*, Dr. Jung considered. "Ah. And what is your question, young man?"
William Adams smiled fleetingly. "I'd like to ask your opinion on the archetype of immortality," he said.
The doctor returned his smile. "The obvious meaning is simply the desire for life. No one wishes to age, sicken and die. Who would not wish to enjoy life forever? It is a universal desire."
"Then there's nothing more to it than wishful thinking?" The young man's smile was back, and there was something subtly ironic in it.
The doctor let his 'internal sense' flow, certain that once again it would lead him to the truth. "Indeed there is," he answered. "There are many kinds of immortality, when one thinks about it."
"Such as?" Young Adams hadn't moved, but somehow his posture now expressed intense eagerness.
"First, there is immortality of the genes, which all living things possess. Then there is immortality through works, which humans - particularly artists - strive for. There is immortality in the body, which is the legend you speak of-"
"Ah, then you don't believe it was ever real?" Adams' smile took on something more than irony.
Dr. Jung felt distinctly the pull of his internal sense, what he privately called 'the well of synchronicity', and let it guide him. "If it never was," he answered, "Someday it will be. Our understanding of nature increases by the year, and what humanity strives for so passionately, it will eventually possess."
Adams nodded to himself, as if reassured.
The doctor felt impelled to ride his internal vision further. "And there is also immortality of the soul, which all cultures believe in."
"More wishful thinking." That ironic smile was back.
"Possibly not." Now the doctor knew where he'd met this man before. It was impossible, of course, unless his private theories were correct. "I have studied, with great interest, cases of reincarnation."
"Cases?" Adams suddenly looked wary. "Verifiable cases, sir?"
"Indeed," the doctor smiled. "There is a surprising amount of evidence for it - not easy to find, I grant you, since modern science cannot admit to it and therefore ignores such evidence whenever possible. Nonetheless, I have seen enough to convince myself."
Adams gave him a wary look. "You're certain this isn't wishful thinking, again?"
"Not on my part." Dr. Jung shrugged. "Frankly, I would prefer to believe in Heaven and Hell. I assure you, it was the evidence which convinced me."
"But it doesn't convince your colleagues," Adams guessed.
**Gamble,* thought the doctor. **Leap boldly into the unknown, and trust him.* "My colleagues, sir, do not even admit to evidence of psychic phenomena. Yet again, I have found it convincing."
Adams blinked, looking distinctly off-balance. "I am...surprised to meet a modern rationalist who believes such," he murmured.
Jung snorted. "Modern rationalists, my earnest friend, have as many prejudices as medieval witch-hunters, only tending in different directions."
Adams laughed. "I won't dispute you there, sir."
"It is prejudice, and nothing else, which ignores evidence," the doctor went on. "A truly rational person must examine all the evidence, no matter what its relationship to his own theories. Even the supposedly irrelevant or trivial can yield surprising information."
"Such as?" Adams cocked his head, definitely intrigued.
**Now,* said the doctor's internal sense. "For example, all my life I have had visions, daydreams if you will, of other times and places. These seemed to be nothing but self-generated fancies - until I made the effort to record them in detail, and then checked the details against historical records."
Adams went utterly still. "And what did you find, sir?" he asked quietly.
"I found that my 'daydreams' had been amazingly accurate - and they concerned eras and places that I had never studied. There was no way I could have gained such information save by psychic means: either by access to some vast psychic record of all the lives ever lived, or else by reincarnation. There is no other logical conclusion."
Adams gave him a long fathomless look. "You're saying that...either there is 'magic' or there are...immortal souls."
Something in his stance told the doctor that this man badly wanted proof, at least solid evidence, but he would ruthlessly resist anything that smacked of 'wishful thinking'. Again, that internal sense told him that he had the answer; Dr. Jung relaxed into the feeling and let his words flow.
"Consider: in one of my visions I saw none other than yourself, sir - different in dress, but identical in features and voice."
"Me?" Adams had gone dead still again. "And just when and where did this vision place me?"
**Flow...* "Heidelberg, medical school, almost 500 years ago. Then, too, you were called Adam."
Adams turned white as a sheet.
Dr. Jung knew that his internal sense had struck truth again. "Ah, and have you seen the same vision, then?"
Adams nodded slowly, staring at him. "I...remember something like that, yes."
"There is your evidence, then," the doctor smiled. "Make of it what you will."
Adams nodded once, jerkily. "Either psychic power is real, or souls are," he whispered.
"Or both," the doctor shrugged. "Does this help answer your question about immortality?"
Adams visibly shook himself. "Actually," he murmured, "It raises others."
"Excellent!" Jung beamed. "The mark of a true scholar."
"Thank you," Adams mumbled, turning away. He didn't appear to move fast, yet his stride ate up space.
The doctor watched him go, getting the impression that Adams wasn't truly so young after all. He had the feeling of an old soul. A very old soul, indeed.