Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Psyche=singularity: A comparison of Carl Jung's transpersonal psychology and Leonard Susskind's holographic string theory
by Desmond, Timothy, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2014, 372; 3621045
Abstract (Summary)

In this dissertation I discern what Carl Jung calls the mandala image of the ultimate archetype of unity underlying and structuring cosmos and psyche by pointing out parallels between his transpersonal psychology and Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind's string theory. Despite his atheistic, materialistically reductionist interpretation of it, I demonstrate how Susskind's string theory of holographic information conservation at the event horizons of black holes, and the cosmic horizon of the universe, corroborates the following four topics about which Jung wrote: (1) his near-death experience of the cosmic horizon after a heart attack in 1944; ( 2) his equation relating psychic energy to mass, "Psyche=highest intensity in the smallest space" (1997, 162), which I translate into the equation, Psyche=Singularity; (3) his theory that the mandala, a circle or sphere with a central point, is the symbolic image of the ultimate archetype of unity through the union of opposites, which structures both cosmos and psyche, and which rises spontaneously from the collective unconscious to compensate a conscious mind torn by irreconcilable demands (1989, 334-335, 396-397); and (4) his theory of synchronicity. I argue that Susskind's inside-out black hole model of our Big Bang universe forms a geometrically perfect mandala: a central Singularity encompassed by a two-dimensional sphere which serves as a universal memory bank. Moreover, in precise fulfillment of Jung's theory, Susskind used that mandala to reconcile the notoriously incommensurable paradigms of general relativity and quantum mechanics, providing in the process a mathematically plausible explanation for Jung's near-death experience of his past, present, and future life simultaneously at the cosmic horizon. Finally, Susskind's theory also provides a plausible cosmological model to explain Jung's theory of synchronicity--meaningful coincidences may be tied together by strings at the cosmic horizon, from which they radiate inward as the holographic "movie" of our three-dimensional world.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kelly, Sean, Swimme, Brian
Commitee: Peat, F. David
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Philosophy and Religion
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Philosophy of Science, Astrophysics, Psychology
Keywords: Big bang, Black hole, Cosmic horizon, Near-death experience, Upanishad, Wolfgang pauli
Publication Number: 3621045
ISBN: 9781303918254
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