What is the 'this' that Changes Everything?
Legacies of the Occult - Psychoanalysis, Religion, and Unconscious Communication - Marsha Aileen Hewitt
Marsha Aileen Hewitt [+]
University of Toronto
This chapter discusses Freud’s ideas on telepathy considered in the context of his views on the irreconcilable nature of science and religion. Some contemporary American psychoanalysts oppose Freud’s oppositional dualism in their embrace of paranormal science and quantum mechanics. They prove and explain not only telepathy, but also justify belief in a transcendent order of reality by providing epistemological warrant for spiritual beliefs and intuitions. A critical examination of the most important representative of “parapsychoanalysis”, Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, illustrates the continuing influence of Myers’s and James’s efforts to integrate spirituality and science. Situating Mayer and her colleagues in a dialogical relation to religious studies, especially Eliade’s thought, helps illustrate how reliance on paranormal science blurs and confuses, rather than integrates or reconciles, the distinctions between science and spirituality.