Sum it up for me

Sir Alfred J. Ayer’s near-death experience from Aion – 24 by Edward Edinger


So, starting with number one, the postscript to the spacetime quaternio. You remember in the assignment for last week Jung spoke about the spacetime quaternio in 2 different ways.

  1. In the one way the 3 dimensions of space would make up 3 of the categories and time would be 4th category.
  2. In the other way of looking at it is that time has 3 aspects: past, present and future; and the 4th entity that would make a quaternity to those 3 would be space.

I want to present an example of the 1st version that I encountered in the newspaper. This was reported in the Los Angeles Times back in October 8, 1988. It describes the near-death experience of an English philosopher Sir Alfred J. Ayer, who is described as a formidable atheist. He told of a near-death experience that he had during the period when for 4 minutes his heart had stopped beating. This is the way he described his near-death experience.

I was confronted by a red light, exceedingly bright, and also very painful, even when I turned away from it. I was aware that this light was responsible for the government of the universe. Among its ministers were 2 creatures who had been put in charge of space. They were charged with seeing that space was kept in working order. But the ministers had failed and space was like a badly fitting jigsaw puzzle. Ayer said he recalled feeling that he needed to put aright the suddenly chaotic laws of nature and simultaneously extinguish the painful red light that seemed to be signalling that space was awry. Remembering that Einstein’s general theory of relativity treats space and time as a whole, he says, I thought I could cure space by operating upon time. Trying to make contact again with the ministers I hit upon the expedient of walking up and down waving my watch in the hope of drawing their attention not to my watch itself, but to the time which it measured. This elicited no response. I became more and more desperate until the experience suddenly came to an end, and his heart started beating again.

Los Angeles Times – October 8, 1988

I see the idea is that what he encounters when in this situation of universal red-alert is that space is awry and he realizes that what’s missing is the 4th and that’s what he tries then to bring to the 3-fold nature of space, time, which we can understand from our knowledge of the spacetime quaternity to be the 4th.

I thought that was an interesting illustration of Jung’s idea of the spacetime quaternity.

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Sum it up for me

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