FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Responses to Symbol and Synchronicty in the Shuttle Disaster

by JERRY KROTH

Jeffrey St. clair, the co-editor of Counterpunch, asked me to write a short piece on the incredible reaction to my recent article on Columbia. This short little observation tapped a groundswell of emotion. I received 75 emails almost immediately which referenced a feeling that the catastrophe meant something beyond itself. Many readers felt the event was a precursor or harbinger, and most of the replies echoed that sentiment. Within a few days the article was posted on the Charlie Rose website. After that an underground radio website picked it up. Where else it has been, I don’t know, but within 10 days of the disaster, over 200,000 people appear to have read it at the Counterpunch site alone. Something was touched in the collective consciousness of Americans–and perhaps the collective unconscious as well. Reactions came in from the U.S., England, Australia, New Zealand, even Israel.

Some wonderful symbolic observations were made by readers. An Asian woman alerted me to the fact that the disaster occurred on the first day of the Chinese New Year, invariably a terrible omen. Mr. St. Clair generously incorporated that into the article.

My best friend who is Jewish felt the first draft was too emphatic in alleging that Israel’s relationship to the U.S. was leading America to disaster. He said that was a destructive conclusion. I felt that there was so much Israeli-Iraqi-Palestinian symbolism that this was the major thrust of the piece and a legitimate conclusion. Together we reasoned it out that the one element of all the synchronicities that were made which was not incorporated into that analysis was that the Israeli astronaut was the son of a holocaust survivor. When that fact was taken into account, it generated another persepctive namely that it is not Israel leading the US to ruin, but the US leading Israel to disaster since the current US campaign in Iraq portends far greater danger for Israel than for the U.S. With that suggestion incorporated, the essay became more balanced, and my friend’s legitimate feelings were mollified.

One observation another reader made has not been put into the piece as it is evolving, but I do think it is quite interesting. They suggested that the shuttle contained an Indian astronaut (American, but born in India) and an Israeli, two countries which are currently at war with Islam. I think that is an interesting comment but it hasn’t placed it in the piece.

Lastly, I was criticized for the last few sentences in the article which, according to one reader, weakened the argument. What I said was that perhaps these were enormous speculations based on what others could see as ‘meaningless coincidences,’ and that what perhaps needed to do was to focus on the personal tragedy and grief rather than the collective meaning of it all. I don’t regret putting in that concept. Jungian oracles and synchronicities are really not sitting on solid empirical science, after all, and this was and still is a deeply personal moment of grief for so many people. There is something sacreligious or at least irreverant in making capricious speculations, so I think that was an important sobering postscript to place in the piece, and if it weakened the argument, so be it.

JERRY KROTH, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University. He can be reached at: anya@znet.com

 

Jerry Kroth, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus from the graduate division of psychology at Santa Clara University. He may be contacted at his website, collectivepsych.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail