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Koestler, Arthur

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Arthur Koestler with Mamaine Paget, Robie Maca...

Arthur Koestler with Mamaine Paget, Robie Macauley and Flannery O'Connor via Wikipedia

Arthur Koestler (1905-83) was a Hungarian-born journalist and author who initially favored communism and wrote against the Nazis.

Koestler joined the German Communist Party (KPD) and was interned in a concentration camp but escaped to England in 1940, where he spent the rest of his life. By this time he’d broken with communism and had begun to explore political, scientific and humanistic themes through fiction and learned works.

He had a definite interest in the human brain, envisioning it as inherently conflicted due to an incomplete process of evolution. This idea of inherited conflict might have been more about him, however, and not the vast majority of people. He apparently was a misogynist and has gone on record for raping one woman.

Koestler also became interested in possible links between sub-atomic physics and parapsychology. And he wrote about the idea of coincidence, forwarding ideas remarkably similar to C. G. Jung’s concept of synchronicity. While this may surprise some, one has to remember that synchronicity is an ethically neutral concept. Dangerous madpersons, troubled neurotics and suffering saints may all experience – or believe they experience – the alleged parapsychological phenomena that Jung called synchronicity.

An advocate of euthanasia, Koestler and his wife both committed suicide when he developed a terminal illness.

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