In his address, Dr Velikovsky elaborates upon his theory of Cultural Amnesia. According to his theory, mankind forgot about unpleasant catastrophic events on the conscious level, but remembers on the unconscious level. Furthermore it would appear that the unconscious memory is transmitted genetically from one generation to the next, a concept already postulated by Freud and Jung but in disagreement with much of the current biological thinking. Nevertheless, there are, as will be shown in the papers following Velikovsky’s, substantial reasons for thinking that memory is indeed transmitted, if not racially, then in some other way.
If the cultural amnesia theory is correct, then it is possible to suggest that every generation lives in a state of trauma induced by the conflict between subconscious memories of past catastrophic events and the refusal of the conscious mind to recognize that these events actually occurred in prehistoric and historic times. Dr. Velikovsky believes that the trauma is responsible for mankind’s aggressive hostility, a concept of importance to every individual frightened by the prospect of thermonuclear war or of the instability which seems to be increasing in society.
Moreover, the trauma is also responsible for the inability and at times the outright refusal of science to recognize the overwhelming evidence pointing to the catastrophic past of the Earth and the entire solar System. The trauma is also responsible, in part at least, for the actions of some scientists who denounced Velikovsky without even reading his work. Perhaps the men who did this really are saying that the truth is too awful; if the public knew they would be furious, and the great prestige accorded to the leading spokespersons for modern science would decline.