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David Guyatt
04-27-2009, 05:05 PM
http://www.psychovision.ch/synw/synchronicity_jung.htm


Further contributions about Carl Jung's synchronicity principle see in Psychovision, Synchronicity Page

UNUS MUNDUS forum

unus mundus: [google with <remo roth unus mundus> to find more about the subject]


Introduction to Carl G. Jung's Principle of Synchronicity

by Remo F. Roth, PhD, CH-8810 Horgen-Zuerich, Switzerland

Thanks to Phyllis Luthi (jobshop@pacbell.net) for the help with the translation



In today's world we reduce all events to the Principle of Cause and Effect (causality) and ask, which cause belongs to which effect. Carl G. Jung, toward the end of his life, realized that there is another type of events. Such events are directed toward a goal, that is, they lead into an event which has no cause. Therefore, they correspond to a new creation. In religious language such "effects" without "cause" were considered as miracles. The Catholic Church calls the underlying principle the providence of God.

When one observes one's dreams over a longer period of time, one becomes aware that often outward events occur that are very similar to the content of one's dreams. It would seem that the inner world and the outer world coincide. Carl G. Jung had suggested that one should - instead of looking for a magical relationship, as they did in medieval times - try to find the common meaning of such relatively simultaneous inner and outer events. The principle that underlies this nexus he called synchronicity.

Jung cites in his letters [vol. 1, 1973, p. 395] an occurrence that is an impressive example of synchronicity: "For instance, I walk with a woman patient in a wood. She tells me about the first dream in her life that had made an everlasting impression upon her. She had seen a spectral fox coming down the stairs in her parental home. At this moment a real fox comes out of the trees not 40 yards away and walks quietly on the path ahead of us for several minutes. The animal behaves as if it were a partner in the human situation."

According to Jung it would be wrong and extremely dangerous, to see a causal relationship between the two occurrences and to say that one event was the cause of the other. That would be nothing other than a relapse to the magical-causal thinking of the middle ages. Instead of this we must accept that the two occurrences are not causally connected, but rather by a common meaning. This means that we have to extract the meaning of the symbol "fox" for the interpretation of this synchronicity. This would somehow purport, that the dreamer herself - symbolically speaking - should be lead much more by her "inner fox", meaning that she must recover the instinctive cleverness she had lost with her intellectual point of view.

When one has experienced a number of such synchroncitities (see also Carl G. Jung’s Scarab Synchronicity), one gains over time the impression that there is a wisdom within them, far beyond that of our conscious knowledge. Furthermore, they would indicate that the inner world, for example dreams out of the so-called unconscious, know something about the outward, but also that the outer, the animate or even the inanimate material world knows something about the inner. Carl G. Jung had therefore put forth the postulate that there has to be a world in which inner and outer world, psyche and matter are connected in an undifferentiated unity. This world was called the unus mundus in the Middle Ages [see also the UNUS MUNDUS forum]. Carl G. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli looked for this world and called it the unified psychophysical reality ("die psychophysische Einheitswirklichkeit") beyond the split in matter and psyche. One must consider this a potential world out of which causeless new creations can occur. Synchronistic events show the moment that this potential world will incarnate into the concrete.

In the above example it was in the moment of that the fox emerged in the forest that this moment came in which the stricken woman came out of her intellectualism and was able to recover her instinctive cleverness. Jung would probably have said something like the following to her: "You see, now the fox is also outside. Invite the symbol of instinctive cleverness into your world and you will be lead by it in your later life. Forget all of your ifs or buts, conquer all your intellectual blocks in this way and begin to trust your instinctive wisdom which will show you the right way." Through the experience and the interpretation of this synchronicity would the consciousness of the client abruptly transform and this impressive occurrence would lead to a new meaning to her future life.

Physically seen the principle of cause and effect leads finally into so-called Entropy, in other words the so called "heat death" of the universe. The differences in energy between various parts decrease until there is no more difference, energy no longer can flow, and life is extinguished.

Similar events one can observe in the psychic realm. People who have been bound too long to the causal paradigma begin to die in this life. Unconsciously they will become "living deads". Thus the Sufis, the mystics of Islam - say these words of wisdom: "Die before you die!" By this they mean that in such people a new conscious orientation should take place which effects so that the consciousness then would much more be connected to the principle of synchronicity instead to causality. This letting go of old tried and true, this giving up of the power principle, of "Where there's a will there's a way!" works like an elixier vitae. Such people begin a second life which falls under the principle of synchronicity. I call it Synchronicity Quest, which means that they begin to let theirselves be lead by coincidences and to take assistance from their dreams in order to learn to understand wherein the way of life further leads. In greatly critical moments synchronicities come to pass which show the real goal of life, which can not be found by will and causalistic thinking.

Experience shows that such synchronicities work negentropically, meaning that they build new psychic energy fields out of which further new life possibilities emerge. People grow in this manner and those who take their dreams and synchronicities seriously have a chance to lead a life filled with a new and deeper meaning. Thereby they have simultaneously overcome the paradigma of causality while entering into a new age of synchronicity which appears on the horizon of the new millennium.

David Guyatt
04-27-2009, 07:37 PM
While Freud was going on this way, I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm were made of iron and were becoming red-hot -- a glowing vault. And at that moment there was such a loud report in the bookcase, which stood right next to us, that we both started up in alarm, fearing the thing was going to topple over on us. I said to Freud: 'There, that is an example of a so-called catalytic exteriorization phenomenon.' 'Oh come,' he exclaimed. 'That is sheer bosh.' 'It is not,' I replied. 'You are mistaken, Herr Professor. And to prove my point I now predict that in a moment there will be another such loud report! 'Sure enough, no sooner had I said the words that the same detonation went off in the bookcase. To this day I do not know what gave me this certainty. But I knew beyond all doubt that the report would come again. Freud only stared aghast at me. I do not know what was in his mind, or what his look meant. In any case, this incident aroused his distrust of me, and I had the feeling that I had done something against him. I never afterward discussed the incident with him.

Freud bless him, never went deep. Thus he could not understand "the deep". For him it was medical and academic and, sadly his own prestige become a blinker.

http://sidereus.org/main/article.php?sid=166



The Mystery of Chance - Jung & Synchronicity

by Peter A. Jordan

At some time or another it's happened to all of us. There's that certain number that pops up wherever you go. Hotel rooms, airline terminals, street addresses -- its haunting presence cannot be escaped. Or, you're in your car, absently humming a song. You turn on the radio. A sudden chill prickles your spine. That same song is now pouring from the speaker.

Coincidence, you tell yourself. Or is it?

For most mainstream scientists, experiences like this, however strange and recurrent, are nothing but lawful expressions of chance, a creation -- not of the divine or mystical -- but of simply that which is possible. Ignorance of natural law, they argue, causes us to fall prey to superstitious thinking, inventing supernatural causes where none exist. In fact, say these statistical law-abiding rationalists, the occasional manifestation of the rare and improbable in daily life is not only permissible, but inevitable.

Consider this: from a well-shuffled deck of fifty-two playing cards, the mathematical odds of dealing a hand of thirteen specified cards are about 635,000,000,000 to one. (This means that, in dealing the hand, there exist as many as 635,000,000,000 different hands that may possibly appear.) What statisticians tell us, though, is that these billions of hands are all equally likely to occur, and that one of them is absolutely certain to occur each time the hand is dealt. Thus, any hand that is dealt, including the most rare and improbable hand is, in terms of probability, merely one of a number of equally likely events, one of which was bound to happen.

Such sobering assurances don't necessarily satisfy everyone, however: many see coincidence as embedded in a higher, transcendental force, a cosmic "glue," as it were, which binds random events together in a meaningful and coherent pattern. The question has always been: could such a harmonizing principle actually exist? Or are skeptics right in regarding this as a product of wishful thinking, a consoling myth spawned by the intellectual discomfort and capriciousness of chance?

Mathematician Warren Weaver, in his book, Lady Luck: The Theory of Probability, recounts a fascinating tale of coincidence that stretches our traditional notions of chance to their breaking point. The story originally appeared in Life magazine. Weaver writes:

All fifteen members of a church choir in Beatrice, Nebraska, due at practice at 7:20, were late on the evening of March 1, 1950. The minister and his wife and daughter had one reason (his wife delayed to iron the daughter's dress) one girl waited to finish a geometry problem; one couldn't start her car; two lingered to hear the end of an especially exciting radio program; one mother and daughter were late because the mother had to call the daughter twice to wake her from a nap; and so on. The reasons seemed rather ordinary. But there were ten separate and quite unconnected reasons for the lateness of the fifteen persons. It was rather fortunate that none of the fifteen arrived on time at 7:20, for at 7:25 the church building was destroyed in an explosion. The members of the choir, Life reported, wondered if their delay was "an act of God."

Weaver calculates the staggering odds against chance for this uncanny event as about one chance in a million.

Coincidences such as these, some say, are almost too purposeful, too orderly, to be a product of random chance, which strains somewhat to accommodate them. But then how do we explain them?

Psychologist Carl Jung believed the traditional notions of causality were incapable of explaining some of the more improbable forms of coincidence. Where it is plain, felt Jung, that no causal connection can be demonstrated between two events, but where a meaningful relationship nevertheless exists between them, a wholly different type of principle is likely to be operating. Jung called this principle "synchronicity."

In The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Jung describes how, during his research into the phenomenon of the collective unconscious, he began to observe coincidences that were connected in such a meaningful way that their occurrence seemed to defy the calculations of probability. He provided numerous examples culled from his own psychiatric case-studies, many now legendary.

A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me his dream I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the window-pane from outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to the golden scarab that one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetoaia urata) which contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt an urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since, and that the dream of the patient has remained unique in my experience.

Who then, might we say, was responsible for the synchronous arrival of the beetle -- Jung or the patient? While on the surface reasonable, such a question presupposes a chain of causality Jung claimed was absent from such experience. As psychoanalyst Nandor Fodor has observed, the scarab, by Jung's view, had no determinable cause, but instead complemented the "impossibility" of the analysis. The disturbance also (as synchronicities often do) prefigured a profound transformation. For, as Fodor observes, Jung's patient had -- until the appearance of the beetle -- shown excessive rationality, remaining psychologically inaccessible. Once presented with the scarab, however, her demeanor improved and their sessions together grew more profitable.

Because Jung believed the phenomenon of synchronicity was primarily connected with psychic conditions, he felt that such couplings of inner (subjective) and outer (objective) reality evolved through the influence of the archetypes, patterns inherent in the human psyche and shared by all of mankind. These patterns, or "primordial images," as Jung sometimes refers to them, comprise man's collective unconscious, representing the dynamic source of all human confrontation with death, conflict, love, sex, rebirth and mystical experience. When an archetype is activated by an emotionally charged event (such as a tragedy), says Jung, other related events tend to draw near. In this way the archetypes become a doorway that provide us access to the experience of meaningful (and often insightful) coincidence.

Implicit in Jung's concept of synchronicity is the belief in the ultimate "oneness" of the universe. As Jung expressed it, such phenomenon betrays a "peculiar interdependence of objective elements among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) states of the observer or observers." Jung claimed to have found evidence of this interdependence, not only in his psychiatric studies, but in his research of esoteric practices as well. Of the I Ching, a Chinese method of divination which Jung regarded as the clearest expression of the synchronicity principle, he wrote: "The Chinese mind, as I see it at work in the I Ching, seems to be exclusively preoccupied with the chance aspect of events. What we call coincidence seems to be the chief concern of this peculiar mind, and what we worship as causality passes almost unnoticed...While the Western mind carefully sifts, weighs, selects, classifies, isolates, the Chinese picture of the moment encompasses everything down to the minutest nonsensical detail, because all of the ingredients make up the observed moment."

Similarly, Jung discovered the synchronicity within the I Ching also extended to astrology. In a letter to Freud dated June 12, 1911, he wrote: "My evenings are taken up largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you...I dare say that we shall one day discover in astrology a good deal of knowledge that has been intuitively projected into the heavens."

Freud was alarmed by Jung's letter. Jung's interest in synchronicity and the paranormal rankled the strict materialist; he condemned Jung for wallowing in what he called the "black tide of the mud of occultism." Just two years earlier, during a visit to Freud in Vienna, Jung had attempted to defend his beliefs and sparked a heated debate. Freud's skepticism remained calcified as ever, causing him to dismiss Jung's paranormal leanings, "in terms of so shallow a positivism," recalls Jung, "that I had difficulty in checking the sharp retort on the tip of my tongue." A shocking synchronistic event followed. Jung writes in his memoirs:

While Freud was going on this way, I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm were made of iron and were becoming red-hot -- a glowing vault. And at that moment there was such a loud report in the bookcase, which stood right next to us, that we both started up in alarm, fearing the thing was going to topple over on us. I said to Freud: 'There, that is an example of a so-called catalytic exteriorization phenomenon.' 'Oh come,' he exclaimed. 'That is sheer bosh.' 'It is not,' I replied. 'You are mistaken, Herr Professor. And to prove my point I now predict that in a moment there will be another such loud report! 'Sure enough, no sooner had I said the words that the same detonation went off in the bookcase. To this day I do not know what gave me this certainty. But I knew beyond all doubt that the report would come again. Freud only stared aghast at me. I do not know what was in his mind, or what his look meant. In any case, this incident aroused his distrust of me, and I had the feeling that I had done something against him. I never afterward discussed the incident with him.

In formulating his synchronicity principle, Jung was influenced to a profound degree by the "new" physics of the twentieth century, which had begun to explore the possible role of consciousness in the physical world. "Physics," wrote Jung in 1946, "has demonstrated...that in the realm of atomic magnitudes objective reality presupposes an observer, and that only on this condition is a satisfactory scheme of explanation possible." "This means," he added, "that a subjective element attaches to the physicist's world picture, and secondly that a connection necessarily exists between the psyche to be explained and the objective space-time continuum." These discoveries not only helped loosen physics from the iron grip of its materialistic world-view, but confirmed what Jung recognized intuitively: that matter and consciousness -- far from operating independently of each other -- are, in fact, interconnected in an essential way, functioning as complementary aspects of a unified reality.

The belief -- suggested by quantum theory and by reports of synchronous events -- that matter and consciousness interpenetrate is, of course, far from new. What historian Arthur Koestler refers to as the capacity of the human psyche to "act as a cosmic resonator" faithfully echoes the thinking of Kepler and Pico. Leibnitz's "monad," a spiritual microcosm said to mirror the patterns of the universe, was based on the premise that individual and universe "imprint" each other, acting by virtue of a "pre-established harmony." And for Schopenhauer who, like Jung, questioned the exclusive status of causality, everything was "interrelated and mutually attuned."

Common among these various historical sources, as Koestler observes in his book, The Roots of Coincidence, is the presumption of a "fundamental unity of all things," which transcends mechanical causality, and which relates coincidence to the "universal scheme of things."

In exploring the parallels between modern science and the mystical concept of a universal scheme or oneness, Koestler compares the evolution of science during the past one-hundred-and-fifty years to a vast river system, in which each tributary is "swallowed up" by the mainstream, until all unified in a single river-delta. The science of electricity, he points out, merged, during the nineteenth century, with the science of magnetism. Electromagnetic waves were then discovered to be responsible for light, color, radiant heat and Hertzian waves, while chemistry was embraced by atomic physics. The control of the body by nerves and glands was linked to electrochemical processes, and atoms were broken down into the "building blocks" of protons, electrons and neutrons. Soon, however, even these fundamental parts were reduced by scientists to mere "parcels of compressed energy, packed and patterned according to certain mathematical formulae."

What all this reveals, then, is that there may be what Koestler refers to as "the universal hanging-together of things, their embeddedness in a universal matrix." Many ecologists already subscribe to this sense of interrelation in the world, what the ancients called the "sympathy" of life, and the numbers of scientists now converting to this world-view are beginning to multiply. Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigione of the University of Texas at Austin is studying the "spontaneous formation of coherent structures," how chemical and other kinds of structures evolve patterns out of chaos. Karl Pribram, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, has proposed that the brain may be a type of "hologram," a pattern and frequency analyzer which creates "hard" reality by interpreting frequencies from a dimension beyond space and time. On the basis of such a model, the physical world "out there," is, in Pribram's words, "isomorphic with" -- that, the same as, the processes of the brain.

So, if the modern alliance evolving between quantum physicists, neuroscientists, parapsychologists and mystics is not just a short-fused phase in scientific understanding, a paradigm shift may well be imminent. We may soon not only embrace a new image of the universe as non-causal and "sympathetic," but uncover conclusive evidence that the universe functions not as some great machine, but as a great thought -- unifying matter, energy, and consciousness. Synchronous events, perhaps even the broader spectrum of paranormal phenomena, will be then liberated from the stigma of "occultism," and no longer seen as disturbing. At that point, our perceptions, and hence our world, will be changed forever.